Tag Archives: formula x

Elie Saab inspired manicure: March’s NCC #4

Hello sweeties! I hope everyone had a good weekend. I didn’t do anything too exciting – there was some overtime at work, bingewatching The Killing (anyone else watch that?!), and some sleep. But hey, you can’t go wrong with a relaxing weekend! Anyways, today I have the last fashion-inspired manicure for March’s Nail Challenge Collaborative theme!

I browsed pictures from the recent New York Fashion Week, and I came across some beautiful dresses in the Elie Saab Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear collection. It was full with aqua, teal, pops of bright orange in a cool tie-dyed/ marbled pattern.

Dress from the Spring 2015 Elie Saab collection

Dress from the Spring 2015 Elie Saab collection

How gorgeous is that?! I just knew I wanted that on my nails! I had also recently watched a video from Young, Wild, And Polished on YouTube where she did a manicure that ended up with a very similar effect. Despite using saran wrap before, I had never done a mani like that! The way that I usually use saran wrap is by wadding up a little ball and dabbing on the extra colors.

My Elie Saab inspired manicure

My Elie Saab inspired manicure

I think it came out pretty darn similar to the actual dress! I really loved this manicure! It’s not really a day-to-day wearable manicure with the middle finger accent, but I definitely love the marbled/ tie-dye effect!

Marbled/ tie-dye manicure inspired by an Elie Saab dress

Marbled/ tie-dye manicure inspired by an Elie Saab dress

Polishes used/ how I did this:

  • Base color: Essie Mint Candy Apple… a beautiful bright minty baby blue
  • I blobbed on a few dots of 3 polishes and then took a small piece of saran wrap. I pressed the saran wrap to the nail and rubbed it in a small circular motion to create the marbled/ tie-dye effect.
    • Color blobs:
      • Essie Mint Candy Apple
      • Barry M Watermelon… my favorite deep teal polish!
      • Formula X Uber… a gorgeous bright red-leaning orange creme.
  • Middle finger:
    • I freehanded stripes of Rica Whiteout and Rica Blackout in the same pattern of the dress’ neckline.
    • I took a small brush with acetone and removed the polish between the stripes to emulate the skin peeking from the neckline.

I really want to use this technique again – for a full mani or even as an accent nail or two. Maybe you’ll be seeing that on me again soon 🙂

What do you think? Have you used saran wrap or a plastic bag this way? Did you have a more interesting weekend than I did? And do you watch The Killing?! Talk to me if you do 🙂

And here’s your daily dose of David Tennant/ Doctor Who:

Love that grin!

Love that grin!

Check out more fashion-inspired manicures from the NCC ladies:

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Purple mish-mash manicure

Hello my sweeties! It’s Friday! It was a busy week, so this is going to be a quick post today. I don’t know how to succinctly describe today’s mani, so I’m just calling it the purple mish-mash mani. 🙂 It has a little bit o’everything. I started out wanting a gradient manicure, but I decided I wanted to make it a skittlette manicure.

Purple mish-mash manicure

Purple mish-mash manicure

The darker purple is much more purple in real life. My camera wanted to make it blue-toned, but it is definitely warmer than it photographs. My camera must be prejudiced against blurples! They never work well on film for me!

Purple mish-mash manicure

Purple mish-mash manicure

I also wanted to be able to use a fun polish that I bought awhile back that hasn’t seen any love yet. Reverie Bonfire didn’t match as well as I originally thought it would, but it doesn’t clash too badly!

Closeup of Reverie Bonfire

Closeup of Reverie Bonfire

Polishes used:

  • Pinky: OPI Do You Have This Color In Stock-Holm?… this is a warm leaning blurple that is just stunning. It’s a vibrant purple with a perfect formula.
  • Ring finger (and thumb): Reverie Bonfire… this is a deep blue jelly with coppery orange shards/flakes, blue iridescent glitter, and some holo mixed throughout. I used 3 coats to get this opaque, and the formula wasn’t too thick.
  • Index and middle fingers:
    • Base: Formula X Heart-Stopping… this is a perfect light lavender purple creme.
    • Gradient: Heart-Stopping with Stock-Holm
    • Dots in Stock-Holm

What do you think? Do you think it coordinates alright? What accent glitter/ nail art would you have chosen?

