Swatch: GQ - Shimmering Bark

I didn't really feel like taking off my mani from last night but I am hosting a lunch and learn at work tomorrow so I had to do something plain.  Today I am swatching GQ's Shimmering Bark.

This color is sort of mauve with itsy-bitsy pink flakies in it. This was two coats but I probably should have used three as this was more of a jelly polish. The first photo is closest to what the polish actually looks like in natural lighting. After my two coats of Shimmering Bark, I finished it off with Seche Vite and there you have it.

Sorry for the short post and lack of creativity today - hopefully I will have some better looks later this week. Try to enjoy the rest of your work week loves!


Flower Power

Today I was feeling very un-inspired and I decided to browse through some looks that I loved from Sammy over at The Nailasaurus. She had a super easy video tutorial on how to dot flowers. Check it out here! Tada! Here is my first attempt; next time I will definitly use a different color combo but I didn't feel like taking off my Dim Sum Plum in case the flowers were a fail....

I have a few imperfections as you can see on the last photo but it was so easy to do these! Instead of using my dotting tool, it's really tiny, I used a bobby pin and it worked perfectly.

As I mentioned earlier I still have my Dim Sum Plum on my nails as a base color. My ring finger also has a coat of Essie's Jamaican Me Crazy (I got a little bored last night). I used Essie's`Bobbing For Baubles for the petals and Zoya's Pippa for the middles. All topped off with a coat of Seche Vite.

Hope you enjoyed it! Once again, check out Sammy's page for some awesome work!


Friday Swatch - OPI Dim Sum Plum

Got to head out of work a little early today so I stopped at the salon to get a fill. I really like fresh nails but sort of feel bad that I didn't polish these myself (at least I picked out the color!). This time I was able to catch the name of the color before I left - and today I chose OPI's Dim Sum Plum.

I tried to get the photos to represent the true color of the polish but I threw on a photo of the polish too so you could see.

I'm hoping to have some time together with a couple of my girlfriends this weekend which means getting to try out polish and mani's on them. Stay tuned and enjoy the weekend lovelies!


Feels Like Spring

It's been getting warm here in Pittsburgh (i know, i know, it's supposed to snow on Saturday but 50's is warm here for February!) and today seemed like the perfect time to get into the spring spirit with one of my new polishes.

This is 2 coats of Zoya's Pippa and one SV. Very summery; the color is actually a bit paler but for some reason the photos seem to be darkening it a bit. It's not really a pale yellow nor a bright yellow and it's a creme polish, I like it. I apologize for my crumby nails - I really need to get them filled BIG TIME but I don't have any time. Plus I can't really afford to get them done sooner than every two weeks (eek!) Let's hope this color keeps the weather warm and wards off the snow this weekend :-)


Sunday Swatch

Yesterday I went to Ulta and purcahsed a couple polishes, I like their selection and sometimes they have a pretty good clearance section. The one that I used today is Essence's You Belong To Me.

I really like how this color came out. It was a creme polish but looked better with two coats, which is what I have on in the pictures. The pictures are lighter than the actual color but I would describe it as a lighter Tiffany Blue. When I was at Ulta I also had a chance to purchase Seche Restore, so I could finally use my SV again (thankfully!)

Also, now that I filed my acrylics short I remember why I liked having them, NO CHIPPING! These might stay on longer than anticipated. We shall see. Back to work tomorrow... going to enjoy the rest of the weekend while I can :-)


Dinner Date - Red Tips

Sorry I have been absent for a couple of days, the business trip really took it out of me; but now I'm back to work, on my nails at least :-)
Tonight my husband and I are going out for our belated Valentine's Day dinner. I wanted to do something simple and it seems like that even though Valentine's has passed that I am still drawn to the pinks/reds/etc. I tried to branch out with red-orange tips but ended up with these:

I used one layer of OPI's On Collins Ave, with a layer of Essie's Plumberry on top. It ended up turning into something not orange, not pink but Red-ish. The color is slightly off in the photos, and is actually more pink/red in natural light. I topped it off with a layer of Essie's No Chips Ahead.

