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Nail Art for the Masses!

Cupcakes and Zebras Nail Art

By beautopia · August 29, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

I am a WAH-nnabe

You guys know I'm a huge fan of nail art. Duh, right? I love wild and crazy nail art, I just don't have the chops to do it myself. All the freehand awesomeness I see round the blogosphere boggles my mind and I just bow down in worship to you ladies who can do it. I'm practicing more, and trying to get the hang of it. I even purchased a big set of nail art brushes to try to hone my skills. Hopefully I'll be able to show you some of those efforts soon, but for now I'm still using Konad to assist me with my nail art. I've used Konad and freehand together before, here in this palm tree mani. I find it a lot easier to get good results right now when I use Konad stamps as a sort of template. In the palm tree one, I used Konad for the clouds, then the tree itself, and then painted over it to make it look like complete freehand, and here I've done the same with the cupcakes, and more obviously so with the zebra stripes.

This manicure was inspired by one of my favorite sources of inspiration for nail art; a London-based nail art boutique that specializes in crazy and fun nails, and I am obsessed with their designs! This post of a manicure with "everything" is what inspired this particular manicure. I love WAH Nails use of off-the-wall designs, and the way they randomly seem to mix and match them. Four fingers with cupcakes and one with a carrot and a pea with faces; how amazing is that?! They are nail deities in my handbook.

Want to see more pictures and the breakdown for this manicure? Keep Reading!

OPI Ski Teal We Drop and Comparisons

By beautopia · August 17, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

OPI Ski Teal We Drop is from the new Swiss Collection that's just come out. This was the only polish of the 12 that screamed out at me, and that's only because I'm a hardcore teal lover. If you love OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui, RBL Teal, or Color Club Gossip Column, you'll love this one. It's very similar to RBL Teal but a bit lighter and more blue. I forgot Gossip Column in this comp picture, but I'll do one later and put it up on Twitter or something. Anyway, this is typical OPI application, two coat coverage that's ever so slightly streaky on the first coat. It all evens up beautifully, though and looks great on. The wear is pretty typical of most OPI as well. If you'd like to see a comparison between Ski Teal We Drop, RBL Teal, MAC Blue India and Illamasqua Muse, read on!

Click to see the comp...

OPI Nail Polish in Russian Navy Suede

By beautopia · August 14, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

OPI Russian Navy Suede - $5 at amazon.com

This is the first OPI Suede I've tried, and I'm pretty happy with it. While this is nothing like the original Russian Navy, it's quite pretty. It's a dark-but-not-vampy blue with loads of silver shimmer. It reminds me of a matte version of China Glaze Midnight Mission. The application is really smooth and while it dries faster than traditional polishes, it doesn't dry mid-application which can lead to lumps and streaks in a matte polish. The finish is definitely pretty much matte, but the shimmer in the formula gives it almost a satiny look. The texture and finish almost remind me of a rose petal, delicate and silky, but not glossy at all. The wear isn't great, but we all pretty much know that matte polishes don't wear very well. Some wear better than others, but this is neither worse or better than the average. You can get it for a decent price online, or about $8.50 which is retail at Trade Secret and Ulta and the like.

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Tagged with: matte, OPI, nails, blue, nail polish

Orly Royal Navy Nail Polish

By beautopia · July 30, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Orly Royal Navy - $5.99 at Sally Beauty stores and online

I recently saw this polish for the first time when I ran into Sally for some polish remover. I had my customary keek around the store, and this just made my eyes bug out of my head when I spotted this polish in the 4th of July display. It's a vibrant cobalt with green flecks of shimmer. The blue base has a bit of a purple glow to it in some lights, and the green shimmer reminds me of the famous China Glaze glass fleck style of shimmer. In the photos, I have a visible nail line, but I can't figure out why. I used two coats, and it looked beyond perfect to my naked eye, so hopefully this is just a weird trick of the camera and I'm not going insane. I'm pretty sure I just didn't miss it as I spent a lot of time dumbly staring at my nails, because the color is so gorgeous. I have no no other polishes that are similar in my stash, it's crazy beautiful and very unique. It wore wonderfully for several days, and applied perfectly. No streaks at all! I adore this one. It's now one of my all-time favorite blues!

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Tagged with: orly, nails, blue, nail polish

Lippmann Collection - Across the Universe

By beautopia · July 21, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Lippmann Collection Nail Lacquer in Across the Universe

This is one of two open-stock polishes launched during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this month. They're sold out right  now but they're going to become available at the Lippmann site sometime in August. First of all, I really felt like I had to get this because of the name because I'm a huge Beatles fan, and Across the Universe is one of my favorite songs of all time. Add to that the fact that blue is my favorite color and that I've also been a fan of Lippmann's foray in to glitter polishes, and I had to snatch this up. At $18 it's a little pricey, not to mention all the Nordstrom snafus (this was supposed to be delivered on July 12th because I pre-ordered it, but didn't even ship till the 16th). The polish is a sheer deep cobalt blue jelly with small square and large hexagonal light blue glitter and a bit of green hexagonal glitter as well. The effect of the deep but sheer blue base causes the glitter to appear as varying shades of blue and turquoise depending on the amount of coats of the base covers each piece of glitter. I used three coats here, so while it's a bit sheer, the effect on the glitter is well worth the work.

