Tag Archives: OPI

Mani Monday: Luck of the Irish…

Since St. Patrick’s day fell on a Saturday this year- there was even more reason to celebrate.  Everyone and their mother, literally, came to the city of Chicago to watch the Chicago river turn neon green and get their drink on.  In order to prepare, a few of the girls from work came over on Thursday for sushi, beer, nail painting, and college basketball.  It was quite the sight to see- four girls just as worried about how their brackets were doing as they were to what Irish theme they were going to paint their nails.  The problem was…we had too many options we couldn’t decide what to do!  It’s my fault.  Instead of just green- I had many shades of green, orange, glitter, stamps, etc that you can see in the photos below.  Decisions were finally made after a bit of ‘testing’ of the endless combinations and the end result on each girl ended up being just as unique and fabulous as they are!  I can’t wait for the next party!Colors used were: Green-Essie Going Incognito and Navigate her, OPI Jade is the new black.  Orange- Essie Orange it’s Obvious, and Tart Deco.  Sparkles-Sephora by OPI Traffic Stopper Copper and Flurry Up.  Tools used: Sephora Dotting Tool and Konad Plate M60.




Mani Monday: Beauty Show Booty!

Wow, what a weekend!  My younger sis came to town for our 3rd annual America’s Beauty Show field trip.  Considering that it is our 3rd time going, we’d like to consider ourselves veterans of the show.  We research the vendors that have booths at the show, plot out our plan of attack using the location map, visit only the booths with the best samples, and get out of there before it becomes too crazy busy.  Our first stop is always the Essie booth.  For both of us, this usually where we spend the most money.  How could you not with nail polish and nail treatments at 6 for $20 (or buy 5 get one free at the other Essie booth).  I spent $70 total at Essie this year.  Yes, I may have a problem, but let me justify it for you- I got a combination of 21 polishes and treatments.  If I would’ve bought those at Ulta, I would’ve spent at least 3 times that (not to mention all the other crap I would’ve bought while at Ulta).  After Essie, we head to a few other booths- Moroccan Oil, OPI, Pureology (sadly they weren’t there this year), TIGI, and Moroccan Oil again :).  There’s usually some random nail tool supply booth in the back of the convention center that we always try to find with super cheap nail tools such as files, buffers, brushes, cuticle nippers, etc.  This is the booth where I scored a value pack of 50 nail buffers for only $8!  New to the show this year was Ardell Eyelashes.  I picked up 6 pairs of false lashes for only $15 (sure beats the $5 each at Walgreens!).  I also scored some new makeup brushes from Crown Brush for about $2-$3 a piece.

There’s definitely more to the show if you’re in the industry.  There are demos on everything from flat-ironing, curling, updos, coloring, extensions, and spray tanning!  There are also booths selling everything from products, styling tools, salon furniture, brushes, hair styling books, publications, and the list goes on!

I most enjoyed checking out all the different nail booths.  There was way more of them this year than last. Newer (or at least with a larger presence) was the Shellac or Gel Manicures.  There were also more booths with the nail art stickers that cover your nail.  Also new for us was an actual OPI booth.  Like I mentioned last Mani Monday, OPI’s presence has been with 3rd party distributor in the past.  There was also a China Glaze booth and Orly.  A lot of distraction for someone like me.

Here are some Instagram highlights from the show:Top Row: Models at the P&G Salon Professionals show and some guy with crazy cheetah hair.  Second Row: DJ spinning some great tunes at one of the booths and half dressed female models on stilts and shirtless, buff male models.  Third Row:  The NYX cosmetic booth- what amazing colors and great deals! Last Row:  Yep, that’s Nick Arrojo (from earlier seasons of What Not to Wear )and one of the many nail art booths.

In case you were wondering how I could spend $70 so easily at Essie- take a look at the pics below.  Rows and rows and ROWS of just about every Essie Color you could imagine all organized in alphabetical order so it’s that much easier to find the color you’re looking for!As you can see from the pics above, my sis and I made out pretty well.  Stay tuned for some new manicures using my new colors (the colors I got are on the left, my sister’s are on the right).  Here’s what I picked up:  Pinks-Tour de Finance*, Jamaica me Crazy, and Sure Shot.  Oranges/Corals-Tart Deco, Orange, It’s Obvious*, and Ole Caliente*.  Purples/Greys-Over the Top, Play Date, No More Film, She’s Picture Perfect.  Greens-Mint Candy Apple (hot spring color) and Navigate Her*, and Go Overboard.  Treatments included First Base Base Coat, Good to Go Top Coat, Apricot Cuticle Oil Treatment, and Ridge Filling Base Coat- all from Essie of course!

