Friday, October 31, 2014

Candy Corn Gradient

My time management is so bad! I did this manicure Thursday night and wanted to have it up BEFORE the twinkle challenge post... but I didn't get it finished and photographed until just before midnight so I figured it was technically Friday, and went ahead with the challenge post first. Enough babbling! This one is pretty self explanatory. Today is Halloween and I bring you my Candy Corn gradient! I actually don't think candy corn is disgusting, like a lot of people. At least, I didn't - I don't eat a lot of sugar anymore, so I bet I actually would find it gross now. 

Colours used:
Ciate Snow Virgin
L'Oreal Orange You Jealous
NYC Lexington Yellow
HK Girl Top Coat

I've seen a TON of versions of this floating around pre-Halloween. So, I can't credit one single person for he inspiration, just the whole nail community :)

With the first coat of sponging I didn't have high hopes... but the second layer added a lot more pigment, and I love them!

So - do you love or hate candy corn?

xo Shawna

Pumpkins and Leaves - Twinkie Nail Art Challenge

As much as I liked Tuesday's mani, I was ready to pump it up with some more Halloween-themed nail art. The final Friday for October's theme for the Twinkie Nail Art Challenge is "Halloween/ Harvest" and I think this fits the bill! (I actually did this nail art Wednesday night, but saved the post to keep to the schedule :) I've seen a lot of pumpkin manicures that looked simple enough, so I choose a few accent nails on each hand. I first painted the shape with a few different white polishes so the colours would pop, and the layered the orange, green and brown on top. I used MoYou Explorer Plate 21 for the leaves. 

Polishes used:
BK Matt White (stamping)
Ciate Snow Virgin & Finger Paints Hip Hip Hue-Ray (undies)
China Glaze Be More Pacific
OPI You Don't Know Jacques
L'oreal Orange You Jealous

I love the way the white stamping really pops over the purple base.

Hope you enjoy!

xo Shawna

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Grunge Dry Brush

Hi ladies! (I assume it's just females who read my blog- if you're a guy, apologies for this and all future greetings!)
I'd been thinking of a mani that incorporated all of the traditional "Halloween colours" - green, purple, orange and black. I had the lightbulb to utilize a dry brush mani, since the last one I created didn't have a chance to be worn very long! Once I started, it wasn't turning out exactly as I envisioned so I added a heavier coat of purple and some silver for a bit of sparkle. The end result feels a little grungy and definitely Halloween appropriate! 

Colours used: 
MTL Creations Sam the Shifter (base)
Wet n' Wild Black Creme
L'oreal Orange You Jealous
China Glaze Coconut Kiss
Sally Hansen Hi-Ho Silver
HK Girl Top Coat

I used two coats of HK Girl to get a nice smooth, glossy finish.

Do you like the Halloween colour palate?

xo Shawna

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Walking on a Spiderweb

I love the look of all the spiderweb manis I've seen on Instagram! I have a China Glaze polish, Fortune Teller, that I only can wear for this time of year - it's a black base with loads of orange glitter - and I wanted to showcase it with some nail art that wouldn't obscure it. 

Polishes used:
China Glaze Fortune Teller
Finger Paints Striper Hip Hip Hue-Ray
Ciate Speed Pro Top Coat

The CG has amazing glitter payoff with loads of small and micro glitter and medium hexes. Full opacity reached in two coats. Unfortunately when I applied my top coat, the white polish smeared so the nail art is not as clean as I would like! I generally don't wear dark polish, and especially not black on it's own, but this is such a fun shade. 

Are you taking advantage of the holiday to wear dark polish or do you rock it year round?

xo Shawna

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Snapshot: Holo Skulls Mani

Just a quick post today for you lovelies! I was loving the glittered digits of yesterday's Jelly Sandwich mani, but the stamped "sandwiches" weren't doing anything for me. So, I decided to go seasonal again and use a few of the indie items I've received! 

Accent nails:
MTL Creations Jason
Up Your Nails Holo Skull Nail Stickers

Hope you like :)

xo Shawna

Friday, October 24, 2014

Jelly Sammich Mani - Twinkie Nail Art Challenge

Good afternoon! I'm excited to be back in the swing of the weekly Twinkie Nail art challenge :) This week is "Jelly Sammich"! And in other big nail news... I have a new nail shape, almond shorties! They feel really strange, especially as I type. I had my plain old oval nails for quite a while - I'm guessing more than a year! They're growing on me though.

I had just the polish in mind, which I specifically bought for this kind of mani - Pink Freud from Echoes Polish. This is a new-to-me technique and while I don't totally love how the stamping images I chose end up looking combined, I can see myself playing with the technique in the future with different designs. And maybe more chunky glitter!