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Avon Summer 2010 Nail Color Swatches - Luxe Lavender, Urban Grey and Vintage Blue

By beautopia · July 14, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Avon Nail Color - $5 at avon.com

Avon has three new shades for summer; Luxe Lavender, Vintage Blue and Urban Grey! I'm a big fan of Avon's polishes because they're cheap, often are on sale for even cheaper, and the formula is great. The color range is a bit lacking compared to other brands, and they're not as edgy with their shades, but when they do it right, they really do it right. I really liked the recent release of two gorgeous greens; Jade and Olive Green, so I was excited to hear about even more new colors. Really at first only Urban Grey really called out to me, but since they were (and as of the time of this post they still are) $2.99 on sale, so I grabbed the other two as well to show you guys and to hopefully compare to other polishes. The lavender and blue aren't the most unique polishes out there, but they're solid pastels and are worth looking at if your collection of pastels is lacking.

Click to view the swatches...

Nubar Nail Lacquer in Night Sparkle

By beautopia · July 6, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Nubar Night Sparkle - $7.49 at bynubar.com

Here's another of the Nubar Sparkle Collection polishes I purchased recently, Night Sparkle. I recently reviewed Fire Sparkle, and I quite like this one as much, to say the least. I'm a blue polish fanatic, and this is one of my new favorites. I've not always been a big fan of glitter, but it's growing on me. One of the things that usually determines whether or not I'll like a glitter is if it's at least somewhat opaque, or perhaps has a colored base. Like Fire Sparkle, Night Sparkle is a glitter suspended in a similarly colored jelly-like base which really adds depth and richness to each polish. The way this glistens in the sun makes it well worth the removal, which in any case can be made less annoying and time consuming with the foil method of removing glitter polish (illustrated here by the lovely Pink Sith.) In these photos you see a swatch applied in two coats. I applied one coat of Seche Vite over the swatch, though when I wore it as a mani, I used two coats of Orly Glosser and then one coat of my go-to Seche Vite and I had a completely smooth and glass-like finish for days on end. This polish applied very smoothly and evenly, and was amazingly pigmented. Despite that lush pigmentation the glitter shines through awesomely and creates a mesmerizing show on the fingertips.

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Tagged with: nubar, glitter, nails, blue, nail polish

Claire's Nail Polish in Mermaid

By beautopia · June 16, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Claire's Mermaid - $4.50 at Claire's stores

I picked this polish up thinking that it looked incredibly unique in that it's a blue base with a pink sheen, and I couldn't recall having seen anything just quite like it. I also figured it would be somewhat sheer, but I didn't count on just how sheer it would turn out to be. Sadly, alone I would consider this polish to be pretty much worthless alone. It's a layering polish straight up. So in these photos you see Mermaid layered over China Glaze Flyin' High from the Up & Away collection. The base of Mermaid is very similar to the color of Flyin' High, so it worked out alright. Just a couple photos for your enjoyment.

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Tagged with: claire's, nails, blue, nail polish

Sally Hansen HD Nail Polish in DVD - Lots of Pics!

By beautopia · June 6, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Sally Hansen HD Nail Polish in DVD - about $7 in most drugstores

Sally Hansen has a new collection in the HD range for Spring/Summer! It consists of 8 new polishes ranging from hot pink to a tantalizing midtone purple, and all are jam-packed with beautiful effects. Some of the polishes have a gorgeous glass-fleck shimmer, some have duochrome aspects, and some have both! To see swatches of all the polishes in the collection, check out these amazing swatches over at StephsCloset!

I snagged DVD because I'm a sucker for shimmer, duochrome, blue and purple, and this polish is all of the above. Unfortunately it's also very sheer, so here in the first photos you two coats of it layered over Orly Snowcone. I think it would look amazing over a slightly deeper blue, and a deeper purple. It sort of reminds me of the old Sally Hansen Prisms in Garnet Lapis, but with lots of flecked shimmer. It morphs from a light lavender, to cornflower blue, to an electric rose depending on the light. The shimmer flecks also create an almost metallic look. Even though it's quite sheer, just like Garnet Lapis the effect of this polish when layering is beautiful enough to warrant that layering. I really want to pick up Laser next!

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Silver and Blue Holographic Swirl Konad Manicure with Nfu Oh 61 and OPI DS Fantasy

By beautopia · June 1, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Here's a festive mani I did for my daughter's kindergarten picnic. Their school colors are blue and white, but I was in the mood for holo, so here we are. I used Nfu Oh 61 ($12.50 at fabuloustreet.com), aka the greatest silver holo ever, for the base. Then with Konad plate m51 ($6.99 at wowsocool.com) and OPI DS Fantasy ($9.90 at amazon.com) I stamped the swirly design. I really liked the overall look. For my daughter, I did a Bobcat paws mani for school spirit, which you can see after the jump.

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