NOTD: Kiss Nail Dress Mixed Stars Nail Wraps

If y'all didn't know already, I am a full-time nanny. I've said forget it to digital marketing, and I'm trying to go back to school to be a registered dietitian, so in the meantime, I'm back to being a nanny full time (it's an entertaining job that keeps me flexible for class schedules).

Anyway, the point of me telling you that was...I was babysitting one day, and one of the little girls I take care of has been noticing my polished nails and has been copying me by using a marker to color in her nails lol. So I told her I would give her a little manicure the next time I was around. I knew there were "kid" polishes, but the thought of putting something on her nails with ingredients I can't pronounce, no matter how "kid-friendly" it was, kind of made me worried. Then *lightbulb* "why not use nail wraps instead?" Plus, there's no drying time involved, and if we as adults can't avoid messing up our nails sometimes waiting for them to dry, then how would a kid do waiting for the whole process? Plus, no stinky chemicals to put on her delicate nails/fingers. The only thing I had to worry about was not snipping her finger with my cuticle scissors while cutting off the excess wrap from her nails (since the nail wraps are made for adults and not tiny children -- it was much easier when I put one on for her mom, no extra cutting involved).

Kiss Nail Dress Mix It Up Stars
This is what I picked up for our day of no-mess mani fun, Kiss Nail Dress Mix It Up in Marguerita. I mainly got it because of all the wraps at the store, these looked the smallest width wise (remember these are going on small kid hands).

I've tried nail wraps once before, and it wasn't my favorite thing to play with. First of all, I learned the hard way that nail wraps DO NOT work with top coat. Oops. I also realized from working with nail wraps the second time around, that I definitely filed the excess off wrong the first time I tried. Filing from side to side (in one direction, of course) is the best way to do it instead of what I did last time which was filing up and down (file moves in a downward direction from the edge of your nail instead of a regular side to side motion). Does that even make sense? Anyhow..this time I definitely figured out how to do it better haha.

Kiss Nail Wraps Mixed Stars

Kiss Nail Wraps Mixed Stars

Kiss Mix It Up Nail Dress Stars

Kiss Nail Dress Mix It Up Stars

By the way...it's really hard getting a 5-year old to sit still to pose for her nails haha. That and combined with my slightly shaky hands on the camera, I'm surprised I had any photos to show y'all lol.

I have a lot of stuff coming up for you guys, so stay tuned! By the way, if you haven't already, enter the Nail Polish Canada's Great Polish Giveaway! It ends in 14 more days!!

I'll leave you guys with a picture taken last weekend at the sunflower fields :)

Maxwell Anderson Farms Sunflowers 2014

My hand and my dog, Maxwell <3 lol.

Tina Ko

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Giveaway: Sponsored by Nail Polish Canada With Over 100 Bottles to Win!

If y'all follow multiple blogs, which you probably do, then maybe you've seen this giveaway floating around. It is sponsored by Nail Polish Canada, and for every blog that enters, a new prize is added to the list! You don't have to have a blog to enter, of course. You only need a blog if you'd like to contribute a suggestion to the prize pool.

Here's the low down on this giveaway:
-The prize pool started at zero
-Bloggers can nominate any polish to be added to the prize pool and post about the contest
-Each blog has their own entry form (Rafflecopter), so you can enter the giveaway by visiting every participating blog for a better chance to win!
-The prize pool can keep growing up until 200 bottles, so the more blogs that participate, the bigger the giveaway!

It's a pretty awesome deal haha. Now, only if I could win...hehe.

Nfu Oh Aqua Base for Holos
I nominated Nfu Oh Aqua Base for Holographic Polish to be added to the list. It's supposed to be a base for holo polishes to help make the holo more linear, last longer without chips, look more holo-ey, and helps you use less coats of your beloved holo polish (my holo unicorn is GOSH Holographic, and it pains me to use it when I do haha so this base would be awesome for it).

Here's the official giveaway page if you want to take a look at it (you can also get more entries on that page too ;) ), and if you'd like to put this giveaway up on your blog too, then here's the page to nominate your own prize.

Enter using my Rafflecopter form, and don't forget, you can enter multiple times by visiting other participating blogs :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tina Ko

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News: Christian Louboutin Nail Polish

Christian Louboutin Nail Polish Collection 2014

I know I'm a couple of days late, but did y'all hear about the Louboutin nail polish range that's comingĀ out this year? Honestly, when I read the headlines, I was super ecstatic. Then I went ahead and read the actual article, and these babies are retailing for $50 each. FIFTY DOLLARS EACH. LIKE WTF, MATE?!?!

