Monday, September 30, 2013

Day 18, Half Moons

Greetings and happy Monday. Did you all have a good weekend?  Once again my football team won, and we're on a streak! Also celebrated Oktoberfest like a champ.

Remember the in your face neon pink from yesterday?  I wanted to use it for my half moon mani today.

I used paper hole protectors to mark off the moon shape, and then used Orly Fowl Play as the top color, which is a duo chrome purple with specks of glitter.

Super fun, right? Such an easy way to upgrade a normal look.

On a side note,  my local Ulta FINALLY got their fall collections in. (Stupid Midwest) I bought 3 Zoya's, an older China Glaze that I found hiding, and two clearanced random Ulta polishes. I had a few Pixie Dusts in my hand, and I ended up putting them back. I think I'm just over the whole textured polish thing.

The next couple of days will be toughies, so I'm relishing in this one for a bit.

Let me know your thoughts!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bonus Post, Blackbox Polish

Hey-o! I have a bonus post for you that actually doesn't revolve around the 31 Day Nail Polish Challenge!  I was looking at colors to re-do my mani, and remembered I had this one from my August Blackbox.

This is China Glaze Surfin' For Boys. It's a bright coral neon, but in the bottle I was pretty underwhelmed.  It looked like a shimmery version of a bright summer coral, so I wasn't in a hurry to swatch it.

Putting this polish on I went whoa!!! This is neon. And not just regular neon, like punch you in the face neon. When I was outside around twilight,  it literally almost glowed in the dark.

But chickadees,  this formula was atrocious.  It was like trying to smear mayonnaise on my nails. It was thick, streaky and also dried to a satin finish which was weird.

After I put the top coat on, I liked it better.

In the shade the brightness came through much better.

I'm using this in my next "day" challenge,  so look forward to that!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Day 17, Glittah!!!

Who doesn't love glitter?  It's sparkly, its razzly-dazzly, it kind of makes you feel like that little girl with Tinkerbell nail polish.

I've got a lot of glitter polish. I am an addict to the accent nail,  and the easiest way to do that is slop some glitter on your ring finger.  I took my glitter drawer to the hubs and asked him to pick one. He picked out something totally whack, so I went and looked myself. Nothing really jumped out to me.

I remembered that I had some loose glitter that I bought from the craft store.  This one is so stunning and my dang camera couldn't pick up the amount of sparkle that is here. Its a copper colored holographic micro glitter. So the copper color I wanted to pair and make a fall look.

I used for the base Sinful Colors Boogie Nights, which I like to call Creamy Tomato Soup. I then took the foil glue and layered on some of the glitter.

Forgive the blurriness but this was the only picture that captured the insane sparkle.  The pictures do not do this justice at all.

One negative about using loose glitter as opposed to a glitter polish is the strays that were on the soup color. But a small price to pay for this glitter bomb.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Day 16, Tribal Nail Art

Tribal art and style is totally not my bag... I'm not sure why, so I searched for a cute print that I could use for inspiration.

My base is Sinful Colors Smokin and the accent colors are all Essie. I so need to work on my free hand skills. I then tried to use my dotting tool to do some of the decor and finish it off because my nail art brush was just too thick and not working well.

When I wore this I did my other hand in the same base but with the corresponding colors in dots. Sorry to say that I liked it better! Well, we can't have beautiful green foil every day.  ;)

Any free handing tips out there?


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Delicate Print, Day 15

I'm sharing today day 15, delicate print for the 31 Day Nail Polish Challenge.  I was so frustrated with this one. I tried freehanding a lace sty I e design. Nope. I didn't like it. So I looked through my measly stamping plates. Nope. Unless I wanted butterflies,  I had nothing. So I had some success with the feather,  and I thought to myself,  self... what else can you stick on your nails? I had this lace idea stuck in my head from this picture.

I wanted lace so bad. So here is my free hand attempt... I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls and then drew on the "lace" with my good ole Essie Licorice to draw on the lace bits. Oh. My. Goodness. This was a total hot mess. Here are some pics. Which I can't believe I'm actually sharing these.

