#ablecaw14 Week 7: Trick or Treat

Halloween is here so what better time to post my second Finnish(able) Nail Art Challenge manicure than today! The second theme of this week was of course Trick or Treat, so I wanted to do something Halloween-ish. However, I already did one Halloween nail art manicure and I really didn't want anything too obvious, so I decided to do a bit different Halloween manicure this time.

I did want to use these quite traditional Halloween colors, orange and black, but I didn't want to do any pumpkins or such, so I decided to use some water decals instead. I also really wanted to use China Glaze Riveting for this manicure, since it really is my favorite orange polish and it's been a while since I've used it, so this was the perfect time to get it out from the helmer and on nails. 

I'm actually bit worried that I will at some point run out of Riveting, so I decided to save it a bit and paint a coat of orange under it. That's why I started this manicure with a coat of Essie Orange, It's Obvious. Then I did a coat of Riveting and on top of those I applied a black water decal on each nail. These decals were a bit curved so you end up with a neat half moon manicure. I decided that my mani still needed something, so finally I added some black dot glitters to that half moon line. 


Sally Hansen Nail Rehab
Essie Orange, It's Obvious! 1 coat
China Glaze Riveting 1 coat
water decals
dot glitters
Glisten&Glow HK Girl top coat

This sure isn't an obvious Halloween manicure, but to me the reference is still there. And once again that Riveting looks just so devine! I'm not really planning on celebrating Halloween in any way since it's not that big of a deal here in Finland anyhow, but it's still nice to have nails that match the day, at least somewhat.

How about you guys, are you celebrating Halloween and do you have nails to go with the day?


 

#ablecaw14 Week 7: My Blog

It's about time to start the Finnish(able) Nail Art Challenge posts of this week since it's already Wednesday and I haven't posted neither of this week challenge manicures yet. I wanted to save the Halloween theme to the end of the week, so today I'll share with you my nails with the theme My Blog. We had this same theme for our last local blogger meet and I did a gradient with water decals then, so I didn't want to do the same thing all over again. 

I started thinking about how else might my blog look like on nails and then I thought I should probably do water marbling with white and green or blue since those are the main colors of my layout but they are also the colors that I have used for water marbling several times. So that's really something you might think of when you think about my blog. Also a big part of my blog is everything shimmery and glittery, since I do looove everything sparkling, so of course I needed to add some sparkle to my manicure. Here's what I came up with.


For this manicure I first painted all my nails, except my pinkies, white with two coats of OPI Angel With a Leadfoot. I wanted to try out the other water marbling technique where you leave your design to dry in your marbling cup and then when it's dry you can cut a piece of it that you want to place on your nails and you just seal it on place with a coat of top coat. This was my first time trying that and I'm not sure if I like that technique any more than I like regular water marbling. Surely it's less messy and you can easily do several nails from one design but somehow I found it little hard to get the design neatly on my nails. Maybe I just need more practice with that!

Anyhow, I did the water marbling with the same OPI and Essie Naughty Nautical. Of course I also had to top my water marbling with a coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust because without it these nails wouldn't suit the theme. If you browse through all my water marbling manicures, you'll see that I have Fairy Dust over majority of them. So I really just had to use it here too. I also wanted to do couple accent nails, so I covered only half of my ring finger nails with the water marbling design and then the other half with Dance Legend Sahara Crystal texture called Mountain Snow. I used that same polish on my pinky nails too. Finally to get some more sparkling going on I also added some glitters from OPI I Snow You Love Me on my ring nails.

I really love this manicure though I'm not sure if this looks totally like my blog. But then again, this is really a great manicure and I love doing water marbling and I also love every part of this manicure, so I say this is totally suitable manicure to the My Blog theme. 


Sally Hansen Nail Rehab
OPI Angel With a Leadfoot 2 coats
Essie Naughty Nautical
Dance Legend Mountain Snow 3 coats (pinky)
China Glaze Fairy Dust 1 coat
OPI I Snow You Love Me
Glisten&Glow HK Girl top coat


What do you guys think, does my manicure look like my blog on nails?


