Monday, June 10, 2013

The Digit-al Dozen Book Week day 1 - Catcher in the Rye nail art

Hey friends! Today marks the beginning of another Digit-al Dozen week, and this week's theme is BOOKS! I was nervous about this week because most of the manis I do are patterns, not actual pictures, and I wanted to be able to do some book-based manis that involved pictures. I've done two for this week so far and I'm actually really happy with how they both turned out! The first one I did was based on this cover of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

 

Dressed Up Nails - The Catcher in the Rye freehand nail art

I started these nails with a base of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, still the most perfect almost-white there will ever be. I use 3 coats, but if you do thicker coats you could definitely get away with two (my sister only uses two!).

Dressed Up Nails - The Catcher in the Rye freehand nail art

My little detailing brush that I usually use met an untimely end when a bottle of white polish spilled inside my travel nail box and solidified all over the brush bristles. So for this mani, I took a little detailing brush from Born Pretty Store and cut it down smaller. I used that brush to freehand the orange shapes that form the horse and his mane in Essence Wake Up!. I wanted to hold onto the general flowy feeling of the horse image on the cover, but not stick exactly to the image... I'm sure you can tell that the image doesn't really flow perfectly from nail to nail haha.

Dressed Up Nails - The Catcher in the Rye freehand nail art

When the orange was done, I was tempted to call it a day because I liked the way the weird abstract orange and white shapes looked. But instead I took the same tiny detailing brush and Super Black Lacquers Murdered Out and painted on the patterns of the horse's face, body, mane, and the sketchy cityscape in the background of the book cover.

Dressed Up Nails - The Catcher in the Rye freehand nail art

Here's a ~*~convenient~*~ pinnable image for you guys! I've never done a collage thing like this with my nails and their inspiration but I felt like these probably deserved it because I'm really happy with how they look compared to the cover of the book!

Dressed Up Nails - The Catcher in the Rye freehand nail art

As y'all know, I very rarely freehand paint things like these and I was pretty nervous about the way they'd turn out. Butttt I'm so happy with them! And they were really fun to do, which is an added bonus. What do you guys think?


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Girly gradient and studs nail art!

Hi everyone, happy almost-Friday! Sorry I've been such a bad blogger lately. I've been so busy at work that by the time I get home and go running and have dinner and do all the other life things that one has to do when one is a grown-up I don't have much time or motivation left for nails and blogging. I've actually been painting my nails fairly frequently, but mostly just one color. Booorrrinnggg.

But! Last night while marathoning Borgia on Netflix I decided to just get out my nail stuff and lazily do my nails while we watched, taking lots of breaks and just generally not putting too much effort into it. And this happened!

Dressed Up Nails - girly gradient and studs nail art with Lime Crime Parfait Day and Lavendairy and China Glaze Fairy Dust

Ever since I got two new mixed packs of studs in the mail from Winstonia, I've been daydreaming about doing a gradient with some kind of stud pattern on top. I decided last night that I would make that dream a reality! (cue epic music). Once I had the thought in my head I also couldn't stop thinking about doing the girliest gradient ever using Lime Crime Lavendairy and Lime Crime Parfait Day.

I started with a base of two coats of Parfait Day, which, let me just stop here and be like, HEY! This is a flawless pastel pink that only takes TWO COATS. Like, if you enjoy pink and you don't own this I'm not sure what you're even thinking. Get it right now.

Dressed Up Nails - girly gradient and studs nail art with Lime Crime Parfait Day and Lavendairy and China Glaze Fairy Dust


I'm still new to gradients and I didn't really care how long I took since I was watching TV, so I did the gradient in a sort of weird, roundabout way that I don't think is what a normal, gradient-competent person would do. For some nails, I used a makeup sponge to apply Lavendairy from the tips working toward the cuticle to make a gradual change. Then I put a drop of Lavendairy next to a drop of Parfait Day on my placemat and smushed the sponge into them and sponged both colors on to blend them on the nail better.

