October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween: Zombie Chic

Have you ever been invited to a costume party, only to find out that it's actually...not at all a costume party? Allow me to share with you my super ridiculous mostly-makeup costume that I wore to a party yesterday where I was the only person wearing a costume. The best/worst part? It was a party for employees at my boyfriend's workplace where I got to meet ALL of his managers and associates for the first time ever, and I looked like this...

I LOVE how grey this makeup makes my eyes look

this is my "Hello, nice to meet you for the first time" stare...

YAY! HALLOWEEN! Cute boyfriend is cute werewolf, or himself with a furry hat on 

Plus no one else brought a plus one to the 'party', so that wasn't weird at all. Anyhoo, this is a purple-y version of the MAC 'Zombie Chic' face chart following this tutorial from Makeup your Jangsara and I feel like it's a nice alien/zombie/evil/witch situation. Today I've got some purply-pinky staining, which is really helping my feelings heal about how embarrassed I felt most of last night (sarcasm).

The look was pretty easy to do, though, which is great. And I was so lucky to have that black bob wig! This is my third Halloween using it, such a helpful investment. Because I was using two shades of matte purples (Sugarpill 2am and Poison Plum), it was a little patchy and it might have been easier had I done the original red. Sorry I have no 'nice camera' photos of this look, we were sort of rushing out the door once I was done with it [and my boyfriend thought that standing in front of the comic book art from Ikea would make a "good background"].

Anyhoo, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Hope you have a fun and safe one :)

October 30, 2013

What are the 12 Easiest Nail Art Patterns?!

Today I am lucky enough to contribute an article to The Digit-al Dozen blog about A Dozen... Easy Nail Art Patterns (click here)! Here's a little peek at 6 of the 12 designs I did to match the Digit-al Dozen blog theme. Please check out the full post for all the details, tricks and tips!!

As for the polishes, they are OPI Kiss me on My Tulips (pink), Sally Hansen Creamy Olive (pale green), Cult Nails Tempest (white) and Nevermore (black), Pure Ice Kiss Me Here (grey), and the glitter is Lacquistry's Watermelon-Baller, Shot Caller.

Don't forget to read the post (click here!) and let me know what you think!!

October 29, 2013

Busy Spider-y Halloween Ruffian Nail Art

Do you ever recycle your nail art? My Glam Halloween Dotticure nails were wearing like iron - no chips/bumps/scrapes or anything, just some re-growth at the bottom when I went to trim my nails yesterday evening. Today I decided, what the hey! The orange and dot base would go perfectly with some additional details and stamping. So here's some ruffian Halloweeny nail art with spiders, spiderwebs, and some eyeballs here and there!

Manicurity | Busy Spider-y Halloween Ruffian Nail Art

Manicurity | Busy Spider-y Halloween Ruffian Nail Art

Manicurity | Busy Spider-y Halloween Ruffian Nail Art

Manicurity | Busy Spider-y Halloween Ruffian Nail Art

This worked out much better than I thought it would! I used Bundle Monster plate BM13 and Barry M silver foil and stamped some spiderwebs on all of my nails in different directions. Then  a few swipes with black polish on a striper brush here and there to add some legs to some of the previous dots to make spiders (also because I couldn't get the spider to transfer from BM13, sadface). Then to do some eyeballs I used white and black and dotting tools to do small eyes here and there (white dot first, smaller black dot second).

Finally to cover up my larger-than-usually-perferred cuticle gap (I was going to call it my 'cute gap' because I shorten things IRL but didn't think anyone would get it, so now this is like me explaining a joke at a party. Cool!), I used Cult Nails Grunge = perfection. Seriously, the best part of this whole thing is the perfect shade of zombie flesh that Grunge adds to the whole thing (not that I think of it as 'zombie flesh color' typically, mostly just because of the Halloween context).

Manicurity | Busy Spider-y Halloween Ruffian Nail Art

The aptly named Grunge is so refined and wonderfully perfect with this, and I love the whole thing so so much. I am glad I went with this shade instead of a lime green or more black because this way is pretty perfect! How many times can I say how perfect I think this is? Perfect!

Have you been doing Halloween nail art? Are you doing something fun to celebrate the spooky candy holiday this year?! I think I'm watching scary movies on the roof of my boyfriend's workplace*, which sounds pretty darn fun!! [*It's a planned movie-watching-party, not like we're breaking and entering because that would be horrible since I'm blogging about it]

October 28, 2013

Lust List - Hopeful Holiday Edition

(Affiliate Links)

Am I too early to be sharing my holiday wishlist or too late?! I never really know how early is "too early" but I was sort of shocked to see some brands debuting all of their holiday value kits in September (*cough*urbandecay*cough*). PS. Is it obvious that I am the sort of person that waits until like Christmas day to buy presents...? I like to handmake things, for my parents especially, but I'm usually traveling near to the holidays and end up making things at their house right before actual Christmas :p

Anyhoo, I always get to make up ridiculously extravagant holiday lust lists because my birthday and Christmas are during the same week! Here are the things that I want the very most.