Polishes used:
Echoes Polish Pink Freud
BK Matt White (use code SDPX31 for 10% off!)
MTL Creations Tara
Sally Girl Silver Glitter
Ciate Speed Pro Top Coat
HK Girl Top Coat

I used a few plates, MoYou London Pro Plate 04, and m66 and QA91 from born pretty store. (SDPX31 for 10% off!) I think next time I'll just layer floral prints instead of different images. They kind of got lost!

Have you tried a jelly sammich mani yet?

xo Shawna

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween Colour Block Mani

Good evening ladies! It's been a hectic week getting back into the swing of things at home after vacation. So, this mani was actually painted on Tuesday night but I only just got around to photographing and blogging it (late!) tonight - hope you'll forgive me :) The nice thing about posted a worn-around-town mani is I've already gotten multiple compliments on the nail art so I'm feeling good about it!

I'm not much of a Halloween fan at all (as much as I love the amazing Halloween themed manis I've seen from other bloggers and instagrammers!). I've never been excited about dressing up. So, orange and black nails are about as Halloween as it gets for me! I've seen this nail art design quite a bit but most recently My Mint Nails posted a lovely pink variation, which inspired my recreation with some seasonally coloured polishes. At first I attempted using scotch tape for the lines but they still weren't perfect (see: wobbly black lines) so I just freehanded the silver. The next day I received my striping tape in the mail! This silver is stunning but its definitely a mess to clean up. The acetone was basically dissolving it so some of the black shows through. There's also some polish wear at the tips as this mani is a few days old- oops! It's actually wearing quite well considering I wear gloves and work with my hands, thanks to HK Girl Top Coat :)

Colours used:
Loreal Orange You Jealous?
Wet n' Wild Black Creme
Sally Hansen Hi-Ho Silver
HK Girl Top Coat

So- are you a Halloween fan or is it not a big deal for you?

xo Shawna

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Twinkie challenge: stalker twin mani

The theme for last week's twinkie nail art challenge was "stalker twin mani" - aka copying a mani design you loved by someone else! No staged lightbox photos for this post- this manicure was done while I was on vacation in Cuba :)

The design was inspired by a tutorial I found on instagram, by @nailsbylsm. I changed the colour theme but followed the general design. It was a lot more work than I thought! Don't look too closely and you won't see the sloppy striping work :) 

Colours used:
Color Club neon pink mini
Echoes Polish Life is a Caberet
Finger Paints Hip-Hip-Hue-Ray!
Seche Vite Top Coat

The nice thing about being on a beach holiday was that my nails didn't chip and I got a solid few days of wear after all the effort free handing this design! I've copied the tutorial for you below if you want to give it a shot! 

Would you try this intricate design?

xo Shawna
(p.s. - pardon the poor quality of the cell phone pics!)

Friday, October 10, 2014

To-Do List Mani: Ikat Print

Today I've got another mani ticked off my "to do" list! I decided to tackle Ikat print, after hearing it was one that was actually a lot more simple than it looks. I followed this YouTube tutorial, the only difference being I made the diamond shapes smaller to fit more onto the nail. 

My Nails Did: Ikat Print Mani

I am in love with this mani! The rumours were true, it's not too difficult because it is imperfect on purpose. My right hand looks just as good as the left... which almost never happens!

My Nails Did: Ikat Print Mani

Polishes Used:
Polish My Life Nude Lace
Nicole by OPI My Lifesaver
Finger Paints Hip-Hip-Hue-Ray!
Finger Paints Ch-Art-Coal Black
HK Girl Top Coat

My Nails Did: Ikat Print Mani

What nail art techniques have you found are a lot easier than they look?

xo Shawna

Splatter Nails + Cuter Cuticles Review!

I've got a two-in-one post for you tonight! First I have a single shot of my nails for this week's twinkie nails art challenge, which was splatter. I have never done this nail art before and I had an awful time of it. First I could barely get any nail polish to get off the straw, and when it finally started working the polish would literally get everywhere (skin, paper underneath, etc) EXCEPT the nail. Finally a few blobs made it onto the nail so I called it a day. This one came off immediately which is a first for me - usually I'll wear a mani at least for one day!

