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31 Day Nail Art Challenge 2.0, Day 7: Metallic

22 September 2014

So, today's challenge prompt is "metallic", which is a prompt I always get a bit nervous about. There are so many cool ideas that involve metallic nail polish, but they are generally too advanced for my skill level, or I just don't have the right tools to create them! Anyway, for today I settled on a dry brush manicure using the same technique as my grungy French tips.

To create this look, I started with a base of Cult Cosmetics DTLA, and then with hardly any polish on the brush, I dabbed on China Glaze Tongue & Chic, China Glaze Don't Make Me Wine, and Essie Nothing Else Metals. I love these colors together, and I think it looked so cool in real life, but the photos didn't show it so well - so I took some macro shots for you to get the real beauty of this technique!

On the left is an extreme close up of the polish on my middle finger nail. (You can click on this image to enlarge it more!) It almost looks like snake skin up close, doesn't it?!

I really love how subtle the teal and pink are in this manicure. I think they go really well with the metallic purple - I believe it's my first time using that metallic color from Essie, and I'm glad I bought it!

Here is a visual of the polishes I used:

The Cult polish can be purchased here (use the code KELLI for 15% off), and the China Glaze and Essie polishes can be purchased here (use the code POLISHCHALLENGE for 15% off. Don't I always hook you guys up with coupons?! Haha.)

As always, please check out the other talented ladies I am doing the challenge with!

Some polishes in this post were provided for my honest review.

Freehand Green Pattern Nail Art

21 September 2014

Hi guys, today I've got a nail art look for you that I created using acrylic paint, inspired by a pattern by designer Heather Bailey. (You'll see a photo of it if you scroll down!) I hope you all don't mind my recent foray into freehand nail art - I really would like to get in as much practice as I can so that I can improve as an artist. Anyway, here's the look I created:

I started with a base of Essie Ruffles & Feathers (reviewed here), and then mixed together my colors with various acrylic paints to paint them on. I think my biggest problem here is that I didn't thin out the paints before I used them on my nails (I usually like them watered down so they apply smoother!), but I still like the final outcome and I really like the abstract pattern. I topped it with matte top coat so you can see the design easier!

The best part about nail art is constantly trying to improve myself, and I love looking back and seeing how much more I can do now. I don't think this is a pattern I would have tried last year, let alone a few months ago. I still think I have a long way to go, but practice makes perfect!!

image source

Here is my nail art next to my inspiration. I loved this unique color scheme, and all the abstract flowers make the pattern so pretty. I definitely want to try more complicated patterns like this in the future!

What do you think of this style of nail art? Do you enjoy it? Let me know!

Essie Fall 2014 Collection Swatches and Review

20 September 2014

Hello everyone, and happy Saturday! Today I have the Essie Fall 2014 collection from HB Beauty Bar to show you. You know, I love so many brands of nail polish, but every time I go back to Essie, I just enjoy them so much. The formula, the colors, the perfectly sized bottles - everything about them makes me swoon! And today's collection is no different; I fell in love with each polish I swatched.

The Fall 2014 collection consists of six autumn toned creams. I love how cohesive this collection is - if there's one thing to love about Essie, it's their ability to pair colors. These bottles just look so pretty next to each other! And, the formulas on this entire collection were fabulous. Most of them could easily be one coaters. Let's take a look:

First is Take it Outside, a creamy taupe. This color is definitely in this fall, and it's such an elegant shade to wear on the nails. It'll also be great for nail art! And the formula was surprisingly fabulous, even for such a light color - I probably could have gotten away with one coat! Shown above is two easy coats with top coat.

Fall in Line is a dusty medium green cream. Oh, this is another drool-worthy polish! I don't usually wear green nail polish on it's own, but this muted color is just gorgeous and I think it looks great on its own. Again, fabulous formula, and it's pretty much opaque in just one coat. Shown above is two coats with top coat.

The Perfect Cover Up is a dusty navy blue cream. Most of you probably don't know this, but navy blue is my absolute favorite color, and I can't resist a good navy cream. This one is absolute perfection! I love how the warm tone of this color makes this polish unique. Shown above is two coats with top coat, but again, I only needed one coat for full opacity.

Style Cartel is a cobalt blue crelly (somewhere in the realm between opaque cream and a sheer jelly.) This one was a thinner, less opaque polish than the others in this collection, but it was still really easy to apply and I was pleased to see that it didn't stain my cuticles at all. Even with the jelly-like formula, it only took two coats for full opacity! Shown above is two coats with top coat.

Partner in Crime is a rich, chocolate brown cream. You all know that I only recently started wearing brown nail polish, and I instantly fell in love. This brown cream is no exception - it's rich and deep and it feels so elegant on my nails! This was another flawless formula that only took one coat for opacity, but shown above is two coats with top coat.

And last but certainly not least, we have Dress to Kilt, a deep red cream. Reds are always a classic fall color for the nails - and I definitely prefer fall toned red polishes than bright summer reds - but this one feels almost seductive and dark! I love it! Red is another color I don't usually wear, but I could totally see myself rocking this color. Shown above is two coats with top coat.

