Tip Top Nails Competition

I learned from Wonderful Wolf, a fellow nail blogger that Tip Top Nails, a South African nail polish company is hosting a nail art competition on their facebook page.  Here are the rules:

1.  You can only use 3 colors and they need to be chosen by a male in your life.

2. Your focus needs to be on an accent nail.

3.  No acrylic paint or stamping.  This is supposed to show off your freehand skills.

4.  It’s also a photo contest, so your picture needs to somehow reflect your inspiration for your nail art.

This just sounded fun to me.  When I told my hubby Mike about it, he did some sort of evil laugh and said something about how he had all the power.  He chose a hot pink, bright blue and white.

Then I hunted around the house for some inspiration and I found some cute cupcake scrapbook paper that seemed to have potential.  Here’s the look I ended up with:

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I haven’t officially submitted my entry yet.  I think I might submit the picture with the close-up of 3 fingers since that shows the detail on the accent nail the best, but I’m not sure yet.

Anyway, you have until the end of August to enter this contest if you’re interested!   Check out Tip Top Nails South Africa’s facebook page for all of the details.   Let me know what you think and if you are going to enter!

 

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Splotchy Neon Nails

Splotchy Neon Nails is what I’m calling these, because I can’t think of a better name, although I’m sure there is one:

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Again, these are my sister’s nails.  She felt she needed something cute and beach-appropriate for her trip to Cancun.  Here’s how we got this look…

First, I started with two coats of white polish.  Specifically, I used Sinful Colors – Snow Me White.  Then I put tape around the nails to make clean up easier at the end. 

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I’m hoping you can see the tape that is over the top of the nail, and around the finger at the base of the cuticle. 

I used these four polishes for the colored part:

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L-R: Nina – Blue Blaze, Fresh Paint – Guava, Funky Fingers – Glow Stick, Sinful Colors – Dream On. 

From here on out, the technique was pretty much exactly the same as it was for the white polish for my Beach Inspired Nail Art.  (Check it out for a more detailed description of this technique).  Basically, I took a disposable plastic container, filled it with room-temperature filtered water, dropped nail polish on the surface of the water, and sprayed it with some alcohol-based body spray to get the polish to break up.  Then I had my sister dunk her fingers in the water, which allowed the polish that’s floating on the surface to adhere to her nails.  While her fingers were still in the water, I used a Q-tip to pull the remaining polish off the surface of the water.  It’s hard to do more than about 2 fingers at a time, so you will need to repeat this process quite a few times.  There is a bit of a learning curve, but it’s really not too hard, just a little time-consuming.

We did Guava on the index finger, pinky, and thumb, and Glow Stick on the other two fingers. 

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Then we repeated the steps with Blue Blaze over the Guava nails, and Dream On over the Glow Stick nails.

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Then, one more time we did Guava on the index finger, pinky, and thumb, and Glow Stick on the other two fingers, just to make sure that those lighter colors were showing up well enough on the nail. 

At this point, it was a little hard to appreciate the designs on her nails since there was so much polish all over her fingers.  My sister was an enthusiastic finger dunker so she had polish pretty far up her fingers. 

From here we took off the tape and topped the nails with Seche Vite, a quick dry top coat.  Then using a Q-tip dipped in acetone as well as a little brush dipped in acetone, I cleaned up all of the excess polish.  

Here’s our end result!

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Fun and cute, right?  If you give this look a try, I’d love to see your recreations on either facebook or instagram.  Just make sure you tag Polish Me Snazzy or use the hashtag #polishmesnazzy so that I can see it.  Thanks for reading!

In Pursuit of the Perfect Green

Lately, I’ve been into light green nail polish.   More than once, I’ve purchased what I thought would be a perfect light green and it either turned out to be too blue or too dark or just not quite what I thought it would be.  Meanwhile, I have this half-a-bottle of Essie in the color Blanc, that I really wasn’t loving anymore:

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Truth be told, I never really loved it in the first place.  The formula was never as opaque as I felt it should be for an $8 white polish.  (There are much better whites out there for much cheaper.)  Plus, it was starting to get a little old an gunky.

The first thing I did was restore the polish out with this awesome product:

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This stuff is great!  It was only around $3 at Sally Beauty Supply, and I’ve revived so many old polishes with it already!  A little side note here: Don’t thin your polish out with acetone or polish remover.  It may work temporarily, but ultimately, it will ruin the polish you are trying to fix.

Anyway, after I thinned out my Blanc, I added about 20 drops of this green and one or two drops of this blue:

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I did a lot of shaking and ended up with this:

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It’s exactly the color I was hoping for!  I haven’t actually used it yet, but I totally will before too long!  I totally feel like a winner, winner, chicken dinner because I now have a new color that I can’t wait to use, and I didn’t spend any money!  My hubby will be so proud!

UPDATE:  I finally did use this polish for this pink, green, and glitter mani and I love it!

Have you ever mixed your old polishes to create a new one?  Did you like your results?

All About The Neon

So we’re smack in the middle of summer.  Summer is great for many reasons, not the least of which is wearing neon nail polish!  Actually, summer is pretty much the only season in which you can wear neon polish without looking…  What’s a nice way to say “trashy”?  (You are entitled to disagree with me, but that’s how I feel.)  Anyway, since we are in the season of neon, I figured it was a good time to talk about how we can all sport the most eye-searingly neon nails as possible.