My Nails Did: Splatter Twinkie Nail Art Manicure

Polishes used:
Polish my Life Nude Lace
Nicole by OPI My Lifesaver
Rimmel Do Not Disturb
HK Girl Top Coat

But onto the better half of this post... my Cuter Cuticles cuticle oil review! Sammy aka Canaildian_Girl (one of my instagram besties- I hope she doesn't think I'm weird for considering her a bestie for someone I've only every "met" through social media!) asked if I wanted to be a tester for her new cuticle oil line, Cuter Cuticles. Of course I was all over that, I may or may not have a slight addiction to cuticle care products...

My Nails Did: Cuter Cuticles Product Review
Don't mind the look of the labels... I got cat fur all over them!
I was sent a list to choose a few scents from, but they ALL sounded amazing so I asked for a surprise. I received them ridiculously quick. The oils come in a 5mL rollerball package, which I will admit I was not sure I would like for application as I had never tried them before. I was very pleasantly surprised with how easy the rollerball is to use, and can I say the scents I received (death by chocolate & coffee) are AH-mazing! The oil itself is also fantastic, it's not too greasy and absorbs well within a few minutes. 

There's a ton of amazing sounding scents to choose from, and Sammy says more are likely on the way! I'm including a list to tempt you all. Each oil is $4 and shipping is very reasonable!

Death by Chocolate
Chocolate Covered Strawberry
Cinnamon Sugar
Maple Kisses
Gingerbread Latte
Coffee Bean

Do you use cuticle care products regularly?

xo Shawna

Disclaimer: These products were provided for testing purposes. There was no expectation of any review as compensation, I am doing so because I truly enjoyed the product! 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Polish My Life Swatches

A few weeks ago, indie polish maker Polish My Life had a free shipping weekend so i was all over it! Especially since her speciality is my favourite finish - cremes.  I exercised restraint and only purchased two shades - a lovely pale nude, Nude Lace, and a gorgeous soft greyish blue, Storm Clouds.  Take a look!

My Nails Did: Polish My Life swatches

I am IN LOVE with this indie. The formula is great and looks fantastic in only 2 coats- the other indies I've tried so far, albeit gorgeous, are much thinner and take a lot of layering to achieve opacity. Not to mention, the COLOURS! I've actually been wanting pretty much these exact shades before I even knew about PML. 

My Nails Did: Polish My Life swatches "Storm Clouds"
Storm Clouds
I haven't done a direct comparison, but this reminds me of my Ciate mini in Chinchilla. I was debating buying the full size bottle at Winners, which was the same price as this baby. I eventually decided against it, and I am glad because this is SO much better! 

My Nails Did: Polish My Life swatches "Nude Lace"
Nude Lace
I have a darker nude/tan polish and was after something lighter yet still opaque. I had a few fails, purchasing shades I thought would look like this but turned out very sheer, with VNL (visible nail line) even after multiple coats. Nude Lace is perfect!

Definitely recommend this indie seller. If you follow her on IG, she occasionally advertises sales as well so check her out! 

xo Shawna

Simple X's Mani

Happy Hockey Wednesday, readers! The big news in Canada today is definitely the official start of the NHL season. That has nothing to do with my manicure, but I am Canadian after all, and I'm typing this post as we watch the game! 

I've got a pretty simple freehand mani today, but I'm still quite pleased with it! I know this pattern can be achieved much more precisely with striping tape, but I am still waiting for my nail mail for that so I decided to give it a shot. Not too bad!

My Nails Did: Simple X Mani

Polishes used:
Polish My Life Storm Clouds
Finger Paints Ch-Art-Coal Black
Echoes Polish Holo Cow (on index)
HK Girl Top Coat

My Nails Did: Simple X Mani

If you've got a striping brush or polish, this design is super simple to create. You just draw a big "X" in the centre of your nail, and then outline using two stripes on both sides, the top and bottom. I added a coat of holo to my index finger for a bit of sparkle!

My Nails Did: Simple X Mani

Would you try this design?

xo Shawna

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

MTL swatches

I had a lazy night in tonight, just relaxing and trying to fight off the impending cold I am absolutely SURE will come before I jet off to Cuba this weekend. So- I finally got around to finishing my swatches from MTL creations! I've got a post packed full of pics for you tonight.

My Nails Did: MTL swatches "Mia"

Mia is a lovely lavender purple with holo glitter in it. This is 4 coats.

My Nails Did: MTL swatches Sam

Sam the Shifter is a green thermal that shifts to a darker green when cold. I think my body chemistry works against thermals, this is my second polish and both took a while in the water bath to achieve change! The above is pictured when warm/ room temperature. 4 coats.

My Nails Did: MTL swatches Sam

Sam (cold). I couldn't work the camera fast enough to get a proper pic! (Hence why my fingers are all wet in the picture)

My Nails Did: MTL swatches Lafayette

Lafayette is a sheer grape purple with a little bit of shimmer. 4 coats. 

