Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Seize The Sparkle's "Blog Every Day in May" Challenge - Day 1

I decided to join Seize the Sparkle's "Blog Everyday in May" challenge! Hey, why not? It's fun to mix things up a bit, and I've been doing nail blogging since December.

The first prompt is "Introduction and Recent Photo"

Ok, I can handle that...here goes!

Hi, my name is Amanda, and I am a nail polish addict.

*cue the peanut gallery saying "Hi, Amanda" in mono-toned voices*

Well, I am more than just that. I am a mother of four. My oldest is 17 and my youngest is 9 months. I am currently a stay-at-home-mom.

I am engaged to a handsome Japanese man who is currently living in Japan, while we are in the United States. We are working on a fiance' visa so he can come here and meet his little boy in person for the first time.

I have many passions. I love dancing, blues music, hippy festivals, nature photography (anything photography), collecting tea cups and tea pots, Hello Kitty, organic gardening, farmer's markets, going to the mall with my kids, fashion magazines, jewelry making (especially with semi-precious gemstones), chasing butterflies and bees, sniffing flowers, smiling, giggling (a lot), wine tastings, studying anthropology (cultural studies), natural and alternative medicine, taking rides in the countryside, grocery shopping at natural markets...

I started this nail art journey to help myself combat depression, postpartum depression and to become more connected with other women. So far it has been an amazing journey! I have learned so much about nail art and I have started a Facebook page which acts as a daily creative outlet that I can share with old friends and new friends.

You can check that out by clicking the tab on the right -hand column of this blog. :)

So I guess I have to include a recent photo. I have a couple I can add here.

This is me and my son, Josiah Satoshi. It's just cell phone picture from Instagram, but I love it. This was taken two days ago at one of our local plants nurseries. We LOVE plant nurseries. :)

This is me with my daughter, Willow Crystal Isabelle. It was taken at our favorite local park next to the pond with the tribute to our town's Japanese sister city.

If you would like to join this challenge, you can hop on over to Seize the Sparkle's blog and get the low down.

So that's it for now.

It's May 5th so I have 4 more days of this challenge to make up for.

Bye for now...

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Oceanic Water-Spotting Manicure

I had the pleasure of doing another water-potting manicure. I say it was a pleasure because once you get the hang of it, meaning once you find the right body spray to use, it really is fun. This is my contribution to Crumpet's Nail Tarts 52 Week Challenge for April 27-May 3rd.

The base color I used is a beautiful China Glaze color called "Sex in the City." It's a seriously gorgeous blue with a green shimmer to it. I'm in love!

I really loved this manicure. the gold coin sequins turned out perfect on both hands. I have to thank my sweetie in Japan for sending them to me.

After I did the water spotting technique, I added a coat of my Seche Vite fast drying top coat, and then I applied the gold decals. Then I topped it off with one more really thick coat of Seche Vite.

I love the way it looks in the sunlight...

I especially love how my index finger turned out...

I also wanted to share this silly picture of me squeezing my baby's cheeks! It's totally relevant since I have my oceanic manicure going on in the picture. ;)

I am thoroughly enjoying this challenge, even though I am jumping in part way through the prompts. I need to work on doing an "outline"manicure next. No clue how that will turn out!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Cover Girl Lip Lava Review

I was pretty excited to try these. I try a few new lip glosses and lip sticks every month. The colors of these are so beautiful and vibrant. I wanted to love them!

Just to make this short and sweet....they suck. The color stayed on my lips for MAYBE 20 minutes? Possibly 30 minutes. The formula was very thin and just wore off after just taking like one sip of water.

Totally not worth the money in my opinion.

I'm sorry I don't have swatches of them them on my lips, but I'm not willing to show my ugly mug quite yet.

I bought the two middle colors at Walmart for between $6-7.

If you're just wearing them for a photo shoot or something, you could, but don't expect to get ANY wear out of them.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Colorful Water Marble Manicure and New Video Tutorial on YouTube!

Last night I did a really fun and colorful water marble design with some great polishes. I also made another video tutorial for my new YouTube channel (Click the link!)! My videos aren't great or anything, but it's just a start and I love doing it.

I love how fun and cheery this manicure is, and of course I plan on doing many more water marble manicures in the future.

I was going to add rhinestones or gold studs to it to dress it up a bit, but decided to take some pictures of just the result of the technique.

