Lot of Summer Nails

Happy late summer!  Since it my neck of the world it’s still blisteringly hot, it’s not too late to sport cute summer nails!  I really haven’t done anything lately that seemed earth shattering or tutorial worthy, so I thought I would just highlight a bunch of the looks I’ve IMG_8158worn over the past few months.

These are pretty cute, right?  Every summer I end up doing some sort of neon citrus mani.  This is like a pink limeade look or something. This look is so cute with any combination of neon pink, orange, green, or yellow.  The trickiest part is painting the little white lines on the citrus.  I use my tiniest brush and acrylic paint for that part.  These nails just make me happy.

IMG_7674 I really liked these nails too.  The base is Funky Fingers – Mattely in Luv and the polish I used for stamping was Funky Fingers – Sandy Toes.  Sandy Toes is a really interesting color.  In the bottle it looks like a bright, but not neon red polish that leans a little pink.  When you us it for stamping, however, it turns out to be a neon coral color.  And this polish, even in the bottle glows under my black light, so I guess it is neon, even though it doesn’t actually look neon.  In my head, that’s the test if something is neon or not:  whether it glows under a black light.

These nails are pretty loud, right?   I’m pretty sure that I had some jumpers or scrunchies IMG_8015or something that looked like this in the late ’80s. I used the homemade decal method to do these, which turned out to be an error in judgement, so they look a little  messy.  If I do these again, I would paint my nails white and add a top coat.  Then I would use painters tape to block of the section of the nail that I wanted to be neon.  Next I would stamp the black pattern over the nail and quickly peel the painter’s tape off.  Then I would add the neon polish.

I went through a little spell this summer where I was into reverse stamping.  It’s pretty IMG_7941time- consuming, so I pretty much just stuck to doing accent nails. The effect is pretty cute, though!  This also gave me a chance to use IMG_7966some of my colored glitter polishes that don’t always get enough love. Ooo, I’m looking at that pretty  deep yellow polish and I think I might need to pull that one out again before summer is over.  I’ve got a fair complexion (sounds so much nicer than pale) and it’s hard for me to pull off yellow clothing.  Nail polish is a great way to wear a color that is a little trickier for you to pull off..  IMG_8999

What’s more summery than beach nails?  For these, I started with a coat of white polish and then I did a blue-to-white-to-khaki gradient with a damp makeup sponge.  To get the white swirls,  I used the same technique that I wrote about in detail here.  Really easy and such a cool effect!  These look so much more complicated than they actually are.   IMG_8163

I also wore some cute dry brush nails.  I enjoy dry brushing so much!  It’s seriously the easiest nail art ever.  It can barely be called art, it’s that easy.  Neon colors over a white base.  So cute, so easy, so summery.

IMG_8228And these nails…. I’m not really sure what I was going for here.  I think I saw a picture on pinterest.  They can’t all be winners, am I right?  The neon glitter polish on my middle finger Bitzy – Sweetie Pie.  Bitzy is a new makeup line that is exclusive to Sally Beauty Supply.  They are only $1.59 per bottle, and they have lots of fun polishes.  They are a great way to expand your collection without breaking the bank.  FullSizeRender

These are fun, right?  I have  a neon red polish that is just so darn bright that it actually makes me self-conscious to wear it.  I love it in small doses, though.  This was the perfect way to get just a little pop of neon into an otherwise classy manicure.  It’s a bit tricky to paint the underside of your nails, especially where your nail is connected to your finger, but I loved the effect!  I think there are so many fun combinations that you could do.  In October I might try deep purple nails with a neon orange underside.

These nails are kind of classy, I think.  This is just some gold stamping over purple nails.  Nothing fancy but they’re just pretty.   I’ve IMG_9055been doing a lot of nail stamping lately.  I realize that it’s sort of the lazy person’s nail art, but it’s just so fast and easy!  I still love doing the IMG_9070occasional freehand design, but right now, I’m definitely in a stamping groove.

Here’s another easy look thanks to nail stamping.  This is just a metallic teal polish stamped over a nude polish.  Metalic polishes tend to stamp really well.

IMG_8976And here’s one final mani.  If you’re not into freehand designs, and you don’t have any nail stamping stuff, you can always get a really fun look with a glitter topper.  Bitzy has a lot of really fun glitter toppers and so does Funky Fingers at Five Below.  (Yes, you are allowed to shop in there even if you’re over the age of 14.)  I think polish combinations like this look really fun with a matte top coat.

So those are the nails I’ve been wearing for the past few months.  If you have any questions about any of these, please ask!  Thanks so much for reading!

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Swirly Blob Nails

These nails are so easy and require pretty much no skill whatsoever.  People never believe me when I stay stuff like that to them in real life, but 99% of the time, I really mean it!

IMG_7603Before I get into the nuts and bolts of how to get this effect on your nails, I’m going to ask you to please forgive my gross looking cuticles in this picture.  I know they look gross and dry and polish-stained.  You don’t need to tell me about it.

Okay, so for this look, you’ll need to pick out a few polishes in colors that will blend nicely with each other.  I opted for a pale yellowish-green, a deep teal, and a silver glitter.  I think if you pick more than 4 colors, it will just become a muddy mess on your nails.

After shaking up your polishes, just put a few drops of each polish on a nail polish safe surface.  I used my Bliss Kiss Simply Neat Miracle Mat, but really, a plastic lid from pulled from your recycling bin will work just as well.  Your drops of polish should be sort of IMG_7596touching and overlapping, but don’t think too hard about it.  Just blob it on on there.