  1. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette ($58) - I have been really really wanting to try one of these super fab finishing powders, but couldn't possibly narrow down and choose just one to take the plunge with (especially when they are normally $45). This palette gives you a little taste of three shades and I haven't seen a bad review of it yet. Is $58 a lot of money for three powders? Yep. But, Christmas!
  2. OCC Lip Tar All-Star MINI x4 Kit ($20) - Only twenty bucks?! SIGN ME UP. I haven't tried lip tars yet *gasp* *shock* *horror* but I've really been wanting to (totally on my "need to remember to buy this" beauty list). It's like this kit was made for me - I love the smaller tubes and the variety of shades (dat pink), and the price point is pretty perfect. Plus I've read some reviews about how these are almost kiss-proof, and I think my manly bearded boyfriend would appreciate that [for some reason he's not a big fan of having bright colored lips?!]
  3. Urban Decay Vice 2 ($59) - oh. Oh. Urban Decay, you always do this to me! Do I "need" more eyeshadow? No. But this breaks down to only $3 per shade, and there are a ton of colors in this palette I really like. Plus it's limited edition, and you know how that goes.... i.e. on the wishlist it goes!
  4. Tarte Off The Cuff Amazonian Clay Blush palette ($42) - Ermagerd, I was thisclose to tears when I didn't get last year's palette (damn that sounds dramatic, but I really wanted it a lot *waaahhh* #firstworldproblems). This is a great value and the sizes are pretty similar to their normal $26 single blushes. PLUS it is already in a handy palette, so it's super easy to store and travel with. Super want.

As for the Dear Santa collage I made* some more honorable mention products are Inglot gel eyeliners ($12 each, sooo many bright matte colors, huge jars, crazy good value) and the big huge glitter dollop is Deborah Lippmann's Stronger, because if Christmas/birthday isn't a good time to spring for $18-20 nail polish, I dunno what is.

*yes, I totally made that with my magical computer hands so please don't steal it. And yes, I made some snowflakes out of OCC Lip Tars (see more below)

What's on your holiday wishlist this year? Is there anything you think I should TOTALLY add to my list?!

October 24, 2013

Glam Halloween Dotticure Nail Art with China Glaze Riveting

Glam Halloween nail art? Totally! This bold dotticure over (possibly the best orange polish ever) China Glaze Riveting is exactly that - riveting. Jaw dropping. Electric. Gorgeous. All I want to do all day is twiddle my fingers and look at them O_O

Manicurity | Glam Halloween Dotticure with China Glaze Riveting

Manicurity | Glam Halloween Dotticure with China Glaze Riveting

Manicurity | Glam Halloween Dotticure with China Glaze Riveting

Manicurity | Glam Halloween Dotticure with China Glaze Riveting

I'm gearing up towards more Halloween-y nail art, but I'm not super into gross/creepy stuff. My two favorite things in life are also in Halloween - ridiculous make up and candy - and those are the things I prefer to think about instead of how I wouldn't last very long in a zombie apocalypse.

For today's nail art I went with the classic colors of orange and black, but I bothered to use a finish other than creme this time! Yay! The random black dots are easy and fun to do, but look complicated. I like to think of this as some sort of fancy Halloween gift wrapping paper. I'll take my candy and makeup wrapped in paper that looks like this any day ;)

Do you have fun Halloween plans? Would you wear something like this to celebrate?!

October 23, 2013

Messy Gradient topped with SoFlaJo Dragon Heart

To the best of my knowledge, the first time I saw the idea of a color-shift top coat over a black and white gradient was from Mandy over at Chameleon Stampede (see it here) and I filed it away as a "must absolutely do" nail idea. Today I've tried a similar-ish idea using SoFlaJo's color shift top coat called Dragon Heart, from her Year of the Dragon collection, over a messy black and white gradient!

underwater shot

this is mostly what it looked like in it's "static" form - sort of red-pinky

I didn't really intend on this being so messy to begin with, but I let the polish do what it felt like doing... It seemed to not be feeling the 'cloud' manicure I attempted as much as I was! The base colors are two super fabulous Cult Nails polishes - Tempest (white) and Nevermore (black). Tempest and Nevermore are both super fabulous because they are one coaters for me! DID YOU READ THAT? A one coat white polish. Truly.

