Favorite Manicures of 2012

Happy New Years Eve!  I had a bunch of plans to do a series of "Best of 2012" posts, outlining my favorite polishes, brands, etc, but it was just too difficult to chose.  I'd get a list of 20 polishes together, and then I'd remember another one and get all upset that it wasn't included!  Then I decided to do a collage of my favorite nail art manicures of 2012 (so basically the entire existance of The Lacquerologist) and again, that was very difficult!  The photos below are not all-inclusive; now that I'm looking at them and typing this post, I think I forgot some!  But, these are definitely some of my favorites, and I hope you'll enjoy taking a trip down memory lane with me!

The Lacquerologist's Favorite Manicures of 2012

2012 has definitely been a great year for me.  After pulling myself out of a funk and making some life changes, I am happier than I have ever been!  I have the most supportive husband, family and friends, and I love my job as a nail tech =)  And I adore my second job, as the blogger behind The Lacquerologist!  I'm thankful for each and every one of you who stops by to take a look each day!  I have a lot of fun stuff planned for 2013 already, so I hope you'll stick around!  Happy New Year everyone!  I sincerely hope that 2013 brings nothing but happiness and peace your way!!  <3  Be safe tonight, friends!

NYE Appropriate Half-moons!

HAPPY NEW YEAR'S EVE, FRIENDS!  The last day of 2012...so much to reflect upon of such a crazy year!  When I thought of New Year's Eve, I knew what I wanted on my nails to celebrate (but I must admit, these didn't last on my nails until the actual holiday...must.change.polish.constantly.) and this polish combo is exactly it!

I used two coats of Essie Where's My Chauffeur as my base color...I cannot get enough of this shade!!  Seriously!  I then freehanded on the half moons and did my accent nail in Essie Beyond Cozy!  I've had this manicure in my head for quite sometime, and I just had to do it!

Then, to add a bit more NEW YEAR'S spirit, I used my It's So Easy StripeRite in magenta to add the commemorative numbers: 2013!  Numbers and letters are really difficult, but I think these turned out alright!

So there you have it...some NYE nails!  I don't have any major plans....having dinner with my husband and then visiting some family...Netflix and wine while we wait for the ball to drop!  Nice and relaxed, the way I like it!  What are your plans for the evening?  Be safe everyone!!


Holiday Nails: New Years Eve Rainbow Bling!

Hi everyone!  Hope you are all recovered from Christmas and gearing up for New Years!  New Years Eve is such a fun holiday...all about celebrating life and achievement, and a fun excuse to get done up and have fun!  Really, I feel like New Years Eve is the official glitter holiday!  Let's start off with some multi-colored BLING, shall we?

For the base of this manicure, I used my go-to black polish, Milani High Speed Fast Dry Black Swift.  It is so shiny and pigmented, thick in a good way, and I just love it!  Once that had dried (which is, of course, quickly!), I applied a thick coat of NYC top coat and started applying Born Pretty Store hex glitters of various colors!  It really didn't take as long as I thought it would...I just had my glitters all lined up so it almost became robotic as I continued across all of my nails!  I let it dry for a bit and made sure that all of the hexes were nice and flat, and then sealed it in with 2 or 3 layers of top coat, specifically Gelous, which is thick and shiny (it takes a while to dry though).  I am obsessed with the final look!!

You can read my original review of Born Pretty Store hex glitters [HERE] and order your own [HERE]!  Be sure to use my code for 10% off: RUL91!  And Born Pretty Store always offers free internationally shipping!  Doesn't get much better than that!  Have a great weekend everyone!


Jindie Nails Winter Chic Collection: Swatches and Review!

Hi everyone!  Today I am excited to share with you four of the six shades from the Jindie Nails Winter Chic Collection to share with you!  This collection has been out for a little while from Jen at Jindie Nails.  I believe at this time, the Jindie Nails etsy shop is in vacation mode, but should reopen tonight!  See the Jindie Nails etsy shop for more information!

All of the swatches in this post were done with base coat and Gelous top coat.  Gelous is a thick top coat that does not require UV curing.  While these swatches show one coat of Gelous, over time, a second coat may be needed to create a nice, smooth surface!

First up, we have Jindie Nails Dream In Color.  Jen describes this one as "same size small matte hex in neon blue, neon yellow, neon green, barbie pink, white, and black in a clear base."  It could be built up to opacity most likely, but I decided to layer it over black so that you can really see those neon hues pop!  Love it!  Layering this over anything would definitely spice it up.  You'd probably need at least three coats to become opaque.  This is one coat of Dream In Color layered over Milani Black Swift with a coat of Gelous top coat.

