Friday, September 26, 2014

Spotted, Hauled & Swatched - Wet 'n Wild All Access Beauty "Summer" Trios!

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I've got a little intermission from nail posts today to look at some makeup swatches (plus I'm still stuck on figuring out the animal print prompt).  I finished editing pictures for the Wet 'n Wild All Access Beauty "summer" eye shadow trio collection; I had to get a new display shot since I could not find the original picture I thought I had taken.  Is it just me or is it starting to get a little confusing with all of these "all access beauty" collections?  I bought my set of trios from Giant Eagle (grocery store), but I've recently seen either the display or some of the trios stacked at both Walgreens and Rite Aid.  I haven't been to CVS in ages so I'm not sure if the collection showed up there or not.

I included some thoughts on each trio individually as well as a wrap-up of my first impressions at the end.  I haven't used any of these on my eyes yet.
All lined up at home in my light box:
All of my swatches are done on slightly moisturized skin - no primer.  Unlike some previous trios, these all felt super nice and most swatched very easily.  
Sun-Set to See
The browbone shade is a light, but it's more yellow-toned than my skin so I'll have to play around with it so it doesn't look odd on me.  The orange eyelid color is well pigmented so I'll have to play around with it to get it to look its best without being overwhelming.  These are all matte in finish.
Who's Carpooling?
The crease and eyelid shades are a touch patchy in the swatch so they might need a bit of babying to get to look smooth on the eye.  I'll have to play around with this trio to see how it looks best.  All matte in finish.
Something to Rave About
The crease of Something to Rave About is a touch patchy/chalky but I think that it will work nicely over a primer and perhaps a colored base.  I'm not sure how much of a cohesive look this trio will make on it's own.  All matte.
No Scalpers Allowed
The eyelid shade of No Scalpers Allowed needed a little more work than the other shadows in the collection, but definitely not bad.  I really like purple and blue shadows together on my eye so I can't wait to use this one.  The eyelid shade has some shimmer to it, the other 2 are matte.
Standing My Camp-Ground!
The brown in Standing My Camp-Ground is extremely soft - 1 swipe through to get the swatch and the letters from "crease" are disappearing.  The finishes are all matte.
Lost My Wristband
Lost My Wristband is a very "spring-y" looking trio.  All of the colors swatched well...even the yellow.  Again, I'll have to play around to get the best look out of this trio.  All 3 are matte in finish.

Overall, these are nice eye shadows.  I always use primer when applying eyeshadow, which will probably help these look even better.  A couple of the shades would benefit from using a colored base as well (yes, when using shadow pencils or color tattoos I still have to prime).  As I mentioned in some of the blurbs after each swatch, I'm not sure how some of these are going to work as a stand-alone palette.  I see the need to pull out a neutral palette to make looks more wearable.

Have you come across the Summer version of the All Access Beauty shadow collection?  See anything you want to add to your makeup stash?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

31 Day Challenge Day 12 - Stripes

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Day 12 of the #31dc2014 is stripes, which is another nail art design that I've never attempted before.  I managed to pull it off, and in my normal "style" of just free-handing it.  No tape of any kind was used in the painting of these nails, but it could have been used to get a more precise look.

Yesterday, when I took off my Polka Dots mani, I snuck in a quick collection swatching session.  Once I was done with that, I decided to go ahead and use a couple of the polishes and see what I could come up with.
On my thumbs and ring fingers, I have 3 coats of Wet 'n Wild LAC - My Mani?.  On the rest is 2 coats of Wet 'n Wild Distressed to Impress.  (collection post upcoming)
Then, using the opposite colors, I used the polish brush and did a medium-wide stripe down the center of each nail (just turned the wide brush on it's side).  I took my time with these, especially when I did the LAC - My Mani stripes, to get them as even as I could for opaqueness and straightness.  Once that was fairly dry, I pulled out a striping brush and did a single stripe down the center of the wider stripes in the original color, then touched up as needed with the striping brush to get the lines straighter.
On my left hand, rather than do the actual stripes, I did a stripe of dots down the centers.  You could consider that cheating, but I was tired and still needed to get the Mister's shirt ironed.
Now I'll need to figure out what kind of animal print to do and how to accomplish it.  It's another nail art design I've never attempted, which I'll be saying a lot in the upcoming challenge days.
Any suggestions for animal print?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Monday, September 22, 2014