*All part of Essie’s Spring 2012 Collection

Mani Monday: Out of this World!!

Mani Monday is back…so did ya miss me?!  This Monday I bring you a mani that is truly out of this world: Galaxy Nails!  I recently discovered this little mani via Pinterest (virtual pinboard, addictive time consumer).  Bored with the thought of a conventional mani- which I’ve done plenty of in my absence, I decided to give Galaxy Nails a go.   I tested this out on my nail polish art wheel to make sure I had the technique and color flow down.  My tester looked so cool that I decided to go ahead and do all of my nails instead of just one accent nail (the original plan). This mani was fairly easy too- all you need in addition to a variety of colors is one of those triangular make up sponges to do the artwork.

Here’s what I started out with

After the base coat (Essie First Base Base Coat) I used OPI Light My Sapphire as the base nail color.  To get the cosmic ‘galaxy’ effect -take the sponge and paint the lightest color (I used Essie Something Blue) on to the corner of the sponge.  Dab the sponge on something first to get the excess color off and then dab on your nail.  The lightest color serves as the base to layer other colors on top of  and will end up being the focal point of your design.  I chose to be a little random with this and on some nails went for the corners, and others right in the center.  After you have the start of your ‘nebula’ layer other colors on top by following the same process as you did  with the lighter color.  I proceeded with Essie Turquoise and Caicos, then OPI Sparrow me the Drama, followed by China Glaze White Kwik Silver, then added Essie Bermuda Shorts, OPI Cuckoo for this Color, Sinful This is it, and finally Chanel Peridot.  For each of these colors I simply painted a few coats on the sponge and dabbed away.  The colors don’t last long enough to mix with each other as they are absorbed by the sponge so the tiny area of the sponge I used worked for the entire mani.  Once I finished with the colors I went back in with the base color (OPI Light my Sapphire) and sort of reshaped the nebulas.  To top off the mani- I added a few sparkles to really give it that cosmic effect.  Wherever there was pink- I painted a few sparkles from Sephora by OPI’s Sugar Plum Faries Gone Wild.  Then finished with a coat of Sephora by OPI Flurry Up and Only Gold for me.

There’s a little clean up needed afterwards, but no where near as much as with water marbling.

Aren’t these far out?!  Can’t wait to try it with some other stellar color combos!

Mani Monday: Falling for these Fall Nail Polish Trends

As the weather starts to turn, you can’t help but think about fall.  It’s pretty much time to pack up the summer brights and neons in your nail polish wardrobe (along with shorts and sundresses) and time to make that transition to fall colors (and sweaters and boots!).  I don’t know if it’s the cool crispness in the air or the wind and sometimes gloomy days of late, but fall has me thinking much more about cool blues, smokey greys, rich greens, and metallics then the usual berry hues of fall.  It’s no longer unconventional to see nails painted in every color of the rainbow as opposed to the familiar red, burgundy, and nude.  Here are some of my top picks for fall that focus more on the ‘GBIV’ side of the rainbow (sorry ROY!).Colors left to right: Chanel Peridot, Sephora for OPI Fig Leaf, Zoya Yara, Essie Power Clutch, and Butter London WallisColors left to right: Zoya Tao, OPI French Quarter for your Thoughts, Deborah Lippman Stormy Weather, Chanel Graphite, OPI My Private Jet

Colors from left to right: Chanel Quartz, OPI Glitzerland, Essie Case Study, Deborah Lippman Boom Boom Pow, Essie MochachinoColors from left to right: OPI Roadhouse Blues, Zoya Cynthia, Deborah Lippmann Lady Sings the Blues, OPI Ski Teal we Drop, Deborah Lipman Don’t tell Mama

What colors will you be rocking on your fingertips this fall?

Mani Monday: Girls Night!

This week’s Mani Monday is a little different in the fact that I’m not just showing you one mani- but 6 fabulous mani’s!!  Manicures have become somewhat of an obsession with some of the girls in the office, so we’ve started doing a mani and wine girls’ night.  This past Thursday was quite the event with 6 ladies, 6 bottles of wine, and 6 sets of nails to be manicured.  Each of the girls did something different, but all turned out equally fabulous.

