Thursday, February 27, 2014

Another Liebster Award?! Yay!

I checked my blog this past Wednesday and to my delight I found that I was nominated for yet another Liebster award! The first Liebster award came in 2012 (blogged about here) and I couldn't find the other one (I think I may not have done a post about it?!) but I absolutely love these chain awards because they help introduce and share really amazing bloggers interested in the same thing as me. This most recent Liebster award came from the lovely Linziino! Thank you so much girl! Now onto the fun:

The rules: Once you're nominated, acknowledge the awesomesauce blogger that nominated you. (Thank you Linziino!) Write 11 random facts about you. Answer the 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you. Nominated 11 new bloggers who have less than 200 followers and create a new set of 11 questions for them to answer. Share it with them!

11 Random Facts about Meee
  1. My toenails are polished 24/7 365. Oh wait, you all already knew that!
  2. I have a serious weakness for TV. Seriously. Anything anytime I will watch it. Infomercials? My fave. The Bachelor? Yes please. Rich Kids of Beverly Hills? I'm ashamed but yes. Mad Men? You bet. Gilmore Girls? Indeed! You get the picture.
  3. I cannot sing. At all. Ever.
  4. I'm the middle child in a family with three kids.
  5. I am OBSESSED with Paris, France. 
  6. I love Godiva truffles.
  7. I am absolutely spoiled by my boyfriend. (Quick note: Linziino and I are both dating men named Andrew. It's clearly the name for incredible men!)
  8. Speaking of boyfriend, I am obsessed with weddings ever since my sister got engaged.
  9. I will try any nail design or technique once.
  10. I will never have enough nail polishes in my collection. There will always be a color that I don't have.
  11. I am always drinking water. My water bottle is pretty much attached to my hand.
QUESTIONS FROM LINZIINO:
  1. How long have you been blogging for? About 4 years I think??
  2. What are you wearing on your nails right now? China Glaze Highlight of My Summer :)
  3. How many polishes do you own? I think I'm around 350. I'm over 300 for sure!
  4. How do you store your nail polishes? I store them by color in my Ikea Helmer that my boyfriend bought for me. For a more detailed description of my storage, check out my youtube video on the subject!
  5. Are you a morning person or an evening person? Evening all the way!
  6. Do you have a favorite brand of polish? China Glaze 
  7. What do you do for work?  Right now I am a student but I am also a law clerk for a solo criminal defense attorney that also takes cases in personal injury and contract. This summer I am switching firms and will be doing exclusively insurance defense litigation (hopefully I'm understand my car insurance policy after this!).
  8. Are you a book lover or a film fan? Film fan. Totes.
  9. Are you a tea, coffee, or hot chocolate drinker? Tea AND hot chocolate. Just not together at the same time!
  10. Describe your perfect holiday. Any holiday that includes presents! Just kidding. My perfect holiday includes family, board games, booze, and my boyfriend. Bonus points if presents are involved ;)
  11. What time is it right now? About 9 at night.
QUESTIONS FROM ME FOR MY NOMINEES
  1. If you could only paint your nails ONE color for the rest of your life what color would it be?
  2. Do you prefer necklaces, bracelets, or rings?
  3. What is your favorite design to do on your nails?
  4. What is the best place you have ever visited/traveled to?
  5. What is your favorite nail blog?
  6. How big is your family?
  7. What is your least favorite nail polish? Why?
  8. What is your favorite hobby (outside of nail polish of course)?
  9. Which is your favorite season (spring, summer, fall, winter)?
  10. What was the last polish you bought?
  11. What is your best feature?
MY NOMINEES

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How do you take your caviar, sir?

Picture a well groomed, impeccably dressed waiter from 1912 asking you that question...a la this scene in the movie Titanic. Today's answer to that question is: I take my caviar on one finger and multi-colored.
I'm talking about the caviar manicure people! I don't know if I've ever had food caviar? Probably. Anyway, today's post is a caviar manicure using the incredible Ciate polishes I got for Christmas 2012. I know I'm not one who is fond of textured manicures but this one gets an A+ for awesomeness. The first caviar mani I did was featured in this post and, although the caviar part fell off about a day later in one huge chunk, I got so many compliments on it IRL that I wanted to do another. It's been far too long.
For this caviar mani I used China Glaze Solar Power on the index and pinkie fingers, Ciate Headliner on the thumb, middle, and ring fingers, and then caviar pearls in Sundance. Adorbs no??

