Monday, August 31, 2015

Product Review: Flower Studs from Lady Queen

One of the main goals of Nikki's Nail Files has always been to try out new products and share them with my readers. A couple months ago I was contacted by LadyQueen, an online shopping mall, and asked if I would be interested in using a couple of their available products and offering my reviews on my blog here. Of course I said yes! So what is LadyQueen? It is an online shopping outlet that provides not only nail polish and nail art products but also a wide variety of other products including jewelry, apparel, makeup, and even wedding items. If you have time to do a bit of online shopping you should really just peruse their website because I'm sure you will find many things you love!
As for my first product review, you all know I love to bedazzle my nails with studs, decals, stamps, and other products so naturally I selected this set of Daisy Flower Studs in the most adorable pink color. Other color options included various pinks, blues, orange, white, black, and purple. The flowers are 8 mm each so they are a little on the large size and can be overwhelming if you are not used to having a stud on your nails. Because of their size they are a bit clunky on the nail so I would wear them more for a special occasion rather than an everyday nail look. However, despite the size of the flowers they are very sturdy and did last on my nails for a couple of days. I only used clear nail polish as the adhesive to attach the flowers so if you use nail glue to apply the flowers they would last an even longer time. Also, they are safe to use on natural nails (like mine) as well as any acrylic, stick-on, or fake nails. Here is how I used these adorable little flowers: 
These flowers retail for $2.28 for a pack of 10 flowers. I think they ended up being a wonderful addition as the focal point to this manicure. I kept the rest of the nails subtle so that the flower could take center stage. Like I said, the flower itself was very large and actually sat very high on the nail because it was thick but I got used to it in no time. How gorgeous is the color? I think they looked so great in this manicure! A benefit is that you can even re-use these little flowers if you are careful when you take them off. 

An added bonus to these flowers is that you don't just have to use them on your nails! You can even use them to add some pizzazz to homemade cards, cell phones, iPods, etc.

If you're interested in trying these flower studs LadyQueen agreed to give me and my readers a coupon code. For 15% your purchase, use the coupon code "GLLC15."

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Hello again to all my wonderful readers,

I hope that everyone who checks this blog will see this post and be as ecstatic as I am! I have something exciting in store for the next couple of posts and I am so thrilled to be able to get back my blog after a couple months of traveling (internationally!), graduating law school, preparing for the bar exam, undergoing what is no doubt the most difficult test that I have ever had to take in my entire life (which included over 20 years of schooling), getting through some of the most stressful months of my life, and some pretty heavy personal life stuff. Anyway, let's get back to the fun!

Check back later tonight and tomorrow for some exciting posts!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

31 Week Nail Art Challenge - Week 24: Inspired by a Book

This is potentially the loooooooooooongest 31 week challenge you have ever seen. I've been at it since, what, December??  Maybe even before that? I'm working on it though. Trust me, we will get through this 31 Week Nail Art Challenge with each manicure being completed eventually. In any event, this week's installment of the challenge is for Week 24 (hey, we're almost done ya'll!). The theme for Week 24 is a manicure inspired by a book. I happen to be scrolling through my TV's guide when I saw that the movie Twilight was on. That's a book! I thought to myself and I sat at my desk to get started. Yep, you guessed it, a manicure inspired by one of the book's cover art. I chose New Moon because I think that was my favorite Twilight movie (but in all honesty I can't remember if I saw them all). I just like this cover because I find it very pretty. I kept the simplicity by making all my other nails plain black and focusing on the flower. This manicure has taught me one thing...I'm still not any good at nail art flowers. Practice makes perfect though! Here are my nails:

Join me in the 31 Week Nail Art Challenge and share a link to your post!

Next up: Week 25 - Inspired by Fashion

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Long awaited welcome back!!

