Thursday, March 29, 2012

River Blue Dry "Water" Marble

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Hello, dear readers. The manicure that I present today was only 4 days old, but I had to remove the polish. I mentioned in my previous post that this polish went on very bumpy and gappy. First, if you are unfamiliar with a dry water marble, you can paint polish onto plastic wrap, marble it with a dotting tool and let it dry. You then peel the marbled polish from the plastic wrap and apply it to your fingernails like a foil. Enamel Girl has a tutorial for doing dry water marbles.

I did my dry water marble a little bit differently. First, I use old cottage cheese container lids to practice nail art techniques and the dry polish peels off very easily, so I used the lid instead of plastic wrap. I painted a base of China Glaze For Audrey and then marbled stripes of Revlon Ocean Breeze, Sinful Colors Midnight Blue, Revlon Plum Attraction, and China Glaze Strawberry Fields. I put a layer of quick drying topcoat onto the marbled polish to make it a bit more sturdy for peeling. I let the polish rest on the lid for about three days before peeling it and using it. You can see that the polish was flexible, but it was not flexible enough to cling tightly across my nails.

After four days, every finger of my right hand was chipped, some severely chipped. The left hand had some tip wear, but near the cuticle, where gapping had been strongest, the polish started to pull up more.

I loved the way that this manicure would have looked if it had applied smoothly; the marble effect was very pretty. I do plan to try this type of manicure again, but when I do, I will apply the dried polish and then, using a nail art brush, paint over the polish gently with acetone to make the polish more pliable and smooth.

Has anyone else tried a dry "water" marble before? Do you have any tips or tricks that could be useful on my next attempt?

Next week, I will show you some Easter fingernails inspired by this color palette from

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cinderella spring: Seven Days later

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I was so happy with this manicure. I loved the way that it turned out and it was presentable for seven whole days! By the end of seven days, I had some tip wear and a couple of small chips on my nails. The polish was beginning to pull up off the tip of my left index finger too.

Here is a teaser of next week's nails. I did a dry water marble with the image of azaleas growing by a river in mind. I love the look of the marble, but the application was bumpy and had gaps. I have some ideas that may allow me to do a dry water marble that applies more smoothly. I'll test them out later and discuss them later this week along with my discussion of this marble's durability. I don't expect it to last long since it is gapping, but I'm willing to be surprised.

Feel free to check out this week's blog hop.


Until next time.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

St. Patrick's Nails: Not quite a week later

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Let me begin by apologizing again. I'm sorry; I know that I promised a weekly manicure and the wear and tear of the week, but St. Patrick's Day nails went out of style on Sunday, so the polish came off on Monday. That was the longest I could bear it. I wanted to keep my finger on the pulse of nail polish fashion, so my nails are now clothed in other springtime colors that you may have seen earlier. I hope you'll forgive me.

As I mentioned on St. Patrick's Day, this manicure was a bit of a bear. The base color is Sinful Colors San Francisco. It looks gorgeous in the bottle, but application is very sheer and streaky. It also took a very long time to dry. I normally don't ding up my nail polish, but this manicure had dings and dents on about five fingers!

I wanted to stamp some clovers onto the polish, but I had a hard time getting it to come out in a pleasing way, so I scrapped that idea and then tried to use a dotting tool to create clovers. That was a disaster, so I removed it too. I finally just topped the green polish with two coats of China Glaze Luxe and Lush. Luxe and Lush saved this manicure from ending up on an acetone soaked piece of cotton on day one. I love how it sparkled like gold chunks on my nails.

I finished waxing the door while wearing this manicure and it bore the labor well. I removed the polish after wearing it for about three days and there was only a tiny bit of tip wear and the teeniest of chips on my left middle finger. The removal of Luxe and Lush was much less difficult than I anticipated. It required a little soak, but came off the nail completely.

