Friday, January 29, 2016

Girls Just Wanna Have Pumps

This afternoon I had the second round of interviews for a firm so I had to wear "office appropriate" nails....yes, you guessed it...that means OPI Tickle My France-y. As soon as I got home after picking up my love from the airport I jazzed up my otherwise plain digits with the help of stamps from BundleMonster and Winstonia. I call this design "Girls Just Wanna Have Pumps" because seriously I love pumps....and I can't wait to work in an office where I get to wear them ALL.THE.TIME. Here are my nails:
The stamping got a little dirty on my middle finger. *Sadface* And I swear once I'm through with these interviews and I'm actually hired I will totally still rock my fun manicures into the office (at least until I'm told not to!). It's just that when I'm interviewing I don't want my nails to steal any attention! Who created "office appropriate" nails anyway??

Be sure to vote for the type of posts you like reading about on my poll at the top of my right sidebar!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Nail News: Essie Awards

Everyone knows it's award season right now. Yes, the Grammies, the Peoples' Choice Award, the Oscars.....and now the Essies. Yes, "The Essies" are becoming a thing! I was reading InStyle online today and found out that for the first time ever the Essie nail polish brand is creating their very own nail art awards this year AND it's going on RIGHT NOW!

The Essies will have multiple rounds, with the first round ending February 22nd. Visit this link or the Essie website for the rules and such. The second round ends March 28th (winners to be determined by us fans by the way!). Then there will be a third round (again picked by fans) but I don't know when that will be. The fourth and final round will be picked by judges (including Rebecca Minkoff)! I think that's in June.

As for the lucky lucky lucky winner? She (or he) will receive a $20,000(!) partnership with the Essie brand, join Michelle Saunders backstage at NYFW, and wil even be featured in Essie video tutorials!

Pretty cool, right? If you enter I can't wait to see what you do! Best of luck my fellow polish friends!

Product Review : OPI Color Paints

I hope you're all having a great week so far....it's Thursday (so almost Friday) so wahoo! Andrew is traveling for work until the end of the week so I've been able to really unleash my inner nail polish addict and I've been painting my nails like a fiend! I'm trying to swatch so many polishes so I can have fall back posts in case I get super busy.
I mentioned in my What I Got for Christmas post a couple weeks ago that my sister and her husband gifted me the OPI Color Paints kit. The kit comes with 6 polishes, including a silver "undercoat" and then 5 other polishes ranging from yellow to orange to blue to pink to purple. I set out to give them a try today and I have to say I HAD NO IDEA HOW TO USE THIS. Really. No clue. So this is what I ended up with at first:
I just painted all my nails with the silver and then painted splotches on each nail with the remaining colors. I wasn't happy with it though so I set out to create a different design to use the kit for. I was happy to realize that the somewhat thin consistency of the polishes made them perfect for water marbling. Seriously. PERFECT. They don't even look like the same colors! Here's my water marble:
I painted my nails with the silver undercoat and then just used the other polishes to marble.
I am OBSESSED with these polishes for watermarbling. I think the colors are incredibly vibrant and are really easy to work with. So even if you aren't used to water mabling you can get really good results. The colors look very 70s don't they?? Austin Powers anyone?
Big fan of the OPI Color Paints!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Weekend Blizzard Fun

Ok get ready for a giggle...Remember how I recently posted snow nails with the title "Gimme' Mo Let it Snow"? Well this past weekend I got my wish and the Northeast had a bit of snow. And by "a bit of snow" I mean an almost record breaking blizzard for our area. It started Friday night (yay for skipping the gym and hustling to get some Chinese food before it started!) and didn't stop until Sunday morning. Throughout Saturday it dropped about 30 inches of snow on us...which was roughly up to my knee, and then the snow drift gave some places full walls of snow! Needless to say Andrew and I dressed in our ski snow gear and had some fun! We let out our inner five year olds and started with making some snow angels.
I was actually really warm and comfortable and almost wanted to take a nap right there. Then we took some corny photos:
Don't let his sweet face fool you! He dumped snow on my head right after the photo on the right was taken. I'll tell ya, that boy is trouble! Yes, sir. Lol. :)
Naturally, my car was going nowhere fast. Andrew and I took a walk out on our main street and we saw not 3 but 4 different cars getting unstuck from the snow on the roads (no one was hurt they just couldn't move). We didn't drive because neither of us have the desire (or death wish) to take our cars out in snow. Plus, neither of us have what I would call "snow appropriate" vehicles or tires. Does my car look like it's a fan of the snow?? 