After I felt pleased with the messiness of my gradient, I topped it off with one coat of SoFlaJo Dragon Heart! Super simple and fast nail art!! The official description of Dragon Heart is "Holographic and red glitter depending on your basecoat, duochrome shifts from red to copper to gold." I feel like the 'standing' color for me is more of a pinky color than red, but I did only use one coat.

The messy gradient seems perfect for this time of October, which I achieved by just using a light touch of the brush straight from the bottle with very little polish on it. I think next time I will definitely go for the more specific shape I had in my mind, and I will definitely do two coats of Dragon Heart. I think two coats will really help bring out the shift of the glass flecks by putting lots more little flecks on the nail (totally logical). One thing I love about the Year of the Dragon top coats over some other color-shifting top coats is that they have holographic glitters that give it some fun dimension!

Have you tried the SoFlaJo Year of the Dragon polishes? What's your favorite way to wear color-shifting top coats?

October 22, 2013

Introducing Nail News + Beauty Bytes!

Hello my lovelies! I wanted to give you a small update, and specifically to let you know that there's now a handy secondary blog to accompany Manicurity - one dedicated to news and press releases about all things nail, beauty, skin and hair care!!

There used to be a small sidebar widget where I would upload links to press releases but that was the only way you could find the exciting info on new products, so I thought a separate blog feed dedicated to news would be more helpful!

But of course, there's still a handy sidebar widget to show you recent posts from the Manicurity: Nail News + Beauty Bytes blog on Manicurity.com, too!

So go check out the new secondary blog and keep your eyes peeled for updates in the sidebar.

Ps. Don't those new Mischo polishes look fab? Don't miss the post about the brand new polish line launching this fall here!

October 18, 2013

The Digit-al Dozen Does Skittles: Accidental Dayglow Skittles + Studs

I really loved the colors of today's nail art, even if my camera just couldn't comprehend them! For the last day of skittle week I did some random geometric freehand nails inspired by my guinea pigs' cage liner (yep, they're really styling in their neon orange + pink fleece) then some simple blue studs to complement the orange. Ch-ch-check it out!

 The two main polishes for these skittles are OPI Kiss Me on my Tulips (loveeee the pro-wide brush on this hot pink), and Deborah Lippmann Lara's Theme (surprise! just kidding! I use this polish like every single time!). The random lines were done with a medium striper brush, but they're a little wider than I wish they were.

To add some spice to my first two nails that were 'boring' (i.e. can't leave a good bright orange creme alone), I added some rectangular metallic blue bar studs and tried to do some fun small details with China Glaze First Mate.

Overall, I definitely love the linear pinkie and ring finger and will probably do something like that again. I love this vibrant mix of colors - so bright and awesome together - although clearly my camera gets a little confused!!

Check out the other nail arts for the last day of Skittles Week below!

TGIF! I hope you have a wonderful weekend

October 17, 2013

Pahlish Fall 2013 Dark Carnival Duo: Tom Fury and The Dust Witch Swatches & Review

(Press Sample)

I've got a gorgeous duo from Pahlish to share with you today - The Dark Carnival Duo for Halloween! The Dark Carnival is inspired by one of the creator's favorite books, Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. Tom Fury is the 'base' color of this duo and The Dust Witch is a mega-gorgeous glitter topper. PS. This post has more photos than you would expect for a post about two polishes because I like to show versatility in layering - i.e. I've got Tom Fury alone, layered over a base color, and then with The Dust Witch on top of the gorge TF, AND THEN I also have The Dust Witch over two additional creme colors. Yum!
*Products in this post were provided for my honest review and for swatching purposes!

Manicurity | Pahlish Fall 2013 Dark Carnival Duo: Tom Fury and The Dust Witch Swatches & Review

The Digit-al Dozen Does Skittles: Orange & Green Skittle set inspired by Pretty & Polished Glowstick

(Press Sample)

Today's skittles are inspired by one of the Pretty & Polished Halloween polishes I showed you yesterday, the green glow in the dark polish named Glowstick. I love how cheery and cute Glowstick is because it's great for Halloween (yay! glow!) but it's also great for autumn in general (and spring, because it's green, and summer because it's neon...). Basically I am in love and felt like it deserved some fun nail art to go with it, loosely inspired by pumpkins! Take a look!

I balanced out the fun and vibrant shades of green and orange with some earthy brown; this is meant to be more a light-hearted autumn mani vs. a Halloween one (hence why I didn't pick black). This is not something I would normally think to do, but I like it a lot and it's definitely giving me that happy pumpkin patch + apple cider + cardigan wearing vibe I was hoping for.

As usual this week, I won't go into super detail about each nail but I am more than happy to chat about a particular technique if you're curious about what I did (let me know in the comments, or tweet me @manicurity)!! My main polishes for this were Deborah Lippmann Lara's Theme (orange), Orly Fresh (bright green), and China Glaze Mahogany Magic (brown). I really like all of my nails pretty equally in this this skittle, so no playing favorites today :p Altho I do like the mini french tip on my Glowstick nail; I think that really ties it allllll together!

