Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hot Pink, Gold, and Diamond Charm Skittle Nails


Hello everybody! If it seems like I haven't been here for a bit, well, it's because I've been a busy little bee and have been working on my brand-spanking new website. A new blog design, you ask? No actually...if you've ever read my About Me, I'm working on becoming a full-fledged front end web developer, and I've finally made my portfolio website FROM SCRATCH:

Yes that's right folks, I hand-coded the entire website in a text editor (Sublime Text) using HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery (via Bootstrap), and PHP and uploaded all of the components into WordPress' cPanel. I also made all my infographics in Photoshop. So if you were like what the heck is a front end web developer now you know. I'm turning into a super nerd! A super nerd that will be making 6 figures one day. Yes please. Bring on the black-rimmed glasses.

Where I live it is actually trendy to be a nerd (SF Bay Area / Silicon Valley), so I'm just doing the cool thing around here ;]

On to nails!

Hot Pink, Gold, and Diamond Skittle Nails

I have a hard time coming up with the order of the polishes / designs for skittles so I usually never do them, but I put some good thought into this one and I love the way they turned out. I used Color Club All That Razz, a neon hot pink creme that leans purple, KBShimmer Pink-a Colada, a blue, purple, and green glitter-filled magenta crelly, Sephora by OPI Looks Like Rain, Dear, an amazing opaque gold polish full of gold and silver micro-glitter and larger holo glitters, sooooo blingy I love it!, and OPI Alpine Snow, a white creme.

Hot Pink, Gold, and Diamond Skittle Nails

I then placed these Ultra Thin Metal Diamond Nail Charms that I received for review from Born Pretty Store on my ring finger as an accent.  They come in a pack of 30 and are gold on one side and bronze on the other. As shown below, they are all very uniform but not all of the charms are cut out nicely, some have some blue areas where they weren't cut out all the way.  But I found plenty of good ones anyway.  They are very thin and I used the end of my clean-up brush to add a curve to the charm so that it would hug the c-curve of my nail.

I found them very difficult to pick up at first.  I was trying to use tweezers and that wouldn't allow me to place them straight so to be honest I was frustrated.  Then I tried using a wet pencil tip (which I dampened with my tongue) and that was better, but still not perfect, it would keep falling off the tip.  I THEN tried a dampened clean-up brush, and that was the best technique yet!  What I really need is a wax pencil. But the brush worked for what I had and I was able to place them quickly.

Hot Pink, Gold, and Diamond Skittle Nails

I topped them off with top coat and after a few hours I could feel some of the edges bending. Unfortunately some of the tips ended up breaking before I had a chance to add more top coat, so I recommend two thick layers of top coat right after placing them.  Overall once I figured out how to pick them up, I totally love them, they are gorgeous!

You can buy the charms from Born Pretty Store at 10% off by using code CHUK31, click on the pic below to take you to their site.

Born Pretty Store 10% off code CHUK31

Have you ever used nail charms before?

p.s. My blogiversary is coming up and I have something special planned, make sure to stay tuned!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Black + Gold Striped Nails with Lancome Vernis in Love Bubbly Gold 522 and Orly Goth


Black + Gold Nails with Lancome Vernis in Love Bubbly Gold 522 and Orly Goth

Hello polish peoples, happy Friday! Today's nails are ones I did a few weeks ago: black and gold striped nails with Lancome Vernis in Love Bubbly Gold 522, Orly Goth, and Nail Vinyls in Straight.

Black + Gold Nails with Lancome Vernis in Love Bubbly Gold 522 and Orly Goth

These were pretty easy to do with a classy and chic result.  First paint Bubbly Gold and allow to dry. Place your nail vinyls and paint Orly Goth, and remove the vinyls immediately.  Top with your favorite top coat and DONE.

Black + Gold Nails with Lancome Vernis in Love Bubbly Gold 522 and Orly Goth

I believe the brand Nail Vinyls was the first of its kind out on the market (correct me if I'm wrong) and now the name is synonymous with any product of its kind, like Kleenex is for tissue, Tylenol for diphenhydramine, Google for web searching, and...after Googling...apparently Zipper is a brand name too.

Black + Gold Nails with Lancome Vernis in Love Bubbly Gold 522 and Orly Goth

I can't help but look at the Nail Vinyls logo and think that the letter "I" is giving me the finger lol. There are so many brands of vinyls out there these days, I'd love to hear what your favorite brand / shape is!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Neon Gradient Stamping with Orly Mirrorball and BPS Cuticle Tattoos


Gradient Stamping with Orly Mirrorball and BPS Cuticle Tattoos

Oh stamping how I've missed you! Ok ok so it's only been a month but it seems like so many manicures ago! Which is actually pretty accurate considering how often I change my polish... 

Today I have many wonderful things combined to make one awesomely flashy mani. I will start off with my base color, the well-known Orly Mirrorball, which I purchased (among many, many recent hauls of polish and makeup) thanks to the most enabling social media tool ever made: Instagram. And boy was it worth it, holo glitter and linear holo together is so sparkly and beautiful. And I don't even really like silver polish.

Gradient Stamping with Orly Mirrorball and BPS Cuticle Tattoos

Next I stamped a fun zig zag design using Pueen 83 plate from PUEEN Set 24B-L: Leisure Stamping Buffet Set. I used two Mundo de Unas stamping polishes, Tulip and Neon Yellow, to stamp a gradient for the first time. It was really easy actually, you just paint the polishes next to each other on the plate and scrape several times with your scraper, slightly moving the position of the scraper either left or right for each scrape to blend the colors in the middle.