Then take a plastic cuticle pusher or a wooden orange stick or just about any little tool you have laying around the house (the eraser end of a pencil, a Popsicle stick,…) and dip it into your blob of polishes.  Kind of try of get all of the polish colors IMG_7597onto your tool, but you don’t need to swirl them together or anything.  Then just dab the polish onto your nails with your little tool.  The polish will sort of swirl together while you’re dabbing it onto your nail.  Don’t worry about trying to get it to be perfectly neat, because you can always clean up polish that accidentally gets on your skin and cuticles with some acetone and a little brush.  (I always use my e.l.f concealer brush.  It’s a great little brush and it’s only $1.)

Give your nails a good long time to dry, since you are applying a pretty thick layer ofplay doh mixed together. polish, and then top them with a top coat.  I opted for a matte top coat, and the finished result reminded me of what play dough looks like when the colors get mixed together.

If you give this technique a try, please let me know!  I’m on instagram and facebook, so find me and tag me so I can see.  Thanks for reading and enjoy your summer!

Wet n Wild Summer Collection 2016: Lost in the Wild Flowers

This collection is almost old news by now, but I’m still seeing it in stores, so I’ll still tell you about it.  Plus, I  bought the whole collection and in my head that’s not really justifiable if I don’t officially blog about it.  So here it is, the Wet n Wild Summer Collection for 2016: Lost in the Wild Flowers!

IMG_7902IMG_7833This is such a pretty collection, right?  Let’s start with the pink…

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This bright pink cream is opaque in two coats and dries to a really shiny finish.  There’s not too much else to say about it.  The formula is really nice and it’s a really pretty color.    IMG_7798

In looking through my collection for dupes, I found a match that is almost dead on, and that is Wet n Wild – Lavender Creme.  The one I own is in the old style bottle, but this same shade is still available in the new shaped bottles.  Really, they are super close!  Lavender Creme is a hair lighter than Cherry Blossom On Top, but really, if you already have Lavender Creme, you can skip picking up Cherry Blossom On Top.  It baffles me when a brand puts out pretty much the exact same color like this.  I mean, I know Lavender Creme is in the Wild Shine line, and Cherry Blossom On Top is in the Megalast line, but really….  I feel like it’s not too much to ask for a limited edition polish to be different from what that particular brand already makes available.  First world problems, I know.

IMG_7817Leaf Me Be

This bright spring green polish is a jelly formula, so it dries really shiny.  On my index and ring finger is three coats of the polish on its own.  On my middle and pinky fingers IMG_7739is three coats over white.  Jelly polishes are always fun because of the nail art and jelly sandwich potential that they have.  And actually, the first thing I did with these polishes when I got them home, was to make a jelly sandwich!  Here it is on the left with two coats of Leaf Me Be, a coat of silver glitter polish, and then another coat of Leaf Me Be.  So sparkly and fun, but muted at the same time!

As far as dupes of this polish go, I didn’t really have any good ones in my own IMG_7845collection, but I did find a kind of close one while I was at Dollar General.  (By the way, there are a bunch of the Wet n Wild polish colors that are exclusive to Dollar General.  Really pretty colors, too!)  This polish is called Limelight, and it’s just about the same color as Leaf Me Be, except it has a yellow/gold shimmer.  It’s really pretty, but since I just bought Leaf Me Be, I couldn’t justify buying Limelight.  I’m not sure what Limelight’s formula is like.

Oh, one more thing about Leaf Me Be: it’s a stainer.  After my jelly sandwich mani, my nails were (well, still are) a lovely booger green color.  Really unattractive.  It’s not a big deal for me because I just slapped more polish over my gross looking nails, but if you don’t always wear polish, this might be a deal-breaker for you.

 

Wild Wild VioletIMG_7809

Wild Wild Violet is a beautiful warm purple polish.  Much like Cherry Blossom On Top, it’s opaque in two coats and dries to a really shiny finish.  This is such a flattering color against my really light skin!

IMG_7812In comparing it to other purples in my collection, I found that I don’t have anything super close to this color.  In the comparison picture, Wild Wild Violet is in the middle, Fresh Paint – Sophia is on the left, and Wet n Wild – On a Trip is on the right.  You can see that Wild Wild Violet is the warmest of the three.  Sophia is a much more intense color; it’s almost neon in person.  On a Trip is obviously much cooler in tone.  I really like this polish and I’m super happy to have it in my collection.  IMG_7891

One more thing, though… This polish is the mother of all stainers.   What you’re looking at here on the right is my middle and ring finger on my right hand after I removed the mani I was wearing on the left.  Wild Wild Violet left the nail on my middle finger a crazy bright pink!  I’ve never seen a IMG_7832purple polish (or even a red or pink one for that matter)  stain like this!  Holy moly!  And even on my ring finger (which is still kind of green from my Leaf Me Be jelly sandwich) you can see pink dots which are from the leopard spots!  That means that this polish is capable of staining your nails even if you are wearing white polish underneath it!  And I had a base coat on!  The fact that I’ve ended the last five sentences with exclamation marks should be a good indicator of how crazy that is.

By the way, isn’t this mani using all of the polishes from this collection so fun?  I enjoyed sporting these nails.

Poppy CultureIMG_7802

The last polish in this collection is a vibrant reddish-orange cream.  This one took three coats to be opaque, and like all of the others in this collection, it dries to a high shine.   This polish is red enough to not look too bad on my fair skin, but I think it would look extra good on darker skin.

IMG_7805As far as dupes for this polish go… There are a lot.  Pictured from left to right are Revlon – Fearless, LA Colors – Moody Red, Poppy Culture, and NYC Spring Street.  If I had realized that I had so many  polishes that were nearly identical to Poppy Culture, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up.  If you don’t have a fiery orange-red in your collection, Poppy Culture is a perfectly fine polish to pick up, but this color is hardly unique.

 

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Overall, I think this is a really fun collection, and the colors all work well with each other, even though they are not crazy unique.  The formulas are consistently good and the price tag of under $2 a bottle is awesome!  The only negative is that two of the four polishes are mega stainers.