To put it into perspective...I bought my used Clarins 230, the coveted unicorn pee discontinued in 2008, off of someone I met through MUA for $45? At the time, I wanted it so badly and ebay prices were well into the hundreds of dollars, so I caved and bought it thinking I would never in my whole life ever pay for something like that ever again. Honestly, it's a waste of money. I've only swatched it once too for the post linked above. Either way...$50 for a brand spankin new bottle from Louboutin...the bottles look small as hell too.

Most high end polishes retail for $20-30 (I'm thinking Deborah Lippmann, Estee, Dior, Clarins, etc.), and I still can't get myself to pay full retail for those. Most, if not all, of my Lippmann polishes were either swapped for or gifted to me. If I bought one, then it was in conjunction with my Birchbox points. I won't even shell out full retail for OPI sometimes too. Same thing for why I haven't acquired any Layla Holographic Effect polishes..I know they sell them at Ulta now, but it's like $15 for a bottle...no thanks. haha. Wow, I sound cheap haha, but why pay more when you don't have to? My polish collection really got going once I started to buy clearance polishes.

Then again, the target consumer for Christian Louboutin is not a financially struggling post graduate like me, and their shoes are outrageously expensive, so what's fifty bucks, right? --;;

And one more perspective on price...do y'all remember the Sephora + Shu Uemura + Karl Lagerfeld collection? I don't think it was available in the States, so I'm sure the prices on ebay were ridiculous, but when I looked up the price for this set right here...

Karl Lagerfeld Sephora Nail Polish

Which, by the way, is two full bottles of polish (the size of the bottles look much bigger too), this duo cost retail 30 Euros which is equivalent to about $40-41. Isn't that crazy?!

Anyways, I'm done with my rant. Was that even a rant? I'm just very displeased about the Louboutin pricing for freaking nail polish. I mean I love nails/polish and all, but I like it more when it's affordable.

Thanks for reading :)

Tina Ko

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NOTD: Dusty Khaki Themed Striped Skittle Mani

I never really know what to name my NOTDs. I always try to describe it in the most literal sense mostly because I can't really think of creative names for my manis. lol. Well, anyways...I'm thinking of clearing out my Helmer soon and doing a blog sale, but I still have a lot of polishes that are brand new and never been used/swatched. So my goal is to incorporate every polish I own into a NOTD before I do my blog sale. It might be a while haha either that or it'll motivate me more to post a lot.

For today, I went for a khaki/dusty color scheme. Then I used a striper brush to paint my stripes. I did these on my natural nail instead of adding a base color before the stripes. I, personally, really like this style of nail art (painting designs on your natural nail without a colored base).

It had been so long since I've done real designs on nails that my hand was definitely shaky and not steady as I was painting the stripes. I had to erase them a couple of times and start completely over. So forgive me for the not so straight lines. I definitely need to practice steadying my hand again especially if I want to paint intricate designs again.

 

Dusty Colored Striped Nails

Striped Multi Colored Nails

Striped Skittles Mani

 

I used Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Greige Gardens (pinky), Catrice Pink Spring (ring), Etude House BR301 Black Tea Milk (middle), Etude House PP904 Grape Milk (index), Catrice Walk In The Woods (thumb), a striping brush, and Diamond Dry Top Coat Brilliance.

That's it for now. I started a new job, so it's been taking up a lot of my time, but I'm still aiming to post twice a week at least :) I also have more things/ideas that I want to share with y'all so stay tuned!

Tina Ko

 

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NOTD: Summer Neon Crackle Nails

Hello! I didn't forget about posting this week! I used to make a lot of excuses of why I couldn't blog, but I've come to a point where if I want something to be done, I'm just going to do it, no excuses. Now, if only I can feel that way about working out haha. I definitely went through a fitness craze, and I got way addicted to being in the gym. I'm just trying to find a balance between everything.

I just came back from Houston, and if you don't know already, Houston is my hometown. I grew up in Texas, and my grandma still lives in the same house that I grew up around. Both my parents worked a lot, so I definitely spent a lot of my time there. Anyway..I was digging through our garage, and I came across a bunch of my dad's old records, so I brought a bunch home, and right now, I am currently listening to Queen's Greatest Hits. <3

Queens Greatest Hits Vinyl

I've been obsessed with vinyl records lately. I don't know what sparked the interest in me, but I love going to thrift stores and finding old records. It also helps that they're super cheap and cost about $1. lol.

Well for today's mani, I just wanted to incorporate a very summer color scheme, and what better summer colors than neons! I used China Glaze Pink Voltage for the neon pink and Essie Funky Limelight for the neon yellow with a small sliver of Orly's Silver Glitter Liner. I also wanted to show you an "easy to apply but looks like you spent a lot of time on it" mani, so I topped off the neon with a OPI Black Shatter and Diamond Dry Top Coat Brilliance (found at Sally's, I love this top coat for making shiny things really pop).

