Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Halloween

Ooh, ooh, witchy woman, see how high she flies. Ooh, ooh, witchy woman, she got the moon in her eye.

I'm so proud of these!  These are my real nails, by the way; I filed them to points!  I was going to cut them down anyway, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to do something a little crazy.
I won 365 Days of Color's Boouk!  in a giveaway, and it's a fantastic addition to my witchy manicure!  The creamy base softened the lines of my gradient without obscuring the colors.  It's like a veil for your nails, so to speak.  The very charming neutral glitter also added a pretty wartiness (if such a thing can exist) that I just love!  I think neutral glitter colors are underrated; purple is fun, but copper and pale bronze are just so classy (says the woman with pointy witch fingers).

I don't know that it would have occurred to me to layer Boouk! over a darker color if I hadn't done a witchy manicure, but boy am I glad I did.  I've been having an "every other week" success rate with how much I like my Artsy Wednesday offerings, but this one has definitely broken my 50/50 streak, as I like it a lot!

I'm really honored to be able to participate in Artsy Wednesday, and you should all DEFINITELY check out these other, very talented Artsy Wednesday participants.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Saran Wrap nails!

Crinkling up saran wrap and smashing it onto your polish sounds like fun, doesn't it?  I figured this would be an excellent opportunity to see if I could salvage a chipped manicure with this method.  I don't like crackles, another way to hide chips (even though I think they look like chipped polish anyway), so this was a method I was excited to try!

First, my old manicure.  Not bad for almost a week of wear, but still pretty raggedy:

Next, with a layer of polish painted on and then saran wrap smashed into the wet polish (done one nail at a time, to prevent issues with dry polish getting gummed up):

LOVE IT.  The peeks of blue through the copper?  Perfection!  I'm going to have to try different color combos, I love this style!

I'm really honored to be able to participate in Artsy Wednesday, and you should all DEFINITELY check out these other, very talented Artsy Wednesday participants.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Inspired by the season

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."-George Eliot

I love fall.  The colors, the smells, the cool air, my birthday, fun holidays, good food, cozy clothes, migrating birds.  Fall makes me feel calm, like the world is how it's supposed to be.

To celebrate, I now have a super super cute apple manicure!
It's like back-to-school, pies, changing leaves and a harvest wrapped into one.  Also, since a large portion of the Eastern U.S.'s apple crop was wiped out this year from an April frost, it's something of a memorial (no worries though, trees that are well rested should produce even better than usual next year!).

I don't think I've been happier with a manicure in a long time; every time I look at my nails I get a little surge of delight!   
Hooray for fall!

I'm really honored to be able to participate in Artsy Wednesday, and you should all DEFINITELY check out these other, very talented Artsy Wednesday participants.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Wedding Nails

Well sportsfans, I've discovered my polish Achilles heel; french manicures.  I wanted to go all traditional with this week's theme.  I figured, since I'll probably end up having a non-traditional wedding, this'd be a great opportunity!  And it was!  I just wasn't very good at seizing the day.  

To make the best of it, I'm going to claim these are for a winter holiday wedding, held in the evening! (Because the sun hasn't been out in days and I haven't been able to fix my lightbox!)  Without further ado, hand-waving or explanations, my take on wedding nails:

And just for fun, I threw on a ring so you could get the full theme effect:
I'm really honored to be able to participate in Artsy Wednesday, and you should all DEFINITELY check out these other, very talented Artsy Wednesday participants.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Swatchathon: Zoya Cool edition

Well, it's time to wrap up Zoya week here at An Accent Nail, and we'll finish out the color showcase with the cool-toned Zoyas.

First off we have Edyta and Yara, two deep greens with gold shimmer.  Edyta is a blackened forest green, while Yara is a dark khaki-olive green. I'm amazed both of these colors work with my skin, as you'd think one or the other would clash, but I think the shimmer in both softens the base colors enough to make them much more universally wearable  Both have fabulous coverage and very easy-to-work-with formulas.
 Index/Middle: Edyta, Ring/Pinkie: Yara

 Index/Middle: Edyta, Ring/Pinkie: Yara

Next up, Frida and Ki.  While these look slightly similar in the bottle, they're night and day on the nail.  Frida is a teal jelly polish; it's great for layering, but on its own it'd take 4+ coats to become totally opaque.  It also has a fabulous sheen to it when it dries, much shinier than most polishes without a topcoat!

