Category Archives: Nails

Wearing Nail Art to Work

I’ve been debating wearing nail art to work. I don’t have a serious office job, but I still need to be taken seriously at work. I wonder if nail art puts me at a disadvantage sometimes. When I read this article, it gave me hope.

Let me know what you think. Would you consider wearing nail art to work? Do you already? Do you have a creative job where it might be more acceptable, or do you work in a more conventional office setting.

What are your thoughts. I’d love to know.

nails

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Dots and Stripes with Zoya Nail Polish

I’ve been wearing a different color of polish every other day for the past several weeks. I’m a huge fan of Zoya Nail Polish, and back in April they had their annual Earth Day promo. I picked up 12 nail polishes for $4 each instead of the regular $8. I loaded up on the new 2013 spring collection, and selected shades from the summer 2013 collections.

I decided to try an easy dot and stripe manicure using all Zoya products. The three major colors are all from the Summer Stunning Collection. Beautiful cream shades that are a dream to paint on, and make my nails just come alive with bright color. I used Josie (green), Darcy (yellow) and Thandie (orange) for this manicure. I also used Zoya’s classic white and black in Purity and Raven for the dots and stripes.

I started with a base coat of Zoya’s Anchor Base Coat, then layered on 2 coats of color for each nail. Once that was dry, I used a striping brush to alternate the white and black stripes on the nails. Then on to the dots. I don’t have a large dotting tool. I realize now that I’ll need to get one. I’ve seen some great prices for dotting tool kits on eBay and Amazon. I used the end of a paint brush for the large dots, and a smallish dotting tool for the smaller inner dots. Then I covered it all with a coat of Zoya’s Armor Top Coat.

Dots and Stripes Manicure with Zoya Josie, Thandie, Darcy, Purity and Raven

Dots and Stripes Manicure with Zoya Josie, Thandie, Darcy, Purity and Raven

All in all, this was a very easy manicure. Everyone who saw it thought it was really difficult. It didn’t take much time at all. I thought my non-dominant hand would make a mess of everything when trying to paint stripes and dots, but it was nearly perfect. I didn’t have to re-do a single finger, and for that I was grateful.

What bright colors are you wearing for Summer? Would you ever wear a busy patterned print like this on your nails? Do you prefer short nails, or longer nails? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

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One Year Anniversary Blog Post!

It’s been an entire year of blogging! I was amazed when I opened up my blog today, and saw the “Happy Anniversary” bubble from WordPress. Truthfully, I completely forgot. I’m one of those people who doesn’t remember. I always joke that my husband is my extra brain. He remembers birthdays, special occasions, reminds me of obligations I’ve made and have forgotten. If he was a bigger part of my blogging life, he would’ve reminded me that my one year blogging anniversary was coming up. He’s not a regular reader, so he doesn’t know what’s going on here at The Lipstick Gal.

I wanted to thank you for taking the time to read my blog. This past year has been fun. I started this blog as a way to encourage myself to stop leaving the house looking like a Mommy Zombie. In the past year I have acquired not only lots of fun cosmetics, but I’ve finally rediscovered my inner glamour girl. I’ve learned to tight line my eyes, I’ve tried countless types of mascara, I’ve signed up for 3 different fashion and beauty subscription services, and so much more. When I look back at it all, if I hadn’t rediscovered my inner glamour girl, it wasn’t for lack of trying. I feel like I’ve been getting packages in the mail almost every other week from either Sephora, Ulta, Birchbox, Zoya, Ipsy, e-Salon and Little Black Bag. Throw in a little online clothes shopping and there is almost always a box arriving at the house with my name on it. The past year has been good to me. Good-bye Mommy Zombie!

Of all the things I’ve learned this year, the one that I’ve been enjoying the most has definitely been nail art. My polish collection has grown over the past year. I now have over 100 polishes.

Zoya Stripey Love Fest! Raven, Trixie, Ziv, Fei Fei

Zoya Stripey Love Fest! Raven, Trixie, Ziv, Fei Fei

I wore this look last weekend and loved it. It wasn’t hard to do at all, I painted all my nails black with Zoya Raven, then used a striper brush to add the lines with 3 different metallic colors from Zoya. Trixie (silver), Ziv (gold), Fei Fei (metallic silvery blue).