Jindie Nails Honey Blue Blue is phenomenal!  I simply adore this because the color is great and the name is a hilarious reference to one of TLC's highest quality programs!  Haha!  Jen describes this baby as "medium blue crelly with royal blue and emerald green holo hex and bright blue hex in several sizes."  The blue and green glitters together really make this polish feel unique to me!  This is three coats on its own with a coat of Gelous, so you can see it builds up quite nicely!  The formula is super easy to work with and the glitter just slides on the nail without much effort at all.

Next up is Jindie Nails Battle Royale, a "deep blue jelly with color shifting shimmer that shifts form violet to teal to pink with periwinkle, deep purple, teal, magenta, mauve, lavender matte and metallic glitters plus turquoise, light pink, hot pink rare, round/dot glitters."  Phew!  What a mouth full, but it makes for an amazing glitter bomb!  It's unique, complex, and gorgeous!  The shimmer in the jelly base is really gorgeous, and helps set off all of the glitter!  This is just two coats with Gelous.  Again, easy application!

Finally, we have Jindie Nails Burrrberry!  This one has gained a bit of hype in the polish world, and it's not hard to see why!  Burrrberry is described as "blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, wine, magenta, and navy holographic and metallic glitters in a white crelly base."  This is a great glitter combination, and somehow, I am still not sick of white creme/jelly hybrid polishes!  Usually, I would layer a polish like this over a white polish, but I decided to build this one up on its own; this is four coats of Burrrberry plus Gelous top coat.  If you let each coat dry completely before applying the next, the four coats won't feel thick or clumpy.  The application was nice and easy, just sort of sheer.

I really like all of these shades, and it's really difficult to pick a favorite!  I am pleased with the formulas on these, and they built up to opacity quite nicely!  The other two shades in the Winter Chic Collection are Jindie Nails Strawberry Cupcake and Jindie Nails Barbies Have More Fun.  For more information on when the Jindie Nails [etsy] shop will re-open, you can follow along on [FACEBOOK]! Jindie Nails polishes are also available at Mei Mei's Signatures and Shoppe Eclecticco.    Jen is really open with her customers when it comes to shipping times and updates, so be sure to follow along and you'll always know what's up with your order!  Which one of these glittery beauties is your favorite?


OPI Mariah Carey Stage Shades: Liquid Sand Swatches and Review!

Good evening friends!  I am really excited to show you these swatches today!  These are the Liquid Sand shades from the OPI Mariah Carey Collection!  They are also being referred to as the Stage Shades!  There are four Liquid Sand polishes in this release, and I am surprised by how much I like them.  This new polish finish, according to OPI is "groundbreaking technology for a textured, matte finish infused with reflective sparkle."  I love that these glitters are all nicely opaque and super sparkly.  The matte textured finish is surprisingly fun and not as obnoxious as I expected!  Onto the swatches...

For each of the Liquid Sand polishes, I swatched with Finger Paints base coat, two coats of polish and no top coat first.  I then added a layer of Gelous immediately before taking the "with top coat" image.  Let it be known after about five minutes, the polish had soaked up just about all of the Gelous top coat. In order to maintain the glossy glitter look, you'd probably need several coats of a thick top coat, but I think it would be possible!  For the images below, I've made the Liquid Sand polish without top coat images extra large to show texture!

The first Liquid Sand polish I have to show you is OPI Get Your Number, a blue jelly packed with flashing holographic glitters in various sizes.  The "sand" particles are really sparkly too.  I'm loving this shade and the finish!  It's like a gritty glitter without top coat, but with a little added sparkle!  Adding top coat to this shade really makes the holo nature pop!

With Gelous top coat

OPI Can't Let Go is a purple jelly with purple microglitter and hex glitters with a Liquid Sand finish.  The hex glitters in this one add a little extra texture, but really, the hexes swim in the "sand" particles, creating quite a homogenous finish.  The color of this one is beautiful...bright purple, but dark enough to be sort of dark in some lights!  With top coat, the sand particles really sparkle!

With Gelous top coat

OPI Stay The Night is probably my least favorite of the Liquid Sand shades.  This is a black jelly with pink microglitter that dries to a Liquid Sand finish.  This one is pretty edgy, but the pink glitter adds a nice girly touch.  Adding top coat definitely changes the look of this one, as it doesn't seem to have as much sparkle as the others.  I like this one best without a top coat on.