This kinda makes me want to go to a music festival...

I used Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear polish to do this. The colors spread really well on the water.

The colors I used are:

Fuscha Power
Tan Lime
Mellow Yellow
Pucker Up
Sun Kissed
Blue Me Away

If you like water marbling, you might want to check out this kind of polish. They were about $2.50 per bottle at Walmart.

Silver Glitter Manicure with Holographic Stars

I did this mani a while back, but never wrote up a blog entry on it. I had to cut off my nails because they were in rough shape, so I decided to make them super sparkly to take my mind off of losing my long nails.

This was inspired by a manicure that I found that used various kinds of silver glitter.
I don't know who did this manicure, so if it's yours just let me know and I can give you credit (and a link back) for your work. :)

I didn't have all of those funky silver glitters, so I just used what I had on hand and came up with this...

I used the silver glitter two ways; The first way that I used it was just by dipping my finger into the glitter (in a bottle cap), with wet silver polish on my nails, and I let it dry just how it landed on my nail. I did this on my index and pinkie finger.

The second way I used it was just the same as the first, but I used my fan brush to flatten the glitter, by gently tapping it down to make the flat surface of the glitter parallel to my nail. That made the nice flat look even more shiny than the randomly placed glitter.

I topped everything off with a coat of Seche Vite top coat.

Here's some of the pretty supplies I used. The silver loose glitter is just something I picked up in a pack of craft glitter from Walmart. The stars came from a set that I got at the Dollar Tree. I bought a set of 15 nail art brushes from ebay, which included two fan brushes.

I used Sally Hansen Hard as Nails "Celeb City" as a base color. One of my favorite colors.

So that's it for this one! I just wanted to add this to my collection here on my blog.

I hope you enjoy the sparkles today...

Sunday, April 26, 2015

He Picks My Polish- April 2015 "Mint Chocolate Chip" Manicure

I have to admit that I was pretty scared of how this would turn out, just like the rest of the participants. It's certainly NOT one of my favorite manicures! ...but it was a fun challenge. My fiance' sent me a nice package of nail art stuff from Japan. You can see the post about that HERE. :)

Some of the things in the package were picked by him, and some by his mother. I had to ask him to make sure I was using the products he picked out. He did pretty good for a guy!

I had to use pastel blue, a strange pastel green, an opalescent fine glitter polish and a black and white confetti polish. He also sent a pack of decals, so to be fair I also incorporated one of the types of decals in that pack.

~ Base color is pastel green.

~ I added the black and white confetti to my ring and index fingers, being careful to distribute the confetti as evenly as my patience could stand!

~ I added the opalescent glitter to thumb, middle and pinky fingers.

~ I added a pretty rhinestone on each middle finger (that reminds me of beautiful chalcedony stones!)

~ I used a dotting tools to make three pastel blue dots on thumb and pinky finger, four dots on each middle finger.

~ I took one single piece of black confetti glitter and applied them on top of each pastel blue dot.

~ I topped it all off with Seche Vite top coat.

This was a totally weird manicure, and honestly I only wore it for four hours!

I went shopping, got some compliments on it, and then ended up going home with 14 NEW BOTTLES OF POLISH (Wooo-hoooo!)

Check out my nail polish haul HERE!

I took this mani off to do swatches of my new polish for my new YouTube channel! Which is bringing me great happiness, even if it sucks. ;)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Getting Hooked Up on Bloglovin...

No clue if this the right way to do this, but here goes!
Just for fun I added a freaky picture of me with light up, plush snowballs stuffed in my bra. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Pastel Leopard Print Nails

I did this mani for the 52 week Challenge. You can find the link to that in the sidebar ---> The themes this week are "negative space" and "three pastels." I already completed the negative space mani, and since I just got a a mini set that contains a pastel blue, I decided to use that as a base.

I actually made my very first nail art video tutorial for this manicure, but I am trying to figure out how to splice two videos together to finish it so it can be published on YouTube. I am clueless! I have some research to do...

I think one turned out pretty good. It could have been more perfect, but it's hard to do your nails while recording! Such a weird angle to work at.

Leopard print is always fun to do. With this one I used two pastels colors to make the spots, Pure Ice "Love" and "Lacquered Lilacs." I combined the two colors for the middle spots. It was just a weird experiment, but it turned out pretty neat.