Halloween Nail Art and a Tutorial

I have my first Halloween themed manicure for this year to share with you guys today. There will surely be at least one other here in my blog this week since one of the two themes of the Finnish(able) Nail Art Challenge this week is Trick or Treat. But today I wanted to share you my Halloween manicure that was inspired by Julep's Halloween nail art tutorial.

I was contacted by the Community Outreach Coordinator of Julep about their halloween nail art contest. They want to see your spookiest, halloween-inspired nail designs and to make it even more fun, they've put together an exclusive Halloween nail art tutorial, which I'm sharing with you today also. But first I want to show you my nails that were infact inspired by the tutorial, but I changed couple of things as I wanted to make the design my own way.


For this manicure I first applied two coats of A England Tristam. Then I did the outlines of the super huge moon with yellow Sally Hansen I Love Nail Art pen and then I colored the moon with OPI I Just Can't Cope-acabana. After it was completely dry I painted the fence with OPI You Don't Know Jacques! and a fine nail art brush. With the same brush I also finally did that kitty using Essie Licorice as my black polish. Finally I sealed the whole desing with a coat of Glisten&Glow HK Girl top coat.


I'm not really best at free-hand nail art but I really liked how this manicure turned out! My cat is a bit crooked, but oh well, it's still cute if you ask me... :D

Here's everything I used for the manicure:

Sally Hansen Nail Rehab
A England Tristam 2 coats
Sally Hansen I Love Nail Art pen Yellow
OPI I Just Can't Cope-acabana
OPI You Don't Know Jacques!
Essie Licorice
Glisten&Glow HK Girl top coat

And here's Julep Pick of the Litter tutorial that I was inspired by:


Have you guys done any Halloween nail art yet or are you planning to do any?

Essie Pinking About You and Take It Outside

Today I wanted to share with you my picks from two Essie collections that came out this fall. I only picked one polish from Essie's actual fall 2014 collection and also only one polish from Essie's Breast Cancer Awareness collection from this year. However, both of these are really beautiful polishes and I thought I should share my swatches of them with you guys.

The only one that stood out to my from Essie's Pinking About You BCA collection was this cutely charming soft pink glitter which is the namesake of the collection. Pinking About You has a mix of different sized soft pink hex glitters in a clear base. It's not the most unique one out there, but it's still super cute! I have here one coat of the glitter over Essie Take It Outside (and a coat of top coat on top), so as you can see it has really nice glitter payoff. It was really easy to apply and the glitters went easily just where you wanted them and I think it gives you the perfect amount of glitter just with one coat. I only got couple of those largest hexes on my nails, but I wasn't really trying to catch any, so if you fish for them I bet you can get more.

I'm really happy that I decided to get this one. Eventhough I sometimes feel like I don't really need any more glitter toppers, there's still always room for a cutie like this one. And I didn't really have anything like this in my stash before.

You already probably figured out that Take It Outside was my pick from the fall 2014 Dress To Kilt collection since I used it under Pinking About You. Eventhough I have quite a few light taupe/beige polishes I still felt like I needed this one as it looked so pretty on other's nails. And I'm really happy that I decided to get this one too, since the color is really gorgeous and the formula was great also! Mine had that thin US brush and still this was very easy to apply and it only needed two coats for full coverage. It's really an awesome polish and if you haven't gotten this one already, I highly recommend it!

So all in all, I'm very happy with my picks but I'm still pondering if I should get Style Cartel also... What do you think? Did you guys get any polishes from Essie's fall collection or the BCA collection?

Essie Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low Collection Comparisons

I posted my Essie Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low collection swatches a while ago and today I have some quick comparisons of all the polishes from that collection. I tried to pick up everything that I have or have had that was even somewhat close to the colors of this new winter collection. I was most interested in how the colors compare to some other older Essie colors, so the majority here are Essie polishes, but I also added some other brands if they seemed to fit. I did these comparisons pictures with swatch stick since that way I could also include some polishes that I don't own anymore. I have saved all those stick from the polishes that are long gone just so that I can use them for comparisons, so they were really handy here.