31 Day Challenge Day 11 - Polka Dots

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I'm still working my way through the #31dc2014 challenge; I'm just way behind.  Things have really been thrown off the normal schedule with getting used to the new puppy in the house.  Since we're not letting him upstairs at all, which is where my office is, that means I've had a hard time getting to the regular computer that I edit all my pictures on, and since I'm not using OneDrive (SkyDrive) as much as I used to, I don't have access to them from my tablet to edit that way.  But now we're finally getting a bit of a schedule established so I can escape for a bit.  :-)

This means that I finally got the time to edit the pictures from Day 11, Polka Dots, for the challenge.  I think I put this mani on Friday night and had it on through Sunday evening, which was the next opportunity I had to sneak upstairs for a while.  All of my pictures were taken Sunday morning so there's a bit of tip wear.
I thought my nails looked quite seasonal for the incoming Fall weather.  I started off with a coat of China Glaze Mahogany Magic (no picture since it's completely covered).  Once that was dry, I added a nice coat of China Glaze Boundary of Memory (collection post still upcoming).  I let that dry for a few minutes, no top coat, before moving on to the dot portion.
Next I did a single dot of China Glaze Capacity to See Beyond (again, collection post upcoming) on all my nails.  Then I used OPI Where Did Suzi's Man-Go? and did rows of dots in a deep chevron design.  Once I let it sit for a while, I finished it all off with a layer of quick dry top coat.
 ~natural daylight through window~
I think this might be the most dots I've used in a manicure to date.  I really liked the outcome of this; maybe next time I'll do an all-over dot design.  I'll have my Stripes mani up soon - all I need to do is get my pictures edited and pulled together.
Is it beginning to feel like Fall where you live?

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**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Monday, September 15, 2014

31 Day Challenge Day 10 - Gradient

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I've had a busy weekend, how about you?  It took a lot longer than I thought it would to get my nails to come out so I was happy with them - these pictures are the 3rd attempt.  By the time I was happy late Saturday night, I was too sleepy to take any pictures for a post and then Sunday I wasn't home at all.  So I'm finally sharing my Day 10 for the #31dc2014 today - and yes, I'm still wearing them.  I hope I'll be able to get the next day's challenge done, ideally tomorrow, but looking at how much needs to get done at home and running around in preparations for the new puppy, there's no guarantee I'll have the time.

While I was brainstorming for this prompt, I realized that pink was one color I had not yet used in this challenge.  So I thought I would do either a pink and purple or pink and blue gradient.  Yeah...those didn't quite work out.  I almost went with the pink and purple but at the last minute I spotted a matte glitter that I'd been wanting to use.  I remembered that there was a pink in the same collection as the glitter so decided to use that as my jumping off point and popped that on my pinkies, then decided to work with the colors of the glitter to use for the gradient.  

For my base color, I ended up with a medium-thick coat of L'Oreal Acid Watermelon.  On all my nails but my pinkies, I sponged on a layer of Essie Good As Gold (both colors on the sponge).  I made myself stop at one "layer" on each nail.  I kept reminding myself of a great tip that I had read the other day on The Nailasaurus - "don't rush your gradients!"  Part of the issue with my earlier attempts was I kept adding more when I should have stopped and it went from "this could work" to "oh, no, this is coming right off."
On my pinkies I added a generous layer of Finger Paints Hollywood Decadence (my one pick from the Film Noir display that was the August collection at Sally's).  My final touch was a nice shimmery dot of SinfulColors Palm Breezy to accent the blue glitters.  I did topcoat on all but my pinkies.
The Mister didn't get the blue dot on my nails, but that's him.  I liked the final look a lot.
Since a baby pink was part of the Finger Paints collection, I thought hot, nearly neon, pink would work nicely.  There was also a baby blue and maroon in the collection.  I chose not to get the other 3 since I had read that the matte finish was difficult to apply and unforgiving.  Pass.