I topped it off with my Seche Vite fast drying top coat, and that was it. 

Today I will be working on the "He Picks My Polish" challenge! You can find a link to that in the sidebar as well!

Ta-ta for now...

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Care Package From Japan...Nail Polish Included!

I was thrilled to receive a care package from my fiance' in Japan today! If you don't already know, my fiance' left for Japan last May because his school visa ran out. His son was born while he has been gone and is now 8 months old. It has been about 11 months since he left. This nail art hobby is helping to keep me sane while he is gone. I was suffering from depression and post-partum depression, so it's a good way to stay creative and positive.

We use skype to keep in contact every day, but GOD do I want to wrap my arms around him! Maybe I am learning about patience!

It was so much fun unpacking everything. He sent things for my daughter, for the baby and cute stuff for me including a beautiful heart necklace and this package of nail stuff.

So here's what's inside...

A pastel blue mini set, with aurora borealis glitter polish (If you know swarovski, you know aurora borealis finish)

This "teddy nail cocktail" smoky mini set. Totally stoked. I don't own any colors like these! (obviously not talking about the gold glitter)

These beautiful nail decals. Can't wait to try them!

Gold decals and faux stone decals...

This gorgeous "Twinkle Magic" glitter polish...pastel stars, hearts, bows...OH MY!

This glitter polish with pink, orange/red and holographic glitter pieces of various shapes and sizes (including moons!)

Then there is this one, which is very similar to the Hard Candy polish that I own called "black tie optional." This one is different because it has more white pieces and added fine, silver glitter. 

The final item is a lemon scented polish remover.

I have been absolutely spoiled! 

If I didn't have such a cute manicure right now, I would be swatching the heck out of these!

Anywho, I'm all happy and stuff.

I'm off to go jump up and down for a while. :)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Creepy Fake Finger and Acrylic Nails

I finally picked up one of those fake fingers to practice on because I want to give myself the opportunity to do freehand painting on a bigger canvas. So far I'm loving it! I've only tried this swatch of "Free Spirit" and "Look Like Rain" by Pure Ice, but I look forward to many new experiments.

I haven't applied a top coat yet, since I am considering adding large, clear rhinestones.

The base color, "Free Spirit", has a slight shimmer. I applied three coats. The small bits of glitter in "Looks Like Rain" are definitely very spring/leaf green. I carefully spaced out the large silver glitter pieces.

I'm pretty excited to see what kids of new things I can learn with my new equipment!

Here's this swatch with a top cat. Shiny and smooth...and beautiful.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Abstract Art Negative Space Manicure.

I just wanted to try something I had never done before. I have done negative space nail art, but never abstract nail art. I didn't want anything fussy. I used my acrylic paints and dry brushed on simple sweeps of color.

The only thing that really sucks is that I got busy, and the paint started to dry before I got back to painting. I could have poured out fresh paint, but between keeping the baby happy and myself fed, I was just like "Whatever!"

So here's the result.

I paint petroleum jelly around my nails with a wide, flat brush to protect my skin from stray paint. It wipes off easily with a paper towel or baby wipe.

I used a fan brush that came with my nail art brush set from ebay. (I heart ebay!)

The acrylic paints are just basic craft paints from Walmart.

I don't buy expensive products to work with. I have other ways to spend my money! My goal is create awesome nail art on a tight budget.

Well, that's it for now! I hope you enjoy my negative space nail art. It's weird, but I was sick of seeing the same old designs over and over...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Shimmery Needle Drag Manicure with Revlon Colors

This was a new technique to me, and it turned out to be really fun! The first two attempts, I used lacquer that dried too quickly and got sticky and stringy. I was using Pure Ice "Dollface" and "Love." Not good options for this technique.

I was determined and started over with two Revlon colors, "Ocean" and Extravagant." Two new additions to my collection. Lovely colors and great formulas.

I started with a clear base coat, then a coat of "Extravagant."

Once my base color was dry, I used a thick coat of Extravagant" on one half of my nail, and a thick coat of "Ocean" on the other half. I then dragged a needle across the two colors, alternating side to side. I repeated this on every finger.

I then topped it off with a coat of Seche Vite.


