31 May 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Finger Paints Art Deaer Teal-er

Hello everyone!  Here is something to brighten up your day.  Today's color is also from FP.  It's called Art Dealer Teal-er and it is a very pretty teal with some shimmer.  The FP line does have great brushes and this went on quickly and easily.  Application was smooth and I did get good coverage in 2 coats.  I would probably do a third coat if I was going to wear this for more than a swatch.  Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day, so no sunny pics for this one.  Have a great day, everyone!

SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri for base and top.

30 May 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Finger Paints Easel-y Entertained

Hiya!  Today's color is from FP.  This one is called Easel-y Entertained.  It's a pretty blue glitter in a clear jelly base.  Of course, this is meant to be layered.  However, I think the whole point of a swatch is so you can see what that color actually looks like all by itself - au naturale!  The only thing under it is my usual clear base.  I have experienced a lot of glitters like this that go on goopey and flood your cuticles.  This one was actually quite easy to apply.  I learned quickly to keep it to a nice, thin coat.  You are looking at two thin coats here.  There are so many possibilities for layering this little beauty!  Suggestions?

SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri for base and top.  In case you are wondering, I keep adding this to every post for those who stray across my blog and may not know my usual suspects.

29 May 2012

Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday - Swatch Book

Hi all!  Today, I thought I would show you my swatch book.  I created this for browsing my stash, but I also keep it in my purse for shopping.  I've got mad skills at buying dupes, so I decided to create this to help me avoid dupes while shopping.  That's the theory, anyway.  :o)

I used little square index cards, and punched a hole in the upper corner.  Then, I wrote the color family at the top.  Each card has five colors listed by brand and name.  Under that, I painted on a line of the polish.  Then, I stacked the cards and used a little ring I picked up at a craft store to hold them together.  Thanks for coming by, and have a great day!

28 May 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Nail-Venturous Floam

Hi all!  Here is the polish featured on Friday, Floam, an indie polish made by Nail-Venturous.  This is only the second indie polish I liked enough to buy.  Floam is neon blue and neon yellow matte glitter in a clear base.

As I've said before, I'm not usually a big fan of most of the indie polishes out there.  But this one was too unique to pass up.  Plus, I have all of the earrings I wore back in the 80s, and this polish totally reminded me of one of my favorite pairs!

On to the deets on Floam!
The formula was a little thick and finicky.  I had a hard time controlling it, so I wasn't able to get a clean cuticle edge.  The glitter also seemed to be very attracted to my cuticles!  I found that the first stroke did not have much glitter, but the following strokes covered well.  After a little trial and error, I found that it is best to do a light first coat and thicker second coat.  This can be layered, but I decided to wear it on its own.  You are looking at pre-cleanup, and cleanup was no fun!  Floam dries matte, and it is a bit of a top coat muncher.  I topped with two coats of SV and it still was not very smooth.  All in all, a very cool polish that is definitely unique!  You can purchase this through Ninja Polish or the Nail-Venturous etsy shop.  However, the owner, Amy, is currently taking a break.

SH Double Duty and SV as base and top.

25 May 2012

Feature Friday - Floamy Stripes

Make sure you get entered into my Facebook giveaway for Layla Flash Black...ends Sunday!  I'll be showing you a swatch of this polish next week, so I'll skip those details.  I'm not really crazy with how this turned out.  I started with my SH Double Duty as a base, and added two coats of Floam by Nail-Venturous.  Since Floam is a top coat eater, I did two coats of SV.  Then, I taped off some stripes and painted on one coat of SC's Black on Black.  Unfortunately, since the Floam base was still a little rugged despite two thick coats of SV, the stripes look a little wonky.  Oh, well.  Lesson learned.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

24 May 2012

And the winner of the 100 follower giveaway is....

ScarsLikeLace!  Congratulations!!!  The winner has been e-mailed, and has 24 hours to contact me or another winner will be chosen.  Don't forget about my Facebook giveaway for Layla Flash Black...ends Sunday!  Once again, thank you all so very much for being here.  I can't tell you how much it means to me!

I also wanted to tell you about a fantastic giveaway from Glam Polish for six of the China Glaze On Safari polishes (ends 30 June).  Go enter!

23 May 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Finger Paints Natural Talent

Good morning all!  My giveaway ends Thursday!  And my FB giveaway ends Sunday...make sure to get your entries in!