On some nails I did these same steps but I did them in the opposite order. I repeated them, I don't know, eighty times per nail before I was fairly satisfied with the result. I still kind of hated it, but guess what I forgot... glitter and topcoat forgive a lot of sins.


Dressed Up Nails - girly gradient and studs nail art with Lime Crime Parfait Day and Lavendairy and China Glaze Fairy Dust

Once my gradients were done, I put on a coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust and immediately fell in love. Fairy Dust is seriously MAGIC for blending gradients, I don't know if I'm eventually going to have to give up my soul or something for having partaken of this wizardry but I don't even care because it will have been worth it.

While the Fairy Dust was still wet, I used my Rhinestone Pickerr-uperr (yes, that's really what it's called) from Sally to apply the studs from Winstonia set 2. I had played around with a lot of different stud designs/configurations before starting on my nails and this one was the winner as soon as I tried it. Something about it just makes me so happy!

Dressed Up Nails - girly gradient and studs nail art with Lime Crime Parfait Day and Lavendairy and China Glaze Fairy Dust

I really like these studs - they're so shiny and nice, and the variety of shapes that come in the wheel is on point. Both shapes were easy to put on and the big studs lie flat because they're so thin. I didn't use nail glue or anything and the studs have held on for a full 24 hours so far, which is way longer than most studded nails I do. Usually I start losing them the morning after I do my nails unless I use nail glue. Bravo, little studs!

Dressed Up Nails - girly gradient and studs nail art with Lime Crime Parfait Day and Lavendairy and China Glaze Fairy Dust

My lovely friend and coworker Erin looked at my nails today and was like, "Oh my god, are you like a Disney princess or something?" and once she said it I realized that these are pretty Disney-princessy nails. So yes. I am a Disney princess and I'm totally cool with that because I love these so much! What do you guys think?

If you want some sweet studs of your own, you can get the set I used from Winstonia and use coupon code DRESSEDUPNAILS for 10% off through the end of July. Woohoo!

Some of the products in this post were provided for review.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Orly Pink Pixel swatch aaaand nail art with L'Oreal polishes!

Happy Friday you guyses! I've been trying to get this post up for two days because I was excited to show y'all but I've been so busy I haven't been able to find a spare moment for it. Why can't life just be all about painting my nails and blogging, huh? Stupid real world.

Last weekend I went to Sally with my sister and saw the display for the Orly Pixel FX collection, which is Orly's line of textured polishes. I hadn't seen swatches yet, but my sister and I grabbed a few bottles and swatched them on my mom's naked nails (she's so patient and nice to us haha!) and I decided that one could come home with me - Orly Pink Pixel.

Dressed Up Nails - Orly Pink Pixel swatch

When I first applied this polish, I immediately made plans to return it because it kind of just looked like a shimmery glittery mess for a pretty long time. However, I eventually realized that it just had a longer dry time than I was expecting, an once it dried down fully it was so textured and sparkly and beautiful!

It had pretty much dried all the way once I went to bed, but it must have dried a little more in the night because when I woke up the next morning it had, Christmas-like, given me the gift of its full textured loveliness while I slept. This is two easy peasy coats. I'm kind of in love with it.

Dressed Up Nails - Orly Pink Pixel swatch

I wore Pink Pixel for a day on its own and then decided to top it with some nail art and topcoat to see how I liked it that way!

Dressed Up Nalis - Orly Pink Pixel with topcoat and freehand geometric nail art

I did these designs on a whim with no planning. I kind of just wanted to see the contrast between the creme and texture and then see Pink Pixel with topcoat, so I started these with the intention of taking them off the night I did them and then doing something else. Once I was about halfway through, though, I realized I already liked them too much to get rid of them that soon!

Dressed Up Nalis - Orly Pink Pixel with topcoat and freehand geometric nail art

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw the couple pictures I posted of makeup/nail polish hauls that I got for 50% and 75% off at a RiteAid near my office that was closing down permanently. I picked up a few L'Oreal polishes I've been gazing at wistfully for several weeks, and I used three of them for these designs: L'Oreal Not a Cloud in Sight (turquoise), L'Oreal Paparazzi Pleaser (purple), and L'Oreal New Money (green). They were all pretty easy to do nail art with. I had to go over a lot of areas twice, but I think that's largely because the textured base kind of ate the polish the same way it does with topcoat.

