Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Best Nail File Ever: Ruby Stone Crystal File

Heya LacquerHeads!

Disclaimer: Oh dear... So I just realized that this post never got posted. I made it on Saturday and only saved it as a draft instead of publishing it! Big woops! I'm sorry guys!! I swear I'll be much more careful next time!!

I've recently put myself on a polish no-buy until I start college again in April. Buying polish again will be my treat for putting in so much hard work to get everything in order to get on the path to an AA degree once again. But uhhh *ahem* being on a polish no-buy doesn't necessarily mean I can't buy any nail care items... right? muahahhaha loophole! 

So as a result, I picked up this absolutely amazing Ruby Stone Crystal Nail File at my local Sally's Beauty Supply. This file is actually made out of the stuff that real rubies are made from, aluminum oxide powder crystals, cool huh?! But between me and you - this thing is so magically majestic, I'd put bet all my polishes that this nail file is actually created by little fairies with ruby wings in a crystal cave behind the most beautiful waterfall in all the land guarded by unicorns and narwhals. No joke. It's by far the best nail file that has ever graced my tips in all of my years. 

Using this crystal file is so fast and simple, you only need but a couple gentle swipes and you're done. It glides so smoothly and evenly, you'll never want to use another file again - and you won't have to because it'll never dull! Another really cool part, that I'm loving, is that it does everything; because of the way it's shaped, it can easily file off hangnails or soften any skin that has gotten rough around your nail, it can remove cuticles, it can get up under your tips, it can do it all. 

I'm loving this file so hard. Seriously, if you don't already have one - I highly recommend investing in one. They're only $3.49 at Sally's. If you do go pick one up, or if you've got one already, I'd love to hear your opinions on it. Do you love it as much as I do? Pffsshhh... of course you do!

Until next time,
prettylittlebigle out.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Swatch Review: New Hard Candy - Crush on Copper from the Crushed Chromes Collection

Howdy, LacquerHeads!

Welcome back for part two of my Hard Candy swatch review. In this installment, I've got a Crush on Copper straight out of the Crushed Chromes Collection and it's all swatched up and ready for you!

Remember, all 43 bottles from the brand new Hard Candy polish line can be found at Walmart for only $3.97!

Crush on Copper is a gorgeous, metallic, coppery coral varnish with a golden - almost duochrome shimmer. One thing I was not expecting was its textured appearance. This polish is smooth to the touch, but it appears as though it has a bit of a rough finish. There's just so much dimension coming from those tiny micro-glitter shimmer flakes, it's absolutely stunning. 

The formula is perfect. Just like with Sparked Up, it's not too thick or too thin and it dries quickly.  

The application is astounding. This polish is definitely a one-coater, although you may prefer to add a second coat just to really bring out that amazing textured chrome. 

I'm really loving this polish, which is another thing I didn't really expect. When I bought it I was thinking it couldn't be much different than any other shimmery polish but I was totally wrong. This stuff is definitely among my favorites.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your opinions!

Until next time, 
prettylittlebigle out.

Swatch Review: New Hard Candy - Sparked Up from the Glitteratzi Collection

Welcome back, LacquerHeads!

Today I've got a couple of sweet new polishes from the new Hard Candy line to review for you. First up is Sparked Up from the Glitteratzi Collection.

You can find all 43 of these new polishes exclusively at Walmart for only $3.97 each! 

All photos are shown using one through four coats of Sparked Up on top of a clear base coat with no topcoat applied to really show off that amazing texture.

Sparked Up is a clear suspension base packed full of blue and green bar glitter as well as a ton of blue micro glitter. One coat would look fantastic over any base color to really make it pop. Two or more coats can be worn without a base color, which is my favorite way to wear it. This polish really kicks ass on its own.

The formula is fantastic. It's not too thick or too thin and it dries fairly quickly. 

The application is a breeze. The bar glitter lays down and stays down really nicely. The glitter doesn't pull with each brushstroke. It stays put, making it really easy to build up and layer. The brush size in these cool new bottles is perfect for easy application.

I'm in love, I'm in love - and I don't care who knows it! That's right. Finally a bar glitter awesome enough to make you quote the movie Elf!

So tell me what you think - Do love it? Hate it? Absolutely have to have it? Let me know!

Be sure to check back here tomorrow, next in line is my review of Hard Candy - Crush on Copper from the Crushed Chromes Collection.

Until next time, 
prettylittlebigle out.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Galaxy Nails

Hi again, LacquerHeads!

After I did the swatches for the Nicole by OPI Selena Gomez - Heavenly Angel post, it dawned on me that those nifty little flakies could potentially be a radass background for a killer Galaxy Mani. So, naturally - I tried it.

I started off with Sinful Colors - Black on Black as my base color. On top of that, I slapped on a thin layer of China Glaze - Some Like it Haute. Then, I sponged on my galaxies and nebulas using a billion different polishes including: Color Show - Fierce N Tangy & Pink Shock; Sinful Colors - CinderellaDream OnHappy Ending; Cherimoya matte.n.a - MatineeHollywood; Pure Ice - Hot Tamale, Celestial; Icing - Pomegranate Martini; and two unnamed polishes of unknown brands in shades of shimmery red.

Yes, you read that right - I used every single one of those colors at least once (but mostly more). That's part of what makes doing galaxy mani's so damn fun to do. All the layers of color creates so much depth and they end up being crazy cool to stare at all day when you're all done.

Then, on top of all 14 of those polishes - I hand placed some flakes of Nicole by OPI Selena Gomez - Heavenly Angel (sheeeesh that's such a long name!) wherever I wanted them. To finish it off, threw on a generous layer of China Glaze - Fairy Dust and when that dried I slapped on a topcoat of Butter London - Hardwear and BAM! done.

Wanna see the results? Of course you do!

I had the hardest time getting good pictures. My right hand looked a thousand times better than my left hand for once. It's usually the other way around, but this time I had to hold the camera steady and in focus with my non dominant left hand. And let me tell you, that was a horrible pain in the ass. It took me forever, and even then I just could not capture the flakies in the background, no matter how hard I tried.

Here's a couple snapshots all blurred out to show off the gorgeous holographic sparkle of Fairy Dust

So after many failed attempts at a quality picture, I took a break. I sat down, cracked open a Monster, and tried to just chill. I looked down at my hands and what do I see? All of the polish from my pointer and middle finger is just gone. Poof! Disappeared! What happened you ask? I have no idea. I do have one theory, however. I think it was this new base coat I tried out. It must have just popped all the polish cleanly off like it were a base of Elmer's Glue or something. Super lame. After that, I decided to continue trying to capture a picture of those awesome flakes anyway, and I got em! Right away! Check it!

I'm diggin' it! I really liked what the flakies added to it. What do you think? I'd love to hear your feedback, and I'd also love to see your take on a Galaxy Mani so if you'd like to share, please do!

Until next time,
prettylittlebigle out.

My First Giveaway Terms and Conditions

Hey there, LacquerHeads

Don't be mad... kay?

Since this is my very first giveaway ever - I'm brand new to the technical side of things. I horribly failed to go over all of the terms and conditions before accepting entries. 

As of right now, the contest is open to U.S. participants only. I know, I know - most blog contests these days are only open to the U.S. and that sucks. As you may know, international shipping is a bitch. I will look into what it will cost to ship internationally and what not, just in case there are any non-U.S. residents that have already entered - but from this point on, I would encourage only U.S. residents to enter.

I'm so sorry for any inconvenience or let downs. It was never intentional. Forgive me?

I promise that I will hold a contest that is open to ALL in the future. You have my word.

Until next time,
prettylittlebigle out.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My First Giveaway!

Are you ready, LacquerHeads?!

I've finally set up my first giveaway! I decided to kickstart the beginning of my blog with this fun giveaway because I've entered in to a couple of blogger's giveaways and I always have a blast. I even won one once (ha!) remember? 

Well... here it goes. The best of luck to each of you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please be sure to check out the Terms and Conditions for this giveaway!

Selena Gomez's Nicole by OPI - Heavenly Angel

Hey there, LacquerHeads! 

I recently picked up a bottle of the new Selena Gomez Nicole by OPI - Heavenly Angel. It's a gorgeous opalescent flakie in a clear base. 

Here it is over black, grey, and white:

I think it looks best over black, but white is pretty interesting looking too.

I chose to put it on top of Don't Mess With OPI for a fun St. Patricks Day mani.

I really can't tell if I like it or not. I keep catching myself staring at it, because it really is eye catching. The multi colored glints of light reflecting from each little flakie is stunning, but I can't tell if it's cool looking overall or just tacky. I received two comments while wearing this mani. One person said it was weird, and another person told me they thought it was amazing.

As for the formula - I'm not so sure about this either. If you choose to put two coats on - the second coat will pull all the flakies up, and clump on top of the first coat of flakies. This makes some parts of your nail still totally void of flakes and other parts over packed. I did find a solution though, instead of applying in strokes, dab it onto your nails. This gives you better control of where the flakes will go, and eliminates the flakes pulling towards the tip and piling onto other layers. 

Since I can't decide if I'm completely in love with this or not, will you guys help me decide? I'd love to hear about your experiences using this polish and I'd love to see pictures of the outcome! So please share with me.

Until next time,
prettylittlebigle out.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Polish Review That Isn't Really A Review At All

Hey there, LacquerHeads!

So, yesterday I said I'd show you pretty pictures of the polishes I had won in The Lacquer Raptor's giveaway. Well... I was actually being serious. Check 'em out peeps!

Tangerine Dream is definitely my favorite. The formula is nice, the finish is smooth, the color is outrageous. It's super glossy, without a topcoat. I love it.

Tangerine Dream by Charlotte Russe

Pomegranate Martini is definitely pretty. It's got the right amount of shimmer to make it really catch the eye. This one is a scented polish. It's pleasant but uh... pomegranate it is not.

Pomegranate Martini by Icing

Purple is interesting. The color is nice and it dries really quick which I love, but there's just nothing magnetic about it.

Purple by Magnetique

Glow in the dark is fun. It really glows! It goes on clear and sparkly so you could put it over anything as a topcoat and have glow in the dark nails all the time.
The only bummer part is that no matter how hard I tried, I could not capture a picture of it actually glowing in the dark!

Glow in the Dark by Deb (over Purple by Magnetique)

I love all of them and I'm still super stoked that I won a contest. So much so that I have a few ideas brewing in my brain barrel.... 

Since I had so much fun participating in this, I've decided that I'm going to host a giveaway of my own. I've already got four amazing polishes picked out to send to one lucky winner.

That's really all I'm going to tell you for now! Muahahaha! Keep checking back for your chance to win my Super Awesome Beginner's Blog Giveaway!

Until next time,
prettylittlebigle out.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Huge Thank You to @TheLacquerRaptor

Hello again, my dear LacquerHeads!

I want to spend one whole post just gushing about some super exciting nailmail that came today.

Last week I placed 2nd in The Lacquer Raptor's giveaway! I was super excited about it, especially since hers was the first blog contest I'd ever entered... and I won!

Here's my loot!!:

From L to R:
Charlotte Russe: Tangerine Dream
Icing: Pomegranate Martini 
Deb: (nameless) Glow in the Dark
Magnetique: Purple

Aren't they all so pretty?! I'm especially stoked on the Tangerine Dream. I'm sort of obsessed with all things orange. 

In my next post I'll be showing off each of these polishes, so be sure to check back soon!!

I strongly suggest everyone stop by The Lacquer Raptor's blog! She's freakin' awesome! Seriously, everyone needs a lacquer wielding dinosaur in their life. So go! Vamoose! Shoo! Get over to her Twitter, her Facebook, and her epic Blog. Be sure to mention who sent you there! 

Until next time,
prettylittlebigle out.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Spongeless Gradient, Tiger Stripe Nail Tutorial

What's up, lacquer heads?!

Prettylittlebigle here, bringing you a whole bunch of firsts. This is my first blog post, my first tutorial, and my first attempt at tiger stripe nails. I figured if I was going to start a nail art blog, then I might as well jump straight into the good stuff - tips first!

Here's the look we'll be re-creating today: A sponge-less gradient, tiger stripe manicure

I know, I know... looks kinda hard right? At least that's what I always thought. I have stayed away from animal print nails because they are sort of daunting. I thought they'd be way too difficult to do, but trust me - they're not! They're super easy, and the outcome is beautiful. So come on, what do you say? Let's try it!!

Here are the polishes I used:

From L to R: Essie - Protein Base Coat, Orly - Pointe Blanche, Orly- Winter Wonderland, China Glaze - I'm Not Lion, China Glaze - I Herd That, Sinful Colors - Black On Black, butterLONDON - Hardwear

You don't have to use these colors if you don't want. Do you wanna do a rainbow tiger stripe? Go for it! You rock the shit outta that rainbow tiger! It's all up to you, they're your nails and this is about your style right? So pick out three colors for the gradient, one color for the stripes. a base coat, and a topcoat.

You'll also need some tools:

Here's all of the tools that I used:

Now that you've gathered everything you need, go ahead and set up your work space. Make sure all of your polishes and tools are easily accessible so you won't smudge any wet polish when it comes time for them. Also make sure you've got some good lighting. Maybe someone can create a cute mani in the dark, but I sure can't.

Step One:
Always, always prep your nails and cuticles first! We all know how important nail care is right? Of course! The first thing I do is remove all polish from a previous mani, if any (and there always is). Then it's on to filing, cuticle removing, some good ol' vitamin E, and my favorite protein base coat by Essie.

Maybe I'll do a tutorial that takes you through the steps of that routine in the future, but for now it's on to step two.

Step Two:
Paint your nails with one layer of white polish and let dry completely. You can use any white ya like, I went with Orly French Tip in Pointe Blanche.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend this particular one because it's a bit harder to apply as an all-over color, due the thinner brush... buuuuuut it was all I had so... Moving along now.

Step Three:
Orly - Winter Wonderland, you can either paint a stripe from the base of your nail to about one third of the way up, like I did, or just slap it on all over. Either way, the effect will be the same but only for this one step. I just wanted the white part of this gradient to be packed full of glitter like the other two colors are instead of leaving it plain white. When you're done, let it dry completely.

Step Four:
Starting at about one third of the way up your nail, paint one coat of
China Glaze - I'm Not Lion in a rough stripe in the middle of your nail. We aren't going for straight lines here, we want to try and blend this in with the edges of the white and have it be thicker and more opaque in the middle. Don't cover up all of the white!! Let it dry.

I pulled some of the polish really thin up to the tips in some places, as long as it's thin that's okay. This will help with the gradient effect.

Step Five:
This is the same as step four, only using
China Glaze - I Herd That and making this stripe blend in with your second stripe, making your polish more opaque towards the tip. Let it dry.

Step Six:
Here's where this sponge-less gradient technique gets a little different. In an attempt to make each stripe blend in with the stripes next to it, repeat steps three through five. You want to overlap the edges of each stripe, I found this to be easiest by using my brush to dab the polish on where I wanted it, instead of stroke. This way I could use less polish to overlap previous stripes, and more polish on the part of the stripe that won't get overlapped.

Step Seven:
This part isn't a must-do, it's just a personal preference. At this point I like to put on a top coat. Since we used glitters for this, the finish is a lot more rough and I like having a smooth surface to paint the tiger stripes onto. You can use which ever top coat you want, I used butter LONDON - Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat. This stuff is seriously amazing and always makes my mani's last forever. Love it!

Step Eight:
Here's where things get really fun. It's time to add the tiger stripes! First thing's first, get out your paper plate or whatever surface you chose, (I used an old tupperware lid) and drop a few drops of the black polish onto the plate. Using a thin striper brush, drag just the tip through the paint, being sure to only get a small amount of the paint onto the brush. If the paint is too thick, you'll end up with stripes that are too thick and harder to work with. Keep it in mind that less is better, you can always add more but you can't take any away.

I like starting my stripes in the middle of the nail, that way I can do the biggest part of the pattern and then work all of the smaller stripes in around that. Starting from the very edge of the nail, drag your brush in a line toward the center. You'll want the line to be thicker at the edge, and thinner in the middle. Do this again on the opposite side of the nail. If you want, some of the stripes can be in almost a jagged 'v' shape, or sort of resemble little flames. After you get your first couple of stripes on, you'll start to see which spaces of the nail need a stripe. This part is all up to you, just make sure all of your stripes are in the same direction. They can be short or long, thick or thin, they can even stretch completely to the other side if you wish. Always alternate sides, this way it will make it easier to make the next line flow with the previous line.

When you're finished, be sure to let the stripes dry completely before your add a topcoat. If the stripes aren't fully dried, they'll smear and you'll be super bummed out that your gorgeous tiger stripes are all smudged, and ain't nobody got time for a re-do!!

I blurred this picture to show of the holo sparkle of the gradient!

Now it's time for clean up. Dip your small brush into acetone and clean up the edges of your nail. Remove any polish that got on your skin or cuticles. If you'd like, you can add some more cuticle oil or vitamin e - and you're done!

If you're anything like me, you'll be staring at these gorgeous digits non stop!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my first blog post. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and had a lot of fun re-creating these awesome nails. 

Leave me comments and constructive criticism, letting me know how I did. Also feel free to share photos of your attempt at this look, I'd love to see how everyone's turned out!!

Until next time,
prettylittlebigle out.