All in all, it was a nice weekend spent snowed in watching the "Best Film" Oscar nominated movies. Not a bad way to spend a weekend. And thank you to the snow gods for making it blizzard on the WEEKEND when my sweetheart didn't have to go to work!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Toetally Tuesday: A Whale of a Tale

My toes make me smile this week because they're just one of those odd unique fun designs that have no rhyme or reason for why I painted them. I was looking through my Winstonia plates and saw this adorable whale design. I thought it was adorable and could add to my otherwise boring classic pink and white pedicure.
I used OPI Tickle My France-y (might be becoming my "go to" pinks) and added an arrow tip in Art Deco white as well as the whale design from Winstonia W108 in Art Deco black.

Don't forget to cast your vote for the kind of posts you enjoy reading here on The Files! The poll is on the sidebar on the right of my blog. Thank you so much!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Swatch: Zoya Tallulah

I liked the blue from my last Toetally Tuesday post so much that I decided I would swatch it for a separate post. This is one of the most cheery cobalt blues that you will probably ever find.  An added bonus is that it has a shimmer finish! Keeps it interesting.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Holo Ombre

This is just another nail design that proved way too difficult for me to capture on my camera with my limited photography skills. I used alll 6 of the Color Club holos that I have and layered them to try to make a gradient/ombre. In person, the ombre is super obvious. In the photo is a WHOLE different story. If you look reallllllly close you can see the holo transition from purple at the tip to blue to pink to orange to green. I took a bunch of photos in a bunch of different lights to see if I could capture it.
I guess that's the point of a holo though -- to have every color reflecting in each polish. Better in person for sure!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Favorites: January

I can't believe we're already over halfway through January 2016. Does time fly or have I been messing with my time and date settings on my computer again?? I wanted to do a new Friday Favorites today because, hey, why not, but I wanted to do something different. Because I've been doing a couple tags on here lately I decided to adapt this Favorites Tag post I saw on Chic in the Tropics and use it for my January Friday Favorites post. Here we go!
Nikki's Nail Files January Friday Favorites
Favorite TV Show: The Royals on E! Network, which just aired its second season finale! As far as this season went, it started slow but by the end it had me wishing I poured some TV wine!
You seriously should have seen this coming. Remember me talking about The Royals herehere, and here?? I'm OB-SESSED!

Favorite Color: ALL colors, especially Pantone Matching System 339!

Favorite Dessert: Chili's Skillet Cookie (remember my at-home version)

Favorite Flower: Roses. Always and forever....like the roses Andrew gives me every anniversary.
Also like these from 2013 or 2014...lol. Love.

Favorite Beverage: Water...or Champagne!
Photos from my Instagram

Favorite Shoes: Loubs! One day when I'm uber wealthy in my dreams I'll get my hands on a pair!

Favorite Song: Right now I'm still loving Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars.
If it gets 2 billion views on youtube it's probably my fault....
"I'm too hot (hot damn) call the po-lice and the fireman"

Favorite Hairstyle: I wear my hair in pretty much the same three ways (plus a messy bun when it's long enough to make a bun)...
The left one is by far my fave style though.

Favorite Store: Target...or Macys.

Favorite Hobby: Other than painting my nails, you mean? Cross stitch. I'm currently working on my sister's Beauty and the Beast project...which is on my 101 in 1001 list. Yay, progress!
Pardon the it's-Saturday-morning-and-I-look-like-a-bum photo.

Things to Collect: Nail polish of course!

Favorite Movie: oh geez...can't even pick one. The Fast and the Furious franchise are my favorites through and through though!

Favorite Recently Discovered Blog: Ohhhh there's an engineer who works at Google living in a truck...literally. Check it out on his blog, FromInsideTheBox.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Inspired by Peacock

I recently received a save the date for a college buddy's wedding and it inspired me....not because of the actual save the date itself, but because she adores peacocks (the coloring not the actual animal) and it's been a while since I've tried peacock inspired nails (remember these I did for S?). Andrew and I attended a friend of his' wedding 4 years ago that was all peacock colors and it was super pretty. The blues, the greens, the purples...beautiful. Ever since then peacock inspired weddings have stuck around so I wouldn't be surprised if that's what my buddy chose for her wedding colors! I might have to repeat these nails for her wedding day!
For these I did a bunch of sponging to get the different colors to look cohesive and pretty. The colors I used for the background are China Glaze Tree Hugger, China Glaze Eyes Like Sapphires, Zoya Shawn, OPI Teal the Cows Come Home, Zoya Kristen, and Liquid Metal Pu (HA that name). Then I stamped Bundlemonster BM212 in Art Deco white for the peacock and the peacock feathers.

Just to illustrate her peacock obsession adoration, here are some Hallow photos circa October 2011:
Andrew was Charlie Brown and I was a Catholic school girl (how original right -- that uniform was my actual high school uniform FYI) so we were pretty lazy that Halloween as far as costumes go. My friend however totally killed it in her handmade peacock feathers!

And finally, you might have noticed I added a poll to the upper right column of The Files. It's just asking you to let me know what kinds of posts you enjoy reading the most and to give me an idea of post ideas. Please please please click your choices and I'll continue to work on bringing the best blog posts!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Toetally Tuesday - I've Got the Blues

No, not really. I don't have the blues. In fact, I had an interview today for an associate position at a law firm so I'm doing pretty well! Unfortunately, having the interview meant my fingernails needed to get repainted from yesterday's fun snowman design into "office appropriate" light pink (OPI Tickle My France-y). However, rest assured that my toes were this fun bright blue design inside my black pumps! Who decided what nails are "office appropriate" anyway?
Anyway, the interview went well and I hope to hear positive news soon! The people were super friendly and laid back (a rarity for attorneys) and the office was clean, quiet, and looked very nice. Hopefully they won't mind me sporting fun and festive nails to work because a girl needs a little pizzazz and personality on her fingertips, am I right?? I'll keep you posted with any major updates!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Gimme mo', let it Snow!

Yesterday brought us the first flurries of the year and I have to say I was pretty psyched! I was starting to wonder when we would get snow because for a while it was super warm (record breaking warmth in fact) for winter. Remember my previous snow manicure from 2010? I can't believe how much better this photo is than the mani I did in 2010! There might be a snow storm brewing for this weekend and I'm so excited that I'm saying GIMME MO' SNOW! These are my 2016 snow nails:
Nikki's Nail Files, Snowman Manicure
How cute is that tiny little snowman?? For these I used Zoya Indigo as the base and stamped Winstonia (W120) in Art Deco white, Kiss Brush On Nail Art Paint in Sky Blue and Kiss Brush On Nail Art Paint in Silver for the snowflakes/snowman. I also added a couple silver and white dots to each nail and called it a day. Zoya Indigo is an intriguing polish -- it looks deep blue but if you look closely/under light you'll see it has glitter in it. Perhaps a swatch is coming!
So what are your thoughts on snow? I don't mind snow so long as I can spend the day cozy in a blanket on my couch sipping hot chocolate (or eating soup) and watching TV with my sweets! Otherwise, I say NO to snow. Do you like snow??

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sharing Some Sweets on Saturday!

Today's post might make you hungry so....you might want to grab a snack before reading!! As you know, Andrew and I LOVE to cook, to eat, and to have dessert. One of our favorite desserts comes from the chain restaurant Chilis....where you can order the Skillet Cookie (just don't look at the calories). Seriously, it's delicious! So for Christmas one of the presents I gave to Andrew was a mini skillet so we could make this tasty treat for ourselves at home. The skillet cookie couldn't be simpler -- it's literally a normal cookie dough recipe that you spoon into a skillet, bake for a few minutes, and then top with your favorite ice cream (we chose vanilla). Here's a before and after photo:
I told you it would make you hungry! I am definitely not opposed to stealing tastes of the cookie dough batter! Haha, I know I know you shouldn't do that. Anyway, the recipe for this delicious dessert is:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine the following using your electric mixer: 6 tablespoons unsalted, softened butter; 1/2 cup granulated sugar; and 1/3 cup packed brown sugar.

3. Once the batter is sort of light and fluffy, add in 1 large egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

4. Stir in about 1 cup of flour (all purpose is fine), 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt.

5. Stir in your chocolate chips! There's no rule here so just add as much as you want depending on if you want it super chocolatey and gooey or not. I added about 1.5 cups semisweet chocolate chips....because we love chocolate chips! Honestly you could also use mini chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, or if you want to be CRAZY you could add some chopped nuts. Yes. So good.

6. Once you have all that deliciousness going on, I separate the dough into 4 different batches since we only make one at a time. I freeze the other three and transfer the remaining one into Andrew's 5-6 inch mini skillet.

7. Bake 18-20 minutes (basically until it looks golden and AMAZING) and then DEVOUR add a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Then DEVOUR You can also add some more chocolate bits, nuts, caramel sauce, whipped cream, etc. SO GOOD.

ENJOY!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Wanna Polka

We're going to try something new for today's post. Everyone is familiar with "Throwback Thursday," right? If not, it's the day of the week when you post a photo from a long time ago. Well, to put a NikkisNailFiles spin on it, I decided I would have a Throwback Thursday by re-creating an old design. What nails did I start with? The very first post on the Files, of course! Remember these from 2010?
Of course you don't. The photo above is my recreation with more pastel colors. The actual original first post looked like this:
Ah yes, my super awesome photography skills. That's more like it. So what do you think of this Throwback Thursday recreation idea? Should I consider doing it monthly?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Short and Sweet Tag

Today we have another tag post brought to you by Ghila over at The Beauty Travelista blog. I love watching tags on YouTube (I know I'm not the only nose-y person wondering What's In My Bag?) and I considered doing them but I'm not a Youtuber so...yeah. I tried to keep this a bit relevant to the blog (you know, nails and all) but there's also some real Nikki in there too. Here we go, the Short and Sweet Tag!

Short & Sweet Tag
So stupid:  When I paint my fingernails and then decide I want to paint my toes...ugh.
Even more stupid: DuckFeet nails! Do you remember Duck Feet nails?

Best day ever:
       Future: Is it corny to say my wedding day I hope!
      Past: The day I received my bar passage results!
      In general: Any day where something good happens to me...or any day that I have a new post here! 

On replay: Episodes of The Royals....and Food Network in general (first mentioned here). 
Totally loving: Nude polishes, stamping designs, working out with my love every night, having so much time to blog.
Never would have thought: I'd still be blogging after 6 years.
Really enjoying: Learning to cook more and blogging so frequently.
Terrified of: The sound of really loud water (like waterfalls) but only if I'm standing really close to it.
Hate: When people don't respect my choices because they don't agree with them. I also hate when my thumb nail breaks on the side!
Love the weather when: I can wear my boots and a scarf. 
Best age: Probably when I was 10-12. I was in gymnastics and had a blast. I got to be an athlete, travel places to compete, and I would even earn medals because I was damn good! Also because, you know, I wasn't stressed since I wasn't, you know, an adult.
I'm the middle row middle. 

