Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Blue and Green Ikat Nails

Kate's Nails 
Ok, I finally caved and gave in to the Ikat trend.  I really like Ikat prints, but thought they would be way too hard to do on my nails, so I never tried.  But after seeing a bunch of really cute ones this week, I decided to give it a go.  Come to find out, ikat is super easy to do on your nails!  You really can't mess it up.  Now I'm already planning other color combinations to try :)

Polishes Used:
Confetti Lonesome Dove
OPI Don't Mess With OPI
Ulta Blue Streak
China Glaze Liquid Leather

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January Birchbox

January Birchbox

It's time for this month's review of the products I received in my Birchbox.  There were some really great products this month.  If you're wondering what a Birchbox is, or if you want to see previous Birchbox posts, click HERE.

Harvey Prince Skinny Chic:  
Finally! I perfume from a Birchbox that I can actually enjoy!  This "zesty blend of apple, mint, and lotus blossom" is really fresh and light.  This is a scent that you could wear every day.  It claims that it helps fight cravings, but I didn't see that effect (or maybe I was just extra hungry today.. who knows?).  
(Full size - $21-55)

LASHEM Measurable Difference Lash Gel Serum:
The card and the Birchbox website claim that I got the Gel Serum, but the actual sample I received is the Double Trouble Mascara.  It's a pretty decent mascara.  The sample sized brush is tough to use, but the full sized product is probably much easier to handle.  
(Full Size for the Gel Serum - $69.99)

Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo:
I have blonde and oily hair, so I use a daily clarifying shampoo every time I wash my hair.  So I was excited to get a large sample of this shampoo.  However, when I used it, it felt like I was putting glue in my hair.  It didn't lather well at all, and left my hair feeling stringy.  For a clarifying shampoo, I felt like I left more residue in my hair than any regular shampoo!  It also had a pretty unpleasant scent.  Too bad.
(Full Size - $32)

theBalm cosmetics Hot Mama:
This is a two-in-one blush and highlighter.  It gives a nice, subtle glow, and it flattering to my skin tone.  This could be used every day, or to amp up your regular makeup routine a bit.
(Full Size - $20)

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream:
This moisturizer provides your face with light, non-greasy hydration.  I was very pleased with this product.  I noticed that my skin felt just as good at the end of the day as it did at the beginning!
(Full Size - $42)

If you're interested in signing up for Birchbox (or giving a subscription as a gift!) you can use my referral link here

Hot Water Music Nails

Cara's Nails

I have another band inspired mani for you today. This one is in honor of Hot Water Music who I will be seeing live in just a few short hours. This is easily one of my favorite bands of all time (Chuck if you only knew). I used a sponge gradient of Zoya Kelly and Wet N Wild Eboni Hates Chris. I created the HWM logo using white acrylic paint. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Recent Polish Purchases

Kate's Nails 
I've picked up a few new polishes in the last month or so, and I haven't had the chance to try them all out yet.  So I decided to do some swatches so I could see what these colors looked like on my nails.

First up is Julep's Otte.  This is from the December Julep Maven box (thanks for sharing, Cara!).  It is a warm nude color that leans more to the yellow side of nude.  It's not the most flattering for my skin, but I like it anyway.  This would make a nice base for some nail art!

Next we have Revlon's Enamor.  I have been on the lookout for a while for a "pretty" pink.  Essie has some gorgeous ones, but I wanted something that would only take one or two coats (and in my experience, Essies require 3-4).  I stumbled across this Revlon polish at CVS, and I'm really happy with it.  Two coats gets you full coverage.  My camera has a hard time with pinks, though.  This one is much warmer in real life.

Up next is Ulta's Tutu Cute.  I saw this one on a blog a while ago (can't remember where), and added it to my list of wanted polishes.  I picked it up a few times at Ulta, but never bought it.  Until last week, that is.  I'm pretty happy with this one.  It's similar in color and formula to Spoiled's 2 Weeks Sober (which I use in my Ravens nail art).