As I mentioned before Valentine's Day I made something for my husband that I saw on-line - below, check out a photo of the Candy Card.

Rob had never seen anything like it before an got a lot of cool compliments from his friends so that was exciting.

Hope all your lovely's have a great weekend :-)


Valentine's Countdown - 1 day to go!!!

1 day until Valentine's Day. Whoohoo! I made something really cute for my husband that I found on Pinterest - maybe I will post a picture of it tomorrow once he gets it. Work computer update: I am still without a computer; it was supposed to be fixed today but alas, once I got into work they waited until after lunch to tell me it wouldn't be ready until tomorrow morning. Let's keep our fingers crossed that it will actually be ready tomorrow morning when I go in.

Now onto the nails!!!

Even though I was sort of getting sick of pink I decided I would keep it for 1 more day since tomorrow is Valentine's Day. I used a coat Sally Hansen's Diamond Slipper over the pink I already had on and followed it up with a coat of NYC's Matte Me Crazy. I am so glad that I finally found a matte top coat, at it was at K-Mart believe it or not! Score! Can't wait to try something new on these nails later this week. In the meantime, enjoy, and HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! (tomorrow - hehe)


Valentine's Countdown - 3 days to go!!!

So yesterday was a bad day for me at work. It didn't start off well and then around lunchtime my computer hard-drive completely crashed and I lost everything. Very dramatic and I'm pretty sure I almost had a panic attack. Good thing it was Friday and there were a lot of people out of the office or else I know some of my co-workers would have made the situation even more dramatic and upsetting than it already was.

Which brings me to my next item; I ended up leaving the office early around 4:20 and was just so frustrated and upset that I ended up going to the salon and getting acrylics on. I used to LOVE acyrlics but it got expensive to maintain and I feel like I am stuck with one polish for a week at a time. I'm pretty sure that I will be able to paint over there bad boys to get a couple designs in before I need to go for a fill.

I know what you're thinking; "Stephanie, you just swatched this color last week". Believe it or not, it is not NYC's Fuchsia Shock; but it's very similar. It's an OPI polish but I didn't have a chance to grab the name before I left the salon. Look familiar to anyone? 

Hopefully when I go back into work on Monday they will have been able to save some of my computer over the weekend (please keep your fingers crossed!). May not be able to get another mani in for a couple days as I am going on a business trip this week. We will see. Happy Valentine's Day coming up!!!


Valentine's Countday - 5 days to go!!!

I had to take of my water marble mani because it was chipping and I was picking at it. No good at all. Guess that makes it OK to change my mani so often!! I know everyone has been swatching Sallys Hansen's Gem Crush and I loved how to fushia color looked when I saw it online so obviously, I had to try it!

Overall, I like the polish. I used the Lady Luck color and it seems to be one of the more popular colors (at least right now for VALENTINE'S DAY) I headr it was supposed to have pretty good coverage but once I tried it on one nail I decided I wanted to have a matching base coat underneath. I ended up with one base coat of Essie's Jamaica Me Crazy, and 3 coats of the Gem Crush!!! Ahhh - so much polish. Also, the sparkle seemed to be dull but once I put on a top coat (back to SV....) it brought the color back to life.

Sorry for the blurry second picture; still getting used to the "nice" camera. Speaking of photos, I know my husband has photoshop on his computer but neither of us know how to use it; any suggestions on programs to touch up my phots, add a watermark or label?

Only 5 days until V-day; do you have any exciting plans?!?!?


Valentine's Countdown - 6 days to go!!!

I actually did this mani last night but since I posted my mani's from the weekend I saved this one for today because I knew I wouldn't be able to do a new one today. I have tried water marbling before but never really liked it; recently I read a few tips online and this attempt came out much better than anticipated. I got lots of compliments on my nails today at work and even some of the GUYS said they liked this and thought it was cool; which is pretty good since I work with a bunch of engineers!

Probably should have cleaned these up a bit before I took the pictures but I was just so glad it was mostly successful that I took the photos right away. Two things that I tried differently on this water marble; 1. I picked polishes that were thin (runny?) so they spread a lot better in the water. 2. I used filtered water. We have really hard water here and I read online it works best with soft water so the filtered seemed to work well.