After taking it off  to change my polish, I found a tear in my thumb nail. I was so sad I had to clip them all down to nubbins. Here’s what I did in my free time today as my kids napped.

Franken polish - my own light blue concoction using Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear White On, Essie Chinchilly, OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls

Franken polish – my own light blue concoction using Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear White On and a drop or two of China Glaze Man Hunt, Essie Chinchilly, OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls

Last week I started playing around with making my own nail polish shades. Since Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear polish isn’t terribly expensive, I picked up several bottles of White On. It’s a favorite white shade of mine. I started adding drops of other colors I had in my stash to make pretty pastel shades for spring. I put them all in empty Seche Vite top coat bottles. I stopped throwing them away months ago when I started thinking about making my own colors. I really like this pretty shade of blue. It seemed just right for a cloudy set of nails.

Although this year has been a year of falling in love with nail polish and nail art, I still have my first love: Lipstick. I’ll show you some new swatches in the next few days. Thanks again for reading!

Please tell me, what has been the best part of your last 12 months? I’d love to know.

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Flower Cosmetics – Nail Polish Part 2

I know, I know. I promised a makeup related post. I have 4 new lip products to share with you from Flower Beauty. (Drew Barrymore’s new cosmetic line) It’s hard to find someone to take the pictures of me wearing the lip colors. My normal partner in crime (husband) has been working late and when he comes home, I feel bad asking him to take endless picture of lipsticks. I could take low quality pictures from my phone camera, but that would just be awful. I’ll wait. Maybe I’ll just have to settle for a swatch on my hand.

Here’s another nail color I picked up at Walmart for $4.98. This one is called “I LavenDare You”. It’s such a pretty color. I was trying to see if it would look better with, or without flash. I still don’t think I quite caught the shade. It has more of lilac shade to it than these pictures show. Something else I couldn’t manage to catch in these pictures was the slightest sparkle I saw in the polish when I pulled the brush out and started to paint my nails. It’s not glitter, and I’m not sure quite how to describe it. Maybe I’m not enough of a technical nail junkie yet. It surprised me because I couldn’t see it while it was in the bottle, and it was so pretty and subtle on the nail.

These photos are with 2 coats. I think a 3rd might have helped the color show up a bit more. Next time I wear it, I’ll use 3.

Flower Beauty Polish in I LavenDare You - 2 Coats - No Flash

Flower Beauty Polish in I LavenDare You – 2 Coats – No Flash

Flower Beauty Polish in I LavenDare You - 2 coats - With Flash

Flower Beauty Polish in I LavenDare You – 2 Coats – With Flash

I don’t have a lilac shade quite like this one, and I love how pretty and feminine it is. I think there is a good chance I’ll be getting more of these polishes. Especially since they’re $4.98 each.

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Flower Cosmetics – Nail Polish

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but Drew Barrymore has launched a new line of cosmetics called Flower. It’s going to be sold only at WalMart beginning January 31st. That’s the official launch date, but I’ve already found an end cap with Flower products on it at my local store. I’m going to do a longer post in a few days with a few more products, but I wanted to show you a lovely new polish I picked up.

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Flower in Gorgeous Gerbera – two coats

This color is Gorgeous Gerbera and retails for $4.98. It’s 0.4 oz. There are 16 shades in the collection at the moment, and most of them are nudes and pastels. There are some deep shades, but I loved that spring is coming soon, and there are so many lovely pastels. I thought it was a fantastic idea to start the collection with some beautiful pastels for spring and early summer.

I think that if you’re looking for office appropriate colors, you’ll find something you can wear. I love that there are also some beautiful deep colors that catch the eye. Many of these colors can be worn by so many women. I also think that the $4.98 price is so affordable.

The formula was a little thick for me, but it definitely needed 2 coats. I used a quick dry top coat, and it turned out perfect. I love that this polish looks glow-y on my nails. I just can’t stop looking at them. (in a good way)

I picked up a pretty lavender shade that I’ll probably wear tomorrow.

Once I get a chance to take some more pictures, I’ll show you the lip products I got from Flower. I’m excited to see more of these products in my local Walmart.

If you want to find out more about the Flower cosmetic line, check this out.