Lastly is Maybelline Color Show's Impeccable Greys.  I love grey polishes, and this dark grey is a winner.   It looks a bit muddy in the picture, but it's super smooth in person.  I'll be wearing this one a lot, I'm sure!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Baltimore Ravens Nails - AFC Championship - Baltimore Skyline

Kate's Nails 
Hard to believe that we're at this point again - an AFC Championship against the New England Patriots.  The winner of this game is headed to the Super Bowl!  Last year it came down to one (horribly missed) field goal.  Here's hoping for a better outcome this year!
For my nails this week, I painted the Baltimore city skyline.  My camera had a really hard time capturing these, but you get the idea.  Let's hope the Ravens can bring a win back to Baltimore!

Polishes Used:
Spoiled 2 Weeks Sober
Sonia Kashuk Chocoholic
Milani White on the Spot
Black Acrylic Paint

Friday, January 18, 2013

Striped Concrete

Cara's Nails

I was trying out a different color combo for today's manicure. My base coat is two coats of Ulta Concrete Evidence. This is a color I sought out for what felt like forever and then never actually wore! I really like the color and it covers really well so it will definitely being making its way into my regular polish rotation. I chose polishes with a little sparkle for the striping which I applied with a thin striping brush. I used Essie Jamaican Me Crazy, Orly Halleys Comet, and a no name copper from Cos Bar. Halleys Comet is easily one of my all time most favorite polishes! It just has such a beautiful shimmer! The Cos Bar copper is a deal I picked up from the Target clearance rack.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Color Combo

Cara's Nails

I am on a search for new inspiration! Today's manicure inspiration comes from this little bird decal that I see every single day. The color combination is unique but fun. I honestly cannot believe I have never thought of this before!!

I used 2 coats of Ulta Professional Joined at the Hippo as my main dark blue color. The bird accents nail is a combo of Butter London Slapper, Wet n' Wild On a Trip, Zoya Dana and OPI Don't Talk Bach to Me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Metallic Pattern Mix

Cara's Nails

I needed a  fun manicure to brighten up this dull, rainy week we have been having. I thought a pattern mix would be a great solution! My base is two coats of Zoya Monica. My accent nail and details are painted using Essie Nothing Else Metals. I really like this color combination. I have been known to wear it often in various designs. The cheetah pattern is stamped using BM plate 221 and the peacock pattern is from BM plate 212. I used dots of Butter London Slapper for the color pop.

Stamped Gradient

Kate's Nails 
I absolutely love the look of gradient nails, but I am absolutely terrible at them!! I don't know what my issue is, but every time I try them, they turn out badly.  I've used a bunch of different tutorials with no success.  So I decided that the best way to rock the gradient trend without showing off my lack of skills is to stamp over the gradient!

Polishes Used:
Essie Brooch the Subject
Sally Hansen Pacific Blue
Wet N Wild Ebony Hates Chris
Stamping Plate - BM-205

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Herring Problem Glitter V's

Kate's Nails 
Here are the nails that I've been rocking the last two days.  The base is two coats of OPI's I Have a Herring Problem,  and the v-gaps and accent nail are one coat of China Glaze's Glistening Snow.  I'm impressed with how well Herring Problem has lasted.  I have a bit of Seche Vite shrinkage, but no chips or wear after two days!  I also really like how Glistening Snow looks layered over Herring Problem.  I'll be wearing these together again!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Herringbone Mani

Cara's Nails

I'm trying out a new design today. I have seen this herringbone design a lot lately and though it seemed like an easy style to pull off. And I was right! I used a nude base color of Julep Otte. I am very fond of the nude nail trend! I create the herringbone design using a thin striping brush and Butter London Slapper

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Baltimore Ravens Nails - Playoffs Week 2 - Ravens Eyes

Kate's Nails 
It's week two of the playoffs!! The Ravens are in Denver today to take on the Broncos.  It's going to be a tough game, but here's hoping we can make it to the AFC championships!
These nails are some of my favorite Ravens ones I've done.  Anyone in the Baltimore area should recognize these Ravens eyes.  They were on the M&T Bank Ravens car magnet recently, and are over the tunnel at M&T Bank Stadium where the players come out.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get them to look right, but I was able to do it on the first try!  
Go Ravens!!