Regretting: Those times I decided to cut my nails wayyyy down.
No time for: I have to agree with Ghila. I have no time for negativity or people who make me feel negatively about my choices/decisions.
Always hungry for: FOOOOOOOOOD! Steak and potatoes of any kind OR SUSHI! (Ghila said sushi too lol I'm just stealing her answers! But I really do love sushi!)
Always ready to travel to: France (or the nail polish store). 
So disgusting: I agree with Ghila again! People who make noise while they eat...ewwwwww! 
Pushing myself: To be a better blogger. Also, as I'm writing this my arms are sore because I worked out yesterday...so I guess I'm also pushing myself physically, too.
Really want to: Win the PowerBALL lottery! Jk, replace my car.
Kind of missing: Being a student. Honest!
Dancing to: my own beat?
I tag everyone!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Toetally Tuesday: Purple Diagonals

Toetally Tuesday again already? Phew that week really flew! How was everyone else's weekend? I did these little striped nails for today. I really liked the contrast and it ended up looking really clean so I did it on my fingernails too.
I used Zoya Julie as a base and then painted China Glaze History of the World on the diagonal. I used Art Deco in White to separate the two polishes and really make it pop.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Labrynth Design

The Golden Globes are on tonight! So naturally I decided to do my nails in a way that is neither golden nor globes. Ha, instead I used a Winstonia stamp to create this labrynth design. I'm not entirely sure why the stamp looked so wonky when I added the top coat but I swear the lines were straight when I stamped them! Has that ever happened to you?
I used Zoya Kristen as a base and then Art Deco black and Winstonia stamp W112.

Some of my favorite and most interesting looks of the night:
Kate Hudson's two-piece number with matching necklace looked AHmazing on her and I honestly just stared at her abs the whole time. Can you say fit-spiration? Jennifer Lawrence on the other hand rocked a classic red with side panel cutouts and a statement diamond necklace that makes the royals look like they're wearing cubic zirconia. I really love red dresses because they're so attention grabbing and Jennifer Lawrence is such a stunning beauty that she pulled it off effortlessly. Lady Gaga was next and may have been my absolute favorite of the night -- the dress is just so chic! You can never go wrong with black and the cut?? Gorgeous. She wore it so well and looked flawless. The Golden Globes (and all award shows) really make me want to get into some fancy gala gear.

I could totally work that red carpet! Lol


What I Got For Christmas Tag

Ghila over at The Beauty Travelista recently tagged me to complete a What I Got for Christmas post and I have to admit I absolutely adore the idea -- I love peaking at people's stuff (I get ideas of things I would like and things to get other people). So here are some of the goodies I was spoiled with this Christmas. Shall we do nail related things first??

These are a mini haul of Christmas polishes I actually bought for myself. Ulta had a really great deal on Black Friday and I couldn't resist! What's a girl to do?! I also had to pick up some polishes from Target and, of course, that Bottle Service by Formula X at Sephora.

Then, my sister and new brother-in-law (wedding recap here) spoiled me with these goodies:
I love the adorable little pouch because I use them in my purses to protect my purse from spills/leakage, and the fact that it's highlighter yellow is just amazing. It's the perfect gift. And then there are those adorable lemur socks and mini Eiffel Tower eraser...adorable! Then, of course, her and Matt spoiled me with even more polish -- a very OPI Christmas! I can't wait to try the OPI Color Paints! Steph also gave me an adorable "Sisters" ornament that I had put away with my Christmas tree by the time I took this picture. :(

My parents spoiled me with some MORE goodies (unfortunately I didn't put them all in this photo):
Basically they must have seen my December Wishlist because a lot of that was under the tree--plus much more! CRAZY. Gifts included a mortar and pestle (see I told you I love to cook), a wide angle and super macro camera lens, an EOS lip balm, two arm bands with lights (for running in the dark), and a wireless adapter for my camera. They also spoiled me with a TON of nail polish (only two made it into this picture because I had put the others away by the time I took this photo), a planner calendar, a tripod, Snoopy PJs (alright I'm about 5 years old), and a padfolio. I love everything and will definitely use them all :) Thanks mom and dad if you're reading this! You're too generous!