Today I am swatching my first Finger Paints (FP).  This is a great base for a french!  It's called Natural Talent.  It's a sheer light pink.  It goes on nicely in only two coats, which is what you are seeing.  This color looks positively gorgeous in evening lighting...very classy and elegant.

I'm sure this one will come up again in many a french!  I don't have many FPs...what are some of your favs?

If you see any remnants of pink glitter, I broke a bottle of polish the day I did this mani and my hands were absolutely covered in glitter!  It was a sad, sad, day.  *hangs head for a moment of silence*

SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri for base and top.

22 May 2012

Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday - OPI Avojuice Skin Quenchers

Hello all!  In case you forgot, my 100 follower giveaway ends in two days!  Make sure you get entered in time.  And FYI, I do actually moderate all entries prior to selecting a winner.  Any entries that are fraudulent or cannot be verified are deleted.  Thankfully, only a select few lost some or all of their entries in both of my giveaways so far.  So thanks to the vast majority of you for being so awesome!

I also posted my Facebook fan appreciation giveaway, to celebrate breaking 100 likes!  That giveaway is open to anyone who lives on Earth, and entry couldn't be easier!  Head over there to enter!  That one ends on Sunday.

Today's tip is on OPI's Avojuice Skin Quenchers hand cream. 

These come in convenient packs, with a variety of scents.  I won't bother outlining the scents in this pack, since I don't know if they are still available.  However, I always see the boxes at Ulta.  My mother buys me a pack each year for Christmas, so I always have these on hand. 

Each bottle is 1 fl oz (30 ml), so it's super easy to keep in a purse.  To date, I have never had a problem with them leaking in my purse.  The lotion is super silky.  The best part is that the lotion absorbs quickly into your skin, so this really is a great, on-the-go option.  Since I've only ever received these as gifts, I have no idea how much they cost.  But considering how long they last, and how great they are at absorbing into skin, and how compact they are...they are definitely a must-have!

21 May 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Spoiled Shaken Snow Globe

Rise and shine!  Be sure to enter the giveaway...it ends Thursday!  And I'm already shining and sparkly thanks to today's color.  This is Spoiled's Shaken Snow Globe.  You know the deal on the brush...ewww.  C'est la vie.

This is, of course, meant to be layered.  Here it is in the natural state, and it's full of oh-so-glittery sparkle in a clear base.  You get lots of colored sparkle in a great formula that goes on wonderfully.  Now if only you could apply it would a quality brush, right?  Well, if you can deal with the brush, it's a fantastic color to add to your stash!  My camera just doesn't capture the colorful goodness of this one.  Sorry for that!

SH Double Duty as base.  No top coat.

18 May 2012

Feature Friday - Relay for Life

Happy Friday!  Tonight, we will be participating in our local Relay for Life.  We are big supporters of this cause.  I am a cancer survivor, as is my husband and mother.  And I lost my grandmother to cancer.  So we always try to support the cause every chance we get.  If you would like to support the cause through a donation, check out my sidebar.  There is a link there that will take you to the donation page.  I appreciate any support you can provide!

To further show my support, I did a simple color-blocking mani using the Relay for Life colors of red, blue, and purple.  And yes, my virtual bandage is back!  What can I say?  I work with my hands a LOT.

I started with my base of SH Double Duty.  Then, I painted a stripe down one edge of my nails with Wet 'n' Wild's 414, which just happens to be my all time favorite red.  Then, I painted the rest of each nail with Essie's Mesmerize.  Finally, I added a little section of purple using Orchid's Good Girl Gone Bad.  Everything was just free-handed. I topped my nails with a coat of SV to finish.

Are any of you participating in the Relay this year?  Thanks for looking, and hopefully supporting.  Have a great weekend, everyone!  And don't forget to enter my giveaway!  It ends next week!

17 May 2012

100 Follower Giveaway!

I loved being able to give away some goodies, so I'm doing it again!  You are all so sweet to be here with me, following along with the good, the bad, and the downright uuuu-gly!

This giveaway is open only to US residents.  I am so sorry to have to do this again.  I PROMISE that future giveaways will be open internationally.  Please bear with me...I'm almost out of the woods!