It's been a while but boy do I have a ton of updates for you guys! I celebrated 5 years with my love on April 24th, I'm done law school finally, just turned 25 yesterday, and will be graduating law school on Saturday. Not to mention that my brother turns 18 and graduates from high school soon! I'll be back with a more substantial post soon but to catch you up...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Week 23: Inspired by a Film

It's about that time again folks...a post for the 31 Week Nail Art Challenge. Am I even on schedule with this thing still?? I had left you guys with my Week 22: Inspired By a Song nails giving a nod to Halestorm's "Love Bites (So Do I)" song and now comes Week 23: Inspired By a Film. I couldn't decide on which film I wanted to create nails for so I decided to take inspiration from Zooey Deschanel's Golden Globe nails in 2013 and this tutorial by HelloGiggles. I have created a manicure for this challenge that is truly inspired by a film....a film strip that is! Have a look:
Up next is Week 24: Inspired By a Book....hmmmm, I wonder what I'll do for that one! Check back and see.
Thanks for looking!

Monday, February 9, 2015

By Special Request - Tahlia's Valentine's Day Nails

Last night, I received a call from my teeny tiny cousin in California asking me "What do you use for nails?" Obviously this means she's starting her nail polish/nail design addiction quite early and I was happy to answer her question! I decided that it was about time to make some Valentine's Day nails what with Valentine's Day coming in less than a week, so I'm making this post to both answer her question AND to show the nails I'll be rockin' for Vday. To answer Tahlia's question, to make little hearts on my nails I use a dotting tool that you can find at Sally's Beauty Supply (or an equivalent store) or online. I checked online and it looks like there's a Sally's in your area Aunt Les! If you can find this one it's the same set I have! My set is packaged a bit differently but it's the same product. Each dual-headed tool has dotters in different sizes so you can find the perfect size for Tahlia's little nails!

This is, of course, not my first rodeo when it comes to Valentine's Day nails. I've done Hearts in 2011Boyfriend-geared 2013,  Cake Pop 2014 nails. These are the nails that I've come up with for this year:

I hope you all have special plans to spend Valentine's Day with those who make you feel special :) Hopefully Tahlia will send me an email or text with a photo of her Valentine's Day nail art!

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

31 Week Nail Art Challenge - Week 22: Inspired by a Song

Now that we're back on track with the 31 Week Nail Art Challenge and I am posting the one specific week per week (rather than 4 weeks in one post!), I am so excited to be posting these nails. . . because honestly I just think they're incredibly awesome. Is it tacky to think your own nails are awesome?! Hmm. Anyway, for this week of the 31 Week Nail Art Challenge we have Week 22, a manicure Inspired by a Song. 

You guys know that I am awful with making decisions -- so choosing one song to inspire a manicure was pretty much impossible for me. Not surprising, right? I listen to a ton of different styles and bands because my music taste swings with my mood BUT I decided to create nails inspired by one of my newest obsessions. Have you ever heard of the band Halestorm? I saw them on September 27, 2014 with my little brother at a music festival in Baltimore. He was supposed to go with a buddy but then the friend wasn't able to make it, so natch I did my big sister duty of standing in when my brother has no one to go somewhere with. Apparently my broski has some good taste in music because I really enjoyed the Halestorm set and I decided to give their music a go when I got back home. Needless to say, I became a fan...hence Halestorm nails for this week! The band is also originally from PA (like I am) and their style is interesting to me because it's rock but it could also be classified as alternative metal (which I'm not really into so much). Moving on, the manicure I painted is in fact inspired by one song in particular: Love Bites (So Do I) from Halestorm's "The Strange Case Of..." record, which I've linked to below the photos. It's the first song on the record so it's the first song on the video if you watch it. I used the whole feel of the record for my inspiration but I added the hearts to the middle finger as a nod to the specific song, Love Bites (So Do I).

Not sure this is copyright legal but whatevs we're gonna roll with it. Their record was kind of all over the place so you will probably find at least one song you like on it! And who knows, you might  just become a super fan--or at least one who paints their nails a la Halestorm, like me! Also, they have a new record dropping in April!
I think I'll tweet these to the band's twitter account . . . see what happens! I'll keep you updated.
Thanks for looking!