Dressed Up Nalis - Orly Pink Pixel with topcoat and freehand geometric nail art

I freehanded all the designs with my cut-down mid-length striper brush. I started with the chevrons at the base of each nail by placing a dot in the center of my nail and then painting the thick middle chevron out from the dot. Then I filled in the small chevron at the base of my cuticle and did the outline at the top. The patterns at my nail tips I just made up as I went, and I ended up liking them all so much! I kind of want to do a set of nails based on each one, haha.

Dressed Up Nalis - Orly Pink Pixel with topcoat and freehand geometric nail art

These were moderately time-consuming, but mostly because I was thinking about each design as I painted and because I had to paint over most stuff twice. They weren't difficult, though!

I finished off with two coats of Seche Vite, which made everything smooth as glass. I really love Pink Pixel with topcoat, too!

Dressed Up Nalis - Orly Pink Pixel with topcoat and freehand geometric nail art

Even though I planned to remove this design the night I painted it, I've been wearing it for two days now and I'm still not tired of it! The colors are obviously right up my alley and I'll also never get tired of patterns on glitter, which is probably why I like them so much. What do y'all think?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Delush Polish Mystique Collection swatches & review

Hey fwiends! Today I have swatches of four polishes from the Delush Polish Mystique Collection to show y'all. The first three swatches were done when my nails were square, and the last one I did after I'd shaped them round, so sorry in advance for the weird mid-post change in nail shape haha.

Delush Polish Opalesque is a semi-opaque baby-blue base with pink and blue hex glitter. This is like a thicker, more opaque version of Revlon Whimsical. It's pretty in the bottle, but the base is too opaque to really show the glitter and it's also kind of thick, so it sort of ended up just looking lumpy on my nails even though I applied it carefully. This is two coats plus topcoat.

Dressed Up Nails - Delush Polish Opalesque swatch

I'd like this one if it was less opaque and the formula was better, but as it is I can't get on board with it.

Dressed Up Nails - Delush Polish Opalesque swatch

Delush Polish Ocean Sapphire is a rich blue with heavy shimmer and lots of holo and iridescent glitter. This one was so sparkly and shiny it freaked my camera out!

Dressed Up Nails - Delush Polish Ocean Sapphire swatch

This swatch shows three coats on its own plus topcoat. The formula was super easy to work with. Polishes with heavy shimmer plus glitter aren't really my jam - they usually end up looking kind of lumpy and brushstrokey no matter how carefully you apply them - but if you like this type of polish, you will love this one. If I wear it again I'm going to try one coat as a topper over another blue. I think it would be really pretty that way, too!

Dressed Up Nails - Delush Polish Ocean Sapphire swatch

Delush Polish Luscious Plum is a plum-colored jelly base with more of that heavy shimmer, plus hex glitters and awesome blue diamonds. The heavy shimmer + glitter means this isn't really my type of polish either, but I ended up liking this one a lot more on than I thought I would! The mix of different shapes of glitter is really interesting and I love the blue and white against the plum color.

Dressed Up Nails - Delush Polish Luscious Plum swatch

This swatch is also three easy coats plus topcoat. I think this one would make a nice topper, too!

Dressed Up Nails - Delush Polish Luscious Plum swatch

And last but not least, my favorite of the bunch: Delush Polish Pinata Confetti. This is one coat plus a little bit of dabbing over Maybelline Canary Cool, with topcoat. The formula was great! None of the glitters curled or sank and I had no problem getting lots of each type of glitter on the brush.

You guys, I love this one SO MUCH. I wore it for three days straight last week, and you all know that I almost never wear a polish for more than a day or two. It's that good! I know we've all seen a lot of rainbow glitters, but this one is really something special. There are so many different sizes and shapes of glitter and it's so ridiculously sparkly!

Dressed Up Nails - Delush Polish Pinata Confetti swatch

You can't tell very well in these pics, but the diamonds AND all the purple microglitter are holographic, which increased the sparkliness factor by about ten times. I really couldn't stop staring at my nails when I was wearing this.

Dressed Up Nails - Delush Polish Pinata Confetti swatch

Of course I couldn't help but mattify this one and wear it like that for a while. Look at all those colors and shapes of glitter!

Dressed Up Nails - Delush Polish Pinata Confetti matte swatch

Delush Polish is releasing a new collection on Thursday called the Bombastic Summer Love Collection, so be sure to keep an eye out for that! You can find Delush Polish on EtsyFacebook, and Twitter.

My pick from this bunch is definitely Pinata Confetti - the others aren't really my thing, but I love that one a lot! What do you guys think?

Products in this post were provided for review.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Futuristic art deco nail art with Super Black Lacquers Torque and Murdered Out

Hey friends! Happy Memorial Day to y'all in the US with me, and happy Monday to everyone else. :) Today I have some swatches of another beautiful Super Black Lacquer to show, plus some nail art that I'm super proud of!

Super Black Lacquers Torque is a rich blue holo that's labeled as linear on the website but (at least on my nails) is sort of a linear/scattered combination depending on the lighting. It's AWESOME. The first picture is under my daylight bulb where I usually take my photos, and you can see the holo even under the regular lightbulb!

Dressed Up Nails - Super Black Lacquers Torque swatch

The next two pictures are in sunlight. It's much more holo in person - my camera seems to have a hard time capturing holos because it apparently wants to make me sad ALL THE TIME. The formula was awesome. I think if I did thicker coats it would almost be a one-coater, but I used two, and it dried super fast.

Dressed Up Nails - Super Black Lacquers Torque swatch

This next picture is kind of a weird angle, but I liked it because you can see the linear holo-ness better than in the other two pictures and you can really see the rainbows where it's blurry like on my pinkie nail! SO PRETTY.

Dressed Up Nails - Super Black Lacquers Torque swatch

Natalie Dee (the creator of SBL) recently sent me a bottle of Super Black Lacquers Murdered Out to try when she realized that I really like doing detailed designs on my nails. Murdered Out is a badass one-coat, matte, fast-drying black polish. Of course I couldn't resist combining this with Torque IMMEDIATELY for some naaaail art!

Dressed Up Nails - futuristic art deco nail art with Super Black Lacquers Torque and Murdered Out

I am super proud of this design because I freehanded the whole thing with my striping brush - no tape involved! All of my fingers started with a base of Torque except my middle finger, which started with Murdered Out and then got a reverse design in Torque.

I didn't really have a plan for the design when I started, and I actually ended up re-doing three of my nails because I kept trying designs and not liking them at all. Finally I settled on this one, and I ended up really loving it - it's definitely got an art deco vibe, but I think it's also kinda futuristic-looking because of the color combination.

Dressed Up Nails - futuristic art deco nail art with Super Black Lacquers Torque and Murdered Out

I used my striping brush to freehand all the patterns. Murdered Out is awesome - it's very similar to American Apparel Hassid, which is also a matte, fast-drying, one-coater black - and y'all know polishes like that have a special place in my heart. This polish is awesome for nail art because it's mad opaque with just one stroke and it dries fast as lightning so you don't have to worry about smudging it when you topcoat!

Dressed Up Nails - futuristic art deco nail art with Super Black Lacquers Torque and Murdered Out

Torque was also super easy to use for painting the designs on my middle nail. One coat and fast-drying just like the black!

Dressed Up Nails - futuristic art deco nail art with Super Black Lacquers Torque and Murdered Out

Fun fact about the name Murdered Out - last night I was talking to my stepdad, who works on cars for a living, and somehow we got on the topic of my nails (because that always happens, right?). When I told him the name of the black polish, he told me that when a car is all-black and matte they say it's murdered out. Since this polish is matte black it's such a perfect name, and it made me like it even more!

Dressed Up Nails - futuristic art deco nail art with Super Black Lacquers Torque and Murdered Out

I really love both of these polishes - Torque is so rich and beautiful, especially in the sun, and Murdered Out is really the perfect one-coat black and is awesome for nail art. I'm so proud of how these nails turned out, especially because they're freehanded and not taped! What do y'all think?

You can buy Super Black Lacquers here and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Products in this post were provided for review.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

China Glaze Snap My Dragon with floral stamping nail art

Happy Friday everyone! I've been super busy at work this week but I did find a little time to do my nails with some floral stamping a couple nights ago. 

Dressed Up Nails - China Glaze Snap My Dragon with floral stamping nail art

When I originally bought the polishes I wanted from the China Glaze spring collection, China Glaze Snap My Dragon wasn't one of them. But the more swatches I saw, the more I wanted it, so I finally went back for it. I've been gazing at it longingly ever since, but haven't gotten around to using it until a couple nights ago!

Dressed Up Nails - China Glaze Snap My Dragon with floral stamping nail art

This is two coats and the formula was nice. It's pinker in real life but just this vibrant! It also has this pretty little shimmer in it that y'all know I'm a sucker for.

Dressed Up Nails - China Glaze Snap My Dragon with floral stamping nail art

I wanted to add a little something but not spend a lot of time freehanding, so I decided to give stamping another go! I used MASH plate Mash-40 and MASH black stamping polish and they both worked wonderfully. The only issue I had this time was getting the image straight and centered on my nails!

Dressed Up Nails - China Glaze Snap My Dragon with floral stamping nail art

These were pretty easy but I love the way they look! Stamping is definitely becoming my new jam. What do y'all think?

Some of the products in this post were provided for review.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Serum No. 5 swatches & review - Pink Peonies, Shrinking Violet, and Poppy Fields

Hey guys! Today I have swatches of three Serum No. 5 polishes to show you. I got these three a few weeks ago along with two of her awesome glow-in-the-dark polishes, and I decided to break them into two different posts because they deserve it!

Serum No. 5 Pink Peonies is a sheer pink base filled with a heavy gold shimmer and white, pink, and holographic hex glitter. This was a little more sheer than I was expecting, so this swatch is four coats (with one coat of Seche Vite). Usually I get grouchy with polishes that take more than three coats, but the Serum No. 5 brushes are really nice (fairly wide and flat) and the formula was very easy to work with, so application was a breeze.

Dressed Up Nails - Serum No. 5 Pink Peonies swatch

I love how dainty and girly this looks, and the holographic hexes (impossible to capture on camera of course) made it so sparkly in real life!

Dressed Up Nails - Serum No. 5 Pink Peonies swatch

Serum No. 5 Shrinking Violets is a milky, very light lavender base filled with gold shimmer and purple and blue hex glitter. This one was also more sheer than I thought it would be, so I used four coats for opacity (with one coat of Seche Vite for smoothness), but application was equally as easy as Pink Peonies because the formula was so nice.

Dressed Up Nails - Serum No. 5 Shrinking Violet swatch

This is my surprise favorite of these three polishes. It bothered me at first because some of the larger purple hexes are slightly curled (as you can see in the photos), but with topcoat the polish is totally smooth and you don't notice a lot of the curling, especially in the glitter that's buried under the milky base. I love how delicate and pretty this polish is! It (and Pink Peonies) would both make good layering polishes, too.

Dressed Up Nails - Serum No. 5 Shrinking Violet swatch

Serum No. 5 Poppy Fields is a red jelly with black and gold circle glitter and red circle, hex, and square glitter. Circle glitter! This swatch shows four coats plus a coat of Seche Vite. The application was a little more troublesome than with the other two polishes, I think maybe because it's thinner and the glitter is bigger - I had to work a little harder to get the glitter where I wanted it, but it wasn't too bad.

Dressed Up Nails - Serum No. 5 Poppy Fields swatch

I really wanted to love this polish, but I just can't. The red base isn't quite enough to build up on its own - with four coats you can still see a little VNL in person - but since it's so red, it's hard to layer it over a color that makes the base look nice while still keeping the glitter visible.

The main thing that made me dislike this polish, though, is the curling glitter. Some of it is reflective curling, but some of it is real curling, and a lot of the glitter seems to be affected by it. The curling was more obvious in person than it is in these pictures.

Dressed Up Nails - Serum No. 5 Poppy Fields swatch

I tried it over black on my thumb to see if I'd like it more that way. It definitely looks cool! If you like the look of sheer jellies like this and don't mind some curling glitter, you'll love this polish. It just isn't for me!

Dressed Up Nails - Serum No. 5 Poppy Fields swatch

You can get Serum No. 5 polishes from their website or Etsy store. Every month, they make a charitable donation in an amount equal to 20% of their profits from polishes sold, which I think is so nice!

My picks are Pink Peonies and Shrinking Violet. What do y'all think?

Products in this post were provided for review.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Digit-al Dozen Bling Week day 5 - glitter polka dots and chains nail art

Hey everyguys, happy Friday! We've reached the final day of Bling Week and I'm actually a little sad about it. I wish I had done more of my manis in advance this time only because I ended up loving them all so much that I wanted to wear them for more than a day. Luckily I get to wear the nails I'm showing y'all today as looooong as I want (so like... two days instead of just one haha!)

Dressed Up Nails - glitter polka dots and chains nail art with Maybelline Turquoise Paradise

I knew that for one of the days this week, I wanted to use chains. I've had a package of chain that I got at the craft store sitting around for a really long time just waiting to be glued to my nails, and I figured that Bling Week was the perfect excuse for it. I didn't really have an idea of what I wanted to do WITH the chains, though... I thought about stripes or florals, but that just didn't seem right for some reason.

Dressed Up Nails - glitter polka dots and chains nail art with Maybelline Turquoise Paradise

Then last night as I was preparing to start on these, I thought about doing polka dots in loose gold glitter  to match the chains and got pretty irrationally excited about it. My semi-OCD brain didn't want to use the same thing twice for bling week, and I already used loose glitter, but I couldn't think of anything else that made me as excited so I just went for it.

Dressed Up Nails - glitter polka dots and chains nail art with Maybelline Turquoise Paradise

I started with Maybelline Turquoise Paradise, another color I picked up from the summer LE collection that I'm pretty much in love with - I'm doing a swatch post of all three colors soon, so I'll talk about it more in depth then (spoiler alert: I wanna wear this color all the time forever).


I applied a coat of clear polish and used an orange stick to place the loose glitter as I usually do. This was actually the easy part - it took me a minute or less per nail to place the glitter. It's so much easier when you aren't Tetrising it together like I did in my other glitter mani this week!


Dressed Up Nails - glitter polka dots and chains nail art with Maybelline Turquoise Paradise

The part that was surprisingly difficult, time-consuming, and frustrating was gluing the chains on. I pre-cut pieces of chain off using little scissors before I even started painting my nails so that I wouldn't have to do it when my nails were wet and risk ruining them and crying forever. After I finished the glitter on each nail, I put a drop of nail glue at my cuticle and used an orange stick to spread it around a little. I ended up flooding the cuticles on several of my fingers with nail glue, but it came off pretty easy with acetone.

I used tweezers to place the chains, and doing that was a lot harder than I had anticipated because the chain kept kinking up and twisting around and individual links would stick up weird and it was just kind of the WORST. I think it was more annoying because I had expected it to be super easy, but it had a steeper learning curve than I thought it would. After a few nails, though, I kinda got the hang of it. My left hand took me probably 40 minutes to finish the glitter and chains, but my right hand took under 20!

Dressed Up Nails - glitter polka dots and chains nail art with Maybelline Turquoise Paradise

Look ma! Both hands! I'm super happy with the way both of my hands came out, except for one tiny thing... a rogue piece of glitter managed to attach itself to my right ring finger and I didn't notice until I was already in the process of topcoating over it haha. Oh well.

Dressed Up Nails - glitter polka dots and chains nail art with Maybelline Turquoise Paradise

Even though these were a little more difficult than I thought they'd be, I am basically obsessed with the result. I don't know what it is about these, but I can't stop looking at them! What do you guys think?