When I swatched these Essie winter 2014 collection polishes I felt like they weren't really the most original colors out there, but somehow I didn't find any spot on dupes from my collection (past and current) for any of the polishes. However, some were really close calls and I'm pretty sure if you own one you don't really need the other. But let's look at the pictures!

So first is Essie Tuck It In My Tux and I have compared it to Essie Vanity Fairest, OPI Don't Touch My Tutu and Essie Blanc. Tuck It In My Tux is a white jelly and that said, Vanity Fairest and Blanc aren't really anywhere near to it since Vanity Fairest isn't white and Blanc is creme. OPI's Don't Touch My Tutu is pretty similar, but Tuck It In My Tux has better coverage (I have two coats here of each polish) and also the color looks a bit more white, probably because it coveres more than the OPI. 

The closest one that I could find for Essie Back In the Limo was another Essie from this year's spring collection. Spin the Bottle seems to have a bit similar color, however it is really more creme whereas Back In the Limo is more jelly. Also Back In the Limo is a bit more pink-ish whereas Spin the Bottle is more brown-ish. Essie's Resort Fling and Vanity Fairest don't really come anywhere close to Back In the Limo.

I don't have any Essies that would be similar to Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low, but I have owned couple other polishes that are pretty close to it. OPI's Designer...De Better looks somewhat similar, but it still has quite different color because of those bronze specks. China Glaze Gossip Over Gimlets is even more close to Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low but it's not dupe either as it also has some brown-ish specks in the mix and they stand out more than the ones in Essie. They all do have quite similar look however and you can't really notice those different color specks on nail, so if you have one of these other two, I'm pretty sure you won't need that Essie.

I grabbed pretty much anything I could think of and still I didn't have any dupes for Essie's Double Breasted Jacket. The one that comes closest is Style Hunter, again from the spring 2014 collection, but it's not a dupe either as it is a bit more brighter. 

I don't own any exact dupes for Jump In My Jumpsuit either but Essie's Twin Sweater Set from fall 2013 collection is really really close. They do have a slight color difference and Twin Sweater Set seems to be just a tad darker, but like I said, they are really close ones and if you have Twin Sweater Set already, you definitely don't need Jump In My Jumpsuit as they have really similar formula too.

Bump Up the Pumps didn't also have any dupes in my collection. Essie's Hip-Anema and OPI's Race Red are clearly more red and Bump Up the Pumps looks pink compared to them. Essie's Sunday Funday and Cute As a Button are more warm toned compared to Bump Up the Pumps and Zoya's Wendy is more brighter.

That's it, I hope these were helpful for you guys and see you soon!

#ablecaw14 Week 6: The One That Never Got On Nails

It's time for the second Finnish(able) Nail Art Challenge for this week and for the theme The One That Never Got On Nails. It was clear from the beginning that I would choose one polish for this manicure that had been sitting among my untrieds for way too long, it was just the question of which one to choose. Yeah, I might have quite a lot of untrieds, ahem... Anyhow, I went through them quickly and decided that Essie's Belugaria would be pretty much the perfect polish for this challenge as it has been waiting for its turn for very long time.

I got the polish from our meet and I was originally quite happy that I got it eventhough I had read all the bad reviews of it. I was interested to try it on my own nails and seeing it in real life. Somehow I just hadn't gotten around to try it, every time there's something more interesting to try and I'm not really the biggest fan of black nails. So yeah, this challenge gave me the perfect opportunity to finally try it and here's what I came up with.

I didn't want to paint all my nails with black, so I chose to do two nails with OPI This Gown Needs a Crown since I thought it would compliment Belugaria nicely as Belugaria has those silver holographic glitters in it. I also didn't want to just paint my nails solely with Belugaria, so I first did a coat of Essie Licorice and covered that with a coat of top coat. When it was all dry I placed some NailVinyls randomly over the black and then did a coat of Belugaria. I also added just simple black nail studs over the Silver OPI but I didn't apply any top coat over the polish since I wanted to keep that satin look. 

Actually I have only used that OPI once before and it was in a tiny part of nail art, so it kinda suits this challenge also as it hadn't never gotten on nails fully before this. 