I can’t believe that I have 4 new lip products from Flower that I haven’t even opened yet! That’s unheard of for me. I’ll have to correct that soon. Let me know if you’ve tried out the new brand of nail polish. I’d love to hear from you!

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Glitter Nails

I feel like I should change this blog name to “The Nail Polish Gal”. I’m constantly posting about polish. I’ve been doing that lots recently. I promise, I do have several makeup related posts brewing in my brain right now. They just need some time.

Earlier this month I mentioned that Zoya, my favorite brand of polish was having a Color Your World promo for the New Year. They offered 3 polishes for free, and asked that you pay $10 for shipping and handling. It was a fantastic deal since each polish is normally $8 each. I just checked, and after receiving the 3 I got with the promo, I now have 52 shades of Zoya polish. A little over board maybe, but I love everything about this polish line.

  1. They are vegan
  2. They are 5 Free , they don’t use toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP (dibutyl phthalate)
  3. They offer color spoons (check out the video)
  4. They have amazing promos regularly (like the one that got me 3 amazing polishes for $10 shipping)
  5. They have over 300 colors to choose from
  6. They have amazing customer service

Here’s one amazing color I got during the promo called Aurora

I was debating if I needed another purple, but look at that! It’s amazing. Oh, and I loved the glitter. I find that I love glitter polishes more than I thought I ever would. After deciding to wear it the other day, I wanted to pair it with something else. So I pulled out several other colors. I had to swatch them all to see what would look the best with it.

zoya glitter-3Starting on the left, every other swatch is Aurora. The first non-Aurora swatch is Zoya Katherine. It’s a jelly in 2 layers. It might have looked better in 3 layers. Next is Zoya Toni. Then China Glaze Glistening Snow, China Glaze Champagne Kisses and Color Club Put a Pin In It (Birchbox Exclusive).  I even asked my husband’s advice, but didn’t take it. He was leaning towards China Glaze Glistening Snow, but Champagne Kisses works better with my skin tone.

zoya glitter-1

zoya glitter-2

If you haven’t had the chance to try Zoya polish yet, you can in a extremely easy way. If you click this link, you can receive a free bottle of polish with your first order.

Here’s what the Zoya website says about the “Share the Love” link.

“When someone clicks on your personal link and sets up an online account, a coupon for a FREE Bottle of Zoya Nail Polish will automatically be placed in their account and can be used immediately on their current order. TIP: If you use this coupon and add 2 more polishes to your order, you get free shipping too! The coupon will appear in the “My Coupons/ Promos” section of their “My Account” Page.”

So try Zoya and get a free bottle of polish. If nothing else, set up an account now for the times they do amazing promos. If you follow them on Facebook or Twitter you’ll hear about them there. I also love their Pinterest account. I love looking at amazing pictures of nails. Especially if they are lacquered up in my favorite polish.

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I Heart Nails!

OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons and OPI Die Another Day

OPI Don’t Pretzel My Buttons and OPI Die Another Day

I was tired of the dark polish I had been wearing for the past several weeks. I’ve  been sporting black, dark blue, jeweled purple, and wine tones. I thought something lighter was in order. This OPI shade in “Don’t Pretzel My Buttons” always makes my fingers look so long. I was also hankering to do some nail art. By the time I started painting my nails last night, it was 10:30, so I didn’t do anything elaborate. I pulled out my dotting tool and grabbed “Die Another Day” from OPI’s Skyfall Collection. Making hearts are so easy.

This manicure will only last until the end of the day tomorrow, but lots of friend saw it today and loved it! It reminds me of Valentines day!

What are you wearing on your nails these days?

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I Have How Many Top Coats: Top Coat Challenge

I finally decided to do it, a top coat challenge. After months of being on a search for a Seche Vite replacement, I realized I had 8 top coats and one arriving any day in the mail. It was definitely time to find out how they performed against each other.

I won’t lie, I love Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. I love that I can put it on, and my nails will be dry in a matter of minutes with a glassy shine. I’ve always joke that it’s cancer in a bottle. That’s even before I read the warning on the bottle. The warning says it contains ingredients known by the state of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. My husband and I called it quits in the baby department 3 years ago when our youngest was born, so I’m not worried about the “birth defects” part, but I suppose just knowing it’s got bad stuff in it makes me wary.

