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Vignettes Nail Art

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By beautopia · January 6, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


I've seen a few manicures over the last few weeks with this technique of outlining the nail, and I haven't found a name for it, so I'm gonna go ahead and call it "Vignette" for the sake of titling purposes and convenience. At first I wasn't very fond of the look, but it's really grown on me, so I decided to give it a try myself. This manicure was inspired by this manicure by MadelinePooleNails. I added a little color and some mixed metal action to make it more quirky. For this manicure I used China Glaze Electric Beat and Contrete Catwalk, and OPI Glitzerland, along with black, white and silver striping polish. The technique is pretty simple but definitely makes a statement, in my opinion. Despite the business of the look, the longer I wore it the more elegant it felt to me, which surprised me given the helter skelter nature of the manicure.

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Granite Swirl Nail Art with China Glaze Tinsel Town and Icicle

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By beautopia · November 18, 2011 · 0 Comments ·


It's been forever and a day since I last posted, but in the interim I've graduated from my nail technology course and taken my State Board exams. Glad that's all over! Anyway, I've not been doing as much crazy art lately due to time restrictions, unfortunately, but I did do something with two of the new China Glaze Holiday 2011 polishes I picked up recently.

Tinsel Town is already becoming one of my favorite polishes of all time. It's a gorgeous granite grey with multi-sized silver glitter that makes the finish look so interesting; almost textured, sort of like fresh blacktop. I decided it reminded me of granite all around so I went for that sort of look by first polishing all the nails with a couple thin coats of Icicle, a standard-yet-solid choice for a silver micro-foil polish. Then I painted random curvy sections of each nail with Tinsel Town. I delineated the sections with a black striping polish from Sally Beauty, and finished off with Seche Vite to seal it and make it shine. Not complex, but it was very pretty to look at. Hope you like it!

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Nail Art Inspired by Vera Bradley Baroque

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By beautopia · July 23, 2011 · 0 Comments ·


Another one of my favorite Vera Bradley patterns is Baroque. I bought a kisslock clutch last Fall when it first came out because the pattern, honestly, is just irresistable. I love the swirlies and the dark grey and citron, especially together. I've been meaning to do a Baroque inspired nail design for a long time, but I couldn't decide just what to do. I'm not good enough yet to re-create these types of swirlies and I didn't have the right sort of grey. I figured that OPI Who The Shrek Are You? would work for the citron, but then came China Glaze Electric Pineapple and the wheels started turning. It's a perfect match for the citron in this pattern. Then last week I got the Metro collection from China Glaze and Concrete Catwalk is a perfect match for the grey. So I set out to do a manicure that evoked the whimsical feeling of the pattern with these colors. Please realize that this is not meant to MATCH the pattern, it's inspired by it. I'm not 100% happy with it, but I do like it.

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Essie Winter 2010 Nail Polish in Smokin' Hot

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By beautopia · November 22, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


Essie Smokin' Hot  - $8 at essie.com

Part of Essie's Winter 2010 collection, Smokin' Hot is a deep eggplant-tinged grey that is part of that dark and dusky family of colors that is so on-trend right now. It applies pretty well; only slightly sheer. Two coats made it opaque enough to my naked eye to make me happy. It wore exceptionally well, which is usually a big concern for me with Essie polishes. I wore this for three days without a chip under a coat of Seche Vite. The color is pretty unique with a couple exceptions. It is a creme, but it is quite similar to Chanel Paradoxal as far as the base color. I've included a few comparison photos of that after the jump. The color is really rich and neutral, making it a perfect choice for just about any skin tone or depth. I think it's a big winner.

NEWS!! : My blog sale will be up hopefully by the end of the day tomorrow, maybe tonight, depending on how things go. It's for the nail polish portion. I know I told a few of you I was hoping to do it last month but I've been so busy and I figure if I want to get it done before it gets too close to Christmas, I'd better do it now. I've got the photos taken and edited, and all I have to do is post it. Look for a post here to tell you it's up, and then the link will be found at the top right of the link bar at the top of the page.

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Deborah Lippmann - Waking Up In Vegas

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By beautopia · November 6, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


Deborah Lippmann Waking Up In Vegas - $15.80 at apothica.com

The Greige trend barrels on and Deborah Lippmann's version is super creamy and highly pigmented. Waking Up In Vegas is nearly a one-coater and is the perfect blend of beige and grey making it a no-brainer offbeat neutral nail color that will be perfect through the Fall and into Winter. I'm really into these dusky types of cremes and I was really happy with what a real winner this was. The application and tinge of warmth really make it luxurious and lovely to look at. Lippmann polishes are a bit on the pricey side, and while you don't always get what you pay for in any given brand, in this case I think it's a pretty good buy if you're into this sort of shade.

Below I've included some comparison pics between Waking Up In Vegas and the closest shade I had in my stash; Petites Color Fever in Vintage Grey as well as a couple wedding pics which I promised a while ago :D

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Grey Sky / Blue Sky Leopard Manicure

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By beautopia · September 29, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


Here's a nail design I did last week. Another leopard, yes, I can hear you through the computer... I can't help it, I love leopard and there are so many awesome color combinations I'm dying to do with it. This particular one was done with two polishes my awesome swap buddy Michelle sent me. They were the first I used from this latest swap package... They're from H&M and they're called Blue Sky and Grey Sky and I love them. They're both surprisingly unique! The blue sort of reminds me of OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui but a little lighter perhaps. The grey is a light warm grey with shimmer! I thought of doing a sky to match the names but decided that was too predictable, so went with the less predictable (LULZ) leopard. What do you think? I used the blue to dot the print on the grey nails and vice versa... I liked it.