If you think that some of those Zoya PixieDusts have really strong texture effect, this Belugaria is really something else. It's so rough that I have never had anything quite like it on my nails. But I have to say that weirdly enough I quite like it! I think it works perfectly this way with that shiny and smooth black polish. I painted my thumb nail with one coat of Licorice and one coat of Belugaria without any nail vinyl stripes and I really like it better on those nails that aren't covered completely with Belugaria. I think it's quite much, maybe even too much if you'd use it for full manicure. However as a small part of nail art it does really work and I'm happy that I finally gave it a try!


Sally Hansen Nail Rehab
Essie Licorice 1 coat
Mereneid Top It All Top Coat
OPI This Gown Needs a Crown 3 coats
NailVinyls
Essie Belugaria
nail studs

What do you guys think, is Belugaria too much for you? 

Disclosure: I have gotten Essie Belugaria and Sally Hansen Nail Rehab for review. For more information view my disclosure policy.


Nail Polish Battle: Kiko 295 vs. Zoya Robyn vs. Essie Strut Your Stuff

I have another Nail Polish Battle for you guys today, this time with three vivid cerulean blues. The battle polishes are Kiko number 295 called Cerulean Blue, Zoya Robyn and Essie Strut Your Stuff. These all look pretty similar in the bottle, though there is a slight color difference that you can already see here.

I have two thick coats of each polish here and they all do cover pretty well with two coats. They are all pretty easy to apply, thought they were all just slightly runny but nothing too major.

Essie and Kiko seem pretty much dupes, though I'd say Essie's color is slightly brighter whereas Kiko is a tad darker. Zoya is the one that's most different from the other two, eventhough it's also really bright and vivid, it looks a bit dusty compared to the other two and the color leans just little towards teal.

I think there isn't a big difference between these three, so if you have one, I don't think you need the others. For me from these three Kiko and Zoya were easiest to apply since the Essie has that thin brush that I'm not too fond of. I really love this bright blue hue in these, they are all really beautiful! 

One thing that also separates these three a bit is the fact that Essie seemed to stain my skin and cuticles just slightly when I removed it whereas Zoya or Kiko didn't. They are all quite pigmented, so you need to keep that in mind and maybe use two coats of base coat under these all.

Kiko was my bf's pick for me from all the Kiko polishes from Ancona's Kiko selection, so it's a bit more special to me than the other two. I'm also drawn to that little bit dusty and teal look of Zoya, so I'm pretty much doing my decision based on that.

Final verdict: This time Essie has to go as I want to keep that special Kiko and that dusty Zoya.

Which one is your favorite?

Giveaway Winner

My Born Pretty Store giveaway ended yesterday so I have the winner for you today!

But before that I just want to quickly thank every single one who participated and especially everyone who gave me somekind of feedback! I will surely try to do those posts that you wished for and I'm so grateful for all your kind words and also all the suggestions. Thank you all!

I'm sure you all just want to know who the winner is, so here it is:
  a Rafflecopter giveaway


Big congratulations to Claire N! I have emailed the winner already, please respond within the next 48 hours.

Thanks again to everyone who participated!  

#ablecaw14 Week 6: Love This Technique

Oh my, it's yet another week and time for the next Finnish(able) Nail Art Challenge manicures. This week, week six, the two themes are Love This Technique and The One That Never Got On Nails and I decided to start with the first one, the technique one. Actually I did these nails a little bit in advance since these were also my I Love Me -fair nails.

If you have been reading my blog even a little longer, you probably already know that I loooove doing gradients. So it's no wonder I chose to do one for this theme. Gradients are very easy to do, they always look really beautiful and there are endless number of variations that you can do just with changing the colors or using different types of polishes. So yeah, gradients are pretty much my all time favorite nail art technique. I also love using water decals, they are another easy way to give your manicure something extra, so I thought they would be perfect addition to this gradient and this theme.

I wanted to use some of my favorite polishes for my I Love Me nails so I did the gradient with three gorgeous Zoyas: Dillon, Zuza and Remy. I've had those feather water decals for quite a while and I can't really remember where I bought those, but I though it was about time to use them. I also wanted to make the manicure just a little bit more special and what's really better way of doing that than adding some sparkle! Color Club Beyond the Mistletoe seemed to be the perfect glitter for that task, so I took a little nail art brush and added some of that on top of all the feathers.