So, what do you think of this collection?  Have you picked up any of these polishes?  Is staining a deal-breaker for you?  Let me know what you think!

 

My Polish Collection

IMG_7212For the past few years I’ve had my polishes arranged by color.  I have some dupes (and near dupes) and it just made sense to me to keep them next to each other on my nail polish rack.  Recently, though, I started to think that it would look nice if the were organized by brand.  Then all of the like bottles would be next to each other.  Of course the first logical step in my reorganization was to dump all of my polishes onto my living room floor.  And that’s what you see here in the above picture.

As I started to sort them, I decided to snap a picture of each brand, and here’s what I found…

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I have a huge pile of Wet n Wild polishes. This was probably the first brand of polish I started to accumulate back in my youth. The bottles in the upper left with the white caps are OLD! I’ve got a good mix of permanent and limited edition polishes. They’re all between $1-$3, so it’s kind of a no-brainer to grab an awesome Wet n Wild polish when I see it.

 

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I have a lot of Sinful Colors. I mean, they’re so readily available and there’s only $1.99. They are always on top of color trends. Really, what’s not to love?

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Here’s my little Revlon pile. My favorite is on the left: Matte Pearl Glaze. It’s an awesome transformative topcoat for pretty much any polish.

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My L’Oreals. Yes, that’s Masked Affair on the left.

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My Orly polishes. I really like Orly a lot! Most of the polishes I have are neons or crazy toppers. I think of them as summer polishes.

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Look at my sad little Essie collection! Three Silk Watercolors and one other one. I just tend not to splurge on Essie because I hear too many bad things about the formulas. If I can get a great formula in a $2 Wet n Wild, I just don’t want to risk getting a bad formula from a $7 Essie.

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And these are my OPI polishes. The only one that I have ever paid full price for was Charmy & Sugar (third polish in the top row). The rest were either given to me or found on clearance. It just pains me to pay $9 for a polish, and they are always exempt from sales and coupons it seems. That makes me grumpy.

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Nicole by OPI: OPI’s less snobby sister. The two Modern Family polishes are really stunners!

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Fresh paint is available exclusively at Five Below. They tend to be thicker in formula and they’re great for water marbling and stamping. They have such awesome colors! The third polish in the top row is Sugar Crush and it’s a dupe for Essie – Shine of the Times. If I ever see this polish again in a five Below, I am buying a BUNCH of bottles.

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Speaking of Five Below, that’s where you also find Funky Fingers. Okay, these polishes are sort of juvenile, but they have such fun bright colors and crazy glitter mixes! Plus, they’re only $2 or 3 for $5!

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LA Colors polishes tend to be disappointing. If you’re going to spend $1 on polish, just get a Wet n Wild or a NYC. The only exception is the one in the upper left which is a lilac crelly with a bunch of glitter. It’s tough to find those in mainstream polishes.

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I picked up these Finger Paints at Sally Beauty Supply. So sparkly!

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The only place that sells Pure Ice that I know of, is Walmart, and I just don’t end up in Walmart that often. If I did, I would probably own more of these.

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Broadway Nails are found in either Dollar General or Family Dollar. I swear I can never remember. My favorites are Space Flight (third polish in the top row), an deep blue jelly, and Hot n Sexy (bottom left), which is a dupe for China Glaze – Ruby Pumps.

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I first discovered Bonita polish in Francesca’s about 5 years ago when I bought the little bottles. I now usually find them in Rite Aid or Kmart. So affordable and so beautiful! (I’ve actually bought 3 more since I took this picture.)

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Yes, I only have two Zoya, both found on clearance at Ulta. They’re both great, though, and I definitely want to add to these!

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I’m not sure why I don’t own more Jordana. They have such vibrant colors, and great formulas, and they’re only $2. I need more of these.

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I’m a sucker for NYC polishes. Good formula, good colors, really good price. The pink on the bottom right is OLD.

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I only own two Milani. The one on the right is a good 10 years old, but I still love it! The one on the left was the first black and white matte glitter polish that I ever saw, and the first time I saw it, my brain almost exploded.

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I picked this Nina polish up at Sally awhile ago. The green is less awesome than I thought it was going to be. I bought the blue while I was on the hunt for the most pure and pigmented blue that I could find.

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I own three Ulta polishes and they are all in different bottles. What’s up with that? The blue is really beautiful, though.

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Spoiled by Wet n Wild used to be available exclusively at CVS. They’ve been discontinued, but most (if not all) of these colors are in the Wet n Wild Megalast bottles and are sold exclusively at Dollar General/Family Dollar. I was sad to see this line of polishes leave CVS, though.

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I have a good pile of China Glaze. Most of these were purchased on clearance or on really good sales at either Sally or Ulta. Man, I love so many of these!

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Does anyone remember Petites? These polishes are a solid 10 years old. I went through a phase where I loved each of these polishes.

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Anyone remember Bon Bons either? Are these still around? Seriously, each bottle has like, four drops of polish in it.

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Speaking of teeny tiny bottles, these are Sally Beauty Supply’s brand called Sally Girl. Pretty nice little polishes, actually.

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We here in ‘Murica can’t get Joe Fresh polishes, so I picked these up a year or so ago when I was in Canada. Great little polishes! I’m definitely picking up more then next time I visit our neighbors to the north, assuming that they don’t build a wall to keep us out if Trump is elected.

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Sally Hansen sure likes their different bottle shapes and various lines, huh? The first three polishes in the top row are OLD. I know for sure I got the teal one in the top left corner when I was in college. I graduated 16 years ago.

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I picked up this little pile of polishes when I was in London last year. The one on the left is Seventeen, the next two are Barry M, and the two on the right are Rimmel. I like them all, but I love the Barry M polishes. If/when I get back over there, I’m nabbing more of these!