Can you tell I'm already obsessed with this collection? I want to do nail art with these, but they're just so darn pretty on their own! Essie really nailed it with this collection, and I honestly couldn't pick a favorite. They're all stunning.

This entire collection is available from HB Beauty Bar for $7.50 USD per bottle, and you can use the code POLISHCHALLENGE at checkout for an additional 15% off!

Which is your favorite from this collection?

These polishes were provided for my honest review.

31 Day Nail Art Challenge 2.0, Day 6: Monochromatic! featuring Cult Cosmetics

18 September 2014

Hey guys! I know it's sort of late, but I am still on time for Day 6 of the challenge! Today's prompt is "monochromatic", and I was really stumped, so I decided to go with a simple abstract French tip manicure using some pink polishes from Cult Cosmetics. I fell in love with these polishes, so I just had to swatch them, too - read on for a 15% off coupon to Cult!

So, I know this look might not seem monochromatic, because I included the metallic accent, but this polish actually has a definite pink tone to it (you'll see in my swatch!). Anyway, I started off by painting on two easy coats of Cult Cosmetics Belmont Shore, and then, with a striping brush, I freehanded on Cult Cosmetics Los Feliz and Cult Cosmetics Abbot Kinney. I topped it all off with top coat.

I'm totally loving these colors together, even though this design is really simple. It was nice to see that I am capable of making straight lines without tape, though!

Anyway, I used all Cult Cosmetics polishes for this look, and they all had an incredible formula, so I decided to swatch them as well:

Belmont Shore is a bright, slightly cool toned Barbie pink cream. This one is almost a one coater! I love how smooth and glossy this formula is as well - I definitely didn't need top coat for this one because it was so shiny, but I ended up adding it out of habit. Shown above is two coats with top coat.

Abbot Kinney is a gorgeous metallic foil with a pink tinge to it. I didn't expect to love this one as much as I do, but I think it looks fantastic on my nails, and I think it's a great foil for autumn. Shown above is two easy coats with top coat.

Loz Feliz is a gorgeous maroon cream. Again, what a perfect color for fall! I can't get enough of these dark colors for the colder weather, and I will definitely be reaching for this one a lot this season. Shown above is two coats plus top coat.

I love the formula on all of these polishes, and I am glad that the caps can be pulled off for easy application. I can't wait to try out more Cult Cosmetics polishes. All of these colors can be purchased from Cult Cosmetics for $9.99 USD each, and you can use the code KELLI at checkout for 15% off your entire order!

Make sure you check out what the other talented ladies created for Day 6 of the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge 2.0!

Zoya Entice Fall 2014 Collection Swatches and Review

17 September 2014

Here in New Jersey, it feels as if someone suddenly flipped a switch from summer to fall - the sky is gray, the wind has a chill... and I'm loving it! Today I've got more fall polishes to show off - this time, it's the Zoya Entice collection. Zoya has come out with two fall collections, each with six polishes, and Entice consists of six gorgeous dark creams that'll have you drooling.

What I love about this collection is that it's got such classic colors that look great on everyone. The formulas are great, as usual, and they all have an incredible shine. Let's take a look:

We'll start with Genevieve, a dark cool gray with the slightest hint of silver shimmer. The shimmer is hardly visible in my photo, and it is very subtle in real life, but I promise you it's there! This is the only polish in the collection with a shimmer, and I think that makes it pretty unique. Shown above is three thin coats - two for opacity, and one to smooth out any brushstrokes made from the silver shimmer - plus top coat.

Next is Ryan, a gorgeous navy blue cream. I found that this one dried slightly darker than the color of the bottle, but the color is still beautiful! I love a good navy blue, and this one is no exception. Shown above is two easy coats with top coat.

Margo is a purple leaning magenta cream. The polish is slightly more purple than my swatch shows - I struggled with color accuracy on this one! The color is gorgeous though, a classic fall color. Shown above is two easy coats with top coat.

Veronica is a red leaning magenta cream that's very similar to Margo. The difference here is that Veronica has a much redder tone, whereas Margo is distinctly purple. But I'm totally loving both, and I can see myself rocking this color all season. Shown above is two easy coats and top coat.

Claire is described as a rich burgundy cream. I really enjoyed this one - it was slightly thinner than the others (and slightly thinner than the usual Zoya formula), so it felt almost jelly-like to me, but I still achieved full opacity in two easy coats.  Shown above is two coats plus top coat.

And finally, we have Nyssa, a rich chocolatey medium brown cream. My swatch is showing it a bit warmer toned than it is in real life, but I think that also might have to do with my skin tone. I would say this polish looks more chocolate than caramel (as it appears above.) Another perfect fall polish! Shown above is two easy coats plus top coat.

Overall, I'm really enjoying these colors and I can't wait to wear them (with some classic dark jeans and brown boots, of course!) This collection is available now from Zoya for $9 USD each, or $54 for the entire collection.

Be sure to followZoya on Facebook for news and updates!

Which is your favorite in this collection?

These products were provided for my honest review.