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Polka Dot Gradation Manicure

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By beautopia · September 26, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


Sorry I've been MIA for a few days... I haven't really mentioned it on the blog, but I'm getting married in two weeks! We've been so busy that I haven't had a lot of time for nail-related stuff. Besides there being a million wedding things to do, the whole family has been sick on and off for a few weeks, our kiddo has had lots of soccer stuff going on and there just seems to be tons and tons of stuff to do. I'm also a worrier. Something is wrong if I don't have something to worry about, but luckily there's plenty to be anxious about in the near future... Just for a quick FYI if you're interested, my fiancé and I have been together for almost 9 years (on and off, lol) and we have a 6-year-old little girl, and we're finally ready to tie the knot. It's going to be a lot of fun and I promise to post some photos after I get them. So think about me and wish me luck on 10-10-10!

Anyway, here's a manicure I did tonight because I just felt it was time to some fun nail art after this hellish week. I used an awesome Essence polish from the Surfer Girl collection as the base. It was sent to me in a swap from the lovely Michelle from The Lacquer Files (one of a ton of amazing polishes she sent that I'll be sharing with you over the next couple weeks). Over it I did dot's in varying colors:

From bottom to top:

Color Club Pretty in Platinum ($2.49)
Mix of Color Club Pretty in Platinum and OPI Who The Shrek Are You? ($5.24)
OPI Who the Shrek Are You?
Mix of OPI Who the Shrek Are You? and CND Urban Oasis ($10 as part of Night Factory set)
CND Urban Oasis
Wet n Wild Black ($.99)

I used a small dotting tool and applied the dots diagonally all the way up. It's far from perfect and I think it looks more graduated and pretty in person, but oh well. I love the look of it on grey and how it almost looks textured. I've been wanting to do a gradation manicure, but I figured I'd give this a try first. Honestly I'm really afraid of failure on the straight-up gradation... I'm sort of confused on how to do it to be honest. I've tried it with a sponge and didn't love it. Perhaps I need to use different polishes or try another method. Have you ever tried a gradation on your nails? What's you favorite gradation method?

Catrice Nail Lacquer in London's Weather Forecast - Plus Cloudy Nail Art

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By beautopia · September 17, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


This amazing Catrice polish is one I got from the wonderful Michelle over at The Lacquer Files. She has officially made me into a Catriceophile. This is such a perfect polish, because I love grey, I love Catrice, and I'm also a long-time Anglophile, so the mention of London makes it a must-have for me. I've worn this one before but only realized recently I never posted about it. It's a slightly deep cool grey with beautiful drizzles of silver shimmer that hide and then pop out when light hits them. I wore this while I was feeling a little sick, so then I added some white clouds with Wet n Wild French White Tip and a dotting tool to denote my "under the weather" status. I thought the look was cute, but if I had to do it again, I'd use a lighter grey for the clouds, like Sally Hansen Wet Cement, and then maybe highlight with white, and lowlight with a darker grey. Overall, I liked it though. The Catrice polish is standard for the brand; super pigmented, smooth, wears well, brush is awesome. Everything I want in a polish, Catrice is, except the color range which is not exactly small, but it's no China Glaze in that respect.

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Fall Picks - Essie Sew Psyched

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By beautopia · September 15, 2010 · 0 Comments ·



Essie Sew  Psyched - $8 at essieshop.com

Essie Sew Psyched from the brand's collection for the Autumn 2010 season is a big winner. Creamy and pigmented, it's two-coat perfection. I don't normally gush about Essie, but this is such an amazing shade. Some say from photos it seems close to Chanel's new Khaki Vert, but according to Temptalia, it's a bit more blue in comparison. Another difference is that while Khaki Vert is a creme, Sew Psyched has a touch of shimmer. I have to admit, I love the look of Khaki Vert, but I hate hate hate buying Chanel. It's just a tic in my mind that hates it. I love the polish itself, but rationally I know it's not better quality than China Glaze or Color Club which are so much cheaper. Time will tell whether I cave and buy Khaki Vert, like my heart tells me to, but for now I honestly feel like Temptalia's flash photo of KV alone looks like Sew Psyched does on my nails right now. Flash tends to wash out polishes, and I like how it looks in that photo, so perhaps that means I'd end up liking Sew Psyched more than KV? (My mind struggles to justify a purchase). Sure it might look more blue in comparison to Khaki Vert, but alone it's a green-grey perfection. It works with the beige in my skin really well and it's really chic and applies efforlessly. LOVE IT.

NUBAR Night Sky - Twilight Nail Polish

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By beautopia · August 20, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


NUBAR Twilight Nail Polish (Night Sky Collection) - $7.50 at bynubar.com

I've got a big appreciation for matte polishes with shimmer, also known as suedes by some. OPI, Zoya, and MAC have had a few, and this is my first experience with them from Nubar. I'm pretty impressed so far with the application and colors. I have tried Midnight from this collection as well and will review that for you soon, but today I'm showing you Twilight. This one is a steely grey matte with loads of teensy silver shimmer. It looks really edgy and chic, in my opinion and when you pair that with the easy application, it's a no-brainer for me. The application of these types of polishes varies widely in my experience; the toughest to apply being Zoya, and the easiest a tie between OPI and Nubar's versions. Zoya's dries quickly while you're trying to apply it, and it's a bit thick as well so it's a bit tougher to apply than is strictly comfortable. OPI and Nubar suede polishes glide on smoothly and evenly, and while they dry quickly, there is more than enough time per nail to get good application and coverage. The wear on Zoya's suedes is a lot longer, in my experience, than the OPI, Nubar, et al... so perhaps it's a trade off. Either way, I love this particular polish in it's suede form and with a glossy top coat added.

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