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These polishes are from Old Navy. “Why would anyone buy polish at Old Navy,” you ask? I don’t know either. The metallic pink and gold are both pretty good, though.

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These polishes are from Gap. Obviously I’m a sucker for polish, if I bought some from the Gap.

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I got these LA Girl Color Pop polishes at Rite Aid. The neon pink on the right is my favorite neon pick of all time.

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CQ2 polishes? Yeah, I don’t know either. They’re old.

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Mary Kay polish. The one on the left is good as a base for French manicures or negative space manis.

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Playboy Polishes…. How and why? It’s a long weird story.

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I have two Color Club stripers, but only one color club regular polish! I know, that’s sad! I’m gonna fix that.

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This pile of Kiss stuff was given to me. It’s okay, I guess.

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Bath and Body Works polishes. I know, it’s just as weird as Old Navy and Gap. Aren’t the little bottles on the right so cute though? These are actually nice polishes, albeit old.

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My only two Nails Inc polishes are magnetic and were found in a clearance bin at Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Ross. Those stores are all the same to me.

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These Del Sol Polishes change color in the sun, or at least they used to. They are about 5 years old and only about half of them change color anymore. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

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This tiny pile is all the indie polishes that I own! I know, it’s sad! I will definitely be adding to this pile over the next year.

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These are all of my one-of-a-kind or weirdo polishes. I just threw them all into their own pile.

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These are all of my Frankenpolishes. In other words, I mixed up these polish colors on my own…. Mwahahaha!

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Here is my pile of empty bottles waiting for some Frankenpolish to happen to them.

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And here’s my pile of base and top coats.

Here's my whole collection after I got them all organized!  Aren't they so pretty?

Here’s my whole collection after I got them all organized! Aren’t they so pretty?

 

And now all of my friends and family know exactly what I have in case they need to do some borrowing. I really don’t mind, though.  Thanks for reading!  Let me know in the comments about your collection!

St Patrick’s Day Nails

Happy St Paddy’s Day!  In honor of Saint Patrick, the 5 century Christian missionary who devoted his life to sharing his faith with the people of Ireland, I’ve painted my nails with rainbows and shamrocks and pots of gold.  Makes sense.

IMG_7206The base color on my first and last finger is Barry M – Black Pistachio.  It almost looks black on the nail, but in the bottle you can definitely tell it’s green.   I picked this polish up on by trip to London.  I’m guessing it’s possible to order this one online somewhere…

These nails are topped with Sinful Colors – Feeling Lucky?  This is such an awesome glitter topper and I love this combo!

My Middle finger has a base of Wet n Wild Fergie – Gold Album.  (By the way, I think the Fergie polishes are being discontinued.  I LOVE Gold Album and Going Platinum so I may soon be on the hunt for backups of these two.) I then used a toothpick to add some larger loose gold glitter for a little extra bling.

Except for the light green french tip and the gold glitter in the pot of gold, everything on IMG_7199my ring finger is craft paint. I did the green tip first, then I added the rainbow.  I used my finest brush and started with the red strip, paining it almost the whole way down to the “grass”.  Next I did the orange, then yellow,…  after that I added the black pot where the rainbow ended, then added the grey highlights to the pot.  Next I added the gold glitter, and then finally the darker green to give the grass a little texture.

Really, this was not too tough and I’m so happy with how it turned out!

Did you do anything exciting to your nails for St Paddy’s?  Let me know in the comments!

 

Wet n Wild Spring into the Wild Collection (Spring 2016)

So, I did something I don’t think I’ve ever done before.  I bought an entire collection.  I just have never been able to justify it before.  An entire collection of China Glaze or OPI can easily cost north of $50, and often I don’t really need or want all of the polishes.  I love reading blogs or watching videos made by ladies who have purchased entire collections, but for me it just seems a little frivolous, especially since my little blog doesn’t actually generate any income.   So how did I come to purchase an entire collection, then?

IMG_7089Well, we (my hubby and some other extended family members) had been putting in lots of long exhausting hours cleaning out a house for another family member.  After several days of working, working, working, I ended up in a Christmas Tree Shops staring at the newest Wet n Wild collection called Spring into the Wild.  The display still had all four of the polishes in it, and they were pretty… And they were only $1.79 each.  That meant for under $8, I could get the entire collection.  So I did.   Seriously, aren’t they so pretty?

A day or so after I bought this collection at Christmas Tree Shops, I spotted it atIMG_7091 Kmart.   While I was there, I looked through Sinfull Colors, Sally Hansen, and Revlon for any duplicates (aka “dupes”) of these colors.

The four polishes are from left to right:  Love Fest, Lay out in Lavender, Breeze on By, and Kiss My Mints.

Let’s start with Love Fest.  This is just a lovely pastel pink.  Next to the other polishes in the collection, it looks like it’s pretty warm IMG_7093toned, but when it’s on its own, I feel it’s almost cool toned.  I’ll just say it’s a middle-of-the-road pastel pink.  The formula is pretty sheer, though.  What you’re looking at here is four coats.  Yeah, I know.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.   It dries really glossy and it just looks so pretty once it’s on the nail, so I’ll probably suck it up and wear it anyway.   I think I might attempt some jelly sandwiches with this one.IMG_7103

I have a ton of pink polishes (well, like 30) but I didn’t have any that were a really close match to this one.  The closest that I could pull out of my collection was Wet n Wild – Tickled Pink, but as you can see, these polishes really aren’t that close at all.

IMG_7133At Kmart, however, I did find two dead-on dupes for Love Fest.  Here’s Love Fest on the left, then in the Middle is Sally Hansen – Hard-Core Party in the middle, and Sally Hansen – Tickled Pink on the Right.  (Yeah, both the Sally Hansen polish and the Wet n Wild Polish are called Tickled Pick.  People need to come up with more clever names.) I picked up Hard-Core Party since it was only $.50, and I can definitely verify that these two are pretty much exactly the same.