The thumb was my first nail,  so I was pretty OK at first. Then disaster struck. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Day 14, 31 Day Nail Polish Challenge- Flowers

Today is day 14, which is flowers. I like flowers, I used to have somewhat if a green thumb, but then I got waaaay too busy for that and all my flower beds became overgrown and died. I have a hard time with potted plants now too. Good thing the hubs likes to watch stuff grow. He's been taking care of our veggie garden the past two years and I get to eat all the delicious produce.

So since it's finally starting to feel like fall, I wanted to do a nice fall-y flower for today's challenge.  Sunflowers came to mind.

I sponged on two colors of blue, and let that dry. I then free hand painted on the sunflowers with acrylic paint.

I love the combo of blue / purple and yellow flowers. So fun, funky, fall. I can smell the burning leaves and pumpkin bars in the air.

It also reminds me of that terrible sunflower perfume that my mom always wore in the late 80's / early 90's. And you know what? I can smell it as I type this. Funny how smells invoke memories.

Well, that's all for today. I'm having a helluva time with tomorrow,  delicate print. I don't have very many stamping plates, so that's out. I only have freehand or other techniques to work with, and I'm just not getting the look I want. We'll see what gets actually posted tomorrow... maybe a fun picture of a cat or one of those Fry from Futureama memes. You'll just have to wait and see!!!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Lucky 13, Animal Print

How was your weekend? Mine was super awesome.  Not only did my football team win, they obliterated the visiting team. However, it was pretty sunny out, and I didn't realize how sunny it was until I looked at my husband (who is a fair skinned redhead) and he was super red. It was then that I remembered that I put a mascot sticker on my cheek that morning. Yep. I've got a tigerhawk sunburned on my cheek. I look ridiculous.  Good thing my nails are here to distract me!!

Today I've made it to day 13, animal print.  I Googled pictures of animal prints, and I just didn't see anything I really liked. Here's the thing... I have always sort of thought that standard animal prints are for older women, like leopard and zebra print... it's just not something I would wear. Definitely not something I would purchase.  So I started to think about other animals. Fish. Snakes. Birds. Wait... birds! I had purchased some feathers a long time ago, and knew it was perfect for today's challenge.

I started with a base of OPI's Do You Lilac It? and let that fully dry. Then I grabbed the feathers and found some good looking ones that would be easy to apply. Look for feathers that have a tight tip and are curved at the end- that way you won't have to trim as much. 

Then working one nail at a time,  I swiped on a coat of Seche Vite topcoat,  and then placed the feather on top. Seche Vite dries pretty quickly, so I was able to trim the excess feather pretty quickly. Finishing the rest of my hand, and with the feathers secure,  go back and closely trim the edges and file. One more top coat, and voila! 

I love this. I don't think I want to ever take it off. Imagine how fab this would look with a golden yellow base... hawkeye nails! 

What's the verdict on this one? Have you worked with feathers before?  
Happy Monday

Sunday, September 22, 2013

On the 12th day, stripes!

You know, for someone that doesn't care for white nails, I am sure doing that a lot during this challenge.

Day 12 is stripes. I had seen a technique similar to this not too long ago, but wanted to make it fresh. I free hand painted horizontal stripes using 4 different colors that were bright and fun. Wait for that to fully dry, and then added striping tape in various patterns.  I then topped it off with a coat of white.
So bright and sunny! 

Here's what I liked about this one... it was fresh, bright,  perfect for a fun warm day. The bad? There are two coats of white polish on here, and the green color peeked through.  Yuck. Maybe white was a bad choice.  This would have looked great with black as the top color, but then it would have looked like the example I saw so long ago. And no one likes a copycat. 

I definitely need some more practice with striping tape.  It's best to remove the tape quickly after applying the overcoat, but with using white I needed two coats. And that's why you see some wobbly parts. 

Whatcha think? Are you an expert striper? 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

11 days of nail art!