My Nails Did: MTL swatches Jason

Jason is a black shade with holo and some blue/green glitters. I don't generally wear black on it's own the but sparkle adds a little something and would be a great base for nail art. This is 3 coats (no top coat) - would be nice and smooth after a coat of HK Girl!

My Nails Did: MTL swatches Tara

Tara is a pink glitter topper. Left to right is one coat, two coats, three coats, four. Safe to say with 3 coats and on you're entering serious glitter bomb territory - I can't wait to layer this over one of my pink cremes for some gorgeousness!

Hope you enjoyed the swatches!

xo Shawna

Thermal Explorer Stamped MoYou Mani

I haven't posted a stamped manicure lately, since I've been branching out and trying different hand-painted nail art lately. Tonight I swatched another shade from MTL, a green thermal polish. When deciding which plate to stamp with, I was drawn to the explorer collection again - I seem to connect these images to a green background!

My Nails Did: Thermal Polish + MoYou Stamping Mani

Green usually isn't a popular polish shade in my repertoire, but I loved the thermal combo, which turns a darker green shade when cold. At first I thought I was broken- it was taking a while to achieve the colour change and my other thermal polish is so subtle, I thought maybe my body chemistry just wasn't working for them. But lo and behold, after soaking my nails in a mini ice bath for 30 seconds, I saw it! Watch for these swatches in that upcoming post I promised. (Soon!) My fiancĂ© is on night shifts which means I can stink up the condo to my hearts content :) 

My Nails Did: Thermal Polish + MoYou Stamping Mani

Polishes Used:
MTL Creations Sam the Shifter
Wet n Wild Black Creme
HK Girl Top Coat (not applied until after photos)
MoYou London Explorer 21

My Nails Did: Thermal Polish + MoYou Stamping Mani

I actually like my "Cinderella" hand more for this mani! I experimented with more variety in the pattern placement and really like how it turned out. I think the green & black make it a great Halloween colour combination!

My Nails Did: Thermal Polish + MoYou Stamping Mani

Do you have a colour family you generally just don't like in nail polish?

xo Shawna

Sunday, October 5, 2014

To-Do List: Gold & Green Quatrefoil Mani

I recently started a note on my iPhone to keep track of all the different manis (or variations on ones I've already done!) that I want to try out. One of the accounts I follow on IG mentioned she's doing a blog post series on her "wish list" and I thought that was a great idea. One that has been on there for a while is quatrefoil, which makes use of a dotting tool - and after my "dots" manicure the other day, I was ready to go!

My Nails Did: Green & Gold Quatrefoil mani

I wish I had a larger dotting tool, but I'm pretty pleased with the way they turned out! I based my colour palette on the dress I wore at my nephew/Godson's baptism today. These are two of my favourite polishes I own!

My Nails Did: Green & Gold Quatrefoil mani

Colours used: 
OPI Thanks a Windmillion
OPI Love.Angel.Music.Baby
HK Girl Top Coat
Born Pretty Store Dotting Tool (use coupon SDPX31 to save 10%!)

My Nails Did: Green & Gold Quatrefoil mani

Do you have a mani to-do list?

xo Shawna

Friday, October 3, 2014

Dots - October Nail Art Challenge

Hello lovely readers! Happy Friday, it's time for another edition of the twinkie nail art challenge! October looks like a great month, with a few new techniques and fun manicures planned. 

Today (the first Friday of October- where did the time go?!) brings us the theme "dots". I've had this base on since Wednesday night, it's one of the polishes rom my first indie polish that I mentioned in my blog post last Saturday, from My True Love Creations. I'm still planning a swatch post for that haul, so stay tuned! (I have to wait until I'm home alone... I've been getting complaints about the fumes of my constant nail painting from my fiancé!)

My Nails Did: Dots Nail Art Challenge

I decided to keep it simple and go for a french manicure inspired dotticure. I wasn't intending to have the dots shrink in size towards the edges, but it just kind of happened - and i liked it! This look was super quick and easy - a great way to add some interest with minimal effort. The dotting took just 6 minutes (not that I timed it or anything :-p) 

My Nails Did: Dots Nail Art Challenge

Polished Used:
MTL Creations Mia
Ciate Snow Virgin
HK Girl Top Coat
Born Pretty Store Dotting Tool (use coupon SDPX31 to save 10%!)

My Nails Did: Dots Nail Art Challenge

My Nails Did: Twinkie Nail Art Challenge

What do you think of this take on a french mani?

xo Shawna

Images by Freepik