 

 

IMG_7104Next we have Lay Out in Lavender.  This one’s a stunner, right?  It’s just so pretty!  This is sort of a muted lavender.  This polish was opaque in two coats.  None of that four coat nonsense here.

When I first saw this polish, I thought it might be similar to China Glaze – Release from IMG_7108The Giver collection from a few years ago, and when you look at them in the bottle, they actually don’t look that different.  Once I got the polish on the nail, it was clear that they were really different.  Release is a gray polish that leans purple, and Lay Out in Lavender is a purple polish that leans gray.

Just for kicks, I also pulled out Broadway Nails – Easter Annie for comparison, but this polish is obviously much more pink with no IMG_7136hint of gray.  I’m super happy to add Lay Out in Lavender to my collection since I really don’t have anything like it!

While I was at Kmart, I found a few polishes worth comparing to Lay Out in Lavender.  The polish on the left was the closest match, and that is Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – All Chalked Up.   All Chalked Up is just a tiny bit warmer than Lay out in Lavender, like it’s got a half a drop of yellow polish in the bottle.  It’s still super close, though.  The polish on the right is Sally Hansen – Lacey Lilac.  Lacey Lilac is definitely more pink and it doesn’t have that hint of gray that Lay Out in Lavender has.

IMG_7109Next we have Breeze on By.  This is a pretty periwinkle cream that was opaque in two coats.  Another really beautiful color!IMG_7092

As soon as I saw this polish, I thought it looked exactly like Wear Skinny Jeans from last year’s Silver Lake Collection.  As you can see, they are pretty darn close.  The one difference is that Wear Skinny Jeans has a silver shimmer running through it, but since the shimmer doesn’t actually show up on your nail, that difference really doesn’t count for much.  I threw in Sinful Colors – Sail La Vie for comparison as well. I have Breeze on my on my first finger, Wear Skinny Jeans on my IMG_7113middle finger, and Sail La Vie on my ring finger.  As you can see, Breeze on By is a IMG_7114hint more purple than Wear Skinny Jeans, but if you already own Wear Skinny Jeans, I’d say you could skip picking up Breeze on By.  Sail La Vie is obviously more blue than either of the Wet n Wild polishes.  I’m sure that Essie – Bikini So Teeny is super similar as well, but I don’t own that one.  I know it’s a classic Essie polish, but I  seriously don’t need anymore periwinkle polish.

When I was at Kmart I found a few more polishes worth comparing to Breeze on By.  The polish on the left is Sail La Vie, which I just threw in the picture for comparison’s IMG_7130sake.  The next polish is Sally Hansen – Hard Bitten.  This is a little less purple than Breeze on By, and it has a fine silver shimmer.  I’m not sure if that shimmer actually shows up when you get it on your nails or not.  Next is Sally Hansen – Babe Blue.  Babe Blue also has a shimmer running through it.  From images I’ve seen online of this polish, the shimmer just barely shows up.  (Rant:  Why is it so difficult to make a periwinkle polish with a shimmer that actually shows up?  Am I missing something here?  Nothing is more annoying than purchasing a polish and then not being able to get what you see in the bottle to show up on your nails.) Babe Blue is really close to Breeze on By, maybe just a hair more blue.  I think it’s probably just about identical to Wet n Wild – Wear Skinny Jeans.

IMG_7116Now we come to our final – and maybe my favorite – polish of the of the collection: Kiss My Mints!  This is the most beautifully perfect mint color ever!  It’s not too green, not too blue.  I IMG_7121just love it so much! This is perfect in two coats and it’s just so pretty!!!

I compared this to three other polishes in my collection.  On my little finger is Wet n Wild – Tree Hugger from last year’s Silver Lake collection.  This polish is obviously much greener.  On my ring finger is Joe Fresh – Mint.  (Whoa, such a creative name.  My mind is blown!)  This polish is also more green than Kiss My Mints and it has a bit of a dusty gray quality to it, also.  On my first finger is China IMG_7144Glaze – For Audrey.  I knew this polish wouldn’t be a match, but it felt to me like Kiss My Mints is the exact same hue as For Audrey, only a lighter tint.  ( I had to check an art dictionary to make sure I was using “hue” and “tint” correctly.)  Petty much that means that if you added white polish to For Audrey, I think you’d get Kiss My Mints.

At Kmart, I found a few polishes worth comparing to Kiss My Mints.  The one on the left is Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – B Girl.  This one is really close to Kiss My Mints, maybe just a hair darker.  The polish on the right is Sally Hansen – Mint Sorbet, which is obviously much more green.  I just figured it was worth comparing since it had the word “mint” in the name and it’s readily available.

So, Here are my final thoughts…

  • Skip buying Love Fest and pick up one of the Sally Hansen polishes if you really love this color.  Nobody should be applying four coats of anything.
  • Lay Out in Lavender is really beautiful and different from most purple/lilac/lavender polishes that are out there.  I think this is a good one to grab.
  • Breeze on By is definitely pretty and it has a good formula, but it’s hardly unique.  Only pick this one up if you don’t have a periwinkle in your collection.
  • Kiss my Mints is awesome!  The formula is great, and although there are a lot of mint green/teal/aqua/turquoise polishes out there, this exact shade is still pretty unique.  If you’re only going to pick up one, I’d pick up this one.

Oh, and just one more thing.  Breeze on By and Love Fest are super close to the Pantone colors of the year for 2016, Rose Quartz and Serenity.  I’m sure that’s no accident.

Thanks for reading, if you made it this far!  Find me on instagram and Facebook!