Summer 2014 Crackle Nail Art

As long as you know how to apply crackle nail polish, your mani will look amazing. My OPI Black Shatter had been sitting in my Helmer for a couple years untouched, so it lost almost all the moisture, but not so much that it completely dried out; I ended up pouring in a bunch of polish thinner to make it malleable again. But it works good as new if not better than before.

Crackle Mani Neon Base

And when I'm talking about the crackle covering mistakes...this is how messy my neon base colors looked before I laid the crackle on top. The colors seriously don't have to be perfectly matched up and painted on. Plus, the top coat will smooth everything over. This NOTD is seriously the best for those that don't have a steady hand or the time to do intricate designs. I also did another crackle mani similar to this a while back with directions on how I did it.

Neon Crackle Nail Art

Crackle Nail Art Neon Nails

Easy Summer Nail Art Ideas

I also added with a silver glitter liner lines bordering the differing colors. It's a subtle detail. In the picture, the glitter can be mistaken for glare.

Well, that's it for now! Thanks for reading :)

Tina Ko

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NOTD: Simple Rhinestone Mani with Model’s Own Jade Stone

Hello :)

I almost forgot to add a second post for the week. I'm really trying to keep up with my promise of two posts per week lol :)

Going out of town tomorrow to see my family in Houston. I'm excited to see my family, but I hate going back to Texas during the summer. And Houston tends to be really high temps and 100% humidity...blech. I'm starting to sweat just thinking about it haha.

Anyways, I have something really simple for you today, and it's very easy to recreate. All you need is your choice of polish, some rhinestones, and a top coat. I still haven't been able to find a nice topcoat for rhinestones. I like to seal the stone with top coat so that it doesn't fall off easily, but it always dulls the shine and makes it look so plastic-y? I definitely want to experiment with using a gel top coat to secure my nail art into the polish/nail. But I'm not that familiar with using gel products, and I'm not trained, so we'll see. I did post about the Sensationail at home gel system so I wonder if I could get the same quality as the professionals at salons.

Well, here's what I used as my base color: Model's Own Jade Stone

Models Own Jade Stone Swatch

Models Own Jade Stone Nail Polish

I got this a couple years ago through a swap on MUA. Come to think of it, I should really check that. I haven't been on there in forever. There's a lot of nail polish sitting in my Helmer that have been unused and are brand new. I've had them for so long that the tops have evaporated a little in most of them --;; (I took a long break from blogging and the polish world because keeping up and collecting more polishes just became really overwhelming..which is why I haven't even been on MUA in forever). My goal, right now, is to use everything I have at least once so I can post about it here, and I'm planning on doing a huge blog sale so I can purge. Keep an eye out! lol.

Either way, this is two coats of color. The formula is surprisingly still really good for having sit in my drawer for so long unused. The color evened out nicely on the second coat. Dry time wasn't too bad either.

Classic Mint Nails

Classy Simple Easy Nail Art Ideas

Minty Nails

Easy Rhinestone Nails

I just used a regular clear coat from Spoiled (named X-Ray Vision) as my "glue". I just put a drop of it on the bottom of my nail and used a dotter with a bit of clear polish on it to pick up the rhinestone and place it on the bottom middle of my nail. I used the same top coat to "seal" off the crystal and nail polish. Definitely did not like this top coat. lol. I'm just going to stick to Julep's Freedom Polymer Topcoat (review still pending lol) for sealing the top, and I'll keep using the Spoiled as the base glue for my nail art stuff.

Well, that's it for now. Thanks for reading :)

Tina Ko

 

 

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NOTD: Pink and Gold Half Moon Mani

My roommate saw my Silver Half Moon Nails the other day and wanted something just like it for her, so we did pink and gold for her nails. We did it late at night (she was going in and out of consciousness while I was doing her nails), and there was a lot of layers of polish on her nails because we were trying to use a different color before this darker pink, but it didn't show up. I sealed her nails with Julep's Freedom Polymer Top Coat, and she literally went straight to bed. No extra drying time, nothing. I just told her to sleep like a princess and not move her hands lol. She woke up the next day, and we all know how you can wake up with bed smudges lol, but nothing. Her nails were perfect. I swear by this top coat right now, and I've seriously been on a quest for the perfect top coat for years, YEARS!!! I shall do an independent review of it later and show you how much mobility you have after using this top coat.

Half Moon Nails

Two Toned Half Moon Nails

Easy Half Moon Nail Art

Half Moon Manicure

I really need to get back into the habit of using my DSLR. My Note 3 really doesn't do these NOTDs any justice, and I have such a shaky hand that they're always somewhat blurry. Blah.

