Friday, September 9, 2011

My Julep Maven September Box

I actually received this in the mail last week right before Labor Day weekend, but in my excitement about trying my first patchwork quilt mani, I forgot to even try out the new nail color I received until now! First, let me show you what was packed in my box:

A full-sized Hand Cream, Cuticle Oil, Amy Nail Color, and two extra gifts to thank me for being one of the first Julep Mavens! - A travel lint brush/comb/mirror/sewing kit and a double-sided glass nail file - pretty awesome!

My Julep Maven style was determined to be Boho Glam, and while at first look it seems like the nail color in this month's box, Amy, is awfully similar to one of the nail colors in the Boho Glam Introductory Box, Miranda, they are just different enough. Miranda is more of a bright seafoam green. While Amy is more of a bright turquoise blue. I didn't think to swatch them both in a direct comparison until just now as I'm typing this, so I will have to try that later and post pics. But for now, here is Amy in all of her beautiful turquoise glory:

This is only one coat! With a top coat of Seche Vite, of course. For some reason Julep nail colors don't seem to be very shiny on their own, but since I'm always going to use a fast-dry top coat, it doesn't really matter to me. I really love Julep's creme colors so far. They are really bright and pigmented, and just gorgeous colors. I thought about stamping over this one, but it's so pretty on it's own, I'm going to wear it like this today, and maybe stamp something over it tonight, if I have time. Of course I will post pics if I do! I was thinking of stamping silver on it, but then I thought about stamping it with Julep Olivia, the warm brown creme that came in my introductory box. But I haven't tried stamping with any Julep polishes yet. Have any of you? Is the formula thick enough to stamp with, or would it just be an epic fail? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear about your experiences, good or bad. 

One last note about the Julep Maven program, they did have some glitches with their referral codes, but they seem to have worked it out. So if you are interested in trying out Julep Maven, getting a box full of nail goodies worth more than $40 each month for only $19.99, click here to check it out. I will get a $15 credit for every person who signs up from my referral, and you will also get a $15 credit for every friend you refer, too! It's like a big ole circle of awesomeness! : )

Okay, enough rambling for this morning, I seriously need to get to work now!
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My First Patchwork Quilt Mani

So this weekend I had plenty of time to play with my polish and try out some new techniques. Recently I had seen a few blogs about patchwork manicures. It seemed fairly easy using scotch tape, as long as I could get the tape to come off clean this time! : ) The only thing is, all of the pictures I saw labeled as patchwork looked more like color block to me. Remember some of those rad ‘80’s and ‘90’s fashions?

I actually had a color block leather jacket back then! So trendy, ha! While all of those patchwork (or color block) manis look awesome - I’m looking at you, Chloe’s Nails : )  – the word “patchwork” makes me think of quilts, more specifically, my grandmother’s quilts. My grandmother made some of the most beautiful hand sewn patchwork quilts. Each piece of fabric had a different design on it, and when the patches were sewn together they made the prettiest patterns, like my favorite, Grandmother’s Garden. When I thought of trying a patchwork mani, I wanted to pay homage to my grandmother and her beautiful handmade quilts.

I wanted each “patch” to have its own little design, and yet blend together with the other “patches.” Originally I planned to use three base colors, like most patchwork manis I have seen, but I ran out of time before I could add a dusty green “patch.” So this patchwork quilt mani is just dusty blue and grey. Not bad for my first try though, if I do say so myself!

Sally Hansen CSM Gray by Gray stamped with Wet Cement m21 & Sally Hansen Wet Cement stamped with Gray by Gray m62

I will definitely try this again when I have more time to add a third color. And will, of course, post pictures!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My First Taped & Stamped Manis

I just realized that so far I have only posted water marble nail art. But I have actually been trying more techniques. Thanks to my good friend, Tawny, for telling me to check out Chloe's Nails, I tried working with Scotch tape. I tried to replicate her shredded mani using different colors. I did have a little trouble peeling some of the tape off, so it's not perfect. And for some reason I didn't take pictures til after I had some tip wear. So it's really not perfect! But still kinda cool-looking. It's been a while since I first tried it, and now I kinda want to try it again to see if I can do it better. When I do I'll be sure to post some pics. But for now, here's my first shot at a shredded mani:

Sally Hansen CSM Pedal to the Medal & Wet n Wild Black Creme

Then my first Konad stamping set arrived in the mail! I shopped all over the internet to find exactly what I wanted to start with and the best deal, and I ended up ordering the B Set from Nail Essential on Amazon for $24.

It came with 1 stamper, 1 scraper, 3 Special Polishes (black, white and red), and 4 plates: m4, m8, m15, m21. I also ordered 4 additional plates from them, all for less than $4 each: m12, m28, m62, m63. I had seen m62 and m63 on other blogs and loved some of the images. I chose m12 because of the Christmas images I know I'll play with this December, and m28 for the skull & crossbones and spider images I thought would be fun for Halloween.

Since my shredded mani was on its last legs when I got my stamping kit, I decided to try my first stamping over it, just to see how it worked. If I totally screwed it up, well I would be removing it anyway. But it actually kinda worked. Again, far from perfect, but fun, and a learning experience.

SH CSM Pedal to the Medal & WnW Black Creme stamped with Konad white special polish & m28

My next several stamped manis, for some reason, I still didn't take pictures of until they were a couple days old and showing wear. I think maybe I wasn't real confident with them at first, but still wanted to document them before I removed them. So here are pics of some more fun with stamping:

Sally Hansen Creamy Olive stamped with Konad white special polish & m62
I absolutely LOVE this dainty image!

Sally Hansen Gunmetal stamped with SH CSM Pedal to the Metal & m63

Revlon Blue Lagoon stamped with Sally Hansen Celeb City & m63
LOVE this blue polish, but Celeb City is not opaque enough to stamp with. Will keep looking for a good opaque silver.

Julep Miranda stamped with Konad black special polish & m28
I did this on my thumbs just before I removed this polish because I wanted to see how the spider looked. It turned out better than I thought it would with even more detail than I could see on the plate! I can't wait to use this for Halloween!

Well, I hope you enjoyed my super-long post about my discovery of stamping and taping! Now I am completely caught up with posting pictures of everything I have tried so far since I really started playing with nail art just a little over a month ago. So now I'll really have to start working at it so I've got some cool new stuff to post more often. I can only hope that I keep getting better at it as I go along, for your sake and mine! Let me know if you have any ideas you want me to try, and I just might give it a shot!

Thanks for reading, and inspiring me!