Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Revlon Enchanting with subtle stamping

Today I wanted to show you a swatch of Revlon's Enchanting
with some subtle stamping with Zoya Jinx.
Enchanting, from Revlon's Spring 2013 Bubble Gum Days collection, is a bright lavender purple creme.  It has a barely noticeable pink shimmer in the bottle, that unfortunately does not translate to the nail.  The formula is very smooth and easy.  I used 2 coats of Enchanting, stamped with Zoya Jinx-beautiful copper/bronze (one of my freebies) and 1 coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri (red bottle).
I used Pueen plate 15 for the full nail design.  If you have not heard of Pueen, look it up.  They have great designs that I have not seen anywhere else.  I have tested each plate, and with the exception of a few they all work great....very clean lines. There are a few designs that are way to detailed and they end up being blobs (I can deal with 3 designs not working out of all of them). The full nail images are long enough for short to medium (my current length) nails and have the built in half moon at the bottom of the full nail images.  I might be able to get the full stamp if my nails were a little longer, but it would be stretching it. You can find them on Amazon for around $18.
I love this purple!  I also really love Jinx.  Can't wait to try her on her own!  These two colors created such a lovely subtle mani.  From far away you cant even tell there is a stamp, just shimmer, but up close you can see the delicate pattern. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Watermark it yo!!

The Watermark.
What is it?  What is it for? Why is it important?
Today I wanted to talk a little about why it is so important to watermark your pictures.  People are jerks....that's why!  I'm sure you have seen and/or heard of nail bloggers getting upset because their pictures are being used without their permission by screen grabbers for various reasons (fashion pages, nail inspiration pages, press, etc).
To my knowledge I have not had a picture stolen yet, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened (please let me know if you see my pics posted by someone other than me!).
The best way to combat this growing problem is to Watermark your pictures in such a way that if it does get stolen your name and website/instagram handle/etc is front and center so unknowing eyes will see exactly where the pic came from.

There are several ways to add a watermark. 
Photoshop is the first thing that comes to mind, but don't fret if you don't have a fancy shmancy computer program.
I do most of my editing on Photobucket or with photo editing apps on my iphone!
Most editing software (photobucket or apps) will only let you write in a straight line, which limits where you can put a watermark and still look pleasing to the eye.
Well until now!  I recently found an app that will let you write in a free form line...so curved, wiggly, spiral...you name it!  It's called "TypeDrawing" (on iphone - not sure about Android availability...sorry) and it a Godsend
Here is a quick tutorial on how to do a cuticle Watermark on TypeDrawing:

Buy the app

You can create many phrases or watermarks to choose from 

Turn off the repeat so you only get 1 string of your phrase/watermark

The "F" at the  top will let you choose your font

Once you choose your font and size you can get to drawing!  Choose the photo button on the right and import your photo.   Click on the "T" to pick your pre-saved phrase(s) and draw with your finger or stylus.  This part can be tricky, but if you keep trying (I used Undo a lot!) you will get the hang of it.  Save it to your Gallery when you are done.  You can only save your picture to your camera roll from the Gallery (weird I know).
Once I have saved it to my camera roll I can upload it to Photobucket or Instagram and take comfort in knowing that my info is on my photos in a way that can't be cropped out.  People will know that it's your picture.  If you would like a tutorial on how to do this another way visit Kayla's blog.  She did a post on how to do this with the GIMP program that is very similar to Photoshop.

As a courtesy, if you see a fellow blogger/nail designer pics being used by someone other than themself, without credit, please let them know.  From time to time I will troll through several hashtags to see what is going on out in the world and if I see a pic that is not credited I tag the owner so they can handle the problem.  We work hard on our designs and swatches and it infuriates me that people think its no big deal to grab the image and use it without credit.
Any other handy tips and tricks let me know and I will pass them on!
Keep your pics safe!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Color Club Halo Hues 2013!!!

Color Club has released  a new set of Halo Hues for 2013 and
they are even more dreamy than the first set.
 The 2013 set has a jewel toned base color vs. the 2012 pastel base color.
The first set was gorgeous, but I prefer this one mainly because I can actually tell what the base color is supposed to be.
As a warning this will be a long post so I can show you all the colors in one post.
(sorry in advance for my cuticles. Crazy weather and constant preventative illness handwashing has done a number on them)
 Without further ado....
Miss Bliss
Miss Bliss is a dusty rose pink
Eternal Beauty
 Eternal Beauty is a gorgeous royal purple.  