Up Next: "Inspired by a Film." Hmmm....comment below if you have any ideas?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

31 Week Nail Art Challenge: Week 20 - Inspired by A Color

Welcome to another episode of QUICK-POST-THIS-WEEK'S-CHALLENGE! For this week, we have "Inspired by a Color Nails" which was honestly a somewhat unhelpful prompt to work with. Where do you go with "inspired by a color"?? I checked around on other people's blogs to try and figure out how other people attacked this week's prompt. It turns out that I am not alone here in Question mark Town. Chalkboard Nails called it a tricky prompt and said "cmon, what does that even really mean?" Nails and Noms said it was a vague theme and that the whole first week was basically inspired by a color. I have to agree with both of them! However, there was at least one person, Manicurator, that actually liked this prompt (and did a STUNNING Caribbean colors inspired manicure to boot!)! Anyway, I looked around my apartment to see what color was lacking and I decided on pink. This manicure is what I came up with that is "inspired by pink."
 I used OPI I Eat Maine-ly Lobster for the base and then stamped Butter London La Moss (which I got in an Ipsy bag one month last year) with BundleMonster plate BM-207. I always forget how beautiful and simple stamping can be. Might have to start working in more stamping on this blog!
If you're doing this challenge, leave a link below so I can check your nails out!
Thanks for looking!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Favorites

It's Friday and I know I don't need any particular reason to be excited for that (being finished with school and work and having a nice weekend is quite enough) BUT I'm doubly thrilled for today to be Friday because Andrew is returning home tomorrow! Yes, he's finally coming home from Colorado and, although we are not living together, we'll be spending MOST of the weeks together. I'm so excited my heart is nearly bursting at the thought of having him home. Anyway, as I posted about previously, and even did a few posts last year or the year before, I want to restart my "Friday Favorites" posts. No, it won't be every Friday but it will be whenever I have new favorites that I want to share! Here are five things that I am favorite-ing right now:

Godiva Truffles
In particular, my favorites are these Ultimate Dessert Truffles. I have a serious sweet tooth and truffles (and ice cream) are my sweet of choice. I love truffles so much that Andrew always gives me a box for Valentine's Day! I mentioned how I was really craving a truffle the other day and Andrew had a set of these truffles delivered to my apartment as a surprise! I love him and these truffles....and I won't tell which/who I love more! Jk. Truffles can't love you back. The Ultimate Dessert Truffle box comes with such amazing flavors, too. Think about your favorite dessert. It's probably in this box. Tiramisu, Birthday Cake, Chocolate Lava Cake, Cookie Dough, Creme Brulee, Strawberry Creme Tarte, Red Velvet Cake, Pineapple Hummingbird Cake, Chocolate Souffle, Chocolate Eclair, Cheesecake, Butterscotch Walnut, do I need to say more?! Mmmmm, sooooo good. Just don't look at the calorie count for any of them!!

Pretty much monogram anything is fantastic. For Christmas 2014 one of my presents from my parents Santa was a set of four appetizer plates with my initial. How cute are these?
I just love the mix of colors and designs. Polka dots? Me? Match made in heaven. And the chevron is so cute, too. I also got matching coasters.

Homemade Humus

I don't know about you guys but I am obsessed with chick peas. It started with me just putting them on my salads but then I realized I could make my own humus and that was the end. I whipped up a batch of homemade humus to go with some crackers and veggies today. So delicioussss!

PJ Sets
Call me lame or whatever but I actually think that matching PJ sets are just so girly and cute. Don't they make you think of childhood sleepovers?? I totally want this adorable Peter Alexander 50's Barbie pajama set because it takes me right back to when I was a little girl playing with barbies with my sister. We would play for HOURS. I would buy these pajamas but $99 is a tad ridiculous. Would they not be perfect though for when/if I stay overnight at Steph and Matt's new house? They could also function as my "comfy clothes" that I wear just to lounge around, watching movies, making dinner, and sipping wine. They look so comfy and chic to me. Am I alone in this?? I should hope not, I found a PJ as one of Lauren Conrad's friday favorites from a few weeks ago!

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Congratulations to a couple of new homeowners!

Big news in the world of Nikki! My sister and her fiance (as you may recognize from various posts here on the blog) have officially become HOMEOWNERS! They closed on their first house yesterday and I got to visit later Friday night for the grand tour! Here is a shot of the happy homeowners:

They decided on an absolutely beautiful house two seconds from my parents' home (whoa, spread those wings guys!) which will be really convenient for when I visit home for holidays. They lived at home until they were 27 and 29 so they don't have much furniture but I believe they have moved all their miscellaneous belongings into the house by now. Ha, notice the lack of furniture in this photo I took:
Congratulations Steph and Matt on your new house! I can't wait to see it once you're all settled in!