Koi Stamping Decal Mani: February’s NCC #4

Hello sweeties! For my last February NCC look, I decided to attempt a stamping decal. I tried it once before and it was only a so-so result. I have some larger stamping images that I’ve always thought would be perfect as a decal, so of course it was high time I tried this technique again!

Koi manicure using a stamped decal

Koi manicure using a stamped decal

So the application came out a little crooked and didn’t line up perfectly across all nails and the face of the Koi fish smeared a little, but I’m really happy with the end result!

Odd finger position trying to line up the stamping decal :)

Odd finger position trying to line up the stamping decal 🙂

Painting the decal was easy enough, but transferring from the stamper to my nail was definitely more difficult. I watched YouTube videos like crazy, but that transfer remained hard!

I also took a closeup to show off the sparkle that Zoya Remy & China Glaze Fairy Dust gives:

Closeup showing off the base colors - Barry M Damson, Zoya Remy, and China Glaze Fairy Dust

Closeup showing off the base colors – Barry M Damson, Zoya Remy, and China Glaze Fairy Dust

And now, time for a mini rant… I used a stamping polish from Mundo de Unas. I purchased a bunch from them awhile back when I first got into stamping and heard amazing things about how they perform in stamping. And that’s right – they stamp better than anything I’ve tried so far. BUT they stink SO bad… like give you a headache/ eyes tearing bad. And this one had a lump of congealed polish at the tip of the brush that wouldn’t go away. Also, I’ve heard time and again about the controversy on MDU not releasing their ingredients based on their agreement with their production team. With all of that, I plan on not using them ever again and trying to get rid of the ones I own. If you know of anyone who is obsessed with MDU and has no sense of smell, let me know 🙂

Products used:

  • Base
    • Base color: Barry M Damson… this is a GORGEOUS bright cornflower blue that has an amazing formula!
    • I dabbed Zoya Remy over Damson with a piece of saran wrap… Now I previously have worn Remy on its own, and I didn’t think it was a bad stainer. But when I dabbed it on with saran wrap, it naturally was messy and got all over my skin. AND my skin was tinted blue until I scrubbed it with some toothpaste! So I recommend being careful with Remy since it’ll stain your skin.
    • Topper: China Glaze Fairy Dust… to give the background an almost shimmery/ sparkly water feel.
  • Stamping plate: Messy Mansion MM29
  • Decal
    • Stamping polish: Mundo de Unas Orange (13)… great color and fantastic to stamp with, but see all the above issues!
    • Koi details:
      • Illamasqua Purity… a beautiful almost flesh-toned light peachy orange.
      • Formula X Uber… a darker red-orange polish. This one was a little thin for detailing, but it ended up alright.
      • Rica Whiteout… my go-to white for nail art
    • Top coat: an old drugstore top coat… I think I used NYC’s top coat.
    • I stamped the image onto two stamper heads, cleaned up excess, and then dabbed on the above polishes for the detailing. I let that dry for awhile, then painted the top coat over. Once that was all dry, I peeled it off the stamper head and placed it on the nail (obviously not perfectly) and generously coated it with more top coat.

If you have any suggestions on how to make the stamping decal work easier, let me know!! Have you tried it before? What are your thoughts on Mundo de Unas?

Check out more animal manis from the NCC ladies:

Lisa Frank Zebra Mani: February’s NCC #3

Hello my sweeties! Guess what tomorrow is?! It’s my birthday! I’m still such a little kid when it comes to my birthday – it’s like its own holiday for me. I would celebrate it for a whole month if I could. So for my upcoming birthday, I wanted some bright and cheery nails! In keeping with the animal theme for February’s challenge, I decided to do neon zebra print nails.