I really loved this manicure, every part of it! It has some of my favorite polishes and colors in it, I used Zoyas and especially those gorgeous shimmery ones, there's a beautiful gradient going on here and those water decals and that little bit of glitter were just perfect addition to the manicure.

It was no-brainer for me to choose a gradient for this challenge though I might have also made a water marbling manicure too, because that's another technique that I really love.

Which is your favorite nail art technique?


Disclosure: I have gotten Zoya Dillon and Remy originally for review. For more information view my disclosure policy


Giveaway Reminder

Hi guys! I just wanted to quickly remind you that my Born Pretty Store giveaway ends tonight. You have still few hours left to participate, so if you haven't done it already, make sure you enter before it's too late! :) Click here (or the picture) to learn more about the giveaway and to enter.

http://www.polishthisblog.com/2014/10/born-pretty-store-gift-voucher-giveaway.html

Good luck!

I Love Me 2014

Last weekend was finally the weekend for the I Love Me fair here in Finland, in Helsinki. I had planned my visit to the fair for quite a while with my nail polish buddies Katjamaria and Mirka. We live quite far away from our capital city, so we had to book a hotel room for us for the weekend and do some other preparations in advance. I also got a blogger pass for the fair, so I got a free entry for the event, but I would have gone there even without the pass since we had all planned before even getting that. Anyhow, we spent quite a few hours on Saturday at the fair because the area is seriously quite huge. There are total of five different areas at the event: beauty, health, fashion, jewellery&watch and naturally, but we used majority of our time at the beauty section.

Just like last year, this year too NailCity and their Zoya selection was probably my favorite, because who can really resist all these gorgeous Zoyas! I tried to be quite reasonable with my purchases and I think I managed quite well since I only bought three Zoyas. It's actually quite surprising as I'm pretty much drooling while looking all these pictures right now...



Last year CesarsShop had also really nice selection of different brands and polishes, and I think this year they had even better selection, because they had all those great indie polishes also. Once again I tried to be reasonable with my purchases and buy only the ones that I really wanted.

But believe me, it was quite hard! Here's Katjamaria with both her own and Mirka's pick from CesarsShop.

I also really wanted to visit Mereneid's stands because I like their top coat very much and it's really cheap, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to buy couple of bottles of that top coat. They also had some new nail art products (on the left here) but this time I just bought those top coats.

I also spotted these really cool Sinful Colors stands among other stands, but I was continuing with the same reasonable theme and didn't buy any of those. 

After going through the beauty section couple times and the others once, we were all really really tired and hungry. We all had made some really good purchases already and got pretty much all we wanted, so we decided finally give up and go find a nice place to eat. 

I'd say our visit was quite succesful or what do you think?!
Yep, this is what happens when you let three nail polish lovers loose at I Love Me fair... At least these aren't all mine, that would be quite concerning... :D

But here's everything nail related I bought! In addition to these I also bought a shampoo and couple other hair products and that was all, so I think I managed to be pretty reasonable with my purchases!

The three Zoyas that I bought are Margo, Rica and Belinda. Finally, FINALLY, Rica is mine and I have all the Zoya Sunshine collection polishes! I'm so happy!! I was actually talking about this one polish so much beforehand that Mirka even had a dream about Rica on the previous night before the fair... :D

There were some quite cheap China Glaze polishes on sale, so I picked up these four. They are Make An Entrance, Sexy In the City, Man Hunt and Emotion.

It was really hard to pick one from all the gorgeous indie polishes from CesarsShop stand, but I finally ended up getting this Delush Polish Teal Death Do Us Part. I was buying this among couple other things but Satu was so kind and gave me this one for free because of my blog.

I also really wanted to restock my top coat selection. I have used already couple bottles of Glisten&Glow HK Girl top coat and I wanted to get another one, so I bought that from CesarsShop also. Like I said I really like that Mereneid Top It All Top Coat and it's really cheap, so I decided to buy three. Hopefully all these will last for a while since I think it's always so boring to buy top coats online...