 Kismet is a light sage green.  
Cosmic Fate
 Cosmic Fate is a beautiful copper/gold.
This is a perfect color for a natural/nude mani with a little extra flare....spectraflare that is!
Over the Moon
 Over the Moon is a bright sea blue.  This is the color I was most excited about in this collection, and I'm certainly not disappointed...it's gorgeous.  I'm a sucker for blue and green polishes.
 Beyond is the blackest holographic polish that I have seen.  Usually black holos are really just dark grey, but this one is perfect.  I see this being used in some galaxy mani's in the future.  This one does stain in removal.

When I saw that there was going to be a black in this collection I wondered how it would compare to Color Club's Revvolution (2009). Well here ya go....
You can tell just by looking at the bottles side by side that Revvolution has more silver and less fire than Beyond.  On the nail this difference is much more noticeable. Beyond, as well as the rest of the collection, must be made with a finer particle of holographic pigment.  They are both beautiful despite their differences.
For all of these photos I used 2 coats of each polish and 1 coat of top coat (no base).  The first coat goes on nice a smooth and dries very quickly.  The second coat is where you need to be careful.  I found that this polish does not like to be over-brushed.  It is very easy to brush a bald spot or dent in both coats of polish.  I recommend that you use as few strokes as possible when using this polish (2 to 3 if you can).  I am super impressed with the colors and the fire that these Halo Hues have.  They sparkle and glow even in low light.  I promise you will be looking at your nails constantly. 
 I'm not sure when these will be available in stores (if they aren't already), but I know you can find the full sets on eBay.  Stay tuned for some nail art with these beauties.

Friday, January 25, 2013

China Glaze Avant Garden Spring 2013 Collection Press Release!!!!

China Glaze® Nail Lacquer Invites You to Visit the Avant Garden 
Los Angeles (January 2012) – Spring is here and China Glaze is blossoming with vibrant color with its new collection, Avant Garden. The delectable palette flows between soft hues and vibrant pops of color, offering an unconventional bouquet of cheerful and vivid shades. Take a stroll down the China Glaze path, passing a babbling brook of light and bright blues, take in the view of the mossy green meadow and stop to enjoy the flowers of soft pink and white. Let the Avant Garden take you away to a playful, romantic field of color and innovation this Spring.
China Glaze Avant Garden Collection Press Release & Promo Pictures

The Avant Garden shades include:
China Glaze Budding Romance Avant Garden Collection Press Release & Promo Pictures

Budding Romance: Moss green
China Glaze Sunday Funday Avant Garden Collection Press Release & Promo Pictures
Sunday Funday: Bright blue
China Glaze Fancy Pants Avant Garden Collection Press Release & Promo Pictures
Fancy Pants: Indigo with pink and purple shimmer
China Glaze Snap My Dragon Avant Garden Collection Press Release & Promo Pictures
Snap My Dragon: Bright red with pink shimmer
China Glaze Passion For Petals Avant Garden Collection Press Release & Promo Pictures
Passion for Petals: Bright salmon-pink
China Glaze Mimosas Before Manis Avant Garden Collection Press Release & Promo Pictures
Mimosas Before Manis: Coral with a light wash of shimmer
China Glaze Life Is Rosy Avant Garden Collection Press Release & Promo Pictures
Life is Rosy: Blushed mauve
China Glaze Pink-ie Promise Avant Garden Collection Press Release & Promo Pictures
Pink-ie Promise: Iridescent baby pink
China Glaze Tart-y For The Party Avant Garden Collection Press Release & Promo Pictures
Tart-y for the Party: Light lavender creme
China Glaze Fade Into Hue Avant Garden Collection Press Release & Promo Pictures
Fade Into Hue: Periwinkle creme
China Glaze Keep Calm Paint On Avant Garden Collection Press Release & Promo Pictures
Keep Calm, Paint On: Sea foam green
China Glaze Dandy Lyin Around Avant Garden Collection Press Release & Promo Pictures
Dandy Lyin’ Around: Shimmery vanilla icing

