Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nail-aween Nail Art Challenge!

Just a little post to let you know I will be starting a Halloween nail art challenge. I had a case of commitment issues, but decided to give it a chance at the last minute. I really loved doing themed nails last year. My challenge of choice is the Nail-aween Nail Art Challenge by datyorkLOVES.

It is a self paced challenge which is what sold me on it. There are 10 themes to complete during the month of October. My plan is to start on the 4th and post every 3rd day with the last challenge falling on the 31st! I might shift a few of them, however, if they fall on a Sunday so I can keep up with the stamping challenges. For more information on the challenge or to join head over to this Facebook event...

There are other Halloween challenges to consider and follow along...

Sunday Stamping: Using a French Tip Design

I'm back with a Sunday Stamping challenge for the group Adventures in Stamping after missing last week's challenge. By the way last weeks theme was to let someone else pick a plate and I love the idea, so it is now on my to do list for another time. This week the challenge is to use a french tip design. Now you have to understand, to me, french tip designs in a set of plates are wasted space. No matter how long I allow my nails to grow out, those things are always too big and cover at least half my nail. I generally figure that I will never use them when I decide to purchase a set. Really, I keep hoping for the day when the manufacturers hear our plea and stop wasting space on "french tip" patterns.

OK, so I might be a bit harsh since I've used the french tip patterns once or twice before, but never as they are designed to be used. That is why this week's challenge is so great. It forces me to try to look at those images in a different way. A way that would work for shorter nails and still hopefully look good...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Barielle Soho at Night vs Zoya Monica

I mentioned yesterday that Barielle Soho at Night reminded me of Zoya Monica. The two are very similar dusty plum creams from this year's Fall collections. It is pretty clear from the bottle shots that they are not dupes, but just how different are they on the nail?...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Barielle New York Style Collection (Fall/Winter 2012)

It is officially Fall and while I'm not excited at the prospect of the weather starting to turn, it is my favorite when it comes to polish colors. Barielle does not disappoint with two new collections, New York Style and Runway Fever, released for the season. Today I'm going to show you swatches of the Barielle New York Style Collection which features six smooth creams...

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I just want to say thank you so much for all your kind words and support in restoring the blog! They really mean so much to me and were truly my driving force as I was reloading the photos. It took the majority of my day off yesterday plus the day before to finish, but was completely worth it just too see all the photos back up in their place. I still need to restore the press release page, but the swatches page, tutorials page, and all the posts are done!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Complete and Utter Defeat...

Some of you noticed the rather nasty looking black squares all over my blog yesterday where pretty photos should have been. I'm sorry to say that they will be there for a while longer. You see, Google and I got into a bit of a battle and it won. I might be a sore looser in this case, but it is not at all a graceful winner. Not only did it defeat me, but it jumped up and down, sang a victory song and quite possibly even did a body slam...

The result is the loss of six months worth of photos. If you look at the snapshot view of my blog you can see each post represented as a square. The squares with actual photos are ones I have gone through one by one and re-uploaded the photos. That took about three hours yesterday. The black squares are all the ones still left to redo...

If all the photos were not watermarked with my .blogspot URL, I would move the blog to a different provider without so much as a second though, but sadly that it is not that easy.

Looking at this image right here, I feel quite defeated and wondering if it wouldn't be easier to just shut this blog down...

Anutka :(

Monday, September 24, 2012

Essence Grey-t To Be Here

Last weekend was my cousin's masquerade ball birthday party. I made a lacy black mask and of course my nails had to match with a swirly pattern. It was great to be back in a crafty mood. Now if I could just keep the momentum going. Although that would probably dig into my manicure time so for let's just look at this....

Friday, September 21, 2012

Color Club Take Wing Collection (Summer 2012)

It is officially the last day of summer and I could think of nothing better except to show you the beautiful Color Club Take Wing collection released this summer. I'm a bit sad that I didn't play with these sooner, but still quite happy to be sneaking it in at the last minute. I just refused to put them away alongside the sad unswatched collections from prior years. As usual the summer just went by too quickly and I'm not at all ready for it to end. Instead of dwelling on that thought, let me show you these fleck filled beauties...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Missing Plate Mystery Solved!

