Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday How-To: Candy Cane nails!

Hello everyone! So at the last minute with less than a week until christmas I had a genius ideo to start a series called Holiday How-To, since people ask me all the time how I do some of my nail art! Most of this is not new information, and has already been done by other people, but I'm gonna do it too since its mostly my friends and family that read this blog :)

First up is Candy Cane nails! I do these every year and I got alot of compliments on them this year, I think this is the cleanest they have ever looked, and using this technique as opposed to just painting the stripes on using a striping brush creates a much cleaner look.

Supplies - you will need 2 polishes - your base color(you can do red, green, whatever color you want!) I chose China Glaze - Ruby Pumps because I like my candy canes with a little sparkle ;) I also chose my favorite white polish - Circus by Andrea - Reverso. You also need your base coat (I used Poshe basecoat today) and topcoat (gotta love me some Seche Vite!), a cleanup brush (ELF $1 concealer brushes are perfect!) and some pure acetone. The last thing, and most important to making this a clean look, is striping tape.

Striping tape is a small roll of nail art tape that is usually metallic and comes in tons of different colors. I havent really found anywhere that has anything similar in stores around here, so I just order mine online. You can find it on ebay and the likes - its super duper cheap, like $5 for 10 rolls of the stuff!

Start by applying your base coat, and then base polish of choice. You base polish is the color of the stripes...that isn't white ( I used 2 coats of China Glaze Ruby Pumps to make sure it was nice and even.

Clean up your edges using your small brush and acetone. Just run the brush around the edges and it will clean up any extra polish on your skin and create a perfect manicure line around your nail - known as the "MeganChair" method in blog land! This is the biggest tip I can give people to having perfect looking nails, not everyone can paint their nails perfectly, but they can LOOK perfect after you clean them up! Cleaning up before painting on the while also helps prevent streaking. Sometimes while cleaning up after applying the white, the red will get mixed in with it and you dont want icky red streaks in your beautiful white polish!

After you've done your cleanup, start cutting strips of tape. (Or you can do this before while you dont have wet nails. That would probably be smart.) I just use regular scissors - stick the end of the tape to your desk or a cup or wherever you are sitting and cut as many pieces as you need. I had to use 46 pieces. Just keep sticking and cutting until you have a little army of striping tape pieces - that way when you start doing it you just have to stick the pieces on, no more cutting in between nails!

Once the base polish is COMPLETELY dry start putting the striping tape on, one nail at a time. The base polish has to be completely dry or else when you pull off the tape, it will pull off the polish underneath. We dont want that. To create the candy cane stripes I alternated rows of 1 strip and then 2 strips laid next to each other so the stripes were thin-thick-thin. It takes a little practice getting the 2nd strip to lay next to the first for the thick line, so you can just do single lines if its easier - candy canes are diverse and come in many colors and stripe formations!

Tape pattern-

This is where things get fast. Once you've taped your nail, quickly apply a nice thick coat of white polish (this is where having a good opaque one-coat white comes in handy!) and pull off the tape IMMEDIATELY while the polish is still wet. Do not wait for it to dry!

Or this will happen - stringy polish all over your nail! If that happens you can dip your cleanup brush in acetone and lightly dab the excess white off carefully.

Once you have finished one nail, move on to the next, working one nail at a time. When you are finished repeat your cleanup process to clean up the white, wait for it to dry a little longer before applying topcoat so there isn't any smearing (I waited 10 mins and still had a little smearing/streaking -AND I completely messed up 2 nails on my right hand and smudged them, it was so sad!) I know its time consuming - it took me 45 minutes from start to finish - but looks at how beautiful the end result is!

nomnomnom candy canes!

Actually I hate candy canes. Does anyone even eat them? They make great decorations though!

And here is a crappy instagram picture of my nails from the previous day - 8 reindeer (4 are drunk - look at them all cross-eyed and wonky-antlered!) Rudolph, and a creepy Santa (look at his beady little creeper eyes! He knows when you've been sleeping!) As you can see, my right hand is never as good as my left. Why can't I be ambidextrous!? Follow me on instagram - vsalisbury! :)

Enjoy! Hopefully I will get another holiday nail tutorial up before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Butter LONDON goop exclusives - swatches and extra stuff!

Woohoo! I FINALLY got my BL goop exclusives in! (a month after ordering them...but whatever) This is an exclusive collection for goop...which I had no idea what that was until I ordered (apparently it is similar to hautelook, etc and is Gwyneth Paltrow's company) I just checked the goop website and unfortunately these exclusive colors are no longer available. I am not affiliated to either companies, and these are my own opinions, just fyi :)

It even came in a super cute bag with a thank you card! Lovely packaging - it was like I went shopping in London (or wherever the goop store is)

First up is Bread and Butter Pudding. This is described as a "the perfect light color for a non-committal polish fix". Its a basic very sheer nude jelly. Its so squishy looking, and the perfect palate cleanser. However, I am not a big fan of VNL (visible-nail-line) so I dont know how often I would use this one. This is 3 coats, no topcoat.

Next is Abso-bloody-lutely. Gorgeous. I needed a color like this and BL came through. I think this is a perfect jelly oxblood red, a classic fall/winter staple color! This is 3 coats, no topcoat.

Its so squishy and beautiful! And its THIS shiny without a topcoat! I think I can see my reflection...

Last is my favorite of the three. Hampstead Heath is described as "green and gold shine in a deep charcoal base" I dont have anything like this but I've head people say it looks similar to BL Wallis and possibly Zoya Edyta. I will probably have a swatch comparison coming up soon to find out!

This polish has so much depth. My favorite part is the clear flakie shards!

Bottle shots shots shots shotsshots shots!

And here is a picture of my dog Smokey staring at me while I take pictures of my hands, which is a completely normal thing everyone does. Normal things happening here.

And some random crappy instagram pictures of Christmas manis I have done recently. Follow me on instagram @vsalisbury for more doggy/food/drunk pictures and fantastic manis you may or may not see on here! Enjoy!

OPI Glitzerland with red and green konad plaid stamped on top.

Circus by Andrea Reverso with China Glaze Party Hearty reverse gradient. I got a little crazy with the watermark....

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This will be short and sweet - I've got some sleep and some shopping to do! Gonna check out some nail polish deals tomorrow and see if I can find anything good ;)

Here are my turkey nails! I used OPI DS Illuminate as the base - this is a gorgeous neutral color with holographic shimmer and a slight green duochrome finish. I used OPI Chocolate Moose as the body and OPI Off With Her Red, Candlelight (alot more sheer than I wish it was), and Hi! Pumpkin for the tail painted over striping tape to create nice clean lines with some of the DS sparkle peeking through the tail feathers!

OPI DS Illuminate

And for those wondering, I'm holding a delectica squash - one of the most DELICIOUS squash in the whole world! We had this tonight instead of sweet potatoes and it was so sweet we didnt have to add sugar or anything! YUM!


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed time with your loved ones. NOW ITS CHRISTMAS TIME!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rainy Day Blue-Grey

I love rain. I am so happy right now you can't even believe it. I've got my fleece footie pajamas on, Bath & Body Works Marshmallow Fireside candle lit, heater on, drinking a salted caramel mocha. Heaven. (Except for the fact that I need to leave for work soon) However, this rain is making it hard to take good nail pictures! I think I am going to need a lightbox soon....

Since today is a lovely rainy blue-grey I decided to break out one of my untrieds - Hare Ancient Affairs. A lovely grey base with blue micro-shimmers! This is gorgeous, I hope you guys can see the shimmer in the pictures! This was 3 coats I believe, topped with a nice thick coat of Seche Vite and moisturized thoroughly with Lush Lemony Flutter! This is by far my HG (holy grail) hand cream/cuticle moisturizer. I havent had any for over 2 months and finally made a trip to Lush to stock up (and also got my helmer at Ikea! That post will be coming soon once I paint it and make it look pretty! Any suggestions for designs? I'm thinking large navy blue chevrons?) Anyways, enjoy! <3

Sorry for this horrible flash picture but it shows the shimmer really well!

Have a great day everyone!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nail Mail + World Diabetes Day

Mail Day! I finally got my prize in from OPI from the Halloween Candy contest, so I thought I would share it with you. Its a horrible instagram picture, but a picture nonetheless. I love how I got a personalized note - not a lot of companies do that nowadays! Thank you SO MUCH OPI!!!!!!!

I also got my Hare package - last week I ordered two from her Etsy restock - Oceans of Alloys (from the Illuminated Life collection - which is absolutely stunning and I need the rest of those polishes!) and Ancient Affairs (from the Antiquities collection).

First up - bottle shots!

I had the hardest time trying to get a good picture of Ancient Affairs. Its a bluish grey creme with blurple shimmers! I might see a little pink in there too? I dont know.

So in the nail polish blog world everyone is recognizing World Diabetes Day with blue nails! Here is my tribute - its not super blue but I couldn't wait to get it on my nails. This tribute is for everyone who is suffering from this disease or who has family members struggling. I know it is a hard thing to combat and I've seen so many people lose hope and give in to the disease, and I feel like a ot of people take diabetes for granted, like its not a real disease. My heart goes out to everyone battling diabetes out there! Remember, Type II diabetes is something we CAN fight, and there is a cure/help for it.

Check out some of the other bloggers participating!

Enjoy your day everyone!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Getting started with some SPAM!

So it's been a few days since my last post. I'm TRYING to post at least once a week, but I forgot last week. So there might be 2 posts this week to make up for it :) And for those who don't know, spam is an inundation of something, like spam email. But this is nail polish pictures.

Here is a collection of some of my Halloween mani's that I did, and some other random pictures. Enjoy! ( 4 pictures count as spam? Maybe not.)

So I decided that this one is going to be my heading picture. Why not!? Paramedics and blood go together like peanut butter and jelly! I hope this doesn't gross anyone out or turn any new followers away - let me know your thoughts on this picture as the heading pic! I used Essie No Prenup as the base color and then added OPI Color So Hot It Berns for the blood drips. I painted a strip of the red across first and then used a dotting tool with some more polish on it to drag polish down to create the drips.

This next one was kind of a fail. I let this dry for almost 2 hours before putting on topcoat and it STILL streaked :( I used Circus by Andrea's Choice - Reverso for the base and just a basic black striping polish for the faces.

Ok enough of Halloween - it's November now! This one is Zoya Yara from last year's fall collection. I don't think I've worn this one since last fall either! Its a gorgeous muted green with hidden gold shimmer. I think this is the only polish that gives me "lobster hands" which is why I don't wear it much.

And last but not least one of my favorites I've done in awhile. This is a reverse gradient using Essie Demure Vixen and Sonoma Nail Art Pinot Envy. SNA is from my area and she is one of my FAVORITE indie polish makers. If you ever get a chance to try her polishes, do it! If you also live in Sonoma County you can find them at the Tallulah Boutique in Healdsburg (where I get mine - they always have some in stock when her Etsy shop is sold out!) Pinot Envy is a multi-colored glitter polish with small orange/bronze glitter and larger sized purple glitters in a clear base. This is like the PERFECT autumn/harvest polish!

This is going to be an exciting polish filled week - I've got some nail mail coming, and I'm going to Ikea to pick up a home for all my polishes! I will do a post on polish storage soon - right now its a mess! Enjoy your week everyone!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A wonderful surprise!

So I guess this is the "something exciting" I was talking about yesterday, and one of the creating forces for this blog. I entered OPI's Halloween candy mani contest this year. I have always wanted to enter one of their nail art contests, but I feel like the people who enter the first day get such a head start on everyone else they have the best shot at winning - and I always ended up seeing the contest with 1 or 2 days left. So this year I was literally starting to do my nails as the contest started. And I was eating Dots. (And coffee....breakfast of champions haha!) I think I might have been the third entry as son as the contest started? Either way, here was my entry. I used Zoya Pippa as the base, Butter London Blaggar for the blue circles, white nail art paint, and some random colors that I dont remember for the actual dots. I just used my striping/dotting tool to do the art (which is getting kind of raggedy, I think I need a new one!)

This probably took me at least an hour to do. I was really frustrated that it wasn't perfect but I didn't  have time to re-do it. And at the time, compared to the other 3 candy corn manis that were already up, I thought it was pretty original, and since Dots are my favorite candy anyways, it was totally appropriate.

So as the week went on my votes skyrocketed. YAY! Complete strangers liked my nails! I was soooo excited I finally had a shot to win something! But at the last minute another entry shot to first place. Bummer. BUT I remembered that it was OPI who chose the winner from the top ten! I still had a shot! I know I didn't get first place in votes, so I wasn't getting my hopes up.

I found out when I got to work yesterday and it was a COMPLETE surprise! Soooooo excited! And then I started reading to comments below my picture. Really? Do people not realize that a real person did this? Put their heart into it and is now reading their hurtful, rude comments? People were saying they had no idea why I won, that OPI was crazy, it looked like a 9 year old painted my nails, etc. I cried. I really did. I put a lot of effort into this to make it look as crisp and clean as possible. Yes, you can go all crazy with over-the-top nail art but my end goal was to do something that was very clean looking and easy. Something that anyone would be able to do. And if you look back at the rules, OPI was going to judge based on the quality of the picture, the cleanliness of the manicure (no polish on nails, clean lines, etc) relevance to the prompt (you favorite halloween candy! I wonder how many people actually used their favorite? Or just did something that was cute?) and overall creativity. I took all of those into consideration to create a well-rounded entry. I was surprised with as many votes that I got how many people were so upset! And I also dont understand WHY people got upset. People were MAD. People that didn't even enter a photo! Maybe someone can help me out with that?

Ok, enough ranting. I'm over it, I'm very thankful I won. So thank you to everyone who voted for me and thank you to OPI! Happy Halloween everyone!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The obligatory "first post".

So this is my first official post! Yay! I am new to this whole blogging thing and have had friends, family, and other polish enthusiasts BEG me to start a blog. Well here it is, and I have no idea what I'm doing. So I guarantee you that this will take a while for me to get the hang of it. Its ugly, there are no pictures, and as of right now, nothing to do with nail polish is even up. but SOON. I promise :)

I was really hoping to get this started before Halloween so I could post my NOTD for each day. Yeah that's not happening. BUT I will leave you with this horrible quality instagram picture I know most of my friends have seen - EVIL PUMPKINS! I used Orly Melt My Popsicle and sponged on Sinful Black on Black and used a basic white striping polish for the faces.

So there you go. I finally have something nail polish related up. Thank you everyone for your support so far! I would love to hear feedback on what people would like to see, how to be different than the other millions of nail polish blogs out there, or what I should stop doing! Look forward to posting soon and hopefully I will have some exciting news for you guys tomorrow! :D