Do you ever have this problem of enjoying the time consuming nailart you’ve done but just are not feeling the colors anymore?
That’s the problem I had with my Monochromatic Manicure. I just needed some color after rocking the black and white for a few days. So what I decided to do is give in to the current neon and gradient craze and sponge some of my neons over this to make it look more summery. Because neons are usually quite sheer it would show the pattern still so I wouldn’t feel like I had wasted my time drawing all kinds of stuff on my nails when I’d only wear the manicure for a few days.
This is what they ended up looking like:
And this is what I used to achieve the effect. Please ignore the condition of my neon yellow, I know it looks miserable but it was in a bag along with a few polishes that broke when I flew back from vacation last year and I haven’t taken the time to clean that one up just yet…
- China Glaze – Purple Panic
- Essence nail art twins – Gabriella
- Kiko – 336
- China Glaze – In the limelight
- China Glaze – Celtic Sun
- A cut up make up sponge
Just a very quick drive by posting of my nail of the day which is a gradient I did using China Glaze – For Audrey as a base color and along with that I used Sinful Colors – Why Not, Mattésse Elite – Vig(Thank you again Marissa for sending me that set! They’re stunning!) and Nicole By O.P.I.’s Khloe had a little Lam-Lam to sponge over it leaving me with a nice fresh looking gradient. I hope you like it!
Being a member of a few facebook groups dedicated to either Nail Polish or Nail Art I noticed that quite a few of the members started to create manicures to support the Go Grey in May Campaign. I became fascinated and curious and did some research before I decided that I also must “Go Grey this May” to support this great cause and raise awareness.
May is National Brain Tumor Awareness Month in the United States. During the month of May, the Brain Tumor Awareness Organization encourages raising awareness through a variety of campaigns and activities. Each campaign or activity will serve as an education and outreach opportunity, a fundraising opportunity, a fitness event, a healing program/exhibit, a community initiative, a support group project or any combination that suits you and/or your group.
People often ask me what’s on my nails and sometimes even why, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to wear grey, a color that I otherwise rarely wear because it makes my hands look more red than they are due to the cool tint this color naturally has.
Over that I layered two coats of a holographic topcoat I created myself by putting a little bit of Spectraflair pigment into a regular topcoat and I decanted a little bit of China Glaze’s amazing Sexagon into the topcoat as well to make sure the spectraflair had some suspension.
After that was dry I added a nice topcoat, Seche Vite in my case, and there you have it, grey nails with a little bit of a holographic pop that will surely make heads turn on a sunny day.
What do you think, will you be going Grey in May and help spread awareness for this cause?
For more information on the campaign please visit: www.braintumorawareness.org
I didn’t think I would do it, honestly I don’t care much about Easter nail art. All the Easter eggs, bunnies and crosses in pastel shades usually do not do it for me but when my mom asked me if I wasn’t going to do any Easter themed nails I took it as a bit of a challenge to find something I like that does have a bit of an Easter feel to it.
So I came up with these:
Excuse the dry cuticles, I’m working on those, believe me! I know what’s causing them too, you see, I’m just too stubborn or actually too impatient to stop using Acetone free remover, so every time I take off my polish I dry out my cuticles a tad more and I have to use my OPI Avoplex things again to get them a bit more presentable again… A never ending cycle really. You know how it goes I’m sure…
Anyway what I used for this mani is the following:
Orly Nailtrition – The basecoat
China Glaze‘s For Audrey – The base color
Konad‘s Wine Red stamping polish for the dots as I couldn’t find my brown.
A Sponge Bob Stamping plate for the dots (Click here to go to the Ebay page to buy it):
And of course a royal coat of Seche Vite to protect it all and after that I was done. That’s all there is to it really and it makes for a cute, really wearable Easter manicure.
She had another one of them both and was looking for someone to trade with. I happily jumped in on that opportunity because Helena was a color I had my eye on for a little while now and I am sending her some Barry M‘s in return.
Julep isn’t a company I’ve had any experience with before and to be honest I wasn’t very interested in at all because for us Dutch people it is quite hard to come by and the polishes are quite pricey… that was until I saw fair Helena. It was love at first sight for me and I just had to have her. You see, I have a thing for very saturated colors lately, you know the kind; those colors that just scream summertime. It must be the cold weather because only a little while ago I was more into muted tones.
Now on to more information about this polish. This is what is said about it on Julep’s own page:
Ultra-saturated fuchsia. Looks great on all skin tones. A favorite of Seattle Magazine’s beauty editors. Professional quality “4-free” nail polish formulation, developed without carcinogens such as formaldehyde or formaldehyde resin, toluene and DBP. Shine on! $1 will be donated to organizations that support women through our Powered by Girlfriends program.
Well they’re certainly not lying there, this color does seem to look great on all skin tones! I’ve been Googling swatches before I decided I really wanted this and it seriously just delivers every single time on every skin tone.