The colors I used for this mani were NYC White (as a base coat before the marbling), NYC Fushia Shock, Essie's Size Matters, Better Together and finally No Chips Ahead. With the two last mani's using No Chips Ahead instead of SV I have noticed that neither keep my nails from chipping, but that SV is sooo much faster so if I'm going to get chips regardless, might as well have my polish dry fast.

Even with calcium enriched base coat, and trying to remember to take my vitamins, my nails still seem very weak and once I even notice any growth they ususally break :-( No Fun! Any suggestions on helping to strengthen my nails???


Valentine's Countdown - 7 days to go!!!

This weekend my mom and sister came over to my house to go out to dinner and do nails. We ended up going to dinner first so by the time that we got back to my house, neither of them really felt too into nails or trying anything crazy. Luckily, on the way home we stopped at Rite Aid and I was able to find my first magnetic polish and my mom generously let me try it on her. (It was quit ironic that I found it too because that morning I had just been telling my aunt that I couldn't wait to try it but hadn't seen it anywhere).

Neither of these mani's are very Valentine's inspired but that's ok, can't force everyone to be as excited about it as I am. ;-)

I tried to take a couple of pictures of my mom's nails to see how the magnetics worked out so hopefully you get the idea. The polish brand is Magnetix but didnt have a color name. It was a nice dark grey/purple. The directions said to keep the magnet over the nail for 15 seconds but it seemed to work better if I hovered for around 30 seconds.

P.S. Doesn't my mom look cute posing with her nails?

My sister wanted to do plain white matte nail polish. I don't have matte polish though (Where can I get this?!!?!) and I didn't really want to do plain white so I used my NYC White and added two coats of Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Glass Slipper. I like the Sally Hansen and it's almost like a franken with clear/white flecks. Not in love with this mani but that's ok. She (hopefully) left happy. 


Valentine's Countdown - 9 days to go!!!

This morning as I was running errands and ended up at Wal-Mart (believe it or not, the closest Wal-Mart is approximately 15-20 mins away --- and not because I live in the middle of nowehere, but because there is a Target literally 2 minutes away that I frequent 2-3x per week; ahhh!) Anyway, Wal-Mart has a slightly different selection of polishes than Target and today I picked up a nice pink color for Valentine's Day. Below is a swatch of it but will probably end up trying a design or stamp on top in a day or two once the color is old.

Today I ended up taking the pictures with our nice camera instead of my iphone and for the most part I like how they turned out. Still trying to find where in the house gives the best lighting / blackgroud / etc. so any suggestions are appreciated.

The polishes that I used for this mani were NYC's  Fushia Shock (2 coats - 1 coat vs. 2 was pretty much the same color as this is a creme polish but I always feel better using 2), also, switched things up today and used Essie's No Chips Ahead top coat. I have use this TC before and it really does seem to keep your mani from chipping for a couple of days, the only draw back is that it's not a quick drying TC so I had to sit around for a while to make sure it was dry. (No biggie though because I was able to catch up on some Tabatha Salon Takeover re-runs)

With Valentine's only 10 days away, hope to having some new V-day mani's soon. Stay tuned...


Valentine's Countdown - 13 days to go!!

I can't believe it's already February, and that means Valentine's Day!!! It's not that I'm even super mushy so much as I love all the girly pink, hearts, flower, etc that accompany the holiday (though my husband did suggest a super nice dinner at the fondue place downtown so that's really exciting <3)

Didn't feel like getting too crazy tonight so we went for some simple stamping. I don't love how my stamping skills are so I still need more practice. It seems like the first stamp is crisp and clear but after that they are blotchy and no good; should I be cleaning my plates in between each finger? Anyway, here it goes...

For the all over color I used Essie's Lion Out; I like how it goes onto my nail but it's a little too close to my skin color for me not to think of mannequin hands so I think that I will be using it as an accent color moving forward. For the stamp color I used Essie's Size Matters. Finished it off with SV; speaking of; I am getting low and need a new top coat. Is SV really the best? I love it for it's quick drying properties but is that really the most important? Just a thought...