Monday, March 31, 2014

Color Smash

Have you ever painted your nails to finish them, look at them, and realize that you've used colors that just don't seem to get along? That sort of happened to me today when I painted these little lovelies. I'm on a serious polka dot binge right now (but that's never a problem) and I can't get enough of it! There's so much you can do with such a simple design how could you not expect me to go crazy with my colors?!
So, what do you think? 
Do these colors go hand in hand or should I keep them in separate Helmer drawers?

P.S. In case you noticed (or didn't notice), I did change the little square "Celebrate National Nail Polish Day" photo in the top left corner today. After talking to another lovely blogger, I realized that I had confined my celebration to America (oops!). One of my favorite things about this blog is how many international pals visit my blog and of course I want to include them in my celebration of all things mani. More info about the International Nail Polish Day will be coming up but it's really more of a no-rules, do-anything-you-like thing that I'm hoping more than just I will participate in. Message me if you have specific questions but really it's just all about sharing our nail polish habit and enjoyment.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Collab with NailsNoob: Inspired by Favorite Ed Norton Flick


I'm so excited for today's post! I have to be honest, I painted these on Friday and held onto it to post in collaboration with the fabulous blog known as NailsNoob! Once we found out we both were huge movie-addicts, we decided a manicure inspired by a movie was long overdue and we decided to do a collab post inspired by our favorite Edward Norton film. So for me I went with the Italian Job, a movie about a heist where Edward Norton starts as a good guy and then quickly becomes the movie's antagonist (don't worry I didn't spoil anything)! If you haven't seen the movie, all you need to know to understand my manicure is the movie poster I've included to the right. My manicure is inspired by the three mini coopers used in the movie with the two yellow lines seen in the poster. This is what I came up with:
It's pretty simple and all so it's not that impressive. I used Orly Liquid Vinyl, Orly White Out, Sally Hansen Cherry Red, Kiss Brush On Nail Art Paint in White, Color Club Art Club in Yellow, and Orly Blue Suede for the look.

And now for the collaboration part of this collab: the fantastic manicure featured right now on Nails Noob:
How awesome are they?  Her Edward Norton film inspiration was Fight Club, a movie so intense I couldn't even come up with a good overview description. I mean, the first rule of Fight Club is you don't talk about Fight Club (I laughed when I saw that she says this in her post too). I guess I'll just have to say...it's a movie have to watch for yourself. Also, after you watch it you will never look at soap the same so fair warning! She said she's not proud of them but I think they're superb! I thought Fight Club was going to be so hard to come up with a design for and I'm really impressed with what she did with her manicure. Wayyyy more creative than mine design, that's for sure!

Be sure to comment if you have a favorite Ed Norton movie!
And go check out Nails Noob's post if you haven't already :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Happy 24th Birthday sweets!

Today was my one and only's birthday!!Yep, Andrew turned 24 today so I decided to do a nail design. I quickly realized I had NO IDEA what sort of design to do (last year's design was so much better). I went with just something girly because I really wanted pink nails and well...I'm a girl. We had to celebrate his birthday last weekend because we live about an hour apart (stupid school, stupid work!)(can't wait to change that after I graduate) and I couldn't see him today. We decided to have a dinner and movie weekend (so so so much food it wasn't even funny) and it was nice to spend time with him. I hope he had a great day but I hate that he had to spend it alone :( No one should be a lone on their birthday you know? Here are the nails:
Girly right? I should have made the pink hearts like balloons. I used Zoya Dawn and Orly White Out for the design and, although I like the design, I should have used it for Valentine's Day instead of my love's birthday.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Inspired By: The Voice

Today's post is inspired by a piece of clothing seen on an episode of The Voice, a show where the judges select singers blindly and then have the singers perform with each other in knockout battles until a winner is crowned "the voice" at the end of the season. I love watching this show because the judges are hysterical. Between Adam Levine, Shakira, Usher, and Blake Shelton there are so many quirks and quips that come out during each episode and don't be surprised if you pee yourself from laughing (especially during the blind auditions). Anyway, the sweater(?) long-sleeved shirt worn by Adam Levine in this episode instantly spoke to me (saying "make this a nail design girl") and I got painting while I finished the episode. Not sure how I like the mix as a shirt but...looks good on my nails!
And even if you're not into singing shows like this....who can resist an attractive man on their TV? I mean, just check out Adam...the man can blue steel with the best of them...
Although to be honest if he were to look at me like that I'd probably be a little scared.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Evil Eye BundleMonster

When I was painting my nails today I wanted to pull out my Konad and BundleMonster plates and use some gorgeous spring-time blues. At first I just wanted to use this stamp design because I thought it looked cool and intense but then I realized the design sort of looks like the evil eye. I have an evil eye bracelet that I wear so I wanted to incorporate the bracelet into a photo for the blog. I really don't use many props in my blog photos so I figured why not. 

For the manicure, I painted all my nails China Glaze Highlight of My Summer and then stamped BundleMonster BM-223 in Orly Blue Suede (last seen here and here). 

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Toetally Tuesday - Spa with Ma

Fellow bloggers, I am ashamed. I am ashamed to say that this nail blog running, self-polishing fanatic visited a nail salon with my dear mom over Spring Break. I know, I know, we can all gasp together *GASP* but I think it's always good to have a little pampering. I'm terrified of getting ingrown toenails (painful!) so I like to go to the spa every now and then so they can handle making sure my toenails are in good form. I chose OPI We'll Always Have Paris (yes, based on the name alone) and I didn't realize how perfect it was because St. Patrick's Day was yesterday. So, did I toetally cheat by letting the pros handle my toes??

Monday, March 17, 2014

Shamrocks and St. Patrick

Today's nails are in honor of the Feast of St. Patrick. St. Patrick's Day was made an official feast day in the seventeenth century and commemorates St. Patrick and Christianity in England. While the day is marked by parades and festivals, most people I know are really only interested in using the day as an excuse to go to pubs, day-drink, and consume green-colored foods and drinks (like the ones to the right-photo from google). The Shamrock is a symbol of Ireland and a symbol for the Christian Trinity. Pretty neat right??

For today's manicure I used China Glaze Jolly Holly, Zoya Snow White, and Zoya Trixie.
Leave a link in the comments if you did a St. Patty's Day mani

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Florals...for Spring...Groundbreaking.

After using a Titanic quote in post recently, I realized that I quote movies more often in real life and I was surprised it took so long to show up on this blog. There are literally thousands of great movie quotes that are just crying to be used in my blog posting! Another particularly good example is fit for the mani I'm sporting today: a quote from The Devil Wears Prada. It's exactly what I think to myself this time of year when I pass a shop that has something (a) pastel or (b) floral hanging in the window. I mean really, how innovative are florals and pastels for spring? Excuse me while I hit the snooze button one more time and go back to my neon and glitter dreams. To be honest though I did check out the new line of pastel Sinful Colors polishes just last week. Anyway, I'm sure I'll be wearing pastels throughout the season but at least for today let's all just say it with Miranda Priestly (AKA the lovely Meryl Streep): "Florals...for spring...groundbreaking."
Just in case you are unfamiliar with the movie...here's the clip:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A+ for Nicole by OPI

I think I'm a little bit late to this party, seeing as this all came out some point in January but....Nicole by OPI is launched 14 new polishes to convince us hoarders that we still don't have enough polishes. These polishes are G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S and brilliantly named. The photos I've included in this post are not mine...I have stolen borrowed them from the OPI website here. You know you're a tad obsessed when you start buying polishes purely based on the name, but with some of these names how can you not? 
Dear Nicole by OPI, Fabulous might just be my middle. It might just be.

From a wannabe yogi, I simply MUST have Yoga-then-yogurt. Also, from someone who is *proudly* at the top of her law school class, you better believe Taupe of my Class will be joining my collection ASAP.
Which name is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

And just one more thing: Can we all raise a toast to the OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director, Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, for her quote: "Maintaining manicures is an important goal to have the New Year's resolution list! Perfectly painted nails are one of the best accessories any fashionista can have." Amen, sister. Amen. My perfectly painted nails salute you.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A collab with Nails Noob: Women's Day Manicure

Hello lovelies! Today's post is a manicure to join a post over on Nails Noob that celebrated Women's Day. Let me just say that I did not know that March 8th was International Women's Day...but, with my efforts to create a National (or International) Nail Polish Day in May and with my being, well, a woman, I wanted to join and come up with my own Women's Day manicure. The post on Nails Noob talked about women's rights and that got me thinking about a manicure of my own. I don't want to go all political on here and "women's day" doesn't exactly lead to an easy manicure...so I decided to do a manicure take on Rosie the Riveter (photo from Google).

I don't know if everyone is familiar with this, but if you are not I looked on wikipedia.com for a brief explanation of what/who Rosie is/was (my explanation would not have been brief). To quote wikipedia: "Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon of the United States, representing the American women who worked in factories during World War II...Rosie the Riveter is commonly used as a symbol of feminism and women's economic power." To me, Rosie the Riveter represents the strength women have and so I thought it would be perfect for a manicure meant to celebrate women. My inspiration might be an American culture thing but hopefully you all can enjoy this manicure even if you have no idea what the heck I'm talking about. I mean, who doesn't love colorful nails??
Trivia moment: The Rosie the Riveter poster I included in the post was originally created in 1942 by Pittsburgh (yay for my home state Pennsylvania!) artist J. Howard Miller to boost morale and productivity in the factories where the women had started to work. It was not called Rosie the Riveter and associated with feminism until around the 1980s. 

If you do a Women's Day manicure, let me know by leaving a link in the comments.
Be sure to also add your link in a comment on the Nails Noob blog too!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Giveaway Questions: Part I - Blog Beginnings

One of the questions recently sent to me during my 100 Follower Giveaway was:
What got you into blogging about nail polish? 
The question was asked by the lovely blogger over at That Girl Reads (If you love to read or just need a book idea for the moment then you simply MUST check her blog out...it's perfect for finding good reads!) Fair warning, you may leave Barnes & Noble with an empty wallet and a giant stack of new books after visiting her blog. Anyway, today I decided to do a whole post to answer her question. I sort of talk about it in my "Meet Nikki" tab (at the top) but I don't give into much detail. The story begins like this:

Once upon a time (aka when I was little), in a place far far away (aka the master bathroom at my family's house), lived a basket (yes, I just said basket). Said basket was full to the brim with all these wondrous glass bottles of all different sizes and all different shapes. These glass bottles sparkled and shined and could make your nails look pretty and colorful. I learned that these glass bottles were called nail polish and that was the end.

Just kidding. The story is more like....my mom kept a giant basket of nail polishes under the sink in her bathroom. There were all different brands (hello, my first China Glaze was lifted from my mother's collection) and all different types. I never had a big collection when I was little because I went to Catholic school that wouldn't let us paint our nails (thoughts on that is a whole different story!). I was only allowed to have a manicure (no acrylic) on special occasions, such as weddings and holidays, and even then my mom would usually take my sister and I to get them done. Anyway, my sister went to a private high school where nail polish was allowed (in fact, pretty much everyone had acrylic nails) and soon she was accompanying my mom to the nail salon on the regular. Unfortunately for me, I still was in grade school, locked in the land of anti-polish. Don't you worry though, I became a rebel...starting with one nail and eventually rocking three red nails on my left hand. I was quickly told nail polish wasn't allowed (thank you 8th grade teacher) and given nail polish remover to swipe away my rebellion. Lol. Finally I graduated and went to the same all-girl high school that Steph did. I think this was the beginning of the end.

I never liked acrylics and I would paint my own nails. I pilfered more and more nail polishes from my mom's arguably unused (because she would always pick a salon color) collection. I accumulated cheaper brands first, from Avon, BonBon, and The Icing but then I would go with my mom to Beautyland...which is now my Holy Grail...for the big guns: OPI and China Glaze. At first my collection was normal, probably about 30 bottles of polish stored in a shoe box, and I would do simple designs (usually just a base color with a tip). My sister eventually mentioned that I should take photos of my nails because some were cute and pretty soon we were contemplating the Nikkis Nail Files blog. I thought it was a great idea (although at first I thought my designs were too lame and no one would care) and I wanted to blog just for me. Eventually I found some nail blogging giants, such as The Daily Nail, Scrangie, and AllLacqueredUp, and decided I wasn't lame for wanting to blog about my little manicures. 