I started this top coat challenge 4 days ago on Thursday, January 17, 2013. I wanted to make sure I didn’t give any of the top coats any unfair advantage, so I didn’t use a base coat or color by any of the nail companies featured in my challenge. I assumed top coats would work better with color and base coats from the same line. For a base coat, I used Orly’s Bonder.

My main goal was to see who had the best wear, and overall shine and texture. I realized after the fact that I should have picked a cream color for this post. I was thinking about which polish I could manage to wear for 4 or 5 days straight instead of which polish would photograph the best for my purposes. For selfish purposes, I chose OPI’s The World Is Not Enough from the Skyfall Collection.

Base Coat - Orly BonderOPI - The World Is Not Enough

Base Coat – Orly Bonder
OPI – The World Is Not Enough

On my left hand starting on my thumb to my pinkie:

Top coat-11

CND  Air Dry Fast Set Top Coat
China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat
Zoya Armor Top Coat UV Block
Qtica Extending Top Coat
Essie Good Top Go

On my Right hand starting on my thumb to my pinkie:

Top coat-12

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
Sally Hansen Mega Shine Extended Wear Top Coat
Sally Hansen Nail Shine Miracle Top Coat
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat
no cop coat just the OPI color

I polished my fingers starting with the Orly Bonder base coat, then three thin coats of OPI’s The World Is Not Enough, and each finger got one coat of the appointed top coat. I started at 8 pm, and was done by 8:50 pm. I started checking to see how fast the nails dried. Here’s the order they dried.

  • 9pm – Seche Vite
  • 9:05 CND Air Dry
  • 9:06 China Glaze Fast Forward
  • 9:08 Sally Hansen Insta-Dri
  • 9:08 Essie Good to Go
  • 9:09 Qtica Extending Top Coat
  • 9:35 Zoya Armor
  • 9:45 Sally Hansen Mega Shine
  • Went to bed at 11:45 and Sally Hansen Nail Shine Miracle was still tacky. I woke up with sheet prints and fuzz stuck to it

I found that Seche Vite and Sally Hansen (SH) Insta-Dri had the thickest formulas. The thinnest formulas were China Glaze, SH Nail Shine Miracle and Qtica.  It was hard to evaluate shine because of the micro glitter in this OPI polish, but I liked Seche Vite, CND, Qtica and SH Insta-Dri the best for shine.

I found that I had the least tip wear with Qtica, Essie, SH Insta-Dri.

All my pictures were taken at the end of a 24 hour period. These were 24 hours after I first painted my nails.

After the first 24 hours

Day 1 – After the first 24 hours

Tip wear, and chip - index finger, left hand  - China Glaze Fast Forward

Day 1 – Tip wear, and chip – index finger, left hand – China Glaze Fast Forward

Day 2 – 48 hours after application

CND on the left VS Seche Vite on the right. More tip wear visible on right.

CND on the left verses Seche Vite on the right. More tip wear visible on right.

Day 3 – 72 hours after application. I was losing large sections of polish. The first section to come off was from the left hand’s index finger. The one coated in China Glaze’s Fast Forward. A few hours later, SH’s Mega Shine also had a huge chip taken out of it. By the end of the day, I was also sporting a noticeable chip out of my right Seche Vite thumb.

Major chipping along with tip wear. Day 3

Major chipping along with tip wear. Day 3

Day 4 – 96 hours later.

Losing large chunks of polish. I was aiming for 5 or more days, but I can't stand it anymore.

Losing large chunks of polish. I was aiming for 5 or more days, but I can’t stand it anymore.

I was intending to go for at least 5 days with this top coat challenge, but I just couldn’t. Finding both my index fingers in such a terrible state was heart driving me crazy. I also lost significant parts of my right thumb and middle finger. Both pinkie fingers had small chips on them, but something I could have over looked for a few more days. Six of my ten fingers chipped.

The top coats that didn’t chip were:

  • CND Air Dry
  • Zoya Armor
  • Qtica Extending Top coat
  • SH Insta-Dri

I had more visible tip wear with Zoya and CND. I was surprised that SH Insta-Dri performed so well. I wasn’t expecting something so great from a drug store brand, I’ll definitely be getting more of this. I was amazed at Qtica Extending Top Coat. It was my first time using it, so I’ll have to use it again before passing judgement, but so far so good. It had the least visible tip wear of any of the top coats, and had lots of shine. I didn’t see any shrinkage, and it didn’t take forever to dry.