 

 

 

 

Lots of Winter Nails

Wow, I’ve been a slacker of a blogger.  Shame on me.  I do have a legitimate excuse, though.  For the past few months we’ve been really involved with an elderly family member who has been dealing with some health issues and major life changes.  There are some seasons of life that are just a little extra stressful and busy and sometimes you have to shuffle your priorities around.  For me, that meant taking a little break from blogging.  I think life will be returning to “normal”, so I should be able to get back to posting more regularly.  I know, you were all so worried.

While I haven’t had the time to write about my nails, I have still been doing my nails.  I thought I would just do one big post to sort of catch you up on some of the looks I’ve sported over the past few months.  Here we go..403

I kicked the year of with these sparkly guys!  I just can never get enough sparkle.  The sparklier, the better.  I know I’m really getting up there in years, and I suspect some people feel that super sparkly nails are not age appropriate for me anymore, but I just love glitter so much.  So pretty.  So sparkly.

Speaking of sparkly nails…

IMG_6867Let me just get all of the sparkly nails out of the way.  I think I like to wear sparkly nails over the winter months because in the warmer months, I tend to go for cream formulas in neon and pastel colors.  Metallic and glitter nails just seem too “heavy” for warm months.  Do you know what I mean?  Plus, snow is sparkly, so there’s that connection.

I did these glitter placement nails for a Weekly Nail Art Challenge (#wnac2016) on instagram.  The theme for the month of January was Glitz and Glam, and one of the weekly prompts was Diamonds.  Instead of opting for a design like a diamond gemstone,  I arranged some glitter in the shape of a IMG_7046diamond.

Here are some other really sparkly nails I wore recently.  The darker base polish is Rimmel London – Diamond Dust, and the ring finger is Funky Fingers – Sand & Stilettos.  That wasn’t sparkly enough, so I topped everything with a holographic glitter topper, Nicole by OPI – Party Bus.IMG_7051

I had the foresight with these to use a peel off base coat, otherwise it would have taken about two gallons of acetone to get this off my nails.

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Here’s a new polish that I picked up.  This is Revlon – Scandalous.  The top picture shows it with a matte top coat, the bottom shows a glossy top coat.  (Sometimes it’s a serious struggle deciding on what kind of top coat to use. )  I think polishes like this are perfect for this time of year.

IMG_6975   And here is the final set of really sparkly nails.  This polish is from China Glaze’s newest collection called House of Color.  This polish is called Moonlight the Night and oh my word, it is amazing.  When you look at it in the bottle, it kind of looks like it’s iridescent glitter in a blue base, but it’s not.  The base is actually clear, but there are translucent purple and blue glitter along with iridescent glitter.  When you put it over white, the iridescent glitter shows up as just a pale peach color.  When you layer it over black, the blue and purple glitter aren’t really visible, but the iridescent glitter shows up as bright orange and green and teal.  It’s wild!  I try to refrain from telling people that they NEED to pick up a specific polish, but you won’t be sorry if you pick this one up.

Here’s another new polish I picked up.  This is Sinful Colors – Rose Dust. I think this is just IMG_6875the most beautiful color, and I think it would work for pretty much all skin tones. This color just makes me feel pretty.

Months and months ago, I picked up some nail foils on clearance at Rite Aid.  Then they just sat around collecting dust.  One of the prompts in January for IMG_6904#wnac2016 was foil, so this was the perfect opportunity for me to finally give them a try.   I really liked how they turned out.  Perfect for wintry weather and SO SHINY!  By the way, if you’d like more information on how I did these or any other nails in this post, just let me know, and I’ll see what I can do.412

 

I also took another stab at water marbling.  Yep, it’s still a pain in the arse.  I made this picture small on purpose, because the less you can see it, the better it looks.  Trust me.

IMG_6985Now these gradient heart nails were some of my favorite nails that I’ve done in awhile.  They are super cute, right?!?  I just sponged on a gradient with a bright pink, a purple-ish pink, and a bright purple and then topped it with Sinful Colors – Love Sprinkles, a limited edition polish that I picked up last Valentine’s day.  For my accent nail, I painted it white and then applied a quick dry top coat.  Then I cut a little heart out of painters tape and stuck it on my nail and then did the gradient over the tape.  Then I peeled the tape off and topped it with 428Love Sprinkles.  I sort of felt like these nails were 20 years too young for me, but I loved them anyway.

I also did these “quilted” nails.  I didn’t love how they turned out, but they can’t all be winners.  I did take pictures each step of the way when I did them, so if you want to see a tutorial on these, let me know.  If you don’t want to see a tutorial, I’m not offended.  I know they’re not the greatest.

And here are the nails that I’m actually IMG_7055currently wearing.  This is a pond mani using Wet n Wild – Gyp-Sea Green, a limited edition polish from a few years ago.  It’s a really sheer jelly polish, so I actually started with a base of Wet n Wild Megalast – I Need a Refresh-Mint.  (I have the old formula which is a dead on dupe for China Glaze – For Audrey.)  Then I used white craft paint to paint a few hearts on each nail.  Then I added a coat of Gyp-Sea Green followed by a few more hearts, followed by another coat of Gyp-Sea Green, followed by more hearts,…  I lost track of how many 414layers I actually did.  I just kept going until I felt like they looked like I wanted them to look.  They are pretty cute, I think.

And I finally decided to dive into the world of nail stamping.  I have had a cheap stamper and a few really dinky stamping plates on hand for 3 or 4 years, but I just finally decided to use an Amazon gift card that I got for Christmas to get myself some reall stuff.  I got a Winstonia marshmallow (sticky) stamper and eight Born Pretty Store stamping IMG_6930plates.  There’s been a definite learning curve to the whole thing, but I’m getting better!  I did the quilted nails the day after I got my stamping stuff, and you can see my so-so attempt at stamping on my index and pinky fingers.

Here are some plaid nails I did using my stamping stuff.  You can see that my pinky is IMG_6970sort of wonky and crooked, but hey, I’m still learning.