Nearly a month to the day that I posted about my poor little BM-210 missing, it was found! I know you were all worried sick about it so lets all just breathe a sigh of relief. The little monster has returned back to be with the rest of the bundle. The sneak must have been waiting for a comfy spot in the new plate organizer before making an appearance...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Tea Bag Nail Repair

I have an impromptu tutorial for you today on how to repair a nail tear using a tea bag. Over the weekend I accidentally hit my nail on something and a corner of it was left hanging on by just a few layers. I would usually file down damage such as this, but I really wanted to keep my nail length so I chose to repair it. Normally, however, I use this repair technique for damage that is further down the nail such as a tear along the nail bed (ouch!) and it works really well.

  • Tea bag
  • Nail glue
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Nail file/buffer

  1. Cut out a piece of tea bag large enough to cover the damage. 
  2. Clean and prep the nail. You want to make sure to remove any polish, oils, lotions, etc. 
  3. Apply nail glue to the tear directly on the nail
  4. Place the tea bag piece on the nail and gently press it down so it lays flat against the nail.
    1. Wait for the glue to dry completely
    2. Add more glue over the tea bag and allow it to dry as well
  5. File or trim any excess tea bag hanging off the nail
  6. Gently file/buff over the glue and tea bag to smooth out sharp edges. Make sure not to file down any of the actual nail or tea bag which covers the tear. Filing too much will remove the tea bag and leave the tear unprotected.
  7. Apply base coat, polish and top coat as usual and you are done!

I hope you will find this useful and as always I would love to know what you think!
Have you tried this technique before?

Thanks for looking!
Anutka :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday Stamping: Leafy

I'm a little bit late with this weeks Sunday Stamping challenge, but better late than never. This week the theme of the manicure is "leafy". For a split second I was tempted to create a fall color leaf manicure, but I might still be in denial that fall is really coming so I chose to go with pretty greens. This continues my unintentional streak of green manicures for the last three Sunday challenges...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Shimmer Tammy and e.l.f. Lilac Glitter Jelly Sandwich

Playing with all the pretty e.l.f. jellies from the Summer Ready collection, I couldn't fight the urge to create a glitter jelly sandwich. It really is such a wonderful way to play up their strength. I chose to pair Lilac with the gorgeous Shimmer Tammy* which is a purple, gold, holo, hex, bar glitter bomb just waiting to explode...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

e.l.f. Summer Ready Collection

There is still officially 10 days of summer left and I'm determined to swatch and show you at least some of my untried summer collections. I have accumulated more of them that I wish to admit and not swatching them year after year is just a shame. To start out is the e.l.f. Summer Ready collection which is from summer of last year. It contains five lovey jellies...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mission Organization: The Plates

So who else is stoked about the new Bundle Monster plate organizer? To say that I've had organization issues is putting it mildly. It is a wonder that I have only lost one plate so far (poor little BM-210). I have tried business card holders and baseball card holders, but got fed up with the plates not fitting right and falling out. I ended up keeping them in a little tupperware box, but the plates were not easily accessible. I was so excited to see that Bundle Monster came out with an organizer that fits the plates and holds them in place. I ordered mine last week when it was finally in stock and got it in the mail yesterday. So pretty...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Stamping: Toxic or Poisonous

The challenge this week in Adventures in Stamping is Toxic of Poisonous. Since I already did a "toxic" manicure a while back, I wanted to concentrate on the poisonous which for me meant one thing... Mr. Yuk. Sure, other thoughts ran through my mind such as the poison skull sign, Snow White and the poisoned apple or Romeo and Juliet and their poison vial, but in the end simple Mr. Yuk won out...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fashion Friday: Coral Summer Wish

After last week's fashion inspired manicure, I seem to have gotten the message via everyone's sweet comments that you would like to see more of such fashion inspired posts. So, in response to that, I present you with another fashion inspired look. As usual, I stumbled upon this on Pinterest and the colors really caught my eye. With Fall so close on the horizon, this summery dress is just what I wish to hang onto...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tutorial: Geometric Confetti Decals

I'm not sure why, but I'm in a crazy tutorial making mood. I don't even have the patience to wait until a Tuesday and post it as a "Tutorial Tuesday" feature. Honestly, I was actually debating if I should post this since I've already done a nail decal tutorial, but I figure if I took the time to take photos, I better put it together and post it. Maybe it will be useful for someone. I've got a couple more planned and then I'll try to knock it off for a while :)

This tutorial is for the geometric decals manicure that I posted for Polish Days yesterday...