Next week, I'll tell you how my springy stamped nail art performed; I am going to try to make the spring manicure last longer than usual because I am still loving it four days after application. Happy spring!
The Nail Files


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Julep Glycolic Hand Scrub

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I joined the Julep Maven program earlier this month. In the American Beauty welcome box, there were two pretty, pastel nail polishes and the Julep Facial For Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub. I thought that the hand scrub would be an acceptable exfolliant, but it is wonderful. During the first week after receiving the hand scrub, I used it every day. I have since begun using it only once a week on manicure day so that the scrub will last longer.

When you use a small amount in your hand, the little exfoliating pieces are not so plentiful that they would rough up the skin too much. The exfoliant pieces are also a bit smoother than other exfoliating scrubs I tried. I gently rub my moist hands together for about half a minute and then rinse. It is amazing how soft my hands feel after using this scrub and I've even noticed that they feel smoother than usual for two to three days after use.

My one little gripe about the product is that it has a tendency to get a little watery. I have to shake the tube before opening it or else several drops of liquid leak out and get all over my counter.

As if the smooth results weren't reason enough to love the hand scrub, it is also free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. When I was pregnant, I tried to cut those items out of my life as often as possible and have been much more aware of their presence in cosmetics since then.

If you are interested in becoming a Julep Maven, get the info right here and take the quiz to determine your Julep style. Use the code SHAREONMARCH to get your welcome box (most of which contains the Facial For Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub) for a penny. You can cancel your Maven membership without obligation or penalty. In the interest of full disclosure, if you use that link to become a Julep Maven, I get a credit that can result in my receiving free Maven boxes.

Have you used the Julep Glycolic Hand Scrub? Did you like it?


Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Nail Art Contest Entry

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I just learned about Enamel Girl's nail art contest and figured, eh, I'll give it a try. I haven't been stamping for very long, less than a year. Normally, spring is pretty dreary and damp around here until the season has nearly ended, so I wanted to show the progression of spring over my nails. My index finger is full of clouds and has a couple of budding flowers. The flowers bloom and multiply over each nail and the clouds disappear. I love peonies. They remind me of my grandmother, but the flowers are so fleeting, here for a month and no more, so I wanted to showcase them on my index and middle fingers.

What I did:

Base: Two coats Sinful Colors Cinderella, mixed Sinful Colors Unicorn and Sinful Colors Easy Going and sponged them onto the base of the nail, Sally Hansen Emerald City sponged onto the nail tips.

Stamping: Using BornPrettyStore plates m79, M66, m66 (yes, they are two different plates; confusing huh?), and m77, I stamped clouds using Orly Softest White, grasses, and blossoms were stamped in Sally Hansen Emerald City, Nina Ultra Pro Hawaiian Flower, and Revlon Lilac.

Accents: Mixing Sinful Colors Easy Going and Ruby Ruby, I painted the peonies with a thin nail art brush. I dotted the daisies with Sinful Colors Midnight Blue and I accented the grass and leaves with a blend of Sally Hansen Emerald City and Sinful Colors Tokyo Pearl.

I hope you like it and I hope that you'll forgive me for not wearing my St. Patrick's Day nails for a whole week. By Sunday, I felt horribly out of style still wearing green polish. Later this week, I will post a couple more pictures of that green mani and discuss its limited wear. Take care.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Leprechaun Sized Nail Art

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Happy St. Patrick's Day! My little girl is four years old and always asking for manicures. This week she requested rainbow nails and I had to oblige. Since she is so young, she could only be trusted to sit still for two rainbows. I just used varying colors of nail polish and my thinnest, stiffest nail art brush. She loves the little pots of gold and I'm just proud that the rainbows didn't turn out like brown blobs. I'm also impressed that she sat still long enough that she didn't smudge her nails. That said, the rainbow on her thumb peeled off less than 24 hours after the manicure. Little girl fingers are like Teflon; polish just won't stay stuck on her nails.

My manicure, on the other hand was a smudgy mess. The base color took forever to dry and didn't cover evenly, then I tried to stamp some clovers and could not get them to look good. I got rid of the clovers and topped with China Glaze Luxe and Lush, which, in my opinion, is the manicure's saving grace. It flashes like gold chips indoors. I kind of want to wear it all the time.