Today is day 11, and I was ahead of myself by one day. No longer. After having a totally crap-tastic day I went to the alehouse to drown my sorrows in craft beer. So no nail art last night for me. At least I had the one day cushion to still share with you all!!

As I mentioned on rainbow day, there's nothing happier than rainbows and polka dots.
I received Full Steam Ahead in my August Blackbox and hadn't had a chance to try it out yet. Its a light lilac creme with a subtle shimmer. It's really pretty. I then did half of the nail in white. The dark purple dots are my favorite polish of all time, No More Film and the lime ones are The More the Merrier.

It seems as though I am a total Essie girl. Here in the Midwest,  I don't have a lot of access to specialty stores or things like that. Our only Sephora is in JC Penneys. Ulta is getting tired of me because I have been in there once a week since July stalking to see where the fall Zoya collection is. I gave up a couple weeks ago. So I rely on Target to supply my Essie colors because I have their red card which means I get 5% off. So I deal. I want to get into indie colors so bad but haven't had much of an opportunity to research it yet. Anyways, what do you think of the dots? I got quite a few compliments on this one, so that's a win in my book.  :)

Have a great day

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Day 10, Gradient

I'm totally spoiled by the weather lately.  I like it hot. I'm always cold, so it's so much easier to be warm than to be cold. The weather decided that its finally time for fall, and all I want to do is sleep. And eat. And bake. Hmph.

Good thing I have this to keep me busy. Today's theme is gradient nails. I like doing fades. I think it looks cool, and I like it when people ask how you did it because it's easy nail art that looks complicated.

My coworker and I have this thing... we love Mean Girls. We quote it all the time. Almost every situation you can bring it back to a Mean Girls quote. So on Wednesdays we wear pink. And therefore I did a pink fade.

I used OPI Pink Friday and a dark pink Sinful Nails color, Folly. I then added a light blue diagonal stripe and topped with a black stripe. It was a fun mani to wear. I liked the contrasting blue with the VERY pink polish. And it pulled together the whole pink theme for the day.

Today is also the last of the easier looks for me. Next days are all about different shapes, so this is where it will start to get interesting.

Have you tried a gradient mani before? What were your favorite colors to use?


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rainbows! Day 9 of tha challenge

Today is day nine of the 31 Day Nail Polish Challenge,  which means rainbow!  So here's a little tid bit about my nails. I hate white polish. Like I do not like to have a white base or white nails. But I wanted to do some more practice with my dotting tool, and what is happier than polka dots?  Freaking rainbows,  that's what.
I didn't plan this very well, because I pulled out the spectrum of colors, painted on the hideous white, and went to town. I was starting on the blue nail when I realized that I had 1 1/2 nails left and no more colors. Bonk. So I grabbed two pink and then did a mess of colors on the pinky. Oye. Overall,  I liked it. It was a happy sunny mani that made me feel good. White base nail, I underestimated you and I will not do so in the future.  There were a lot of colors here, so I won't bother you with naming them all. But my preferred white is Essie Blanc.  I tend to like Essie polishes best because they dry so fast! And when u do your nails at 8:30 or later at night, quick drying is soooo nice.

What do you think of this one? Which day has been your favorite so far? (I was in love with 4, the green foil)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Day 8, Metallic Nails of the 31 Day Nail Polish Challenge

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  Mine was totally awesome because of our huge in state rivalry football game was on Saturday night and my team won! Best feeling ever when your team wins a big game. It'll make it extra fun next week for the home game,  that's for sure.

Well remember me saying that I'm going to be behind and not be on track with the rest of the bloggers doing this challenge?  Yeah. I think they are on day 14 or something.  Well so day 8 is metallic nails. I purchased this little kit of studs and other things and I wanted to use it. Well, I'm not so sure I like the result.
It's also super rainy and cloudy here today so I wasn't able to take this pic outside either. The base color is Nicole by OPI The Next CEO, and then I stuck the gold sequins on the ring finger nail. I like the metallic gold color, and I really like the extra sparkle of the sequins.  I think I'll wear something mint green tomorrow to pair with the gold. Love that color combo.

