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swatched: opi so so skullicious collection

October 1, 2012

It’s officially October, and that means it’s time to start thinking about Halloween. I’ve never been a big costume-enthusiast, but I do love bringing the spirit of the 31st onto my nails. I’ll save the themed nail art for a little later in the month, but I do want to show you four new shades from the OPI So So Skullicious mini-collection.

L to R: Hi, Pumpkin!, Candlelight, A-Rose From the Dead, Mourning Glory

Hi, Pumpkin!: This creamy orange is a little softer than most of the oranges I have (Essie Meet Me at Sunset, Kure Bazaar Afrika, etc.), and I like that. I needed three coats to reach full coverage, but it dried to a smooth, glossy finish.

Candelight: One day I will find a flattering yellow nail polish, but today is not that day. I applied three coats of Candlelight and it is still very streaky and sheer. This one is a no-go for me.

A-Rose From the Dead: I really like this bright, saturated pink, even if it doesn’t feel very “Halloween” to me. It applied beautifully in two coats.

Mourning Glory: This black polish has a high-gloss finish, and I can see myself wearing it this fall. Black manicures can be harsh, but if you keep your nails short, filed, and generally well-groomed, they can look very chic, too.

Overall, this is a pretty good collection, other than the yellow (no surprise there). Since the bottles are so teeny, it’s a great one to pick up for Halloween nail art – you won’t feel so bad if you only use these colors one month out of the year.

Are you thinking about Halloween yet? Let me know in the comments!

 

nail art for chipped tips

September 26, 2012

Chips happen. Even if you use top-of-the-line polish and take the utmost care with your nails, the final day of a manicure isn’t always pretty. But just because you have a chip or two doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch.

On days when I’m running out of the house or don’t feel like taking off all of my polish (especially dark polish or glitter, which can be labor-intensive), I turn to nail art for a quick cure. Today I brought life back to my chipped nails with a simple technique—reinforcement sticker half moons. Here’s how to get the look:

Step 1: Apply a round binder hole reinforcement sticker to the bottom of each nail—you’ll find these in the office supply aisle of the drugstore. I applied them on top of a days-old manicure, but if you are starting fresh, make sure to let your base polish dry completely before applying the stickers. I’m wearing China Glaze Smoke and Ashes, a nearly-black polish with green shimmer.

Step 2: Choose a second polish color. If you’re trying to cover up chipped tips, this polish should have a full-coverage consistency—sheers, jellies, or thin glitters won’t work well here. Apply one or two coats of the polish over the top portion of your nail, leaving the section beneath the sticker untouched. I’m using Zoya Dove, a creamy pale grey with great coverage.

Step 3: While the polish is still wet, carefully remove the reinforcement sticker. (It’s best to work one nail at a time so you can remove the sticker before the polish dries).

Step 4: Clean up any polish that ended up outside the lines with a Q-tip or small brush dipped in nail polish remover, and add a top coat for shine and protection.

I love this geometric look. It’s modern and on-trend without being too wild. And the best part? No one will ever guess that you have chipped nails underneath!

[Cross-posted from the Birchbox Blog. Check them out here!]

how to: studded nail art

September 19, 2012

[Cross-posted from Birchbox Magazine. Check them out here!]

As much as I love stripes, gradients, and polka dots, to really going to kick our nail art up a notch, it’s time to bring out the studs. A 3D manicure is an edgy, fashion forward way to take the trends and textures from the runway onto your nails, and you don’t need to go to a pricey salon to get the look. Sounds like a trip to the craft store is in order!

STUDS IN A ROW

You’ll need two shades of polish and about 25 small metallic studs for this two-toned mani. You can find studs or flat beads at your local jewelry or craft store, or from a variety of online shops. Begin by painting each nail with the lighter of your two polishes. After it dries, split the nail diagonally, filling in half of each nail with a darker polish. You’ll be covering the horizontal line with studs, so don’t worry if your line is a little shaky. While the polish is still tacky, pick up each stud with tweezers and apply them in a diagonal row. Top your manicure (studs and all!) with a thick layer of top coat for shine and protection.

Colors used: OPI My Very First Knockwurst, a soft, creamy pink, and tenoverten Church, a rich, high-gloss deep red.

NEON NAILHEADS

Candy-colored nailheads add a burst of color and visual interest to a regular ol’ mani in just a few minutes. After painting each nail with the polish of your choice, carefully place the nailheads down the center of each nail, pushing them gently into the wet polish to make sure they adhere firmly. A layer of glossy top coat will ensure that your 3D mani stays intact for at least 2-3 days.

Colors used: Tenoverten Commerce, a saturated cobalt blue with a rich, full-coverage formula.

BEADED HALF MOON

To add a little pizzazz to the classic half moon mani, head to the craft store for small beads or rhinestones (hint: look in the scrapbooking section!) You’re likely to smudge your freshly-painted nails if you use your fingers, so grab a pair of tweezers to carefully apply the beads to the base of each nail in a half moon pattern. While a mani with this much texture isn’t the most practical for everyday wear, it’s an edgy, conversation-starting look fit for a party or special night out.