I have always thought that stamping was sort of nail art for cheaters, but I’ve sort of changed my mind.  I still have way more respect for awesome freehand designs, but lets face it, we can’t all be Jaunty Juli .  (She’s awesome, by the way.)  Stamping lets you get really intricate designs on your nails reallyIMG_6841 quickly, while still allowing you to feel creative.

These French tip nails were my first attempt at reverse stamping. These turned out not too bad, but I definitely want to get better at this technique.IMG_6958  This was one of those “they looked better in my head” situations.

And the final set of nails that I’ll throw at you in this post are these newsprint nails.  I actually started with a white base and used a Sinful Colors – Rose Dust to stamp a delicate design on my nails.  Then when they were dry, I dipped pieces of news paper in rubbing alcohol and pressed them onto my  nail for about 30 seconds.  I opted for a matte top coat with these, because that just seemed appropriate for IMG_7014newsprint.  I really liked how these turned out.

Again, if you want me to go into more detail about how I did any of these nails, please let me know, and I’ll be happy to provide a tutorial.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading!  As my life gets back to normal, I fully anticipate getting back to a more regular blogging schedule.  Have a blessed weekend, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red and Green Christmas Nails

Hello, loyal subjects!  Today I shall teach thee how to create these super festive Christmas nails!

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I really had fun wearing these!  They are pretty simple, but unmistakably Christmas-y.

Here’s what you need to do….

Start with a base coat like always, and  then paint all of your nails except for your ring finger white. Apply a quick dry top coat to your middle finger. Now, we’re going to deal with every finger except the middle finger because we need to wait for the polish to get REALLY dry.IMG_6585

For your ring finger you will need some kind of red glitter polish.  I used Funky Fingers – Ninny Muggins.   To get the glitter fully opaque, I brushed some of the IMG_6586polish to a make-up sponge, waited for a few seconds for the base polish to be absorbed into the sponge, and then I dabbed the glitter onto my nail with the sponge.  When you do this, almost all of the glitter will transfer from the sponge onto your nail.  This allows you to build up the glitter to full opacity with out having too much of the thick clear base polish. IMG_6587   You may need to do this a few times until you get enough glitter to fully cover your nail.  I use this little trick whenever I want a really sparkly over-the-top glitter accent nail!

IMG_6583For your thumb, index finger, and pinky finger, take your largest dotting tool and add three or four dots to each nail.  Space them out pretty well, so that you have room for some large red dots.  And that there is your next step:  take your largest dotting tool and add three or four large red dots to each nail.  After you are done with your large dots, fill in any remaining space with IMG_6584 smaller red and green dots.  Really, there’s no science to this.  Just fill things in the way you like them.

These polka dot nails look cute, right?  Dots are always a great look!  You might be seriously terrible at painting tiny designs on your nails with a detail brush, but get a few dotting tools, and you can make your nails look super cute!

IMG_6577Okay, onto the middle finger.  You can always just paint a little free hand Christmas tree with a little brush.  I decided to make it difficult, so I decided to make my own little Christmas tree stencil.  I started just by sketching some little trees, mostly to figure out what size would fit best on my nail.  It took some trial and error, but I finally figured out a good height and width for my little trees.

I then applied some painters tape to wax paper and folded it in half.  I used my little drawn tree IMG_6575as a guide to trace half a tree onto the tape, with the crease running down the center of the tree.  I then cut the tree out of the tape.  This took a few tries to get right, but I had a whole roll of painters tape, and a whole roll of wax paper, so no worries.  I eventually cut out two trees that were pretty similar!  Huzzah!IMG_6582

Now we come to the most important step of all: wait for the white polish on your middle finger to dry COMPLETELY before you stick your tape stencil onto your nail.  Bone dry.  Like absolutely dry.  This little picture shows what happens when you don’t wait long enough.  Yeah, I know.  Tragic.  And once you do this, IMG_6590there’s just nothing you can do.  You remove all of the polish from that nail and start the heck over.    And you have to make another little Christmas tree tape stencil since you gooped one of them up.  So that’s what I did.  And this time I waited a REALLY long time for the polish to dry before I applied my tape stencil.

So once your white polish on your middle finger is COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY DRY, peel your little stencil from the wax paper and stick it to your nail.  Make sure that your tree is centered on your nail, and press the painters tape down IMG_6599really well.  You don’t want any of the polish to seep under the tape.  Once you have your stencil where you want it, apply a generous coat of green polish over the stencil and then immediately and carefully peel the stencil off your nail.  You will be rewarded for your patience with a cute little tree with nice crisp lines!

Apply a top coat to your nails and you are ready to go!  Please let me know if you recreated this design.  I’d love to see it!

Thanks for reading, and Merry Christmas!  Have a wonderful holiday season!

Striped Irridescent Nails

Within the last week, I’ve seen at least four nail bloggers and/or youtubers talking about this fun new trend in nails art: shattered glass nails.  They all say that this trend started in South Korea, and if everyone says it, it must be true.  Like Wikipedia.  If it’s on Wikipedia, it must be true.  So I’m just going to say what everyone else is saying.  This trend was stared in South Korea.

For the shattered glass effect, you pretty much take tiny triangles of iridescent tissue paper, and and apply them to your nails IMG_6456sort of randomly.  It looks really cool, but I wanted to try something a little bit different, since everyone has been doing the little triangles thing.  I opted for stripes.  Here’s how I got this look.

