Swatch Sunday – A England Collection

First stop on my personal collection tour is A England! I absolutely love everything Adina produces, and have spent countless hours drooling over polishes I’ve yet to get my hands on. Pretty much every A England polish no included in this post is near the top of my lust list.

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Many Monday – One Stroke Flowers

I have long been in awe of and intimidated by the one stroke technique for about a year now. I put off trying it by using the excuse that I didn’t have the right brush for the job, but since my birthday this past winter, that’s no longer valid. Even so, this past weekend was the first time I ever tried the one stroke technique and I must say I’m pretty proud of the outcome!

I started with a gradient using OPI’s Pearl of Wisdom and Lucky Lucky Lavender before adding the flower petals in each corner using Zoya’s Snow White and A England’s Lady of the Lake. Feeling like that still wasn’t enough, I added the dots around the other nail edge using a dotting tool.

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Sharing Saturday – Ballroom Beauties!

Last weekend was my team’s ballroom competition, and during the set up the day before I got to paint a whole bunch of nails! I had done my own to match my dress with my A England beauties (Princess Tears and Lady of the Lake) and added a generous amount of rhinestones, because you can’t have ballroom without sparkles!

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One of the other girls wore a dress whose main colors were green, red and nude, so we did her nails to match as well!

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Here’s a closer view of the rhinestone gradient as an accent nail:

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I also did another purple manicure for a friend named Davlyn, whose natural nails are absolutely ridiculous! Look at how long and well shaped they are! I’m so jealous.

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Like me, she got two different colors of purple rhinestones 🙂

And finally, a picture of the purple princesses of the ballroom team, including me (right) Davlyn (center) and my wonderful co-blogger Audrey (left)!

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Do you see what I mean about sparkles and ballroom going hand-in-hand?

We have another competition next weekend, and I’m hoping to do something different next time, so stay tuned if you love rhinestones!

ALSO! You have one more day to enter the giveaway, so don’t forfeit your chance to win the gorgeous shades of HITS Tango and Foxtrot!

Tutorial Tuesday – Leopard Print

Hello all! I’ve been looking through all the comments from the giveaway, and almost everyone has said that they’d love to see tutorials on the blog!

I can’t guarantee great quality with this one as it’s my first, but I figured I’d get started and give it a try. Bear with me as I figure out what works best, and feel free to leave comments and suggestions!

Without further ado, a tutorial for my absolute favorite print.

 

Tools used:

A England Lady of the Lake, A England Princess Tears, black striper, 2-in-1 base coat and top coat

You can use any colors you want, just have a light, medium, and dark. I used these pretty purples because they’re my favorites 🙂

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This is what the striper brush looks like. I just had this handy in case I didn’t like the effect of the dotting tool (which is coming up next!)

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Brush set from MASH

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The two tools I used, a dotting tool (a really tiny one!) and a small rounded brush

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Step 1

Start with a top coat to protect your nails from staining and help the manicure last longer.

Step 2

Paint your nails with the lightest color as a base. Try to reach full opacity.

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Step 3

Using the small rounded brush (or even your polish’s brush if you’re careful), make random sized blobs with the medium color. Try to make some almost crescent shaped, but it’s okay if it looks a little messy and not uniform.

 

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Step 4

Using your dotting tool, create an incomplete circle of dots with your darkest color around the blobs. Alternatively, if you don’t have a dotting tool, you can try to use a striper or a toothpick. I fid the striper is the hardest to work with, but can still create the same look.

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Step 5

Wait for the colors to dry a bit before adding topcoat, as you don’t want to smear the darkest color.

Then add top coat to even out the texture and make the mani shine!

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And the result!

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I hope this was helpful! Feel free to leave questions about this tutorial or suggestions for future ones in the comments!

~ Charlotte

Mani Monday – SYTYCD Nails

I’m attending the So You Think You Can Dance auditions on Thursday of this week and obviously needed an awesome set of nails. It’s partially for confidence but also just in case I get a chance to talk to Cat because I’ll need something to say! Anyway, I’ve had my eye on this design for a while and saw Wicked Nails’ interpretation of it on Tumblr, so I thought it would be great to try out for this occasion.

Here’s how it ended up!

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As you can see, I added a little extra with a rhinestone on each nail. I am a ballroom dancer after all!

I also used completely different colors than both of the above examples because I wanted the look to be even flashier. Almost everyone I’ve interacted with since I’ve had this mani has loved it. It is by far one of my favorite manis ever 🙂

 

Products Used:

OPI Goldeneye

A England Lady of the Lake

A England Saint George

A England Princess Tears

MASH Rhinestone Wheel

A England Holographic Gradient

How have I not posted this before? I did this beautiful manicure towards the end of the summer and it is by far my favorite manicure I’ve ever done. And it’s a simple manicure too! All I did was do a gradient with A England’s Princess Tears and Lady of the Lake. Both are beautiful purple holographic polishes, but PT is a lavendar leaning silver and LotL is a deep, dark purple.

 

 

Sorry for the lack of clean up /: I was just too eager to get pictures of this pretty combination.

 

Here you can see the more silver side of PT, as well as the full holographic effect of both colors.

 

 

And a close up to see how well the two colors blend together!

 

I will definitely be recreating this look again because I absolutely loved it. How could I not? It combines pretty purples and sparkles, two of my favorite things!

Sadly, the weather is getting colder and the darkness is coming in Boston, so my pretty holos might have to wait.

A England – Saint George

Bearer of a valiant & courageous heart, this fathomless teal reveals the strength of the brave knight’s convictions with his gleaming, fiery core.

By now, I’m sure you’ve all seen swatches of Saint George. It’s probably the most exciting A England polish so far (well, except for Princess Tears in my opinion, more on that later!) and with good reason!

I must admit, when The Legend collection first came out, I saw Saint George and thought “maybe next time” because I’m not typically one for green polishes. As soon as I started seeing swatches of it online, however, I knew I’d made a mistake. When Adina had that awesome promotion for The Mythicals collection a few weeks ago, my first thought was to include Saint George and I’m sooooooo glad I did! I also finally gave in and got Lady of the Lake and Tristam, which you’ll see soon!

Without further ado, the most beautiful deep teal holo:

The above picture may be a bit blurry, but just look at that gorgeous holo!

This one shows the darker side of Saint George.

I have to say, I have completely transformed into a lover of teals, especially the darker ones. Add some holo on top of that and we have a new favorite polish. A England never disappoints!

Purple Mosaic Manicure

I noticed this morning that my last three manicures have been purple of various shades…can you tell it’s my favorite color? Purple also makes up about a third of my 100+ polish collection (:

Here’s a mani I did about two weeks back. I saw a picture of a Crackle mosaic manicure (I’ll link back to it later if I can find it /: ) but didn’t feel like using Crackle polishes so soon after my blue and silver manicure.

As stated above, I have a lot of purple polishes of varying shades and textures, so it was easiest to pick out a couple of those that would work well for a mosaic.

I used A-England’s Princess Tears (my new favorite, also featured in my current manicure which you can see next week), OPI’s Lucky Lucky Lavendar, and an old bottle of N.Y.C. (I have no idea what the name is).

 

I started by using each color and painting different sections of each nail. It didn’t really matter if they overlapped a bit or there were some small bald spots in between, as I knew I would be covering them up with the white striper.

 

Look at Princess Tears sparkle! This may even be a more accurate picture of her true color than some of the swatches I did previously.

 

 

I even snapped a pic of my right hand for you guys!

 

And of course a detail pic. Please excuse the smears, the white striper paint takes FOREVER to dry and I’m not as patient as I’d like to think.

Overall, I was pretty proud of my mani. I liked the colors I ended up using and how their textures worked well together. Yeah, I wish I’d been more patient with the striper when applying my topcoat, but I just couldn’t wait!

If you’ve liked this post, please “like” my page on Facebook!

My Kind of French Mani

Hello all and happy August! I’m not quite ready to give up my summer brights yet, but I did break out two colors from OPI’s Hong Kong collection that seemed a little more fall worthy to me.

Remember how I said in my last post that I wanted to try a french manicure again soon? Well, soon meant directly after I posted that! But I didn’t want to do the usual sheer pink with white tips, oh no, I wanted to use my favorite color PURPLE for the tips. And a little shimmer never hurt anyone either, so I picked out OPI’s Meet Me On The Star Ferry and Pearl of Wisdom for this mani.

Unfortunately, I only snapped a few quick picks of this mani before it started to chip ):

 

I did absolutely love this combination though! I wish I had been able to keep it on longer.

 

I ended up taking it off mostly because of the chips on my pointer fingers (and a break in one!) but also because I received my package from A-England! I’ll be posting more about that adventure soon (:

 

Independence Day Nails!

Hello all! I hope you’re having a wonderful 4th of July so far.

This is the first time I’ve tried Independence Day nails, so bear with me. At first, I just wanted to do a simple red, white, and blue gradient. However, I messed up on my very first nail (my thumb) and there was no white to be seen!

After successfully completing my pointer finger, I couldn’t figure out how to make the rest of my mani work…

So, I kinda just went for it and this is how it turned out!

And each finger, one by one:

My failed red, white and blue gradient turned into a red and blue gradient with a firework!

The gradient I was actually going for…

A red and blue stripe gradient with white crackle on top! My boyfriend thought it looked like icing (:

My ring finger is usually my favorite…I’m undecided about this one. I sponged the red on and used China Glaze’s Luxe and Lush on top.

I think my pinky may be my favorite (though I’ve grown to love the design on my thumb too!).

I love how they look when put together! I usually like the uniform nail look, perhaps with one accent nail, but I think these are so much fun!

And I did the same thing but switched the colors on my right hand!

Even though I freehanded the “fireworks” on my thumbs, they both looked exactly the same! I’m pretty impressed with myself.

 

That’s all for now! I’m sure you’re all sporting wonderful Independence Day nails too, and I hope you have a fabulous day!

Colors Used:

A England – Order of the Garter

China Glaze – Luxe and Lush, Ruby Pumps

No name white nail art polish

 

OPI – White Shatter

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri – Whirlwind White