Ki is a purple/sage duochrome that is metallic in finish.  The color shift is noticeable both on the nail and in the bottle, and this polish is an awful lot of fun to wear.  I love a duochrome, as it makes gazing at my manicure (which I often do when bored) much more interesting.
Index/Middle: Frida Ring/Pinky: Ki
Index/Middle: Frida Ring/Pinky: Ki

Our next head-to-head is Skylar vs. Tallulah.  Skylar really surprised me when I got it; I was expecting a dusty blue with a hint of shimmer, but this polish really sparkles!  It's not glittery, more of a glassfleck-like shimmer, but it definitely packs more of a punch than meets the eye.  Tallulah is a wonderful saturated blue raspberry color; it's a great color for nail art, and really pops.
 Index/Middle: Skylar  Ring/Pinky: Tallulah
 Index/Middle: Skylar  Ring/Pinky: Tallulah

These next polishes are some real gems.  Kotori is a sheer-ish blue shimmer with a blackened base; the depth to this polish is just incredible.  I did need 3 thin coats to get rid of visible nail line, but the dry time isn't too bad and the punch this polish packs is worth it.  Akyra is a teal shimmer, with smaller shimmer particles, in a blackened base.  It's also sheer, took 3 coats, but is such an unusual color that I again think it's totally worth it.  It's like a robins egg at night!
Index/Middle: Kotori  Ring/Pinky: Akyra
 Index/Middle: Kotori  Ring/Pinky: Akyra

Let's look at the green shimmer twins in Zoya's retinue, shall we?  Ivanka and Apple look super similar in the bottle, and while they're "similar" on the nail, they're definitely not duplicate colors.  Ivanka is an emerald or jungle green with a fair amount of gold shimmer involved, while Apple is more of a lime green with more gold shimmer than Ivanka.  Apple had fuller coverage at 2 coats, but I think Ivanka has more depth of color.  I'm glad I ended up getting both; this is similar to the Tiffany/Rica duo where one color (Ivanka) would be better for fall/winter, and another (Apple) for spring/summer.  
 Index/Middle: Ivanka  Ring/Pinky: Apple
 Index/Middle: Ivanka  Ring/Pinky: Apple

Purple time!  Neeka and Dannii have similar finishes, a metallic shimmer, but are totally different color-wise.  Neeka is a dusty plum with gold and micro-purple shimmer, while Dannii is a light metallic violet-lavender with gold and silver shimmer.  I liked Neeka so much with my skin that I promptly did a full manicure with it once I was done swatching!  
 Index/Middle: Neeka, Ring/Pinky: Dannii
 Index/Middle: Neeka, Ring/Pinky: Dannii

Next, our summer duo.  These two are nothing alike, and technically Creamy is a warm tone, but I had nothing comparable to either of these so I slapped them together.  I think they're fairly complimentary, actually.  First we have Creamy, a yellow polish.  This one has a tricky formula, with patchiness even at 2 coats, but a third would fix that up.  Zuza is a metallic turquoise that people blew their stacks over this summer! It is a very nice color, but I found that application required a gentle hand to prevent dragging and bald spots.  However, the color payoff in both of these is great, so I'm overall glad I have them both in my collection.
 Index/Middle: Creamy, Ring/Pinky: Zuza
 Index/Middle: Creamy, Ring/Pinky: Zuza

That's all folks!  That's all the Zoyas I own (for now, hah!), I hope you enjoyed Zoya week as much as I did!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Zoya Swatchathon: The Neutrals!

Zoya has a pretty fabulous selection of neturals, that range from pale pinks to greys, blues, greens, browns, purples, you name it.  I've got a selection here to share with you of my Zoya neutrals; I'm sure I'll get a lot of mileage out of these this fall!

First we have the silvers: Luna, Harley and Trixie.  Luna is a silver glitter in a whitish base, a very very cool take on a glitter polish.  I also didn't have to scrub too badly to remove Luna, which was a relief.  Harley is a cool dove grey with a slight shimmer.  It has a slightly tricky formula, a little thick but sheer at the same time, so it can be challenging to apply even coats.  However, a little extra care gives you a super soft, beautiful look!
Index, Middle: Luna  Ring, Pinky: Harley 

Next we have Trixie, a fantastic silver foil.  If you ever buy a silver foil, this is the one you should buy.  Great for stamping, easy to apply, not patchy, dries quickly, very nice!

 Index/Middle: Luna, Ring/Pinky: Harley, Thumb: Trixie

Next, the nudes.  First, we have Anne, a butterscotchy sheer nude with a hint of shimmer.  This is sheerer than I expected, but could be a really nice base for a french manicure.  Next we have Minka, an almost taupe nude with full coverage in just 2 coats!  I love this polish, it's a fabulous base for just about any nail art, and it looks so very classy.
 Index/Middle: Anne  Ring/Pinky: Minka
  Index/Middle: Anne  Ring/Pinky: Minka

I did 2 coats of Anne above, but wanted to compare 2 coats to 3 coats to show you the difference.

2 coats Anne: a little patchy, visible nail line

3 coats Anne: note that there's much less visible nail line

Next up, we have the neutral-pinks.  I thought these were too close to neutral to be included in the last post, and that they'd be a better fit in this set.  First we have Avril, a very nice pale pink that has a classy look to it.  I am amazed at how well this polish builds on itself; on the first coat you think "Oh no, this will never be opaque!" Then, the second coat covers the nail line and evens everything out immediately.

I also have Dharma here, a very very sheer pink base with a really nice blue flash to it.  I don't know how many coats it'd take to get opacity with this one, but it's a great little addition to other manicure colors, as well as adding a special touch to a French.
 Index/Middle: Avril, Ring/Pinky: Dharma
 Index/Middle: Avril, Ring/Pinky: Dharma

Finally, the browns.  These are totally dissimilar, but I didn't have anything else to pair them with, so they get to be compared to each other.  First is Angelina, a creamy dark brown that is almost a jelly in consistency; it applies like a jelly, but it is opaque in 2 coats, and has such a fantastic shine to it that I'm blown away.  These pictures are without topcoat!  That shine is all in the polish!

I also swatched Jules, a taupe with gold shimmer.  This is a neat take on gold, as it is understated, shimmery and charming without being in-your-face.  It's a gold for people who don't like gold.  It does have a bit of visible nail line after 2 thin coats, but a third one would eliminate it entirely.
 Index/Middle: Angelina, Ring/Pinky:Jules
 Index/Middle: Angelina, Ring/Pinky:Jules

That's all I have for Zoya Neutrals, but stay tuned for the Cool tones next!  I've also got some stamping plates coming in that I want to play around with, so I may test out how well Zoyas stamp!  I'm guessing it's going to be awesome.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Favorite Polish Brand

I didn't want to spoil this week's Artsy Wednesday theme this Monday when I declared it Zoya week here at the blog, but Zoya is definitely my favorite brand and I wanted to celebrate their awesome polishes on more than one day.

Zoya recently put out some fantastic jelly polishes, and I bought myself a bottle of Frida, a teal jelly.  Making jelly sandwiches with the Zoya jellies has taken the blogging world by storm (sandwiching a layer of glitter between layers of jelly polish), but I wanted to do something a little bit different.  Thus, I give you the Jelly Plaid!
 I started with two layers of Zoya's Luna, a pretty spectacular polish with silver glitter in a semi-opaque white base.  I almost passed on it, but I'm amazed every time I put it on as to how amazing and unusual it looks.
I blocked off a plaid pattern with striping tape, then painted 2 coats of Frida, a teal jelly, over.  The jelly finish lets the glittery goodness of Luna shine through while adding some color and depth.

I'm really honored to be able to participate in Artsy Wednesday, and you should all DEFINITELY check out these other, very talented Artsy Wednesday participants.