I used Barry M Pink Flamingo and LA Colors Art Deco Nail Art Brush in Gold Glitter for the half moons. The top coat used, again, is Julep's Freedom Polymer Top Coat. It smooths the gold into the pink very nicely and turns your nail into an even surface.

Thanks for reading <3

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News: ZOYA Fourth of July Threedom Promo

Have y'all seen the Zoya Fourth of July Promotion?!?! Choose any 3 colors for free! Well, technically, it's not *free*, you do have to pay a special promotional S&H price of $12, but that's still a pretty good bargain.

Zoya Fourth of July Threedom 2014

I'm still kind of on a no-buy especially when it comes to polishes (I still have a lot of polishes that I've never used/swatched, and I can tell the top has evaporated off some --;;). Either way, Zoya polishes are normally $9 each plus shipping, so this is a pretty good steal. I've never had any problems with my Zoya polishes. The formula has always been good, the brush is very easy to work with, and they have really amazing colors. The only Zoya polishes I didn't like were theĀ Zoya Mod Mattes. It dried too quickly while you were working with it, in my opinion, making it hard to get a smooth overall coat.

Anyways, just wanted to share this awesome news in case you missed it :)

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NOTD: Red White Blue Gradient for 4th of July!

Post number 2 for the week! I'm on a roll! Haha. I'm currently spinning Louis Armstrong on my record player right now as I'm writing this post. I've been very into vinyl these days. I don't know what it is lol.

Anyways, I tried to use the sponge method for this gradient today. I don't really like how it turned out. I think the combination of colors doesn't do well for the gradient effect because it doesn't smooth into each other? I put white in the middle so it breaks too much instead of going with the flow? haha it's hard to explain. (Good idea in my head, bad execution lol.) I must try to do the sponge method again with a better color combination because I can't say I like this one right now, and I don't want to write off the method before I get a good chance at it. My preferred method of gradient is just layering on polish a bit at a time painting less and less of your nail as you go up and making the tip darker (check out my old post on the glitter gradient I did to see what I'm talking about). As for right now, this is what my nails remind me of....

Bomb Pops

 

Hahahaha....well here's what I'm talking about...

Fourth of July Nails

Fourth of July Mani NOTD

Red White and Blue Nails

Red White and Blue Patriotic Nails

I used China Glaze Ruby Deer for the red, Wet N' Wild French White Creme for the white, and Julep's Ally for the blue (you can't really tell in the pictures but Ally is a blue shimmer/frost). I definitely shouldn't have put red on the bottom (blue wouldn't have been any better either) because when I was cleaning up my nails, it was really hard to get all the red polish out from under my cuticles. I forgot that you definitely can't flood your cuticles with red without it staying there even after tediously trying to clean up most of it --;;

Like I said..it was a good idea in my head..it was just very poorly executed lol. I shall try the sponge method again soon. Until then..

Thanks for reading <3

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NOTD: Blue and Silver Half Moon Mani

Hello :)

Yeah, I haven't been really good at keeping up with 2 posts a week... However, I just got back from EDC in Las Vegas, and I have one weekend trip planned for July and that's it! So I should have no problem posting more awesome stuff :) I need to get back into using my nice camera though. I've been using my banged up Note 3 to take pictures only because I've been so lazy in creating a new light box. >.< Before I get to the NOTD, here are a couple of pics I took in Vegas. (I've been really bad at documenting stuff when I travel..I really should start a travel journal..it's just I think experiencing it with your eyes and creating your own lasting memory is the best method of documentation..I feel like pictures don't do justice, and you can never really capture the perfect moment like you can just by seeing it with your own eyes..a bit redundant, I know lol).

EDC Las Vegas 2014

EDC Vegas 2014

Las Vegas EDC 2014

2014 Las Vegas EDC

I wish I took more pictures of the actual event lol. Anyways on to the NOTD.

I did an easy half moon mani (and of course, it's def easy when you just have to use your dominant hand lol). For the base color, I used Revlon's Top Speed Fast Dry Nail Enamel in Royal. For the half moon part, I used Orly's Instant Artist Nail Striper in Platinum Glitter. I just used the liner brush that comes in the bottle and carefully painted in a half moon shape and colored in. I had to constantly use thinner, though, to make sure I didn't have a huge lump of glitter on the bottom part of my nail. I noticed that of all the nail stripers Orly gets chunky fast even while you're using it (maybe it's because I've had it for a while, but even when it was new I had the same problem..I wonder if there's a new formula now).

Half Moon NOTD

 

Half Moon Nail Art

Half Moon Manicure

Well, that's it for now. I'm gonna go work on a 4th of July NOTD for y'all now! Thanks for reading <3

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