We are heading out to a parade this afternoon and having some Irish-American food this evening. I'll be sporting this pin to the parade. After completing a genealogy assignment in elementary school, my mom made it for me. I love it; it's a silly thing that makes me smile. What are the silly things that just make you smile?


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Green Ocean glitter gradient manicure

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Hello again. Today I share last week's sparkly manicure. Following the tutorial from The Hungry Asian, I created this green glitter gradient french manicure. First, I painted the white of my nail with Sinful Colors Green Ocean, then a second coat of Green ocean extending a little below the white onto the nail bed. The next layer of polish I added was Finger Paints Twisted and I finished off the glitter with Wet 'n' Wild Kaleidoscope. I then painted the whole nail with a clear gloss polish and finally a layer of quick dry topcoat. I was happy with the effect, but if I were to do it again, I think that using a more opaque polish than Green Ocean as the bottom layer would give an even better effect.

This manicure held up remarkably well, much better than I expected from a glitter manicure. Green Ocean goes on pretty thick, so I expected tons of chipping. At the end of the third day, I had a bit of tip wear and a tiny chip on the edge of my left middle finger. By the time I took off the polish, after six days, there were very small chips on both thumbs and a chip on each middle finger.

I love the look of glittery polishes, but oh, how I hate removing them. It seems to take forever and my hands are covered in sparkles afterwards. By the way, sorry about the blurry images. I will try to be better about that.

We put an unstained door up in the entrance to the family room about two months ago. I knew at the time that I would finish the door with Briwax, a wood wax that leaves a rustic finish with a beautiful patina. Briwax works best when it is a little warmer and you definitely need to open windows. I was finally able to wax the door with the warmer weather and while it didn't beat up my nail polish, it did a number on my fingernails. I wore a double layer of gloves and took off my gloves to discover two chipped nails. I still need to do one more coat of wax, so I hope that my nails survive it all.
I also learned why you should stain or finish wood as soon as possible. You can see little finger marks in this picture. Oh well, I'll have to live with that bit of imperfection.

Next week's manicure will be festive St. Patrick's Day nails. I'll post early to show off the green in time for the holiday. Until next time, take care.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012


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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

NerdLacquer giveaway

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Rachel, over at Island Girl Insights is having an amazing giveway. The winners will receive the NerdLacquer polish of their choice. Awesome, right? Check it out here.

Good luck.

Blog Hop

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Hello. As a new blogger, I feel a little like I am talking to myself. Blog Love Therapy has a fun way to find new blogs and possibly gain some followers. This hop will last from Monday, March 12, 2012 to Sunday, March 18, 2012. To join the hop, click on the link above.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Matte mani without matte polish

Pin It A couple of weeks ago, I went to five shops in search of a matte topcoat. After failing to find it at the fifth shop, I tried to discover if it was possible to gain a matte finish without a matte nail polish. I found advice on The Adventures of Goddess Gorgeous. She suggests that a matte finish can be achieved simply by breathing warm, moist air onto regular nail polish.
I went home to test this method and found the finish to be much more matte than when I did not breathe on the polish. The finish is not as smooth as you get when using a matte topcoat like Essie Matte About You.

These are completely dry swatches of Revlon Midnight Affair; on the left are two coats of polish without topcoat. It is definitely shiny. In the middle, I breathed on two coats of wet polish on and off for about 30 seconds. It has a matte finish, but you can notice along the side, where the breath wasn't as even that there is a little cloudiness. It almost looks like salt stains in the polish. On the far right, the polish was topped with Essie Matte About You. It has a bold, even matte finish.