The China Glaze Avant Garden Collection is divided into two 6-piece sets: the Blooming Brights and the Pastel Petals.
China Glaze Avant Garden Collection Press Release & Promo Pictures Blooming Brights 6-Piece Set

The China Glaze Blooming Brights consist of:
  • Budding Romance
  • Sunday Funday
  • Fancy Pants
  • Snap My Dragon
  • Passion for Petals
  • Mimosas Before Manis
China Glaze Avant Garden Collection Press Release & Promo Pictures Pastel Petals 6-Piece Set

The China Glaze Pastel Petals consist of:
  • Life is Rosy
  • Pink-ie Promise
  • Tart-y for the Party
  • Fade Into Hue
  • Keep Calm, Paint On
  • Dandy Lyin’ Around
I can pretty much say I want all of them....now!
Avant Garden will be available March 2013. Individual shades retail for $7; 6-piece collections retail for $42.
China Glaze is free of DBP, toluene, and added formaldehyde.
China Glaze nail lacquers are available through salons and professional beauty supply stores nationwide. For more information, please visit www.chinaglaze.com or follow China Glaze on Facebook (@ChinaGlazeOfficial), Twitter (@ChinaGlaze) and Pinterest (pinterest.com/chinaglaze).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Color Club Blue-Ming and gold stamped mani

Have I mentioned how much I love mint green?
Well...anything in the mint green and turquoise family really, especially when it is paired with gold.
It's such a great combo...never gets old in my book
Today's mani was done with Color Club's Blue-Ming and stamped using Revlon 24k (Cheeky XL plate B) and decided to add an accent finger with OPI Goldeneye.
Pretty right? I love Blue-Ming!  It's like the brighter/neon brother of China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint (my all time favorite polish ever!!).  I did have to add a couple drops of thinner to my bottle, but its pretty much perfect now.  I used 2 coats of Blue-Ming and 2.5 of Goldeneye all topped off with 1 coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat.

I want to take a minute to mention the XL squishy stamper in the first pic.
  I'm in love with it a little.  I had seen it used in some YouTube videos (I always watch reviews before buying a new set of plates...just in case) and thought wow...that stamper looks like it would be really great.
In the past I have always used the pink Konad stampers,which work great, but I didn't like that they have very little cushion.  If you have long nails they will bend your nail when you stamp, etc. 
This XL squishy stamper on the other hand is different.  I don't know what kind of rubber/silicone this is but it's ridiculously squishy.  You dont have to "roll" the stamp on your finger.  You can just smoosh your finger face down on the pad and it will squish the design on all sides of your nail.  Can we say no more crooked stamps?! The pad is also slightly sticky so I find that it picks up the image better...like there is no more residue polish on your plate.  I highly recommend buying this stamper if you haven't already.  I purchased mine from this eBay store.  It costs a little more than other ones listed, but the seller is located in the US and I got it really quick vs. waiting 3-4 weeks.  There is a video included in the listing so you can see the awesomeness of this stamper.

Ok...enough ranting. I'll be back with more swatches later.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sally Hansen Black and Blue

Today I wanted to show you a swatch of Sally Hansen's
Black and Blue

First let me say that ever since I tried the Complete Salon Manicure line of polishes (top and base coat included) I fell in love. 
These polishes are smooth, buttery, go on perfectly and last forever.
Black and Blue is one of the Fall 2012 colors that I grabbed but never had a chance to swatch.
I regret it.  This color is gorgeous!
Just look at color shift in the bottle...the blackened blue/teal, emerald, purple. 
Its like some sort of sultry peacock.
I used 3 coats here because it was more sheer than I expected along with a coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat (red bottle).  Like I said before, the fomula was great.  The wider brush allows me more control and quicker application.  It dries at a normal speed, faster with the Insta-Dri top coat.  I have found that most of this line self-levels and rarely has bald spots.
I love the color shift in this polish...its soft and subtle but still maintains some depth.  Does that make sense? 
 These pictures don't show the deep emerald in this polish, but trust me its there.
If you haven't grabbed this one I recommend doing it now before it's gone.