Let's see how the upcoming prompts go.  Out of the "styles" category, I've only played around with polka dots a few times and I haven't done much besides just add a coat of glitter.  Should prove to be interesting!
How often do you do a gradient on your nails? Did you pick up any polishes from the Finger Paints Film Noir collection?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Friday, September 12, 2014

31 Day Challenge Day 9 - Rainbow

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It's time for the first prompt (of probably many) that I struggled with for the #31dc2014.  I started off with something else entirely, hated it so I took it off.  Then I started this creation, and I almost took it back off again but decided to do a really good cleanup and then add a little sparkle and ended up liking it enough to take pictures to post.  Yay!  Who knew rainbows would be so challenging?  Let's see what I ended up settling on.

As to be expected for "rainbow" nails, it took quite a lineup of polishes to complete, and of course I had to add in a "pot of gold at the end" and then decided to add some "rain drops."  No matter what I did, I could not get a good picture of my pinkie.
I pulled out my little sewing needle again and did pairs of colors on each nail.
Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby, S.C. Anchors Away, China Glaze Happy Go Lucky, S.C. Envy
Sinful Colors Grecian Sea, S.C. Verbena, OPI When Monkeys Fly!, Color Club Diamond Drops
My pinkie is Ruby Ruby with Anchors Away on top.  Ring finger is Anchors Away with Happy Go Lucky on top.  Middle is Happy Go Lucky with Envy on top.  Index is Envy with Grecian Sun on top.  Thumb is Grecian Sun with Verbena on top.  My thumb also got a little "pile" of the gold glitters from When Monkeys Fly! for the pile of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Finally, all of my nails got a very light dabbing of Diamond Drops to act as the raindrops.
I was not expecting this mani to take nearly 2 hours to finally decide on something that I liked and then get it to come out well.  Don't tell, but I had to do almost every nail twice since my polishes were thinner than the last time I tried this technique so things were running.
How would you represent a rainbow on your nails?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Thursday, September 11, 2014

31 Day Challenge Day 8 - Metallic

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It's time for the Metallic prompt for the #31dc2014.  I actually have more "metallic" polishes than I first remembered, since I counted a "chrome" collection when I was pulling polishes.  I knew I wanted to play with silver, I just wasn't sure what I wanted to pair it with.
First up, let's see the base colors that I used.  My pinkie and ring fingers got one coat of Revlon Silver Dollar.  The rest got 2 coats of Wet 'n Wild Chrome in Hog-Quartz School (older limited edition, bought on clearance).  On my pinkie, I added diagonal color-blocking over the silver with the purple and did the opposite on my thumb - this step could have been done with tape but I'm to impatient.
Then for the polish I knew I wanted to use - OPI Crown Me Already!  I did a nice coat over my ring finger and then did a quick glitter gradient from the cuticle on my middle and index fingers.  I also added a dab on the corner of my pinkie nail.
OPI Crown Me Already! is a nice silver glitter polish that would probably be opaque in 2-3 coats depending on your application.  I just chose to put a metallic silver under to hopefully make removal a little easier.  This was a part of the Miss Universe collection from 2011, it might have been the first glitter I had bought from the OPI brand.
I need to get better at being patient waiting for metallic polishes to dry... I kept dinging my thumb.
I really love this combo of purple metallic/chrome with the silver!  I wonder what I'll come up with for day 9 - Rainbow...
Do you like the look of metallic polishes?