Also congratulations to the winner on my Facebook page For the bottle of polish and nail striping tape I gave away from my Cult Cosmetics Blackbox this last month. I hope she can use the polish... it's one of my favorites,  Essie's In the Cab - ana.  I use it all the time. Hopefully if I get more followers I can do more things like that.

Have a great day everyone.  See you tomorrow for Rainbow!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Day 7, Black & White Nails, 31 Day Challenge

Happy Friday!  I cannot wait for the weekend.  There is a big rivalry football game on Saturday (Iowa vs. Iowa State) and the temperature finally went down to livable degrees.  It's so nice to have the windows open and fresh air again!

So, I'm only on day 7 of the 31 Day Nail Polish Challenge.  I know. I'm so far behind.  But, black and white day actually came at a perfect time, because we are having an 80's rock tribute concert tonight and we got to dress up. Um, ok. Give me an excuse to wear a costume.  Sold! My outfit is more 80's punk rocker, so I did a black & white gradient using Essie Blanc and Licorice with China Glaze Whirled Away glitter top coat. And because I have to have an accent nail or I'll die, I made a skull sticker and stuck him on.

Black and white is definitely not my cup of tea.  I wear bright colors often and if I notice that I mistakenly wore only b&w, I go completely twitchy.  So the outfit shall be colorful,  the nails toned down.

Hope you enjoy... have you tried the gradient technique yet?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Day 6, 31 Day Nail Polish Challenge

Purple. Thoughts of purple bring grapes, tacky wedding colors and Barney. I didn't think I would have any issues with purple because I have quite a few. But after looking through them all, I settled on something pretty easy.

This is Nicole By OPI I Lilac Gumdrops textured polish. I haven't worn this one by itself yet, so the results were little to be desired. This is also my only bottle of the gumdrops line that I currently have. What you see here is 2 coats, and I should have done another one because its not as opaque as I would like. But I also have issues with these sandy or gritty polishes drying in a decent amount of time,  so I didn't have the patience for another coat. I like the color though. It really compliments my skin tone. I also like the amount of sparkle in it, and if you are new to textured polishes, this would be a good one to start with because its not as gritty as Pixie Dust or Liquid Sand.

The accent nail is Ciate's Pepperminty topped with a random Sephora purple glitter that I picked up when they were closing out the line.

Overall,  I like it. It's not so in your face as a purple mani, so me kinda likey.

On a side note, yesterday it was 97 degrees.  97!!!! I miss outside activities and green grass. We haven't had rain in so long that everything is just looking so brown. The temp is supposed to drop a little,  so maybe like 92 degrees by Thursday?   =)

Happy hump day friends

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day 5, Blue

Today was a blue day. Not in the way you are thinking. It's day 5 of the 31 Day Nail Polish Challenge.  I recently received my first Cult Cosmetics Blackbox,  and it had one of my favorite polishes in it, Essie's In the Cab-ana. I already have this one, so I'm giving it away on my Facebook page.  So today I decided to celebrate this pretty color and used it for my main color. On the accent nail is Essie's Mint Candy Apple and finished with a gold stud.
I love how the ring finger looks kind of like toothpaste,  ha!!

I'll finish with my typical method for my nails... I work all day, and then go to the gym or go for a run afterwards.  I don't get home until 7 pm, which then I make dinner. So it's usually around 8, 8:30 pm when I do my polish for the next day. The pictures you see are the next morning, so I hope every night that when I wake up they look as good as they did at night.  I think my neighbors think I'm a total weirdo taking pictures all the time of my hands. I don't care though.  If only they knew what I do for ya'll.   ;)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

31 Day Challenge

So there's this 31 day challenge I stumbled upon.  It looked interesting and I love a good challenge.  I did the 3 days in a row, then somewhat failed on getting to day 4. I think this 31 day challenge may turn into a 63 or 77 day challenge.