Lisa Frank Zebra Manicure

Lisa Frank Zebra Manicure

This was my first time painting zebra print on my nails, and I had to go with a neon rainbow to keep it cheery in this cold frigid snowy PA weather. The minute I saw the finished product, I thought LISA FRANK! Please tell me you remember Lisa Frank – the amazing neon cartoon animals were all over folders, notebooks, trapper keepers, pencils, EVERYTHING! I was ALL about the Lisa Frank life!

Classic Lisa Frank :)

Classic Lisa Frank 🙂

Like ^ that! I figured a neon zebra would fit in perfectly with the Lisa Frank world! Don’t you think?

I really like how it turned out. It’s fun and bright and cheerful – exactly what I needed amongst all the dreary cold. I could always use a little work on my freehand lines, but I think they are acceptable for this! 🙂

Another pic of my Lisa Frank zebra mani

Another pic of my Lisa Frank zebra mani

Oh, and I got an early birthday present – an Ott light! I’ve been wanting one forever since I’ve heard it makes your pics look a million times better. And I’m really liking it so far. I feel like my pics are sharper and more crisp, plus the color accuracy is improved! My camera actually picked up on the neon goodness of this mani under the Ott light!

Polishes used:

  • Base: KBShimmer Eyes White Open… this is the new white creme from KBShimmer’s Spring 2015 collection, and I am officially obsessed! It’s opaque and even in 2 coats, and the formula is perfection!! Side note – I keep wanting to say Eggs White Open, not sure why. Maybe I’m hungry 😉
  • Zebra stripes:
    • Essie Strut Your Stuff… a beautiful aqua blue creme
    • Formula X Radioactive… an almost-neon green. This is a bit sheer, even over white. But I love it with multiple coats!
    • Orly Glowstick… a perfect neon highlighter yellow
    • China Glaze Pool Party… one of my favorite neon coral pink/red! My camera didn’t freak out as much under the Ott light! Especially on my ring finger!

So what do you think? Have you done freehand zebra print before? (who am I kidding?! I think I’m the only one who hasn’t!) What do you like to put on your nails when it’s nasty outside?

Check out more animal manis from the Nail Challenge Collaborative:

Gone Girl Manicure: November’s NCC #4

Gone Girl: one of the most f***ed up books I’ve read in a loooong time. And it was recently made into a movie that I (finally!) saw yesterday, so of course my last NCC book-themed manicure had to be inspired by it.

Have you read Gone Girl yet? It’s this crazy story of two screwed up people who are married to one another and spend a lot of time screwing one another over. It’s reaaaalllly good! And I was pretty impressed with how the movie turned out too. I definitely recommend it!

Book Cover

Book Cover

And here’s my mani:

Gone Girl Manicure

Gone Girl Manicure

My index and middle finger were supposed to be the wisps of blonde hair that are on the book cover. They ended up looking more like light tree branches. I think I probably should have used a much thinner nail art brush, but hindsight is 20/20 right? My ring finger and pinky are much more successfully obvious – they are blood splatter! This is inspired by, well, blood. In the beginning of the book, Amy (the wife) is missing and there is blood splatter in their kitchen.

Colors used:

  • Index and Middle Finger
    • Base color: Julep Cleopatra… a satin-finish black that does show a little streakiness but is otherwise a nice polish
    • Hair/ tree branches: Julep Alexandra… an ugly eggshell cream neutral polish that looks awful with my skintone, but is great for nail art
  • Ring Finger and Pinky
    • Base color: Polish My Life Stripped… as I’ve mentioned before, a great 2 coat white
    • Blood: Sephora Formula X Pyrotechnic… an amazing red creme

So yeah, I’m not thrilled with this mani but it’s alright. The book and movie are much better than  my nails show! What do you think? Would you like tree branches for hair? Do you desire those *extremely* thick tresses? And have you seen/ read Gone Girl? Did you like the story as much as I did?