The first thing I needed to do was get me some iridescent tissue paper.  I checked around my little town first, but I had no luck, so I needed to head down the road a few miles to either a craft store or a party supply store.  Even thought I IMG_6430had a coupon for Michael’s, I opted to go to Party City.  In Party City, I can pretty much march right it, pick up the thing I need, pay for it, and get out.  Michael’s will suck me in for two hours, and then I end up spending $150 on enough supplies to make a bar of soap and crochet a scarf for every single person I know.  Plus maybe I want to take up beading and oil painting… Anyway, at Party City I got the smallest pack of iridescent tissue paper they had and it cost me $2.99.  Make sure you actually get the iridescent stuff, and not just the clear stuff.  It should shimmer pink and green.  By the way, they call it iridescent tissue paper, but it’s not actually IMG_6431paper.  It’s a really thin plastic type stuff.  And I’m getting tired of typing out “iridescent tissue paper” so from now on, I’m just going to refer to it as ITP.

So, I got my ITP home and I cut off a little triangle that was about 2″ x 3″.  In the end, I didn’t need nearly that much.  I cut it into little thin strips, and then cut the strips into lengths that were about a half an inch, give or take.  IMG_6435

I then painted my nails this dark berry color, Jordana – Hypnotizing.  This particular polish dries darker than it appears in the bottle. I sort of liked the color in the bottle a little better, but it’s still super pretty.  Really, any dark color will work for this look.  A dark blue or green would look great, and black would work just fine, too.  If you use a lighter polish, you’ll get a more subtle effect.  ITP tends to reflect gold/green/blue when it’s over dark colors.  Over light colors it reflects pink/gold.

IMG_6437While my purple polish was drying, I took one of my smallest dotting tools and dipped the end in wax from a candle I was burning.  When the wax cools, it remains just tacky enough to pick up IMG_6438the pieces of ITP.  This is actually a great little trick to pick up any little gems or glitter that you are trying to place on your nail.  It gives you a lot of control, and in the end, the wax just wipes off the dotting tool.  A toothpick dipped in wax would work just fine, too.

When my polish was pretty much dry, I applied a thick-ish coat of clear polish to one of my fingers.  (I wouldn’t recommend using a quick dry top coat for this step.  I think it would dry to quickly and you’d end up not really being able to get the strips of ITP to stick.)  I then picked up a strip of ITP with my waxy dotting tool and placed it in the IMG_6440center of my nail.  I then added a strip on each side. I pressed each strip down kind of firmly, but not too firmly.  I then moved on to the next finger.  Polish, strip, strip, strip.  Next finger: polish, strip, strip, strip… You get the pattern, right?

By the time I was done with my 10th finger, the first finger I did was pretty much dry.  I realized that my waxy dotting was leaving little wax smudges on the strips of ITP.  (See the picture on the left.)  Because IMG_6441the clear polish was pretty much dry at this point, I REALLY gently took a tissue and wiped down each nail.  This took care of the wax smudges.  Just be careful.  You don’t want to mess up your work thus far!  (See the picture on the right.)

IMG_6449I let them dry for a while, since I had so many coats of polish on at this point, but I eventually applied two layers of quick dry top coat.  Even after both layers of top coat dried completely, I can still feel the ridges of the ITP strips, so I think I might be adding a third layer of top coat.

I’ve been out and about a little bit, and I’ve gotten so many comments on these nails!  Seriously, they are quite show stopping!  I’ve got a few more ideas I’d like to try out using ITP, and I’ll make sure I write about it when I do.  Thanks for reading!  Let me know if you try this look!

Dry Brush Nails

Here are my current nails:

IMG_6388Pretty cute, right?  I’ve only done dry brush nails a few times, but every time I do, I’m reminded of how easy they are!  And they look really cool!  I’ve acquired a good pile of compliments on these nails so far, and nobody really believes me when I say these are super easy, so I figured I’d provide a little quicky tutorial on these.  Disclaimer: I totally didn’t invent this technique.  It’s been around for a few years now, and I really don’t have any idea who the originator is.  But I’m definitely sure that it wasn’t me.

First you start with your base coat and then a light, neutral polish.  This time I went with Wet n Wild – Yo Soy.   IMG_6386Seriously, this is such a pretty nude color and it’s only $.99!  I’m not sure how it works with other skin tones, but with my pale pinkish skin, it works really well.  This picture was taken without a top coat, so you can really see how shiny it is!  This is two coats, and it’s totally opaque.  For dry brushing, you can never go wrong with a white base either.

IMG_6393Now, pick a few contrasting colors.  I opted for Jordana – Hypnotizing, China Glaze – Budding Romance, and Fresh Paint – Let the Games Begin.  Budding Romance is the most sheer out of these three polishes, so I decided to use it last.  I decided to start with Let the Games Begin, the blue.

Shake (or better yet, roll) your polish like normal, but here’s the important part: after you open your bottle, wipe as much polish as possible off on the neck of the IMG_6399bottle.  Like, six times.  Just keep wiping.  You just want the littlest bit of residual polish on the brush.  After you’ve wiped all of the excess polish off of the brush, pick a direction, IMG_6387and drag the brush over your nail.   I decided to mix it up, so I dragged the brush down my thumb, middle finger and pinky vertically, and across my other two fingers horizontally.

I then did the exact same thing with the purple polish, and then with the green polish, kind of filling in the empty spaces.  Although I intended to take pictures of each step of this manicure, I didn’t.  Fail.  See, I’m usually watching something important on TV (like Sister Wives or Dance Moms) while I’m doing my nails, so I tend to forget to take pictures of each step.  I just crank along and then I’m like, “Oh dang, I’m done… And I only have 2 pictures.”

So anyway, after adding the purple and green polish, I finished off with a matte top coat.  I don’t know why, but I feel like dry IMG_6401brush nails look the best with a matte top coat.

Oh, cautionary tale time; there’s really only one way you can screw up dry brush nails, and that is by not wiping the brush off well enough.  Exhibit A is here on the right.  This is my ring finger on my right hand.  See that big blob of blue?  That’s where I didn’t wipe the brush off well enough.   Moral of the story: wipe the brush off.  A lot.

Thanks for reading!  I hope this inspires you to try this technique.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  Until next time, happy polishing!