Last and definitely not least, I added Born Pretty Store cuticle tattoos that I received for review to each of my cuticles.  I have to admit, once I started seeing these temporary tattoos (for not only your cuticles, but fingers and arms) come back into fashion from when I was in like 5th grade, I thought they were tacky. But since then, I've grown to really like them. I again fully blame Instagram.

Gradient Stamping with Orly Mirrorball and BPS Cuticle Tattoos

Just like the old school arm tattoos that you would get for 25¢ from the vending machine at the bowling alley dispensed in a plastic bubble, these applied the exact same way: a wet washcloth is held for 30 seconds on top of the tattoo which is placed on your skin.

The sheet I chose came with 2 different shapes and 20 total tattoos of various sizes.  I found it hard to tell which was the correct size for my nail, as the paper backing is pretty opaque so you can't really match it to your cuticle.  I ended up guessing (thankfully correctly) on the sizes that would fit my nails and cut them out individually.

The first tattoo I placed was difficult to line up, again because the backing is opaque.  I then found that if you cut the tattoo as close to the cuticle curve as possible, then it could be lined up easily. The tattoos came loose after less than 30 seconds and the result was even, detailed, and stately!

Gradient Stamping with Orly Mirrorball and BPS Cuticle Tattoos

I found these pretty easy to work with for a really fun and dramatic outcome. I have no say on wear at this time as I have just recently put them on, but I will leave them alone and report back on my nail art longevity. If you are interested in these tattoos or anything else at BPS, I have a 10% off code CHUK31, click on the pic below to take you to their site:

Born Pretty Store 10% off code CHUK31

What do you think of the recent temporary tattoo craze? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, June 8, 2015

KBShimmer Vitamin Sea Swatches: Teal Jelly Glitter Explosion!


KBShimmer Vitamin Sea Swatches: Teal Jelly Glitter Explosion!

I can't believe we are already into June! I suppose it doesn't feel that way to me yet because time flies by faster when you get older it hasn't been as warm here in Northern California as it normally is by now... Except today! Just read the forecast and it is going to be a high of 98°F, woohoo summer here we come!

KBShimmer Vitamin Sea Swatches: Teal Jelly Glitter Explosion!

Which brings me into my next summer-appropriate polish: KBShimmer Vitamin Sea, described as an aqua jelly polish with pink, silver, and micro holographic glitters. Vitamin Sea tends to photograph more blue then teal, so I have color-corrected my photos to represent the gorgeous underwater teal color that it beautifully represents.

KBShimmer Vitamin Sea Swatches: Teal Jelly Glitter Explosion!

Aaand a macro shot for y'all. Just look at the squishiness of it! SQUISH.  Do you like jellies? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sunset Gradient with Palm Tree Water Decals


Sunset Gradient with Palm Tree Water Decals

I have finally tried my hand (har har) at a sponge gradient, and while it did not turn out exactly how I wanted, the end result is quite awesome if I don't say so myself.  I knew once I received these palm tree water decals for review from Born Pretty Store, I could be lazy easily make the ever-so-beautiful and popular sunset gradient with palm trees.

Sunset Gradient with Palm Tree Water Decals

I chose Color Club Disco Dress as the purple color, KBShimmer Bahama Drama as the coral color, and Nicole by OPI Selena Gomez: Hit The Lights as the yellow color for the gradient.  I painted the colors on a makeup wedge and sponged away.

I think I figured out why my gradient wasn't as smooth as I was hoping: I *think* you are supposed to blend the colors on the sponge instead of trying to blend it while sponging it onto your nail. And probably it would also look more blended if there was a transition color between the purple and coral, like maybe a dark pink.

I also used a latex barrier for the first time: Bliss Kiss Simply Peel, which you paint around each nail and onto your cuticles, let dry, do your messy nail art, then peel off for easy clean-up. I ended up still getting polish on my fingers and there were some latex stragglers after peeling but it helped a lot for less clean-up.

Sunset Gradient with Palm Tree Water Decals

What really completed my abstract-looking gradient were the palm tree water decals.  I have used BPS's water decals before here and here, and just like the others, these were nice and opaque with very clear designs.  The sheet comes with a bunch of palm trees with trunks, palm trees without trunks (or would those be called palm bushes?...) and some small leaf designs (not shown).

I cut out the decals I wanted to use and soaked them in water to release them from their backing.  The paper on these decals were a little thicker than the other decals I tried, so they released in about 30-40 seconds instead of 15-20. I also finally realized that you don't need to individually cut out each decal, just cut out a group of decals you will be using and soak the whole thing, because the decals themselves are already separated and will slide off the paper one by one. Dur dur dur.

Sunset Gradient with Palm Tree Water Decals

These decals seemed a little stickier than the other decals I used, which made it easier for them to stick but harder to reposition.  And just like the other decals, you should *float* your top coat over them or it will eat them right up!  Overall, excellent quality and a ton of decals of different shapes and sizes to choose from on one sheet.  I love them.

If you are interested in these Born Pretty Store water decals for nail art or anything else, I have a 10% off code CHUK31, click on the pic below to take you to their site.  They also have a new app available on iTunes (sorry Androidians, not for us yet! Soon I hope...)

Born Pretty Store 10% off code CHUK31

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!