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**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

31 Day Challenge Day 7 - Black & White

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Yep, another #31dc2014 post for today.  I might be a few days behind but I'm doing my best to not get farther behind...hopefully I'll be able to keep on track once the next furry addition to our family arrives in the next week or so.  Yes, we're getting another pet - this time a puppy.  This should be interesting introducing him to the 2 kitties and the 2 pet bunnies (currently living outside in a "bunny cabana" - that pic is from before their last "remodel").  What makes this even more interesting is that neither of us were around dogs growing up.

Anyway, let's see what I came up with for Day 7 of the challenge, which is black & white.  I actually don't have much in my stash in the way of black and white basic polishes.  I knew I had gotten some white glitters recently and I managed to remember that I had an all-black glitter as well.  As far as cremes, I could only think of one black - Wet 'n Wild Wild Shine Black Creme (no name on my bottle).  For my white, I ended up pulling out Wet 'n Wild MegaLast in Elegance, which is frosty, to use on my pinkie and ring fingers.
On my pinkie, I ripped off a piece of plastic shopping bag and dabbed on a bit of the black (then layered back and forth for a bit until I was happy).  I did the reverse on my thumb - that's pictured below.  This is the first time I've tried this technique and I think it looks pretty cool, almost like marble.

My ring finger got 1 coat of Love & Beauty (Forever 21) "Black," which is 2 sizes of matte black glitters.  My middle finger got a thick coat of China Glaze The Outer Edge (more details on that one in a collection post).  My index finger got a nice easy coat of Maybelline Color Show Pearls in Precious Pearl (also needing to be featured in a collection post). 
Wet 'n Wild MegaLast Elegance, Wet 'n Wild Wild Shine black, China Glaze The Outer Edge, Love & Beauty Black, Maybelline Color Show Jewels Precious Pearl 
I decided to be a little rebellious and pulled a couple of random matte glitters out of Funky Fingers Pep Rally for a little dash of color then added a layer of topcoat to smooth the glitters over.
 

Do you have any suggestions for additional easy nail art techniques?  Any tips/suggestions for a first time puppy owner?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

31 Day Challenge Day 6 - Violet

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I've got day 6 of the #31dc2014 to share today, which is violet nails.  Violets are more than one shade on the same flower and so are my nails.  I did my nails later in the day than yesterday because I really didn't want to take off my blue mani - I'll definitely have to do that technique again.  Back to violet...

I came across a gorgeous deep violet purple textured polish in my stash that I hadn't worn before and knew I wanted to use it, but I've already used a textured polish as the main color in a previous mani in this challenge.  So I went digging some more and came across a pretty light violet-lilac purple, also untried and proceeded to figure out a way to combine the colors.

I started with 2 coats of Formula X Hocus Pocus (no base coat - it didn't apply correctly when I tried to use one).  After letting that dry a few minutes, I opened up Julie G Sugar Plum Fairy (texture) and dove in, having no particular goal in mind.  I ended up with 3 diagonal stripes on each nail, free-handed with the polish brush (tape could have been used for more precision).  
Formula X Hocus Pocus is a Holograms finish, which I believe I found at TJ Maxx earlier this year.  Any brush strokes that were first visible while the polish was wet disappeared once it dried.  The holo-effect isn't super strong, but that's ok.  Maybe it'll come out and show itself in the daylight tomorrow.
Julie G Sugar Plum Fairy is a textured polish that came out late last year for Frosted Gumdrops Holiday 2013.  This is such a pretty blue-purple (blurple) polish with mainly silver sparkles.  I'm sure if I added a coat of Gelous, this would be pretty smooth as it has a very fine textured feel.  But I didn't add any since I wanted the different textures/finishes to be present.

This application is different, and I like it.  The whole point of doing a challenge is to try more things rather than just painting a simple coat of polish, right?

Do you prefer your holo polishes to be linear, scattered, strong or mild?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated