Friday, August 29, 2014

Instagrammiversary earliest and very first work! (So Embarassing!!)

Hey guys! Sorry I didn't get this up yesterday as promised but I was super busy and blogging is not at the top of my priority list most days! In fact for the next week I'm taking a little break. There are some things around here that need my attention and the past few weeks have been very nail-time-hogging! Just lots of things came down at once and lots of other nail-related things have taken a back seat so it's time to get caught up! :)

Anyhoo, below is a really cool snapshot from, a website where you can get all kinds of cool stats about your Instagram account! I love it!


I wanted to share a little about how I got started. I'll try  not to be too wordy! Two years ago the Mr. was traveling overseas and I found my self with some free time after the kids were in bed! I was decorating for Halloween at the time and had decided I like the candy-corn theme and colors the best. I was googling up "candy corn Halloween decorations" and Look what I came across...

Photo from
I mean. I was not a person who ever painted her nails. Like, ever. I had a few bottles of pink and dark pink, but I rarely used them. I got my nails done at a salon like once a year, or less, for special occasions. My career before being at home with my kids was not kind to my hands so what was the point? And then after having kids, who has time to just sit and not do or touch anything for an hour? (Soon after starting this I discovered fast drying topcoats which were the true game changer for me. I still mostly use Seche Vite. I discovered I could change a diaper if I had to like 5 minutes after applying it over my polish. Game. Changer. )

Anyway, I had no idea you could do anything like this. Wear more than one color on your nails? USE SCOTCH TAPE? Make a design? A HOLIDAY DESIGN??? Yall, I was hooked. I went the next day-seriously- to Target and found some orange (blech) , yellow and white polish and got to work! This is my very first time! I had to get this pic from an old FB album, I don't even have it anymore!

This is what I did on the rest of my nails. I used an old makeup brush and did my own French Mani! It looks terrible but DAMN yall I was proud of myself!

(clearly before I discovered cuticle care. And what is a nail shape? yikes)

gotta start somewhere

I ventured out a little...along with another trip to Target for more cheap colored polish) and made some Frankenstein and his bride nails. I was soo proud of these too! I actually have a recreation of them to be featured here soon! I'm holding some fun treats I made for my kids-dipped marshmallows :)

Frankie :)
The next guessed it. I was hooked. Another trip to Target for some maroon polish (I didn't have any before....I NEVER had dark nail polish...was not thought of to be respectable in my house haha!) I picked up a white striper at the dollar store....and about one in every other color. I don't have the original pics any more so you get another collage from my FB album!

first Aggie nails

Branching out more and more. The next week...I remember getting so pissed over the topcoat I was using smearing my designs I worked so hard on! We live and learn right??
first nail art
Finally, below is a little collage I made I will be posting on my IG account. This is a few of the recreations people have done over the past year. I can't even tell you how happy it makes me to see these! It not only validates what I'm doing, which is still just a hobby for me!, but having someone tell me they've never done anything like this before and my design was something they liked or thought they could try, is so awesome! I hope they don't think it's weird but anytime I see these I take a screenshot and have been keeping them in a folder on my phone for this occasion :) My feed moves a bit quicker these days than it used to, so hopefully everyone will just share my hashtag #aggiesdoitbetter so I can still see them! Thank you so much guys!

Here are their usernames, go check them out!
first row: @melkinz @britfignails @maddi_williams1022
2nd row: @followinginmyshoes (her daughter!) @everythingvero @rachelalisonthings
3rd row: @lalalovenailart @luvmybabeez @scratch_art
This makes me so happy :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Color block collaboation and My One-Year Instagram Anniversary! (Yes, that's a thing!)

Hey guys! Guess what?? Today is my first Instagram anniversary...meaning when I first decided to start a nails only account in conjunction with taking the plunge and doing a 30 day nail art challenge. I had no idea what I was doing and no idea this would turn into what it did! On tomorrow's blog I'll have more about what inspired me, the first nail art I ever saw on the internet (yes I remember!) and I may even share some of my early work ;) But today, I have something super fun! I have made some really awesome friendships with ladies I've met in this community! Some of the most awesome ladies I've met are Danele, Marcella, and Aly, and we have formed a little group called The Glitter Gals! We have already done a few collaboration manis which you can see here for July 4th  and here for ocean colors colorblock . We basically decide on a design and all do the same thing in our own way! (I don't think I've ever explained that here!) Click Read More for polishes used and more pics!

evening shade

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Picture Polish Malt Teaser and Fairy Floss (swatches and review)

Hey guys! I'm not wanting the fun of Picture Polish Blog/Insta Fest to be over!  So here are some simple swatches of the 2 shades I was given to create art with! I'm keeping this short and sweet with lots of pretty pics ;)

First up is Malt Teaster, a gorgeous milk chocolately brown. The formula is amazing, smooth like buttah, almost a one coater but I used 2.





Next is Fairy Floss, a blue toned cotton candy pink. (Fairy Floss is what they call cotton candy in Australia!) Again, 2 coats, super smooth formula! Love! This one is quite the chameleon, it looks so different in different lighting! All these pics were taken outside, and I feel like the first one is the most true to life color. I don't color correct my photos, so yall can really see the difference! I put the lighting in the captions below the pics.

cloud cover


cool shade

warm shade



Monday, August 25, 2014

Picture Polish Blog/Insta Fest 2014 Featuring NAIL VINYLS!

Hey guys! Boy have I been waiting for this day! It has been soooooo hard to keep this to myself for 4 months!  I have been chosen to participate in Picture Polish's Blogfest this year! With half my in-laws living in Australia and my husband being Australian I was drawn to this brand as soon as I dove into the nail world and have been nothing but amazed with their product! I am so lucky to be chosen :) They sent me 3 polishes to review and create a tutorial for using their newest product, Nail Vinyls! These are pre-cut vinyls that make it easy to create chevrons and many other designs on your nails! (These are not made by Picture Polish rather they are just going to be carrying them!) Picture Polish is now going to be carrying an exclusive 4-pack including chevrons, mini chevrons, straight, and right angles along with all their polishes. All the participants this year were sent varying sets of nail vinyls to show you how you can use them with Picture Polish to create fun and easy looks! There's tons of links for you at the end. Click Read More for tooooonnnnnnnssssssssss of pics!!!

Blog fest!
Here are the polishes I was sent. From left, Douceur, a milky pink glitter (douceur means sweetness in French); Malt Teaser, a milk chocolatey brown crème; and Fairy Floss, a candy pink crème. Douceur is a collaboration shade with French blogger and You-Tuber Tartofraises. And luckily my Aussie hubby was able to translate the meanings behind the crèmes....Malt Teasers are Australia's version of Whoppers (yummmmm) and Fairy Floss is what they call Cotton Candy! How gorgeous are these polishes. I could not be more happy with what they sent me (which I did not get to choose)!

my new babies!
Here are the Nail Vinyls I was sent...straights! Woo hoo!! Lots more on those later!

Straight nail vinyls

Here we go with part one! My polish to swatch is Douceur. It's a milky pink jelly-crème with fuchsia and dark pink mini glitter, as well as some holo micro shimmer. The picture below shows the Picture Polish brush, it's small and flat. I definitely prefer the flat brushes... yall already know that!

Picture Polish Douceur

For a base coat I used my standard ridge-filling basecoat. Below shown is one thin coat. It does dry just very so slightly matte.

one coat

Below shown is 2 thin coats.

2 coats

I added a third thin coat for my final swatch. If you used a pale pink base you could get away with 2, or if your second coat was a bit thicker but I used 3 thin coats. As I previously said it does dry slightly matte so I did add a clear topcoat.

You can really see the depth of the glitter in the sun!



Ok, on to part 2!! Here is the design I came up with! I'm calling them my "Optical Illusion Nails" ! I love how they look just like pink lines when you look at the pink and then when you focus your eyes on the brown you can see the geometric "s's" that it makes.


Here is a closer look at the "straights" set of vinyls I was sent. As you can see there are 3 different sizes/widths.

closer look at size variety
Anytime I use vinyls or tape I always get them ready ahead of time! Work out what you need and remove and separate them. You will be so glad you did! You don't have to use tweezers but I do.

work ahead!

The 2 colors chosen for me to use in the second part were Fairy Floss and Malt Teaser. We were allowed to use black and white also but I tried really hard not to! We also were not allowed to use stamping, sponging, gradients, or even dots! It was challenging to come up with a design I felt was unique! I chose Fairy floss to be my base color. I applied 2 coats over my usual ridge-filling basecoat, and applied a fast-dry topcoat. I choose to wait AT LEAST one hour for it to dry. Some wait less, but I like to push down really hard on the vinyls so I like my base to be good and cured.

How pretty is Fairy Floss?

base color Fairy Floss

I decided on a design and placed my vinyls. I started with the skinniest ones on my ring finger for an accent nail.

Add your vinyls
I always then turn my hand around like this to make sure my lines are nice and straight. Sometimes they look straight upside down and then don't when you turn your hand around! ;) When I'm satisfied with the design I press down firmly, especially at the edges/curved part of your nail.

reverse your view

Add the second color, here is Malt Teaser.  Just one medium-ish coat, too thick and it will run everywhere.

add 2nd color
Remove those vinyls IMMEDIATELY! Do not let it dry even a little. Getting mine removed quickly while photographing was a challenge haha!

remove vinyls
For the next finger I used the medium-thickness vinyls, but in the same pattern.

continue working

almost done!
I used the Medium width vinyls on all the rest of my fingers except my thumb, where I used the thickest ones. I do let them dry a tad before adding topcoat so it doesn't smear. The Picture Polish crèmes are super opaque, one coat was all it took of Malt Teaser!

check your work

Here is the final product! I was quite pleased with how they turned out, they even create an optical illusion depending on whether you are looking at the pink or the brown! Try it!

Now for a bajillion more pics!

cloud cover





This is kind of a side note but I wanted to include it! I wore this design for a full 2 days. On the third day before I took it off I thought I would see what it looked like with matte topcoat! Lovely! Also note the minimal tip wear after 2 1/2 days :)

gotta matte!

Here's a bunch of links for yall!!

Click here for more information on Nail Vinyls!
Nail Vinyls on Facebook
Nail Vinyls on Instagram
Nail Vinyls Online store

Click here for more information on Picture Polish!
Picture Polish Website
Picture Polish Everyday Deal
Picture Polish International Stockists!
Picture Polish on Facebook
Picture Polish on Instagram

Thank you so much to Jules and the ladies of Picture Polish for letting me participate! This was super fun and wins the award for the longest Blog Post Ever!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Zoya Ignite Collection for Fall 2014 (Swatches and Review)

Hey guys! Today I have the second half of the Zoya Fall 2014 Collection called the Ignite Collection! Zoya is calling these "Liquid Metallics" and they are really gorgeous! I already reviewed the first half of the collection, the Entice Collection of cremes, which you can see here. Click Read more after the collage for the swatches!

Zoya Ignite

Friday, August 22, 2014

Grayscale taped ombre nails (Mani Swap!)

Hey Guys! I have another mani swap today! I am really loving these lately....they are so fun :)

Today I swapped with my friend Tracy in Australia (hence the late in the day post!) It was really hard to choose but these are what I chose. I even had all the same polishes she used except one! She chose my Neon Colorblock I did back in April and did them better than I did! For more pics and polishes used click Read More!


Please excuse the dry hands, my digits have been quite busy this month. Some days they show the effects of it more than others!


The polished used were:

Base: OPI Alpine Snow
First white: OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls
Light gray: Zoya Dove
Darker gray: China Glaze Recycle
Black: OPI Black Onyx (this was the only non duplicate polish!)

I'm super happy with the way these came out. I'm really getting along with the striping tape lately!