I don't remember exactly when I started hoarding polish (I'm sure my bank statements could tell us) but I'm sure it was around the time that I started my blog. I couldn't just keep reusing the same polishes over and over again, you know?! Admittedly, I still show definite favor to some polishes in my collection but I liked having more and more polish to use in designs. I would see designs on other blogs or in magazines and I would need "just one more polish" to be able to do something like it. Soon I was trying all different designs, my polishes were taking over, and the blog was up and running. Ever since then I've been sharing random designs and parts of my life on my blog and I really enjoy it!

Thanks for reading everyone!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Favorites: March 2014 Edition

Good morning, afternoon, or evening everyone. I missed First Friday Favorites for February but have created a new one for this month because I remembered (yay!). For March's Friday Favorites I have the following to share.

First up is this adorable grey pebble leather Michael Kors satchel I bought after landing my summer associate job at the city firm. It was a tad more expensive than I would have liked but I absolutely loved it and knew it had to come  home with me.
Bonus points if you can identify the television show I was watching. 

I'm also loving the entire OPI Brazil collection despite them being really similar to a lot of other OPI and other brand polishes that are already out from previous collections. I kind of want to buy the entire set off of amazon.com but I don't have the $60ish that I'm sure it costs. I'll probably purchase the following three polishes at least because they're my favorites: AmazON AmazOFF (the blue--6th polish from the left in the picture), Live Love Carnival (second from the right), and and Red Hot Rio (first from the right).


I'm loving the television show the Big Bang Theory. It's not a new show but I only started watching it a few months ago (I'm already through like 5 seasons). I love it because it's smart humor about science and I find it completely hilarious. If I could sit down and have a conversation with anyone in the world real or imaginary I would choose Sheldon Cooper. The entire cast is amazing and each character is played so well. Plus, I love that the show is only 30 minutes so I can watch one and not feel like I've wasted a ton of time.
And I'm totally diggin' the old caviar manicure (done here and here). I might be doing that a lot more! Ciate Paint Pots have the best color combinations and the possibilities are literally endless. The price for Ciate polishes is kind of steep but...that's why I don't buy many of them.

What are you loving right now? 
Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Quest for the Perfect Gradient....Success??

A continuation of my quest for the perfect gradient yields good results! My last gradient was done for this post but I wasn't completely sold on it. Do you girls (and guys) think I've made any progress? I sure hope so. One day I will have the perfect gradient!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Nonexistant National Nail Polish Day?

I was googling when national nail polish day is and realized there is no National Nail Polish Day! Girls and guys, what are we going to do about that?! How on earth is there a "National Pig Day" and a "National I Want You To Be Happy Day" but no "National Nail Polish Day"?! Well now I am creating a National Nail Polish Day, May 10th and I hope that you guys all add take part and this little photo to your blogs to spread awareness (otherwise I will revel in my National Nail Polish Day bliss all by my lonesome).

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Swatch: China Glaze Solar Power


I wanted to do a swatch of China Glaze Solar Power today because I am on "spring break" from law school and the polish is so colorful and spring-like that despite the fresh coat of snow on the ground it helps me believe that spring is indeed on its way (slowly). Yellow is a tough color for me to love because sometimes I absolutely love yellow nails and then other times I'll see yellow nails and just be like ew gross. I guess it's all about finding the right yellow? Does anyone else have that happen to them with certain colors?

Anyway, China Glaze Solar Power is not a new polish. In fact, it's all the way from 2008 and the Ecollection that featured Hybrid (swatched here), Shower Together, Recycle, Unplugged, and Tree Hugger. Yes, I do own all of them because apparently I really really really liked each of the polishes China Glaze came up with for this collection. I've given the polish the following ratings based on application, how true-to-bottle the color is, cost, dry time (including hardening time), and Konadability. Konadability wasn't tested on this one though so ignore my rating on that aspect! 
Onto Solar Power pictures:


 Do you rock yellow nails or are they just too out there for you?