Helena is a fuchsia, so it’s not pink and it’s not purple but stuck somewhere in between. And I’ve got to tell you the coverage is fabulous due to the heavy pigmentation. Is it worth the $14 though? I am honestly not sure. I haven’t worn this for more than two days (without any tipwear or chipping so that’s good) but is it worth the $14 they ask for it on the site? I haven’t quite decided yet… Let me show you the other polishes I have in my collection that could be a good dupe of it, first I will show you the polishes in the bottle:
- Sinful Colors – Dream On = 15 ml / 0.5 fl oz – $2 to $4
- Julep – Helena = 8 ml/.27 fl oz – $14
- O.P.I. – Don’t know… Beets me! = 15 ml / 0.5 fl oz - $7 to $12.
- O.P.I. – Dim Sum Plum = 15 ml / 0.5 fl oz – $7 to $12.
Dream on by Sinful Colors, the cheapest one of the four polishes pictured here and is the one that, to me, looks the most like Helena. Not just in color but also in texture after application.
It’s hard to capture the colors right by the way, especially when you are wearing it on your fingernails as you can see on the picture here on the right. But hey at least I gave it a shot right?
I believe Dream on has a hint more blue to it and doesn’t apply as evenly. The manicure you see here by the way has two layers of each polish over a basecoat. I did not apply a topcoat just so you can see how glossy the O.P.I. polishes are on their own while Helena and Dream on both dry to a semi matte that reminds me of the rubberized finish the recent Illamasqua Theater of the Nameless polishes have.
Now, my points for Helena. All in all I give this polish the following rating:
– For staying power so far, I can’t say much of it yet of course but so far, so really good!
- For color, it’s just a fabulous bright, intense eye catching color, I love it!
- For coverage, one layer is enough to be opaque but I used two for a bit more depth in the color.
- For price, $14 dollars is a LOT of money compared to Sinful Colors’ near dupe of $2!
- For amount. I would have loved to have more. It is only 8 ml/.27 fl oz compared to Sinful Colors’ 15 ml / 0.5 fl oz
So a couple of good scores but a few bad ones as well I’m afraid… But that doesn’t change the way I feel about this color at all, I am very very smitten still, it’s a stunning almost unique color and I am very certain that a lot of people feel the same way after applying it or even seeing it in the bottle.
And now a quickie about the Julep Fast Dry Topcoat that beautiful Helena came with it. I do like it for doing its job, it dries quickly as the name implies but man it smells! Never have I smelled anything like it before and I wonder what it is that is actually causing this. The description on their site is as follows:
Formulated to provide a glossy finish that prevents yellowing and protects nail color with fast-drying shine. For best results, use with Julep Basecoat or Julep Nail Therapy and Julep Nail Vernis. Professional quality “4-free” nail polish formulation, developed without carcinogens such as formaldehyde or formaldehyde resin, toluene and DBP. Shine on! $1 will be donated to organizations that support women through our Powered by Girlfriends program.
I wondered at first that because the polish is “4 free” it would have that smell, but Helena smells perfectly fine so it might be the component that prevents the polish from yellowing or makes it dry faster than regular polish. Well, I don’t know what it is but I know that I really don’t like it and I switched over to my ever loyal Seche Vite to finish the job. Yes, Seche Vite smells strongly too but the scent is familiar and gone again pretty quickly so it’s easy to handle I guess…
Okay, on to the ratings for the topcoat:
– For staying power. It dries quickly too as promised.
- For color, it’s a topcoat, no color.
- For coverage, it applies quickly and easily.
- For price, $14 dollars is a LOT of money compared to other topcoats. Seche Vite sells for $5.40 on Amazon and that contains 14ml/.5 fl oz, so yeah…
- For amount. Again, it is only 8 ml/.27 fl oz
Now what do you think of this brand, have you tried the Julep brand before or is the availability and quite possibly the price holding you back? And do you have anything like this color and love it as much as I do?
This is my current festive manicure, what do you ladies (and possible gentlemen) think of it?
It’s a layer of Sally Hansen’s Triple Strong as a base. Over that I have OPI’s An Affair in Red Square with a little layer of Beyu’s 209 over it for some extra depth. I’ve stamped an all over image with white Konad stamping polish on top of it for some holiday cheer. It’s an image from the BIG SdP K plate. One of the many Dashica Beauty Shop plates that I have. Over that I’ve dabbed some foil glue in the spots where I wanted my rhinestones to be and after putting those on I’ve used Seche Vite topcoat to seal it all. If you have not tried Seche Vite I seriously urge you to try it. It is the best topcoat I’ve tried. It dries gorgeously shiny and fast. And it keeps my manicure going for at least a week if applied correctly.
What do you think? I rarely wear red on my nails so it takes some getting used to for me and I might just switch when it’s Christmas, to something else and more sophisticated like Chanel Graphite. But for now it’s certainly helping me get in the holiday spirit!
Are you wearing any special holiday manicures this year?