Here we are hard at work

The final result

Here’s what we did clockwise from the top: Staci went to get a pro mani over lunch to save some time.  She did OPI What’s with the Cattitude from the Shrek collection.  Then to snazz it up she added the design using Konad plate M65 and Essie Over the Edge.  Next is Dana who was having her first experience with nail art. She chose a more subtle mani with Essie Chinchilly, Konad plate M57, and Essie Steel-ing the Scene.  Stef decided to use my new Chanel Peridot color and instead of doing Konad plate m57 on all the nails, she decided to do just a thumb and ring finger accent on each hand.  Sinful Black on Black was used for the fishnet.  At the bottom is my cheetah mani that I wrote about last week (I didn’t do my own mani the night-I saved it for the weekend).  Next was Amy who also got a pro mani that day with Staci- however she couldn’t remember the name of the polish (and shockingly I didn’t know it for myself).  To snazz up here mani we did just a little accent of the glittery ombre mani on the ring and thumb fingers of both hands.  She also did a pedi this evening using Sinful Innocent and the m57 Konad plate.  Lastly was Kate- who didn’t hold back on hers one bit. She went all out with Essie Limited Addiction and then the glittery ombre with OPI Extra-va-va-ganza (from the Burlesque collection) and Sephora for OPI Flurry Up and Only Gold for Me.

The night was a success and each gal left with some fantastic looking digits.  There’s sure to be a repeat in the near future.

Mani Monday: Into the Wild

Ever since I got my Konad nail art stamping plates, I’ve been anxiously awaiting an opportunity to use the cheetah print on the M57 plate.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Konad- it’s a nail imprinting kit that allows you stamp pre-designed images on your nails.  You paint over the design plate with the desired nail polish color, scrape off the excess polish with a special scraper tool, then use the special stamping tool to pick up the image from the plate to transfer to your nail.  It really sounds more complicated than it is- just ask the coworkers who’ve come over to my place a few times for wine and manicure night and do their own Konad stamping.

The main color for this manicure was OPI’s Uh-Oh Roll Down the Window from the fall 2011 Touring America Collection.  Even though the name of the color doesn’t bring pleasant thoughts to mind (eww) the unique olive green color is gorgeous and compliments my olive skin tone.  When I bought this color at Ulta a few weeks ago, I was worried it would be too similar to Essie’s ‘Sew Psyched‘ from last year’s fall collection.  However,  this green has a little more yellow to it.  The application was much better than I expected.  All it took was two coats for solid coverage- and no streaking.  Here’s the comparison of Sew Psyched (left) and Uh-Oh Roll Down the Window (right).

For this manicure I started with Essie’s First Base Base Coat, then added two coats of OPI’s ‘Uh-oh Roll Down the Window’.  For the cheetah print accented just my ring finger and thumb and used Sinful ‘Black on Black’ and Konad plate.  Tip for those trying out the Konad plates- I’ve found it helps to roll the stamper on to the plate from bottom to top, then on the nail from side to side.  For the inside of the cheetah print I used the Marbling and Dotting Nail Tool from Sephora and dipped it in Sinful ‘This is It’.  I finished it off with Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.  Voila!

Mani Monday- Irish Fest Nails

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to bartend at Irish Fest in Milwaukee.  It has become part of a tradition with my fiance’s family and it was the perfect opportunity to do something fun and festive with my nails- in green of course.  I needed the manicure to be something that I would want to keep on my nails past the weekend’s festivities, so unfortunately my original plan of green, orange, and white water marbling was no longer an option.  I ended up going with a low-key version of the glittery ombre nails I did in the past- but with green instead.  After applying a base coat of Essie Fill the Gap, I did 2 coats of Essie Going Incognito.  I then took OPI’s Glow Up Already! (green glitter) and applied it to the tips of my ring finger and thumb on both hands.  In order to get the ombre effect, I wiped off the excess glitter from the brush and then swept the brush from the tips towards the cuticle to spread out the glitter.  I then added a bit more glitter at the tip so that the glitter was a little more concentrated at the top.  Then I added a fewer big chunks of glitter from the Sephora by OPI collection of Flurry Up and Only Gold for Me and finished it up with Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.