If I had to rank these 9 top coats here’s best to worst based on the last 4 days.

  1. Qtica Extending Top Coat
  2. SH Insta-Dri
  3. CND Air Dry
  4. Zoya Armor
  5. Essie Good To Go
  6. Seche Vite
  7. China Glaze Fast Forward
  8. SH Mega Shine

I won’t even score the SH Nail Shine Miracle because it never really dried. That stuff is going straight in the trash. If it won’t dry 3 hours after the fact, it doesn’t deserve to stick around! Do I still love my Seche Vite? YES! I just picked up another bottle while this top coat challenge was going on. It’s for the nights I do a 10:45 manicure and still want to get to bed before 11:30. Seche Vite saves me from sheet prints.

Since I also change my polish every other day, I rarely run into the problem of them chipping. I don’t go for long wear, I go for fast drying and shine.

Do you have a favorite Top Coat? How long do you wear your polish in between changes? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Just let me know in the comments below.

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Zoya’s New Year Promo

You may have picked up I’m a Zoya Nail Polish devotee. I love their range of colors, how the polish wears, and I think the formula is great. If you’ve never tried their polish before, now is the time to. They always have amazing promotions, and this new years promotion is fantastic.

Zoya_Nail_Polish_Promo_Image_2013_color_your_world_coming_soon

I got Aurora, Flowie and Breezi. I already have 48 Zoya colors, so I was making sure I was choosing colors to fill a few holes in my nail polish color spectrum. This makes nearly half my collection Zoya polish. I suppose that says a lot about how much I love their polish. I also decided to pick up their Anchor Base Coat and Armor Top Coat. I also got Qutica Extending Top Coat to try. I’ve been trying to find a replacement for Seche Vite. I know there really isn’t a replacement for it, but I’m still searching.

I payed $28 dollars for 3 polishes, one base coat and 2 top coats and shipping. Normally during a non promotion time, this would have cost me $50 for the products and $6.95 for shipping. I love that I got it all for $28 dollars. The fine print for the promotions says if you spend more than $25 with this promotion, you get free shipping. So I got products I’d been wanting to try for a long time, but always got distracted by the pretty nail color. This time I get nail color, and the base and top coats.

Give it a try, you might find you like Zoya. If nothing else, just for their promotions!

P.S. I LOVE their nail polish remover. I don’t use anything else. I swear by it!

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Midweek Manicure

Deborah Lippmann nail color in Sugar Daddy.

Deborah Lippmann nail color in Sugar Daddy.

I needed to change my polish today. I’m one of those people. One small chip, and I have to change it all. I even keep nail polish remover in my purse.  I can’t abide a messy manicure. So for a mid week change, I decided to keep going in the metallics I’d been enjoying so much over the past week and a half, but skip the glitter.

This time I opted for my only Deborah Lippmann polish. I just picked it up last month while on vacation. I wanted to see what all the hype was about. So many people rave about these polishes, I just had to see for myself.

What I really love about this polish is the color. It’s called Sugar Daddy. In some light, it looks like a straight gold. If the lighting changes, it takes on a rose gold tone. It’s really a beautiful mirrored chrome polish. I also like how easily it applies. This polish could easily show heavy brush strokes, but doesn’t. It also dries very quickly. It’s a bit thinner than most of my other polishes, so I did have some clean up when I accidentally flooded one of my cuticles.

I really love this shade, and will enjoy using it, but I’m not sure I have to rush out and grab a bunch of other Deborah Lippmann polishes. The price is what keeps me at bay. $18 is a bit steep for me just for one polish. I might acquire a few more over time, but I won’t be purchasing them in bulk like I do with Zoya, OPI or China Glaze.

Deborah Lippmann nail color in Sugar Daddy

Deborah Lippmann nail color in Sugar Daddy

Are you a fan of luxury nail polishes? Do you have a price limit on what you’ll pay for nail color? What’s you’re most expensive polish? Is it worth paying more for the higher end brands? Let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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