In my opinion, it is worth it to get a matte topcoat for the very defined matte finish, but if you don't have a matte polish available, you can try out the look by simply breathing warm, moist air over the wet polish for a few seconds.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Revlon Colorstay Buttercup, Fairies, and Vegetables

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Here is my first, very beat up manicure. On my nails, is Revlon Colorstay nail enamel in Buttercup. It is a lovely creamy yellow. It garnered quite a few compliments. As I mentioned in my previous post, the application was streaky, but smoothed nicely with a topcoat. I am not crazy about the brush either. It is very rounded and the bristles are somewhat uneven, making it difficult to get the color on my entire nail without straying onto the cuticles.

As far as living up to the name "Colorstay," I am a little disappointed. At the end of one day, I had a small chip on my right thumb and middle finger. By the second day, the right index finger had a tiny chip. On the positive side, the chips did not get much bigger until about four days into the manicure.

The photo above is a little blurry (sorry), but it shows some crazing of the polish near the top, left side of my thumb that appeared about three days into the manicure. On such a pale color, this cracking was pretty noticeable.
This was not the most long-lasting manicure, however I did put a lot of wear and tear on my hands this week. I had a very messy cooking day that required tons of hand washing. I also started about a quarter of the seeds for the vegetable garden and two terrarium plantings with my daughter. This will still be a go-to yellow polish for me, because when fresh, it is lovely and it did not stain my nails like other yellow polishes I used in the past.

This is one of the only seedlings that has sprouted so far. This cute little plant will become some delicious kale. We planted jalapeno peppers, orange bell peppers, stevia, cauliflower, swiss chard, and a couple of flowering plants like hollyhocks, lavender, and calendula. I am taking a risk with some of these plants; this will be my third year with a vegetable garden and the past two years my peppers, stevia, and cauliflower have failed to produce. If anyone has some tips for growing these, I welcome the help.

As an early Easter present, we gave our daughter a fairy terrarium. She is four years old, so plants under her care would not survive if they needed water on a regular basis. The terrarium seems perfect because it only needs water about once a month. I was also happy that the seeds germinated so quickly. Seeing such rapid growth really keeps her engaged in the process. She loves the rainbow path the little plastic fairy; I call it a fairy decoy, to attract more fairies to her little garden.

That is all for this week's manicure. Next week, I will be using the Glitter Gradient French Mani Tutorial from The Hungry Asian with festive green sparkles. I've never done a glitter gradient manicure and am really excited to see how it turns out.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fresh Paint

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Hello, and welcome to "Mangling my Manicure." I plan to post information about my manicure after I have worn it for a week. I will include at least two photos of each manicure, one when it is new and (hopefully) beautiful and another photo once I have worn the polish for the full week or until my nails are chipped to the point that I can't look at them anymore.

Let me begin by telling you about the nail products that I will always be using. I wear one coat of Seche Retain. I am very fortunate to have strong nails, but I have never been able to grow them for a long time without a break. I started using Seche Retain last summer on the nail and under the free edge. My nails have become even stronger. There are so many times that I jam or catch a fingernail, feeling sure that it must have cracked, but most of the time the nail is still in great shape with a little chipped polish. The other great thing about Retain is that it is Big 3 free. As i recall, the other two treatments in that Seche line, Rebuild and Recondition may not be able to make that claim. I follow Retain with one coat of Orly Bonder Rubberized basecoat. I don't know if my nails are super oily, but without this basecoat, my polish will sometimes chip the very first day. Finally, I top my polish with INM Out the Door Fast Drying topcoat.

I'm excited to show you my first manicure. On my nails are 2 coats of Revlon Colorstay in Buttercup. This is my first time using any Colorstay polish, but I have been happy with several other Revlon nail enamels. The application of this polish was a little streaky, but it looked much better than I expected after the addition of a topcoat. I did have to add third coats of Buttercup to my thumbs to combat the streakiness. I really love the look of pale yellow polishes, but found that Sinful Nails Unicorn stained my nails pretty badly. I hope that this polish does not stain. I'll get back to you next week and let you know how well my manicure stood up to seed starting for my vegetable garden and other activities.

Before I sign off, I love A England's Dragon that was posted about on the Swatchaholic. Definite lust going on right now. Her photos show it off spectacularly. What colors are making your mouth water right now?