With Gelous top coat

Finally we have OPI The Impossible!  This is the one I was most excited about from bottle shots.  A pink jelly base full of pink glitters and pink holo star glitter with a Liquid Sand finish...very exciting!  The pink base is almost a coral shade.  I did have to fish around for the star glitters, but they weren't too difficult to get out.  They swim around in the "sand" particles and aren't super, super apparent, but they are definitely a nice touch!  With top coat, the holo stars really flash in the right light.

With Gelous top coat

As far as formula goes, on all of these, I was quite impressed.  From the description, I anticipated these to be a thick gloopy mess, but it is quite the opposite!  They are really easy to apply!  My only complaint would be that the formula was actually sort of thin, and with the wide OPI brush, it was sort of hard to keep these from flooding my sidewalls and cuticles.  But I rather them be thin than too thick to work with!  I used two coats for each of these swatches, but I don't think a third coat would hurt if you have visible nail line issues.  For removal, I would definitely suggest the trusty foil method!

Overall, I actually really like these Liquid Sand Stage Shades!  And really, I like them all without top coat!  If you're not into texture, you may not like these, but they are so interesting and sparkly that I think they're worth a try!  My favorites are probably Get Your Number and The Impossible, and I really like Can't Let Go too!  I'm excited to try some nail art techniques with these babies!  Get excited! The OPI Mariah Carey collaboration collection will be available in January 2013 and will retail for $9. I will have the Studio Shades swatched for you soon, so check back soon!

Tip Top Nails South Africa: Tip Top Tribal!

Hi everyone!  A little while back, I was contemplating how to share these Tip Top Nail Chic polishes with you, when Tip Top Nails shared a graphic on their Facebook page about tribal prints being hot for summer!  I realized that it is in fact summer in the southern hemisphere, so I decided to do a summery tribal print manicure with some of the shades they sent me!  Tip Top Nails is a South African brand, and I believe at this time, it is only available there.  For more information, see their website [here].

Tripple Putty, Traffic Lights, Fairy Dust, Purple Reign, Peach Crisp

For this look, I started with a base of Tip Top Nail Chic Fairy Dust, a soft lavender creme.  I used two coats, and the formula was phenomenal.  I then used several other Tip Top shades and my striping brush and dotting tool to create this super easy tribal look: TIp Top Nail Chic Tripple Putty, Tip Top Nail Chic Peach Crisp, and Tip Top Nail Chic Purple Reign!  I sealed everything in with NYC top coat.  I think it turned out really cute, and the Tip Top polishes were easy to work with!

I am really impressed with Tip Top Nails!  The polishes I tried had a great formula and pigmentation.  If you don't live in South Africa, I'm sure you can find shades similar to these in brands available where you live, but if this line is available to you I would definitely suggest you check it out.  No matter where you live, Tip Top Nails has an awesome Facebook community...there's always great nail art, nail health and polish information there!  Check it out [HERE]!  And again, check out their website [here].


Holiday Nails: Happy Kwanzaa!

Hi everyone!  I hope everyone who celebrates had a nice holiday yesterday!  I've enjoyed some time off work and a lot of family time in the last few days, and it's been nice, despite the killer migraine I was fighting Saturday and Sunday.  Today's nails are still part of my Holiday Nail Art Series as Kwanzaa nails!  The main colors of the Kwanzaa celebration are red, green, and black, so used those colors to create this angular and geometric manicure.

This manicure was quite simple to pull off.  I alternated nails of Essie She's Pampered and Essie Mojito Madness.  Using my trusty It's So Easy StripeRite in black, I created a geometric herringbone design.  NYC top coat sealed it all in!

To those of you who celebrate Kwanzaa, what are you favorite traditions?! =)  Happy Kwanzaa!


Holiday Nail Art Series: In Review (UPDATED)!

Merry Christmas everyone!  Today I have my Holiday Nail Art Series in review for you all!  Each image below is a hyperlink that will take you to the original post for the manicure!  I've included all of my Christmas, Hanukkah, and general holiday season manicures here, but you can also see my Thanksgiving nails [here] and [here] and stay tuned for Kwanzaa and New Years looks this upcoming week (UPDATED with Kwanzaa and New Year's nails)!  Again, click each image below to see the original post!  <3  I hope you all have a great holiday, no matter how you celebrate!!

Which mani is your favorite?  
Happy Holidays!
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