My broski was also super thoughtful and knows of my nail polish/nail art addiction. Plus, I may have hinted that I wanted a stamping plate with a champagne bottle image so he gave me this adorable stamping plate from Winstonia.
Ha, I didn't realize it was "Wedding Bliss" until just now. A few buddies of mine are engaged right now (remember this post) so I can do wedding appropriate manicures with the other images!! Yay!

And naturally my sweetheart gave me some sweet gifts I love:
He knew that I printed about 500 photos recently from all our adventures so he gave me a photo book for me to put them in. He also gave me a padfolio (I had been borrowing his on interviews), my annual Paris calendar, and not one but TWO tripods for my camera. As for my nails, he spoiled me with the Winstonia First Generation stamping plates (obsessed with!), and white and black stripers. My favorite gifts though have to be the cooking and food-related ones: a giant pepper mill, a pink Himalayan salt grinder, and a salt box. We enjoy cooking together so these are perfect additions to our kitchen set up. The peper mill is like....18 inches long so it makes me feel very intense when I use it. If you're reading this, thank you my sweets, I love you and appreciate all the goodies!

And then Andrew and I went ornament shopping after Christmas when there were beaucoup sales and ended up with one too many:
How cute are some of these? All 50% off!!

So now to get back to the "Tag" part....I tag everyone! I want to see what Santa (or whoever) brought you for Christmas. Leave a link to your post in the comments below (and I can be nosey)!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sunset Summery Nails + Word of the Year

If you follow me on my social media (I'm getting the hang of Instagram) then you got a sneak peak of my NOTD today. I painted this design yesterday because the first week of 2016 was frigidly cold and I wanted a reminder that warmer weather --and summer-- are on their way.
Plus, the colors are just so bright and cheery that they just made me smile. I used OPI Is Mai Tai Crooked as the base and then sponged Sinful Colors Pullover and a bit of Art Deco White to create some sort of gradient effect. Then I stamped the summery designs from Winstonia's plate W106 (how cute are they?!) in Art Deco black. Very summery, no?

Also, in non-nail news, I was visiting blogs I follow and I came across a great idea. Angie, from My So-Called Chaos had a post talking about her goals (kinda like my Things For posts) and she included a Word of the Year. I really liked the idea and apparently it's a thing...just check out the My One Word website. I am a resolutions-type person (hence my 101 in 1001 list) and I would like a Word of the Year. Therefore, for my Word of the Year 2016 I am choosing this: GAIN. I have so much to gain this year and so much to look forward to. I just graduated law school, I'm hopefully going to be starting my career soon, and there are so many good things happening in my personal life. So, at the end of 2016 I hope I can look back on all my hard work throughout the year and say "You know, I've really gained a lot this year."

Gain what you might ask? I don't know yet, only this year will tell. Perhaps gain more nail painting skill? More confidence? The ability to realize that negative people reflect themselves more than me? A truer sense of self? A better focus on my future? Better physical health? More strength? I'll let you know.

Friday, January 8, 2016

NailNews: 4 For You Glenn Coco!

Hey there fellow polish lovers! While on twitter today I learned from Swatch and Learn that Zoya, the King of Promo, is having a 4 FREE* polish promo! The promo started January 6th and runs until January 13th and you use the promo code 4YOU. The downside? You pay for shipping....which isn't cheap this time.
Now, pardon me while I vent....$15 for shipping?? Does anyone else remember the 3Free from 2014? Yeah, the S&H fee was $6.95 then! I get that the polishes have been raised to like $9 and $10 a bottle so the deal isn't toally bad but sheesh! It is true that 4 bottles at $9 (aka $36 total) makes the $15 S&H not look so bad but just call it Buy 2 Get 2 instead of "pay for shipping." Shipping is too steep for me this time. Be sure to let me know what polishes you went for if you end up going for this promo!

Swatch: China Glaze History of the World

Wahoo it's Friday! I hope everyone has an excellent weekend. For me, I'm going to start this weekend off with some swatch photos of China Glaze History of the World. You may remember it from the China Glaze The Giver collection in 2014 (which is officicaly not "last year" anymore since it's 2016!) and is a perfect-for-winter deep purple.