There's so many designs you can do with needle pulling, and I plan on trying a few more.
I hope you enjoy this fun mani!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Forever 21 Rainbow Glitter Polish

Just a quick post about a new glitter polish I picked up from Forever 21. I love rummaging through their colors, and I always pick up one or more because you can't beat trying something new at only $2.90!
My fingers were already painted so I tried this polish on my big toes, and on top of a coat of Revlon's Transforming Effects "Gold Glaze." My toes are super sparkly and fun.


This big chunky rainbow glitter is an awesome addition to my collection! No Regrets.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Physicians Formula Organic Wear Curl and Care Mascara Review

I have quite a few reviews that I need to write up, but I think this one is the very important since it's something I use every time I go out, and it is such a staple in my beauty routine.

I don't like reading lengthy reviews, so I will try to keep it short and sweet.

I wanted to give this mascara a chance because I like that they are trying to make more natural products. It was worth giving a chance.

I really loved this product at first. It has great coverage and kept my lashes curled. (btw, I use a spoon to curl my lashes since I have long, red, but very straight eyelashes) Some mascaras are too "wet" and it makes me lose my curl if the mascara is too "liquidy."

My lashes looked thick and it gave me some definition.

It is certainly NOT a lengthening formula, though.

The curvy silver packaging is pretty neat, but that's not how you rate cosmetics.

The downside of this product is that it only lasted about a month or month and a half before it started to leave clumps on my lashes. Those clumps eventually would land on my eyelids, under my eyes and even sometimes on my cheeks...not cool. It basically got dried up.

I paid almost $9 for this product.

I don't feel this product lasts long enough to be worth $9.

I would NOT recommend it to others

I will NOT be repurchasing this product.

Like I said, at first I liked this mascara, but soon learned it was not worth the money I spent on it.

Physicians Formula Organic Wear Curl and Care Mascara

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Purple Swatches

Just a simple post with a couple swatches, side by side.

The darker color is "Enchanting" by Revlon, about $5 at Walmart.

The lighter color is "Lacey Lilacs" by Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear, about $2.50 at Walmart.

I have to be honest, I wouldn't recommend the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear. At least not this color. The formula was sticky and thick and GLOOPY!. Ewww. It took forever to do dry, and when you accidentily bump it, it strings off like spider webs. 

The Revlon color was great to work with. It's also a beautiful spring shade. I love it. I definitely recommend it. 

The top coat that I am using now is Seche Vite. It works really well. Fast dry time, great shine. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Colors, Colors, Colors!

I haven't posted in a while! So, for my comeback I have just a short post that's fun and colorful. Here's something tasty to feast your eyes upon...the newest additions to my collection! I'm just dying to try them! They look good enough to eat, but not really. I have heard that this particular kind of polish is good for water marbling, and I would like to try a rainbow water marble at some point.

I haven't tried any of them, but when I do I will write my review and post more pretty pictures!

One more thing for you below.... <3

Somewhere over the Rainbow - Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo╩╗ole

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bubblegum Pink With Rainbow Glitter

I love this. It's just cute and girly. It's like candy for my fingertips. I think it's worth being part of my Valentine's Day manicure collection. It says, "I love my fingers so much that they deserve this cuteness."

Not much else to say, since I'm really just talking to myself on this blog, but if you see it...I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Super Colorful Winter Blues Busting Manicure!

I have something colorful and funky to share with you today. I was planning on doing something for Valentine's Day, but realized I had never tried "Palm Breezy" by Sinful Colors and it was calling my name! I don't regret it. By itself it is lovely, and I apologize for not having a swatch of it by itself.

I am just very happy to have such wonderful colors on my fingers. It makes dreary Washington winters more tolerable.

I was very disappointed that my nail art tape started to peel up on the ends, which I also talked about in my Red Valentine's Day Manicure w/Engagement Stone post. After I finished the tape I had to pick up the baby and play with him until bedtime, and the tape peeled a bit. Nail glue can fix that, but I've found that the nail glue can also damage my nails. So I just dealt with it. Please try to picture it with perfect tape!

I could have added a small yellow rhinestone to my pinky finger, but the Hello Kitty kit that I used didn't have any. 

This manicure was totally random, but I wish I had something to wear with it and somewhere to go to rock it!

Yep, the life of a stay-at-home mom...always dreaming...

Let me know what you think of this manicure in the comment section below. I'd love to hear from you!