Polishes Used:
Spoiled 2 Weeks Sober
Sinful Colors Snow Me White
China Glaze Liquid Leather
Sonia Kashuk Chocoholic
Wet N Wild Red Red

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Outline Nails

Kate's Nails 
Here's a mid-week manicure for you!  I spent a long time last night trying to figure out what to do with my nails.  Eventually, I came across a picture of an outline manicure.  I had never tried it before, but had heard that it was really hard to do.  So I opted for the easier design of the dotted outline, and kept it to just an accent nail.  I really like how these turned out! 

Polishes Used:
Color Club Status Update
Julep Daphne
Butter London Dodgy Barnett

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Baltimore Ravens Nails - Playoffs Week 1 - Ray Lewis

Kate's Nails 
This week marks the end of an era, as today is the last home game for Ray Lewis.  Hopefully his last NFL game can be a Superbowl! Go Ravens!!

Polishes Used:
Spoiled 2 Weeks Sober
Essie Good as Gold
Sonia Kashuk Chocoholic
Sinful Colors Snow Me White
China Glaze Liquid Leather

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Poodle Stamping

Cara's Nails

Kate's recent "Stone Cold" post got me thinking about polishes I have not used in a long time. It's obvious that I have favorite polishes and totally forget about some amazing colors. Colors like Lets Shower Together from OPI. I paired this color with my favorite brown polish, Teetotal by Butter London. I thought I would finish this mani off with a stamp plate that I also never get around to using. I used BM plate 04 to create this cute little poodle on my Teetotal finger.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Stripes and Dots

Kate's Nails 
I hope that everyone's 2013 is off to a good start! 
Organizing my polishes the other day made me remember some great colors I have and I'm enjoying wearing them again.  I used a medium length striping brush and my smallest dotting tool to create this design.

Polishes Used:
Essie Chinchilly
OPI Casino Royale
Confetti Lonesome Dove

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Nails

Cara's Nails

Happy 2013 everyone!! I enjoyed a wonderful night out with some of my favorite people last night and am taking it easy today. On this first day of 2013 I have two New Years manis to share.

 Kate and I both decided to try out something new with our nails. Neither of us have ever used the nail stickers that are currently everywhere. I always felt like it was kind of cheating. But I see now that they are perfect for a quick manicure with little mess!  Kate was nice enough to pick me up a set of Minx nail stickers in a gorgeous gold shine. I finished this manicure off with an "party nail" of Butter London Dodgy Barnett.  Now I have to say that I was not happy at all with this manicure. I was disappointed, not with the product but with my inability to use it!! First, the half moon design looked silly on my short nails. I think this design was intended for longer nails. The metallic was awesome but when I went to file it left some pretty rough edges and dulled the gold in some areas. Finally, with the metallic effect you could see every little mess up. Something I fixated on the rest of the night. I will admit that most of my issues were user error and I wouldn't mind trying these out again in the near future. 

Due to my nail sticker mishap, I decide to create a second manicure. My favorite part about New Years Eve of course is ALL THE GLITTER!! So I could not resist a glamorous manicure for the occasion! 
For a  base coat I used two coats of Julep Otte. For my glitter I used a polish from the Wet n' Wild Fergie collection appropriately named Glamorous

Stone Cold

Kate's Nails 
Today I decided to clean and organize my polishes and supplies.  I wanted to use a polish I hadn't used in a while, and I came across China Glaze's Stone Cold. I had forgotten what a great polish this is!  The accent nail is Zoya's Farrah with a stamp from plate BM-206.  I used Wet N Wild's Ebony Hates Chris as my stamping polish.