Have you ever purchased a beautifully bright bottle of neon polish that you just couldn’t wait to put on your fingers?  You didn’t want much, just for your nails to be as bright as the bottle of polish.  Then once you got it on your nails, it was disappointingly drab.  It was streaky and see-through, and matte and just didn’t look like anything in the bottle.  It was a sad day.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you CAN have nails that are just as brilliantly bright as the polish appears in the bottle, and for the most-part, there’s just one really important step that you need to take before you slather on the neon polish…(Drum roll, please.)… You need to paint your nails white first.  A lot of neon polish has a pretty shear formula.  Those “highlighter yellow” polishes almost always have a really transparent jelly formula.  Because of that, the only way to get the true color to show up is to make sure it’s on a white background.

And you need to take your time and paint your nails really nicely with the white polish.  Since the neon polish is tends to be shear, any streaks or missed spots in the white polish are going to show through the neon layer, too.  Generally, two good coats of white will make a great base for your neon polish.

There are other bloggers out there (many of whom I like a lot) that claim that painting your nails white first should not have to be a requirement, and the nail polish companies need to step up their game and make true neon polish that doesn’t require a white base.  I say that those sentiments are all well and good, but the truth is, your neon nails will generally be a heck of a lot brighter if you just take the extra 5 minutes to put down a nice white base.

So, let’s get to some examples.  Here are the polishes that I tested:

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I arranged them nicely in rainbow order and took this picture in natural light to try to show the colors as accurately as possible. Starting with the upper left, the colors are:

  • Sally Girl #812157
  • Sally Girl #812158
  • China Glaze – Thistle Do Nicely
  • LA Colors – Hottie
  • Sally Girl – Crazy
  • Spoiled – Did I Dye It Too Blonde?
  • Broadway – Sour Apple
  • China Glaze – Turned Up Turquoise
  • Nina – Blue Blaze
  • Sinful Colors – Dream On

One each hand I painted my:

  • First finger: 2 coats of neon polish on bare nail
  • Middle finger: 3 coats of neon polish on bare nail
  • Ring finger: 4 coats of neon polish on bare nail
  • Pinky: 1 coat of white polish followed by 2 coats of neon polish
  • Thumb: 2 coats of white polish followed by 2 coats of neon polish

I did all of these swatches while watching The Bachelorette.  In retrospect, I should have done them during the day so that I could have photographed them in natural light.   It’s really hard to capture neon colors on camera as it is, and I think artificial light makes it even worse.   I should also point out that I am fully aware that my paint job on some of my fingers is pretty crappy.  I was mostly concerned with getting them all done before Andi gave out her final rose.

Here we go…

Sally Girl #812157:

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This picture is really deceptive.  The color is a crazy bright pink, and with this particular color, it is SO much more vibrant over white.

Sally Girl #812158:

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This is a neon bubblegum pink.  This one is actually just fine without a white base, as long as you do at least 3 coats.

China Glaze – Thistle Do Nicely:

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A hot pinky-coral.  China Glaze makes some really great neon formulas, and this is one of them.  Three coats without a white base looks great.

LA Colors – Hottie:

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This  is actually a bright coral.  This may not be a true neon, because the formula dries glossy instead of matte.  Three coats of this looks good without white underneath.

Sally Girl – Crazy:

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Traffic cone orange.  This picture is a little deceptive.  Without white underneath, it remains a dingy orange.  A white base makes the color blinding!

Spoiled – Did I Dye It Too Blonde?:

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This highlighter yellow is the color that most obviously benefits from a white base underneath.  On the pinky, you can see that the streaks from the thin coat of white show through.  I love how this looks on the thumb!  You definitely need two coats of white under this and then 2 coats of yellow, but the trouble is SO worth it!  You can stop traffic with these nails!

Broadway – Sour Apple:

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This color sure looks neon to me, so I was surprised that it dried glossy.  An amazing formula for a polish that costs $1!  Three coats without white and you are good to go.

China Glaze – Turned Up Turquoise:

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I LOVE this color!  This formula is great, so you don’t need a white base.  This is not a typical neon color, but it is part of China Glaze’s neon collection.  This looks really cool with it’s matte finish, but there is a greenish shimmer in this polish that really shows up when you put a shiny top coat over it.  This color, along with the last two, are actually colors that you can get away with wearing year-round.  Did I mention that I love this color?

Nina – Blue Blaze:

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Again the color in this picture is really deceptive.  I decided to include this color, because like most neons, it dries matte and it really is a bright electric blue in person!  It’s sort of irritating, but this color applies much more smoothly when it is not over white, but the color is much brighter when it is over white.  I think I’ll have to play with this one a little more to get it just right.

Sinful Colors – Dream On:

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This neon purple looks okay if you do 4 coats on it’s own, but a white coat underneath just makes it pop.

And here’s my little trash can by the end of The Bachelorette:

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You can see some of my husband’s peanut shells underneath.  He feels that it is important to shell and eat peanuts while he watches baseball on TV.   So, as long has he doesn’t complain about the nail polish bottles that are strewn all over our house, I won’t complain about the peanut skins that land on the carpet.  The things you do for love.

What are your thoughts on applying a white base under neons?  And what are your favorite neon polishes?