Colors used: Tenoverten Worth, a shimmery metallic foil. For a similar look, try Color Club Disco Nap.

What do you think of 3D nail art? Let me know in the comments!

a d.i.y. cure for stained nails

September 10, 2012

(Cross-posted from the Birchbox Blog. Check them out here!)

No matter how consistent you are about using a base coat, if you have an affinity for red or dark nail polish, at some point it will happen to you: stained nails. Whether they’re stained a lacquer-specific color or they have that unfortunate yellow tinge that polish addicts know far too well—it definitely isn’t pretty.

Luckily, the solution is an easy one, and the three ingredients you need are probably already in your kitchen. Gather up these simple items and bring your tired, stained nails back to life in just a few minutes.

-1 tablespoon baking soda

-1/2 teaspoon olive oil

-A few squeezes of lemon juice

Measurements are approximate—add the wet to the dry until you’re happy with the consistency.

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl or cup (warning: the lemon and baking soda will have a small volcano-like reaction, but it’ll settle down quickly!). Rub the mixture onto your hands and nails (try using a soft toothbrush on your nails for extra scrubbing power). Leave the mixture on for about five minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water.

How does it work, you ask? Baking soda acts as a fine exfoliant while the lemon juice is a natural acidic lightener (you can also use it to highlight your hair in the summer). Olive oil is a foolproof beauty cure-all and will bring much-needed moisture back into your nails and cuticles—especially important for those of us with weak or brittle nails.

Now you’re ready to show off your bare nails with pride, or get started on your next colorful manicure. Bright blue polish, anyone?

swatched: dermelect luxurious

September 5, 2012

(Cross-posted from the Birchbox Blog. Check them out here!)

Innovations in nail polish don’t come around very often. We’ve seen magnetic polish, crackle, and a slew of natural brands hit the shelves, but polish that claims to turn back the clock? That’s certainly a new one, so as a self-described polish addict, I had to give it a try.

I got my hands on a bottle of Dermelect Cosmeceuticals’ new ME polish. It’s the first colored lacquer on the market that uses a peptide protein from New Zealand sheep’s wool to restore nails back to a healthy, youthful state. This formula claims to strengthen weak and brittle nails (two of the hardest-to-fix woes) while restoring elasticity. My favorite thing about this polish is that it protects against UV rays—an important feature since we often forget that nails are vulnerable to sun damage, too.

But even if a product can fix manicure offenders like breakage and peeling, the real test is whether or not it looks good! I tried Luxurious, a creamy lilac color with an impressive high-gloss finish. I loved how smoothly the polish applied, and it dried really quickly, too.

Only time will tell if this product lives up to its anti-aging claims, but in the meantime, I’m pretty sure I’ll be sporting this gorgeous purple shade all fall.

Would you try an “anti-aging” polish, or do you think it’s a scam? Let me know in the comments!

swatched: ten over ten commerce

September 4, 2012

Is it possible to have too many dark, saturated blues? I’m going to say no, no, absolutely not. It’s like cookies, puppies…you can never have enough. Today I’m wearing Commerce, my first polish from ten over ten, a boutique salon in trendy Tribeca with a polish line of its own.

Commerce is a deep blue that could be classified as a navy or midnight blue. As far as polish goes, this stuff is not kind on the wallet ($18 a pop!), but oh, it is so good. It could have been a one-coater, but I used two coats of smooth, glossy perfection.

In the bottle it looks a fair amount lighter – more like Nails Inc. Baker Street – but on the nail it’s a much richer shade. I’m guessing this would be universally flattering on a variety of skin tones. I’ve only had it on for a day so I can’t give a good judgement on wear time, but so far, I’m a big fan of this new-to-me brand.

Do you like to experiment with lesser-known brands or do you stick with the classics? Let me know in the comments!

on her nails: jeanette

August 22, 2012

I’m so excited to introduce you to Jeanette, the first Glitter, She Wrote reader to be featured on the blog! We chatted about wedding nails last week, and I just had to show you the killer nails she ended up wearing to the event.

Where are you today? I’m at Perona Farms in New Jersey, attending my cousin’s wedding.

What are you wearing? I’m wearing Essie Olé Caliente with OPI Lincoln Park After Dark on the tips.

Salon or do-it-yourself?  Salon for this one cause I do not have a steady head. But usually I do them myself.

Why did you choose this color? I was undecided between three colors and after emailing you and getting your opinion, I chose the red color. But when I got to the salon I decided to add black tips to funk it up.

Why do you wear nail polish?  I’ve only started using nail polish consistently on my hands this year and I’ve haven’t missed a week yet. I love how it pulls an outfit together.  It truly is a great accessory.

If you could only wear one nail polish for the rest of your life, what would it be?  OPI I Vant To Be a Lonestar.  It goes with everything you wear but still has a cool element to get some attention.  And it looks great on your toes too.

Thanks, Jeanette! What’s on YOUR nails today? Yes, YOU! Let me know in the comments!
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