This was day 1, red nails. First thing you all need to know about me is that I hate the color red unless it's an accent color. I just don't like it. So not only was I ticked off that I had to start this with red nails, but I had to make them somewhat likable and that was difficult for me.  Here's what I did:
This is Essie's xxxx with Essie in the Cab-Ana blue stripe, and Sally Hansen xxx copper glitter on Friday the tip. Oye. Looking at this is didn't even clean up the nail bed at all because I was so ticked off.

Day 2 was orange nails. This was interesting because I realized that I really don't own any orange polish! I have plenty of corals and pinks, but no oranges. So I did a base of the orangiest coral I had, Sinful Colors xxx and then did a waterfall effect on the tips with Zoya Pixie Dust in xxx. I really liked how this turned out! Almost looked like an ombre.  

Day 3, yellow nails (noticing the rainbow trend here? How creative! Lol).  I was excited for this because I had picked up not too long ago Zoya's Darcy, which is a super rich yellow creme. I then used Essie Blanc, Zoya Pixie Dust in Solange for the stripes, and L'Oreal Sparkalicious for my pinky. 
What worked out great here was that I just had to add some black accents and voila!  Hawkeye nails!!! Needless to say,  this was a favorite of mine so I far. I never had a lot of yellow polishes until recently,  and Darcy is quite amazing.  

So, since I was occupied at the home Iowa game this weekend,  I didn't get a chance to do day 4, green nails until today. Let me tell you a little story about this gem. 

I had been stalking the idea of the Ciate foil kits for awhile. But like all of the Ciate kits, the price always was an issue for me. $20 for a bottle of polish and some foils? No, thank you! So I was wandering around TJ Maxx, and found two lonely Ciate kits for $9 each!!! AND, they had all of the foils, the glue, everything.  I couldn't belive it. Fast forward 3 more weeks and I was looking for something fun to do for green day. (I see what you did there and I liked it!) This is what was born:

Full sun


I used Essie The More the Merrier for the base, with the green foil from the pink Ciate foil kit on top. I cannot believe how stunning this is, and can't wait to try other colors. This will be great too for when it is Metallic Polish day.

So tomorrow is blue, and I need to brainstorm on what to do. Hope you've liked days 1-4...!!!

First Post!!!

Hello nail polish world.  I've had a pretty extensive following on my personal Facebook regarding my nail art, so the need to branch out to other media was apparent and necessary.

I've replaced part of my own personal Facebook nail-polish related posts here: Gawkish Polish Facebook where I will post all of my wonderful swatches and nail art. Here's a little about yours truly:

My name is April,  and I live in the Quad Cities in Iowa. For those of you that I haven't  blackmailed into following my blog, we're located right on the "nose" of Iowa, on the Mississippi River.   I love a good local craft beer, riding my bike or running,  and of course painting my nails. I was a nail biter for as long as I can remember,  and one day, I was like, April- you are a professional woman, you need to have professional hands. So I got fake nails, and I wore them for about 8 months to break my biting habit. After that, it was up to me... sure, I still chew on them every once in awhile,  but it's never been like it used to be. However,  when we go to the movies,  I have to take about 3 straws with me to chomp on otherwise my nails would be down to their stubs.

I have been married to my husband for 12 years now, and we live in a haunted house with our lovely cat Belou, a fantastic chocolate lab Brinley, and a very naughty labradoodle named Zooey. I work at a local casino where I am in charge of the event and conference planning there. (it's the best job ever). I do a lot of social and community work for our area, so I'm one of the busiest people you will ever know. Somehow I find the  time to do my nails 2-3 times a week.

The goal here is to share my art with the world. In our little community I'm the crazy nail girl, so I hope that by seeing what I do, others will see that it's so fun and an amazing way to express yourself.

Feel free to reach out to me at any given time. Currently all my polish is purchased by me, but I hope that will change with polish companies wanting me to review their products.  Here's what I can promise you: a silly blog with some Iowa Hawkeye loving, doughnut baking, dog yelling and occasional nail painting fun.

Thanks for checking in and keep in touch.