Also, funny story. When I was looking online for a photo of the scene in Titanic, I found (can you believe it) a fellow nail blog Short'n Chic. Apparently I'm not the only one who has made the Titanic-caviar joke in connection with nail polish. Well played Short'n Chic. Well played indeed.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Toetally Tuesday: Feels Like the First Time

Today's Toetally Tuesday post is a repeat of the design I used for the first ever Toetally Tuesday post here on The Files (see the first Toetally Tuesday post here). I have to say I think I did it better the first time! I love China Glaze Carribbean Blue because of how pretty it is with its hint of shimmer and all that jazz but I changed up the red (bad decision) and it can out even darker than the original. Sheesh. I also changed up the line to be silver instead of white (another bad decision). And I'm not exactly sure what happened with my little toes...they look a mess!! I think this one goes in my "not my favorites" bin. As always though, I share the good, bad, and ugly so I had to post them.
An aside: I'm not sure what color that carpet looks in this picture but I can tell you with certainty that it is NOT the accurate color of the carpet in my apartment.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cosmopolitan Magazine On Nail Care

Today's post is about an article I just read on Cosmopolitan's (you know, the magazine) website: "21 Things You Absolutely Must Know About Painting Your Nails" by Carly Cardellino. Having been seriously obsessed with nails for the last...oh I don't know...8 or 9 years, I think I've picked up on a lot of them but a few "tips" had me concerned, rolling my eyes, or just plain filled with questions. I've included just the 21 things (none of the article's additional thoughts or reasons for each) so if you want the full list click the link above. Otherwise, let's explore Cosmo's wisdom and see if I'm not the only one that should be surprised she even has nails at this point. 

  1. Three strokes are all you need. Yeah nope, I definitely don't do that. Sometimes I just need to go back over a stroke, you know? I don't think this one is a deal breaker.
  2. Always use a base coat. Eh, guilty. I'm so guilty of NEVER doing this. And I know I should because I have paid the price so many times by having my nails stained blue and green before. That is never an appealing sight and contributes to the reasons that my nails are always always always (hear me?) alwaysss  polished.
  3. Repurpose your old lip brush to help tidy up the edges of your nail. Genius idea but I don't have a lip brush so...Q-tips for me it is!
  4. Find the right white. Is this similar to "find the right wine"? My favorite white polish so far is Zoya Snow White but it took me a while to find it. I've also tried China Glaze White on White and Orly White Out. China Glaze was shockingly my least favorite! Oh my gosh that's two China Glaze polishes in a matter of days that I've said I didn't like! What's going on here?!
  5. Stay away from quick-dry nail polish. I have no opinion on this. My polishes are usually standard but then my Seche Vite is fast drying. Eh, no biggie.
  6. Swipe on cuticle oil religiously. Guilty. I never do this even though I have Orly's Cuticle Therapy Creme (the one in the circular pot) AND Sally Hansen's Instant Cuticle Remover and that stuff is AMAZING. To do one better, I also trim *gasp!* my cuticles on the daily because for whatever reason they always are rough. Next time I'm at Target I will have to invest in a cuticle oil. Or maybe just start using the creme, lol. The Cosmo article also mentions that you can place cuticle oil over your polish and that would give the nail a little slip when it comes in contact with something, therefore decreasing the chance of chipping. I'm not sure about the truth of that....but in the name of science I will definitely be giving that a try!
  7. Hold your hands under cold water post-paint job. They say it makes the nails dry faster. I say there's no way I'm doing this.
  8. Make your neon polish pop by adding a white shade under it. I knew this and said a little thing about it here. I didn't do it with a neon though and will have to get on that immediately! Perhaps a comparison post to see if this is actually true! Yes! Expect that post shortly :)
  9. Apply thin, not thick coats of polish. Yes, so many times I will put layers that are too thick and then it will take FOREVER to completely dry and harden. So many smudges have resulted from my impatience to do multiple coats!
  10. Keep your paint in a cool, dry, dark place aka your fridge. I'd like to say this is ridiculous. If anyone actually does this and it makes a difference...can you let me know in the comments? My fridge is for food. My IKEA Helmer is for polishes. I'd like to think my Helmer is cool, dry, and dark though.
  11. Thin out too-thick nail polish with thinner. I literally just got on board with this one when I did my Ode to Seche Vite Nails of November post. I was so bummed I wasted two good bottles of seche vite top coat because they had thickened too much. Now I have a ton of Seche Vite Restore and no more polishes will ever get prematurely abandoned!
  12. Never shake your nail polish. I do this all the time. None of that rolling nonsense happens here. I'm not making cookies...I'm handling my nail polish!
  13. Never cut your cuticles. See #6. OMG GASP.
  14. Only bust out the nippers when you have a hang nail. Ew, hangnails. The reason everyone should exercise some level of nail care. I don't have nippers (the actually scissor like ones) but I do have a cuticle trimmer that I just slide across the dead cuticle skin.
  15. Never saw your nails back and forth when you file them. Oh good lord, I'm so guilty of this. I blame my lack of coordination...it's just easy to saw the nails! I really should change this though because I do know it's the worst for your nail strength and composition.
  16. Stay away from hot water. Aw, I recently gave my boyfriend a piece of my mind for never offering to do the dishes when he knows I hate doing them because the hot water and detergent chips my nails!
  17. Use non-acetone nail polish remover whenever possible. Oops. I mention my nail polish remover in this post. Yes, it's pure acetone all the way. What can I say?
  18. Go for glitter. Oh, I do, thank you very much! And I might again soon now that you mention it!
  19. Use a cotton ball to help remove your glitter polish. I usually resort to brute force when removing glitters but yes, surrounding the nail with a remover-soaked cotton ball and letting is soak for a minute does indeed make glitter removal less frustrating (and bonus: if you don't move the cotton ball around a lot you eliminate unwanted glitter specks from getting ALL OVER YOUR HANDS. Scout's honor.)
  20. Always use three-free polish. To my knowledge, I do! Carry on.
  21. Always use a top coat. AMEN! My top coat of choice? You guys know me. Let's all say it at the same time: SECHE VITE!
So which tips do you follow? Are there any you definitely don't (but maybe should) follow?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fancy Fingers Holo Zebra

Today's post is quick and simple, a holo zebra stamping post in purple. The base is Zoya Julie and the zebra stamp is BundleMonster Plate 223 in Color Club Eternal Beauty. I love the way the holo adds to the design. This might have to be included in my 2014 "Best Of" post at the end of the year!
P.S. Thanks Amanda Lawson for requesting this in my giveaway!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

On Wednesday We Talk About Weddings: Venue Style

As you all probably already know from reading this here blog, my only sister got engaged (!) and we have been on the wedding planning journey ever since. From celebrating the engagement, to celebrating the engagement, to the Philadelphia Bridal Expo, to becoming her official Maid of Honor, to just cute wedding-appropriate nails, there's been no shortage of wedding manicures featured on this blog to commemorate the wedding planning process. Today's post is yet another wedding inspired manicure to celebrate the fact that.......*drumroll please*.......Steph and Matt have officially set a date AND booked a venue! For security and privacy reasons or whatever, I'm not going to disclose exactly where it is BUT it's a gorgeous country club near my hometown. I can so picture Steph's and Matt's wedding here, and I'm so excited that it's finally becoming "real" or whatever the proper word would be. See the photos below for a sneak peak! So, when is the big day you might ask??? 
SEPTEMBER 2015
Yes, in September 2015 my sister will be rocking a stunning (yet to be determined) white dress and her best buddy from college, her "to be" sister-in-law, and I will all be dolled up in bridesmaids dresses (yet to be determined) to celebrate the momentous "I do" moment. I can't wait to stand beside her as she becomes a "Mrs."!! Cheers to exciting times! 

The contract has been signed for a few months now but I couldn't settle on a design to feature with the post! I finally decided on nails that were inspired by the bottom picture (the exterior of the venue) and went with a white, gold and silver waterfall or gradient or catastrophe design. I shot this with two differnt lights because it changed what you can see with the colors. How do you like?
Leave a comment below with any requests, suggestion, questions, etc (or just say "hi")!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Toetally Tuesday: Crinkled Chrome Wrinkling the Sheets

How naughty is this polish name?? I mean, "wrinkling the sheets"...really? Naughty naughty. Anyway, I will be honest and say this polish is NOT my cup of tea. You guys all know that I absolutely love China Glaze and I buy almost every polish that I can from them but this one is a finish problem for me. Apparently, I absolutely can't stand textured finishes. I can't. They frustrate me. I need a nice thick and smooth top coat finish or my nails will bother me. I added seche vite but even that didn't completely smooth the texture. The color of this polish is to die for though and if it were a jelly or creme I would wear it all the time. To me, the crinkled finish looks like when you don't let your nails dry and harden before you go to sleep, if you know what I'm talking about. Not my favorite China Glaze but I'm glad I gave it a try. I'm not sure when I'll rock this look though. Concerts? I don't know.
What do you think? Is "crinkled chrome" your cup of tea?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Envelope please....100+ Follower Giveaway Results!

I was going to have a super long post with the winner of my giveaway at the very end but, in the off chance that you all are a lot like me, I realized many of you would just scroll to the winner announcement and I'd be mumbling on up here by myself. To save you from the scrolling (and me from mumbling up here to myself)....the winner is.......
MARY SMITS

Congratulations Mary!! I'm emailing you now to get your address and then I'll be sending these little babies out to you by next Friday! If you don't email me back by Wednesday, February 19th, I will select another winner!

Anyway, back to the mumblings: Thank you so so so much to everyone who entered my giveaway. I'm glad it got as much support as it did and I hope that all you fantastic giveaway participants will continue to offer feedback and suggestions even now that it's over. Something I will definitely do differently next time? I probably should have used Rafflecopter. With over 350 entries (I was hoping to break 400 once I saw how high it was getting!) and tallying all the different "bonus" entries, it took some massive time making sure all participants got the appropriate number of entries! I will definitely be using the Rafflecopter service when I reach 500 followers....or maybe my birthday....or maybe graduation....or maybe Christmas....or maybe I'll do a giveaway just cause I can! Who knows?!

Happy Valentine's Day 2014 Dearies!

When my boyfriend lived in Philadelphia we used to have "Floor Chinese" when I would visit. No, that doesn't mean we ate Chinese off his floor. Ok, maybe we did, but it's not what it sounds like. We'd put a blanket down and sit on top of it with all our food containers so it was sort of like an indoor-picnic where we could watch TV. Anyway, this Valentine's day my boyfriend and I planned on Floor Chinese and a movie (he's oh so romantic) but then he got snowed out of Philadelphia International Airport and stuck in Denver until Saturday....missing Valentine's Day. Grr, who schedules a work trip to Colorado when there's supposed to be a snowstorm on your return date??? I even got him a small V-Day gift and made him V-Day cake pops (which I'm posing with in the picture below). Needless to say I'm pretty bummed we can't spend V-Day together and, shockingly, he hasn't even mentioned anything about missing it. I guess all you guys are my Valentines this year!! Haha. 
On a side note, this is the first (and probably last) time I made cake pops. They're so sweet. I had 3 and now I think I'm set for life! Jk. I think they turned out really perfect looking for Valentine's Day!

For this V-Day look: I used Color Club Miss Bliss with OPI Black Shatter over it and ULTA Cocktail Waitress hearts. Simple...yet cute. I think the holo almost steals the show even with the shatter toning it down!
Do you have any Valentine's Day plans? (for your nails or your significant other)
Send me links to your Valentine's Day nail art!

P.S. Not seeing my boyfriend on Valentine's Day is pretty much the norm. Click here for my Valentine's Day 2013 manicure.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Inspired By: Sochi 2014 Olympic Figure Skating Costumes

If you've been watching the Olympics over the last three or four days then you will recognize at least one, if not all, the Figure Skating costumes that I have selected as inspiration for my Olympic Figure Skating manicure. I absolutely loved each of these costumes (and the skating itself was amazing too!). It gave me a chance to practice my gradient too! From left to right we have Gracie Gold, Jason Brown, Yulia Lipnitskaia, Ksenia Stolbova, and Fedor Klimov. I can't wait to see Gracie Gold and Yulia Lipnitskaia go head to head in the individual skating. Lipnitskaia is unstoppable though, her skating is perfection. Russia really knows how to train beautiful skaters!
The costumes:
And the nails:
For the thumb (Grace Gold's beautiful ombre leotard with bedazzling around the neck) I used Zoya Kristen, China Glaze Blue Sparrow, and China Glaze Eyes Like Sapphire for the gradient. I then copied her bedazzled neck by adding Kiss Brush On Nail Art Paint in Silver Glitter.

The pointer and middle fingers are Jason Brown's uniform. For the pointer (his top) I used Love & Beauty (a Forever 21 brand) Jade with an unnamed Icing gold striper. For my middle finger (his bottoms) I used Orly Liquid Vinyl and stamped the Icing unnamed striper with BundleMonster plate BM213.

For the ring finger (Yulia Lipnitskaia) I used China Glaze Eyes Like Sapphires, Zoya Kristen, Orly Shine On Crazy Diamond, and Kiss Brown On Nail Art Paint in Silver Glitter.

For the pinkie finger (the Russian pair) I used Orly Liquid Vinyl with Kiss Brush On Nail Art Paint in White. I also used Color Club Style Icon for the lapel of the uniform.

So? Thoughts?

DON'T FORGET TO ENTER MY 100+ FOLLOWER GIVEAWAY GOING ON HERE
IT'S ABOVE 100 PARTICIPANTS!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Country Challenge


I was recently nominated by the lovely nail blogger behind Creativenails4fun to participate in a little blog challenge called the "Country Challenge." Since it's Olympics GO USA time for me, I thought it would be a really neat challenge to accept and see what I could come up with. I agree with Creativenails4fun and I didn't want to just do the country flag (I just did a US flag for the previous post). However, you can't get too much more American than stars and stripes. I mean, check out the Team USA warm up uniforms from the Opening Ceremony at the Sochi Winter Olympics! Ralph Lauren decided on stars and stripes red, white, and blue galore! I used this as inspiration for my Country Challenge nails and came up with these:
For this look: I used China Glaze Frostbite (for the winter olympics), ULTA Cocktail Waitress, Zoya Snow White, BundleMonster plates BM14, BM20 and BM214 for the stripes and stars. Unfortunately, the glare of the light blocked out the A in my "USA" on my thumb nail and I didn't notice until now! :( Bummer!

The rules for this challenge are:
  1. Name the person who challenged you. - I already mentioned this but in case you missed it, it was the talented blogger behind Creativenails4fun!
  2. Create a manicure that represents your country, and matches your chosen theme. - Stars and Stripes RED WHITE & BLUE GALORE
  3. Nominate 5 bloggers to do the same. - YOLO. I challenge anyone who checked this post out to complete this Country Challenge! Comment below with a link if you decide to do it so I can check it out =)
Lastly, don't forget to check out my giveaway I'm hosting right now. You could win 6 holographic Color Club polishes! Here are the deets!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sochi Winter Olympics 2014

I'm not sure about you but this girl right here has some serious obsession love with the Olympics. Naturally, I have to admit that I prefer the summer Olympics because they include gymnastics and I spent more than ten years as a competitive gymnast. Still, the winter Olympics has a special spot in my heart (and apparently on my treadmill since I used my Nexus 10 to watch them as I run!) because I enjoy the ski jump, figure skating, luge, etc. I'm sure you'll get a post inspired by a figure skater's uniform at least once this Olympics because some of them are so gorgeous and bedazzled. Anyway, when the Olympics only come every 2 years, a nail design is most certainly in order. My London Summer Olympics 2012 nails can be seen here, but this post is all about the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014! 
One of my favorite things about the Olympics is the opening ceremony when I see all the countries march in and all the various warm up uniforms. Sochi did an incredible job with the ceremony this year! I love the countries that send one or two athletes because I know that must be so special for them to get the opportunity. How cool would it be to say you're an Olympian?! Like oh yeah, this gold medal here...I just won that when I competed against the world. No biggie. How awesome?! Of course I route for Team USA because I'm an American and all that jazz but there are definitely some athletes from other countries that I hope to see get on the medal podium too!

If anyone loves the Olympics as much as I do and wants to do a nail design to celebrate their country please leave me a link in my comments so I can check it out!

And again, don't forget to enter my 100 Follower Giveaway!! Details here.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

All Hail the Holo!


Today's post is showcasing the gorgeous holographic polishes currently being given away for making it to 100 Followers :) I just love the way these polish glisten, especially when they're under some light. I apologize for the reading material under the second photo. I'm working as an intern with Veterans law issues this semester and I had to look up dependents benefits. For whatever reason, the section my hand is on in the second picture is talking about death pension, so it's not exactly the most uplifting topic. 

This past weekend I helped with preparing wills for veterans near my hometown. It was a great experience (maybe a tad depressing too though) and I enjoyed gaining experience with an area of law that I haven't had much (or any) exposure too just yet. I didn't rock these nails to the Wills For Heroes event only because I think it would be a little too eye-catching and distracting for a legal setting. Although to class I will rock these babies like they're spandex in the 80s!
Even NOT under light, these polishes still are gorgeous. They're so pigmented, too! Each nail only has one layer of polish!
Be sure to enter my giveaway! Here are the details :)