Check out more book-themed manicures from the NCC ladies:

Favorite polishes found at Sephora

Happy Friday everyone! If you don’t have any plans for the weekend, might I suggest a trip to Sephora? 🙂 There’s an amazing sale going on until November 10th. I know that if you’re a VIB or VIB Rouge, you get 20% off ANYTHING! I’m imagining you get the same deal if you’re a Beauty Insider as well, but I’m not sure.

I frequented my local Sephora today and picked up a bunch of makeup, but I didn’t actually buy any nail polish this trip! They do have some amazing polishes to check out there, so I thought I’d share with you some of my favorites.

First up is Marc Jacobs Petra, a gorgeous silvery brown metallic. This is such a stunning polish, and it’s definitely one of my favorite Marc Jacobs colors! The formula on the Marc Jacobs line is perfection, and the bottle is so sleek. I love that Sephora carries this line!

Marc Jacobs Petra

Marc Jacobs Petra

Next is Marc Jacobs Sally, which was the first polish I ever bought from Marc Jacobs. It’s so gorgeous! Sally is a blackened emerald that looks even more amazing than my camera can show you! It’s perfect for fall and winter (or anytime really!).

Marc Jacobs Sally

Marc Jacobs Sally

You really can’t go wrong with any of the Marc Jacobs polishes – the cremes are fantastic as well!

Next is a Deborah Lippman polish that I’m not sure is still available. I got it a loooong time ago, and Sephora’s Deborah Lippmann display (at least in my local store) isn’t that huge. This is Between the Sheets, which is a great fuchsia creme. It’s that perfect blend of pink and purple that I just adore!

Deborah Lippmann Between the Sheets

Deborah Lippmann Between the Sheets

And now onto the Sephora brand, Formula X! There is suuuuch a huge range of colors and finishes in the Formula X line – definitely something for everyone. I’m just going to share my top five. First up is one of the Xplosives glitter toppers, Crash. The Xplosives are a group of matte multisized hex glitter toppers, and Crash is the light blue one. Great glitter payoff, and I just love it as a topper over gradients.

Formula X Crash over Deborah Lippmann Between the Sheets

Formula X Crash over Deborah Lippmann Between the Sheets

Next is Obsessed, which is the perfect vampy brownish red. It’s a bit patchy on the first coat, but really builds up perfectly. It can look almost black in low lighting, but it’s definitely that deep wine. I love the Formula X cremes – all are super easy to apply and look great.

Formula X Obsessed

Formula X Obsessed

Next is Heart-Stopping. This is one of my favorite light purple polishes. It leans a bit more blue-lavender, and it’s perfect!

Formula X Heart-Stopping

Formula X Heart-Stopping

Next is Pyrotechnic, which is a great classic red polish. You always need a good red right? Well, this definitely is an amazing one! Perfect formula, great primary cherry red color, and just perfect!

Formula X Pyrotechnic

Formula X Pyrotechnic

And lastly, my all-time favorite polish at Sephora is Hyped! This is just the most gorgeous polish I’ve found there. It’s part of the Formula X Electric line, and it’s this vivid electric purple with a blue shimmer/ micro-flakie finish. It dries satin which is alright, but I definitely prefer it with top coat because it really brings out that shimmer.

Formula X Hyped

Formula X Hyped

Phew! Isn’t that so pretty?! You don’t often have a chance to get these polishes on sale at Sephora, so if you ever wanted to try out some high-end brands this is the time! Sephora also carries a ton of other amazing brands too.

To recap, here are my faves:

All my favorite Sephora polishes!

All my favorite Sephora polishes!

So which of these is your favorite? I love my Marc Jacobs Sally and Formula X Hyped the best. What’s your favorite polish from Sephora? Are you going to take advantage of their sale this weekend?

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: