Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Triangles and star glitter nails AKA 80s leggings nail art!

Hey friends! Today I have some quick nails I did a couple days ago to show y'all.

Dressed Up Nails - star glitter and freehand triangle nail art
This mani started with a base of Zoya Kimber (pink) and Orly High on Hope. Both of these colors are stunning! I've had Kimber forever and never used it (SHAME) but I just got High on Hope, and when I was looking for a color to pair with it I really liked the way the shimmery pink of Kimber complimented the pretty pink shimmer in it. I used two coats of HoH and three of Kimber and they both had lovely formulas.

Dressed Up Nails - star glitter and freehand triangle nail art

I used my small detailing brush to freehand the triangle pattern on my pointer and pinkie fingers.

Dressed Up Nails - star glitter and freehand triangle nail art

On my other fingers I made a pattern out of loose star glitter and silver hex glitter, both from Born Pretty Store. I attached the glitter on top of the wet polish and then sealed everything in with Seche Vite.

Dressed Up Nails - star glitter and freehand triangle nail art

My cousin said these looked like 80s leggings and I had to agree with her! Just another design for the books that falls under the LARGE category of "accidentally 80s" haha. These were pretty easy to do but they were really eye-catching and fun to wear, and I LOVE these colors together! What do y'all think?

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

Monday, April 29, 2013

Baby's first nail foils + freehand swirls and glitter!

Hey friends! Today I have another "baby's first" post for you guys. There are so many things I still haven't tried that I'm kinda liking the idea of making these a series - what do y'all think? If you have any ideas for other things I should try and post about for the first time, let me know in the comments! Trying new things is a little scary for me but it's always fun.

Today I have my first manicure using nail foils!

Dressed Up Nails - nail foils and freehand swirls with star glitter nail art

The foils I got are from Born Pretty Store. I got four colors and each one comes in a long strip rolled up inside a little plastic cylindrical container. There is a lot in each container, which is always nice. The strips were a little unwieldy so I cut them into little squares and stuffed them back in the container after I was done using them.

The first time I tried using the foils, I thought you were supposed to stick them colored side down and I could not for the life of me figure out what I was doing wrong because I just couldn't get them to work. Then I found a post on Nailed It NZ where she talked about making the same mistake and how the foils are actually supposed to be stuck to your nail colored side UP in order for the color to transfer... haha. I felt like such a newb but excited that I found out how to use them properly.

Dressed Up Nails - nail foils and freehand swirls with star glitter nail art

The foil nails started with a base of Sinful Colors Endless Blue and Super Black Lacquers Little Piggy. Endless Blue is the most saturated, amazing blue I own - I can't get enough of super-saturated blues, and this one definitely does not disappoint. It's like SH Pacific Blue, but even brighter and more saturated. The formula was perfect, opaque in 2 easy coats.

SBL Little Piggy was similarly flawless - even though it's a fairly light pastel color, it was opaque in two coats and the formula was perfection. It's a lovely balance between pink and purple and I'm so glad I have it! I recently got a whole package of Super Black Lacquers, so I'll be doing a swatch post or two of those soon, but I couldn't wait to use at least one because oh man they are all gorrrrgeous.

Dressed Up Nails - nail foils and freehand swirls with star glitter nail art

After my second coat of polish was almost dry but still a little tacky, I took all four colors of my nail foils and pressed them randomly on each nail. I really love the result! It's sort of Pollock-esque in its abstraction and I love the bright colors and the metallic finish of the foils.

On my two middle accent nails I used a striper brush to freehand the swirls and then attached loose star glitter, also from Born Pretty Store, to the center of each swirl set. I love how the stars make the swirls look more finished... definitely can't wait to use these more!

After everything was done, I still felt like the manicure was missing something, so I added a coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust for a little extra sparkle. That seriously tied this whole thing right together for me.

Dressed Up Nails - nail foils and freehand swirls with star glitter nail art

On my right hand I stuck to all nail foils over Endless Blue. I loved this look so much I almost wished I had just done this across both of my hands!

Dressed Up Nails - nail art with nail foils from Born Pretty Store

What do you guys think of these? Have you ever used nail foils? I was a bit apprehensive at first but they're definitely a really quick and easy way to make a manicure more awesome!

You can buy the nail foils and loose star glitter from Born Pretty Store and you can also use my code CLJ61 for 10% off your order! Super Black Lacquers can be purchased from their website, but I'm warning you guys now - don't even go look unless you're prepared to buy all of them or gain a whole bunch of new lemmings. Y'all are gonna die when I get swatches up of these!

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

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Glitter gradients and heart stud nails

Hey guys, happy late Friday! I've got a bunch of stuff ready to post and just haven't had any time to post it the last few days. Now that I have a few things queued up I should hopefully be better about posting more often!

Tonight I have a glitter gradient mani that I did a few weeks ago.

Dressed Up Nails - glitter gradient nail art with heart studs

I did these as a quick design one night when I didn't have much time. They were super easy, but I loved wearing them so much!

Dressed Up Nails - glitter gradient nail art with heart studs

The base colors are (from pointer to pinkie) China Glaze Man Hunt, China Glaze Merry Berry, Nicole by OPI Khloe Had a Little Lam-Lam, and Zoya Monica. I really love all of these colors, and I super love them together.

Dressed Up Nails - glitter gradient nail art with heart studs

After my base colors were fairly dry, I did the gradient with Floss Gloss Stun just using the polish bottle brush. Then I stuck on the heart studs from Born Pretty Store using a little bit of nail glue. I finished with a couple coats of Seche Vite to make it extra shiny.

Dressed Up Nails - glitter gradient nail art with heart studs

That's all for tonight! What do y'all think of these? Glitter gradients are so easy, but they are so pretty and fun to look at... definitely my nail art standby!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Baby's first stamping nail art

Hey loves! Today I'm excited to share with y'all my first foray into stamping! I've had stamping plates for a long time but never used them because stamping scares me. Something about the fact that you only get one try and if you mess up EVERYTHING IS RUINED just detracted me from trying.

Recently, though, I got the chance to try the first generation of Winstonia stamping plates. I looked at all the images and when I saw how awesome some of them were I knew I had to face my fears and give them a try. The plates arrived right before I left for Europe, so I didn't get a chance to use them until now. 

Dressed Up Nails - floral stamped nail art with Winstonia plate W110

The colors I used for these are Nicole by OPI Hit the Lights (yellow) and Revlon Trendy. My mama got both of them for me this past weekend when I stayed at her house. I've been lemming Hit the Lights ever since I first saw swatches, but I could never find it, so my mom and sister got it for me! Trendy caught my eye while we were grocery shopping and because my mom's awesome she got that for me too.

Dressed Up Nails - floral stamped nail art with Winstonia plate W110

The color combo isn't one I probably would have picked normally, but I was swatching both of these polishes on a nail wheel and I liked the way they looked side-by-side so much I couldn't keep myself from doing a whole manicure with them. I used 3 coats of Hit the Lights and 2 of Trendy. Both had great formulas, applied well, and dried fast! I also need to tell you guys that Trendy is a near dupe to China Glaze Exotic Encounters, which I didn't realize when I picked it up haha... Trendy is bluer and a little brighter, so if you like teal as much as I do you probably need both anyway.

Dressed Up Nails - floral stamped nail art with Winstonia plate W110

After my base colors were dry I stamped using Winstonia Plate W110. This little floral pattern is adorable and it stamped easily. My stamping results aren't perfect because I'm a super beginner but man, this manicure turned out WAY better than I expected based on my practice with the stamping plates the night before.

I don't know why, but the first time I tried to stamp I seriously COULD NOT do it. I tried different stamps, different polishes, different techniques, and each nail was a disaster. I was prepared to give up on the whole thing and declare myself a failure at stamping but I decided to give it another try with this manicure, and I got it this time! I think my main problem when I was first trying was that I wasn't moving fast enough. You really have to be speedy with stamping, which is definitely not what I'm used to with nail art.

Dressed Up Nails - floral stamped nail art with Winstonia plate W110

I really liked the faded look of the flowers when I was done stamping, but I thought the design needed a little something extra. So I took my tiny detailing brush and used it to trace the outlines of random flowers with more polish to make them pop more. I think it makes these so much cuter! What do you guys think?

Overall I'm really happy that I got these stamping plates and I'm definitely excited to use them again. I'm already planning a few more manicures with them, so hopefully I'll have those to show y'all in the next week or two.

You can get the first generation of stamping plates from the Winstonia store online. You can use the code DRESSEDUPNAILS at checkout to get 10% off the plates until May 31st! Winstonia can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rasta floral nail art for 4/20!

Hey loves, happy weekend! Today I have some nails to show you that I did for 4/20 but mostly just because I like any excuse to use the rasta color combo haha. I love it!

Dressed Up Nails - freehand floral silhouette nail art over a rasta-color gradient

First of all, I just need to talk about my new watermark really quick. I've been looking to add a little something to my pictures to make them more recognizable as mine but I wanted it to be cute and fun and not just boring text (like the URL watermark I did for the last couple posts, I hated that). I went looking for a new font to use and you GUYS. I found one MADE OUT OF UNICORNS.

MADE. OUT OF. UNICORRRRRRNS!!!

Anyway, needless to say, I freaked out and installed the font (found here) and then freaked out some more when I made a brush from it and used it to watermark for the first time. I'm pretty pumped about it. What do y'all think?

Dressed Up Nails - freehand floral silhouette nail art over a rasta-color gradient


Okay, on to the nails! These started out with a base of my very first gradient EVAR (except for a half-assed one I did before I was really blogging). I did the gradient under the careful guidance of my sister Summer, aka my nail polish sensei. I painted my nails white and then painted stripes on a makeup sponge using China Glaze Adventure Red-y, Nicole by OPI Hit the Lights (a lemming of mine ever since the first time I saw it, and my mom surprised me with it on Friday!), and China Glaze Starboard. Then I sponged on the gradient carefully and painstakingly.


Dressed Up Nails - freehand floral silhouette nail art over a rasta-color gradient


The BIG mistake I made here was putting red at the cuticle end of my nails, since we all know what a nightmare it is to clean red polish off skin and it's impossible not to get it all OVER your skin when you're doing gradients. Other than that, though, I'm really happy with the way my first gradients turned out!


Dressed Up Nails - freehand floral silhouette nail art over a rasta-color gradient

I spent so long on the gradient portion of this nail art escapade - partially because my sister and I kept taking breaks and talking - that I was ready for bed by the end of the whole fandango. I wore the gradients alone to bed and then the next day I used my tiny detailing brush and American Apparel Hassid to add a silhouette vine pattern.

Dressed Up Nails - freehand floral silhouette nail art over a rasta-color gradient

I liked the gradients alone, but the floral pattern took it to another level for me. I LOVE the way these turned out, and I'm happy with what I consider my "real return" to the nail art world. I hope you guys like these as much as I do!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I'M BACK with my (extremely belated) Easter nails!

Hi my friends! I know, I am the worst blogger EVER... I got the flu, came back for one little post, and then disappeared again. This time it was for a much better reason - I went to Europe! I was there traveling for about a week and a half and saw five countries in that short period of time, which left me no time for blogging (plus I didn't have my computer haha). It was an amazing trip! I'm so glad to be home and getting back into the swing of things again.

I have several manis from a few weeks ago that I'm gonna show you guys over the next couple days, and hopefully by that time I'll be caught up enough with my life that I'll have time to sit down and do some serious nail artin'. I miss it!

The nails I have to show y'all today are the nails I wore for Easter!

Dressed Up Nails - pastel skittle nail art with Lime Crime polishes

The mani I originally planned for Easter turned out to be a disaster for several reasons, so these didn't even get done until Easter evening. I was hanging out with my family and didn't want to spend too much time on my nails, but I still wanted them to look cute. Pastel polka dot skittles seemed like the perfect solution!

Dressed Up Nails - pastel skittle nail art with Lime Crime polishes

I used all Lime Crime polishes for this design. I've had the whole set since December but just now used them for the first time. A travesty, because they are amazing. The only way I can describe them is neon pastels!

Dressed Up Nails - pastel skittle nail art with Lime Crime polishes

I started with a base of two coats of (from thumb to pinkie) Once in a Blue Mousse, Parfait Day, Pastel-chio, Lavendairy, and Peaches <3 Cream. They all applied flawlessly.

Dressed Up Nails - pastel skittle nail art with Lime Crime polishes

After my base colors were down I just used a small dotting tool to add the dots. The only color I used for the dots that I hadn't used for the bases was the ivory color on my thumb, Milky Ways.

Dressed Up Nails - pastel skittle nail art with Lime Crime polishes

These were super easy but I really liked them! I can't wait to use these colors like a million more times. What do y'all think?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Floral nail art & swatches with Models Own

Hey everybunny! First of all, I want to apologize for my long (and accidental) blog hiatus... I got super sick with the flu 2 weeks ago, and last week I was so busy playing catch-up that I didn't have time for blogging. But I'm finally BACK!

A few weeks ago I was offered the chance to review some Models Own polishes from Littlewoods.com. I've never tried Models Own and have always wanted to so I jumped at the chance! The first polish I have to show y'all is Models Own Bubblegum.

Dressed Up Nails - Models Own Bubblegum

Bubblegum is a BEAUTIFUL neon pink that is even brighter than it looks in this photo. I used 3 coats for these swatches and this polish dried semi-matte - sort of like a rubbery finish. I used topcoat for this picture because I love how the shine brings out the richness of the color. I have a lot of neon pinks, but this one is unique in my stash and I really love it!

The second swatch I have is Models Own Orange Sorbet.

Dressed Up Nails - Models Own Orange Sorbet

Orange Sorbet is a super bright neon orange that is a lot brighter than this picture shows - this one freaked my camera out haha. The formula was pretty much the same as Bubblegum. I used 3 coats, and it dried to the same rubbery matte finish as Bubblegum, so I also used topcoat for this swatch.

Models Own Indian Ocean was the one I was probably most excited about because I've been wanting it since the first time I saw it.

Dressed Up Nails - Models Own Indian Ocean

Indian Ocean is a sheer blue base with a very heavy iridescent pink/orange shifting shimmer. I tried it on its own, but after 3 coats it still wasn't opaque and I don't have the patience haha. So I layered one coat over black and OMG, my brain exploded. Like, just LOOK at this one... the color shift, the shimmer... it's too much amazing.

Of course I had to do some nail art with all three polishes!

Dressed Up Nails - Models Own floral nail art

These florals were super easy and quick. I used the polish bottle brushes and just sort of blobbed the petals on, then added dots in the center in the opposite colors.

Dressed Up Nails - Models Own floral nail art

Dressed Up Nails - Models Own floral nail art

I love how the pink and orange shifts in Indian Ocean are the same colors as the neons!

Dressed Up Nails - Models Own floral nail art

These were super easy and quick but I think they're pretty cute for a quick design! And of course it doesn't hurt that all these colors are wonderful. You can find these and more at Littlewoods.com!

What do you guys think of these?