  • Nail polishes of choice. Used here Sally Hansen Celeb City (silver base), Wet 'n Wild Red Red, Color Club What a Shock! (green), Barielle Sunshine* (yellow) and Surf's Up* (blue)
  • Ziplock bag or sheet protector (my personal preference)
  • Scissors, hole punch
  • Tweezers
  • Cuticle nippers

  1. Paint small strips of polish in multiple colors on a ziplock bag or sheet protector. Add a second coat if needed for sheer colors.
  2. Allow the polish to dry completely or overnight. Using tweezers, pick up an edge of the polish strip and peel off the plastic
  3. Using scissors cut out desired shapes (such as squares and triangles) from the nail polish
  4. The cut pieces will look something like this
  5. Using a hole punch, punch out circles in different colors. You can be the large office variety hole punch, it does not have to be a small craft one as I am showing here
  6. Optional: sketch out your nail shape and arrange pieces to get a pattern you are happy with. You can skip this step if you are not the type to plan (or over-think things as I do) :)
  7. Apply a base coat and your desired base color. Allow to dry. Sally Hansen Celeb City is shown here.
  8. Apply a coat of clear polish and when it is still tacky, but not wet, apply the decals in your desired pattern
  9. Using cuticle nippers, trim off excess polish around the cuticles, being careful not to cut yourself!
  10. Add a topcoat to seal in the decals and you are done! (I did add a few more confetti pieces after trimming, sorry if that confuses anyone...)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If nothing else, it is colorful and fun to look at (at least in my opinion)!

I'd love to know what you think :)

Thanks for looking!
Anutka :)

** Polishes marked with an asterisk (*) were provided to me for review by the manufacturer or their PR. **
** For more information please see the disclosure policy **

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Polish Days: Geometry

I'm pretty excited today as it is my first time participating in Polish Days. I've seen it popping up on blogs over the past few months, but only recently figured out how to join in on the fun! The challenge this time is geometry which really made me think of school days, cutting out shapes and basic colors. This is my attempt to recreate that feeling. I think it looks like geometric confetti... or better yet pinata guts...

Sally Hansen Celeb City

I rarely post swatches of just a single polish with no nail art, but I will today because the nail art is coming a bit later. Sally Hansen Celeb City is a polish I have used many, many times, but have never actually swatched on it's own. It used to be my go to silver stamping polish (although has been recently bumped off that prestigious spot) and I'm down to less than half a bottle of this little gem. I had to swatch it and play with it before it is all gone...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tutorial: Mirror Image Stamping

As promised yesterday I have a quick tutorial to share with you on how to stamp a mirror image using the stamper to stamper method. I will preface this by saying that this is not a tutorial for the full manicure, just the stamping technique. Also, it assumes that you already know how to stamp and stamping basics are not covered. If you do not know how to stamp, but would like to learn, I would highly recommend the Getting a Good Stamp Image tutorial from soguesswhat11. Now on to the tutorial...

  • XL Stamper (it has different, softer/stickier stamping pad)
  • Regular Stamper such as Konad or Salon Express (used here)
  • Desired stamping plate (BM03 used in this example)
  • Stamping polish (Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Jumpin' Jade used here)

Please note you have to work pretty quickly for this to stamp well or the polish will dry and not transfer.
  1. Pick up image into XL stamper
  2. Transfer the image onto second stamper by pushing them together straight on
  3. Image should now be on the second stamper (reversed)
  4. Stamp onto nail 
  5. Reverse image (left) next to regularly stamped image (right)

See how quick? I love this technique and hope you find it useful as well!
Let me know what you think of this tutorial or if you have any questions :)

P.S. If you have never heard of an XL Stamper, take a look at this video to see it in action. It can be purchased from Ninja Polish or ebay by searching for "XL Stamper."

Special thanks goes out to Diana of the blog D.I.A.N.A. for introducing me to this technique! Make sure to take a look at her blog for some amazing manicures :)

On a final thought, is anyone interested in me trying to make a basic stamping tutorial?

Thanks for looking!
Anutka :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Stamping: Something I Learned...

Every Sunday I try to participate in a weekly challenge in the group Adventures in Stamping. I have missed the last few weeks, but the challenge today was too good to skip. While most challenges are to use a certain color or stamp or even multiple stamps, today it is to create a manicure showing something that we learned from the group. Being a member of any group (and participating) you are bound to learn something. For example, this group is always tempting me with photos of new plates that I've never heard of, discussions of what polishes are good for stamping and even that you can create your own stamper using silicone. Who knew? Today though, my manicure is inspired by something I learned from the super sweet Diana of D.I.A.N.A....

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