Don't forget to check out the other skittle nails for today, the Digit-al Dozen ladies have been killing it this week!

October 16, 2013

Pretty & Polished Halloween 2013 Collection: Swatches & Review

(Press Sample)

Pretty and Polished has a really great trio of polishes for Halloween this year. I love this offering because there's definitely something for every polish lover in these three different shades! There's one thermal (with glitter), a glow in the dark (with glitter), and a really fun jelly-based glitter polish (glitttterrrrrr). What I love about the collection is that it shows the different sides of Halloween - the fun overload of candy with the glitter-packed Death by Candy Corn, the 'spooky' side of trick or treating with Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and the cheerfully bright Glowstick. Take a look!

The Digit-al Dozen does Skittles: Denim Nail art with Barry M

After yesterday's super fun and complicated skittle set, I thought I would dial it back a smidgen bit today and do something with just two colors. Once a long long time ago I tried doing denim inspired nail art, but it was really very bad (not even going to link it for you, I'm that not into it). Now with my generally improved skills and smaller brushes I tackled the idea of blue jean nail art again, and I love it this time!! Check it out!

Manicurity | Denim Nail art with Barry M's Denim polish

The base color for this nail art is Barry M's Denim, a suede blue with silver shimmer. IT IS AN AMAZING POLISH and I feel a little bad I didn't show you a photo of it before I art'd all over it (and top coated it). It is so opaque and easy to use that I only needed ONE coat. *sighs* Polish perfection.

Manicurity | Denim Nail art with Barry M's Denim polish

Next I used a striper brush and did some stitching details with another stellar Barry M polish, Gold Foil.   To do the stitches I did long lines in gold and went back and did tiny bits with Denim (instead of trying to do the spacing of each individual stitch) - hence my need for top coat. I don't know if that's the normal way people would approach the stitching?! But that's what I decided on doing today :)

Manicurity | Denim Nail art with Barry M's Denim polish

Finally, the real icing on the cake, or the rivet on the denim nail art, is that I put a single caviar bead on each dot to make the 'rivets' really 3D and pop (literally). I love love love the rivet details so hard! Soo happy with how these turned out *two thumbs up*

Now check out the other skittles for today from the rest of The Digit-al Dozen!

October 15, 2013

The Digit-al Dozen Does Skittles: Fab Freehand Fall Skittle Set with Cult Nails!

Hey hey, it's the second day of skittles week and today I've got an eclectic mix of colors that really read as 'fall' for me. Today I tried to take inspiration from the colors and do a mix of simple freehand linear geometric shapes with a few dots (because I have to). Check it out, and I'll tell you which nail is my fave below ;)

Manicurity | The Digit-al Dozen Does Skittles: Fab Freehand Fall Skittle Set with Cult Nails!

Manicurity | The Digit-al Dozen Does Skittles: Fab Freehand Fall Skittle Set with Cult Nails!

Manicurity | The Digit-al Dozen Does Skittles: Fab Freehand Fall Skittle Set with Cult Nails!

For this manicure I challenged myself to use polishes all from one brand, Cult Nails. I usually tend towards creme polishes for, well, everything so I found it a little hard to find the colors I was originally thinking of in my Helmer drawer (I was thinking of more caramels and golds). I settled on 3 shimmers and 3 cremes from Cult Nails, one almost a neon, and I'm really pleased with they way they all mix and match; I love the icy greige feel of My Kind of Cool Aid with the saturation of Vicious, and the gorgeous shimmer in In A Trance pairs so refreshingly with the bright orange Ay Poppy! I freehanded most of the details using a medium-long length striper from a nail art brush bundle (maybe MASH brand? not sure, tho, sorry). If you are particularly interested in any of the techniques or designs in this skittle set, please let me know in the comments.

Manicurity | The Digit-al Dozen Does Skittles: Fab Freehand Fall Skittle Set with Cult Nails!
L -> R: In A Trance, Mazo, Ay Poppy!, Vicious, My Kind of Cool Aid (also Nevermore on pinkie)

Manicurity | The Digit-al Dozen Does Skittles: Fab Freehand Fall Skittle Set with Cult Nails!

I love all of the different designs I did, but by far my favorite is the 'earthquake' design on my middle nail. This is my second time doing this design idea (my first earthquake mani was during last month's round of The Digit-al Dozen). I used a Kiss nail art marker, which is like a round-tipped medium sized felt tip marker. I REALLY love the smoothness and contrast of the line with the marker!

Now check out the other skittles for today below!