Big thanks to Katjamaria and Mirka for the great company and of course to Messukeskus for providing the blogger pass for me. I really had great time at the event and I'm glad I was able to visit the fair again this year!

How about you, did you visit I Love Me fair or have you visited something similar in your own country? What did you think about my haul from the event? 



#ablecaw14 Week 5: Something Borrowed

Because I'm leaving tomorrow to Helsinki for the I Love Me fair, I thought I should post my second Finnish(able) Nail Art Challenge manicure today. I already did my Familar Pattern nails, so it was time for Something Borrowed. Here's what I came up with:

And what did I borrow? Well, I wanted to borrow some nail art ideas and it was clear from the beginning that I would borrow that from on of my challenge buddies, Katjamaria or Nerdic Nails. But then I figured out I should really borrow something from both of them and turn that into one manicure! Usually when I borrow someone's nail art idea, I end up doing quite similar manicure, so I thought this would be a good way to at least do something little bit different than the original manicures.

Here's my inspiration:
I borrowed my color scheme from Mirka's grey-yellow-white-black manicure and also the idea for skittlette with these colors. I actually even used some of the excactly same polishes that Mirka had used for her manicure. Then I also borrowed the nail art idea from Katjamaria's #ablecaw14 neon nails for my two accent nails.

I did two coats of Essie Maximillian Strasse Her on my thumb and index nails, two coats of OPI I Just Can't Cope-acabana on my pinky nails and two coats of Essie Blanc on my middle and ring finger nails. Then I taped the ones that had Blanc on them with NailVinyls and painted the sections with both Maximillian and Cope-acabana as well as with Essie Licorice.

Unfortunately I managed to smudge the design a bit with my top coat so it's not as neat as I would have wanted it to be. Still I liked these nails very much and especially the color scheme! Yellow is a bit difficult color for me on nails, but it really works well with these colors!
 
 And here's everything I used:

Sally Hansen Nail Rehab*
Essie Blanc 2 coats
Essie Maximillian Strasse Her* 2 coats
OPI I Just Can't Cope-acabana 2 coats
Essie Licorice
NailVinyls
Color Club Top Coat

Disclosure: I have gotten Essie Maximillian Strasse Her and Sally Hansen Nail Rehab originally for review. For more information view my disclosure policy


#ablecaw14 Week 5: Familiar Pattern

Oh my, it's week five already of the Finnish(able) Nail Art Challenge! I'm so happy that there's still many weeks left for the challenge though, since I feel like we are just getting started... 

This week the challenge has the themes Familiar Pattern and Something Borrowed, and I decided to start with the familiar pattern. At first I didn't have any clear idea for this since pretty much only familiar pattern that came to my mind was Marimekko Unikko and I have done Unikko nails couple times already, so I didn't want to do those now. After looking around a bit I decided to go with a pattern that is very familiar to me, but probably not to all of you guys. 

First I painted my nails with two coats of Essie Mint Candy Apple. Then I did all the patterns freehanded with a nail art brush and using Essie Bottle Service, Sally Hansen Go Gold and OPI Jade Is the New Black.

And as for my pattern inspiration:
The pattern is from two storage boxes that I use to store some of my nail art decorations and also some of my untried polishes. Like I said, these patterns are probably not familiar to you, but they are quite familiar to me since I've had these boxes for years and I keep one of them next to my laptop. So I'm seeing the pattern every day, and I quite like it! I have also always wanted to a manicure inspired by it, but somehow I've never done it, so I decided this challenge was the perfect opportunity to finally do it.

I think I could still use some more practicing of freehand painting since all my nails and details aren't as neat as I would like them to be. All in all I still enjoyed this manicure quite a lot and I'm so happy that I finally did it! I love that pink and those greens together with the addition of that gold, I think it's quite nice combo.


Sally Hansen Nail Rehab*
Essie Mint Candy Apple 2 coats
Essie Bottle Service*
Sally Hansen Satin Glam Go Gold*
OPI Jade Is the New Black
Color Club Top Coat


Disclosure: I have gotten Essie Bottle Service, Sally Hansen Nail Rehab and Go Gold originally for review. For more information view my disclosure policy.