Up for grabs are the following prizes!
L to R: ChG Some Like it Haute, SC Green Ocean, SC Gogo Girl, Ulta Jaded, Pure Ice Heart Breaker, CC Kiss Me Mistletoe, and ChG Mega Bite

Please note that you MUST be a public follower of my blog.  You will be asked to provide your GFC follower name.  If you follow through another means, you will need to e-mail a screen shot of my blog in your reader to gmtheater (at) gmail (dot) com to verify your entry.

All entrants must also provide an e-mail address.  I absolutely will NOT share your e-mail address.  This is just so that I may contact you if you win, and verify your entry if you do not follow through GFC.  Also be sure that if you choose to gain extra entries through sharing the giveaway on Facebook, the share must be public so that I can see it.

The giveaway closes on 24 May, and I will announce the winner on my blog and contact them via e-mail.  The winner will have 24 hours to reply or another winner will be selected.  All prizes are brand new and were purchased by me.  Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

16 May 2012

50 Follower Giveaway Update

Hello all!  Due to an eligibility issue, I had to select a new winner for my 50 follower giveaway.  The winner is Jess T.!  Congratulations, Jess!  She has been contacted, and a new winner will be selected if she does not respond within 48 hours.  The 100 follower giveaway will be live tomorrow!

And the Winner of the 50 Follower Giveaway is...

Silver A.!  Congratulations!!!  The winner has been e-mailed, and has 48 hours to contact me or another winner will be chosen.  The 100 follower giveaway will kick off tomorrow, so stay tuned!  And, I am creeping towards hitting 100 likes on Facebook, too.  Wow!  Thank you all so very much for being here.  I can't tell you how much it means to me that you come by just to see what I am up to in my adventures...and sometimes, misadventures!

15 May 2012

Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday - The Foil Method

Alrighty....don't forget about my giveaway that ends tomorrow!  And please vote for me here.  AND, check out my giveaway page...there's a new giveaway from Glam Polish for 6 of the polishes from ChG's On Safari collection!  Now...on to today's trick.  This is the foil method for removing glitters.

Last week, I showed you how I remove nail polish in general.  Today, I'll be showing you how I remove those pesky glitters!  This will actually work for any stubborn polish or when you have lots o' layers.  You will need nail polish remover, cotton balls, and aluminum foil.

For the nail polish remover, some people use pure acetone.  It does work faster, but you pay a price.  Pure acetone is very drying.  As this method calls for leaving the remover on your nails for longer than usual, it will really dry out and damage your cuticles.  If you really want to use it, I suggest covering your cuticles with a healthy coating of Vaseline prior to using it.  I use remover with acetone.

For the cotton balls, you will want to have one for each finger.  I actually re-use the cotton balls, so I only need enough for one hand.  In this case, I was swatching a color on only four fingers, so I used four cotton balls.

Next, I cut out squares of aluminum foil.  I cut fairly large squares.  I do this because I re-use the foil, too.  I just keep it in a drawer with my other nail implements.  Over time, little pieces will rip off as I un-wrap my fingers and flatten the foil back out.  So, I like to have a larger square so I can still keep using it despite bits of it ripping off.  It saves me from having to re-cut more foil all the time.

You are going to work on one hand at a time.  Once you're ready, you will take a cotton ball and get a good amount of remover on it.  You don't want it soggy, or the remover will just drip down your fingers.  Place the cotton on the first nail.  Next, wrap the aluminum foil around the tip of your finger and cotton ball.  This will keep the remover from evaporating, and hold the cotton ball in place on your finger.  Repeat this process for all fingers on one hand. 
I will leave them on for about 5 minutes.  If you have lots of layers or a really thick, chunky glitter, you can leave it on for a bit longer.  I would top off at 10 minutes max.  Once the time is up, you will remove the foil and cotton just as you would to remove polish - slightly wiggle the cotton ball side-to-side, and slowly wiggle it off the nail.  All of the glitter polish should come off all at once!  Super easy!

Then, I flip the cotton ball over to the clean side.  Add a bit of remover if necessary, and apply them in the same manner to the other hand.  And there you have the foil method!  Happy removing!

14 May 2012

Recent Haulage!

Happy Monday!  I thought I would try to kick off your week with lots of color, so here are some recent little hauls that occurred over the past month or so.  And don't forget to enter my giveaway, which ends Wednesday!  So excited!!!  And since I've already busted 100 followers, guess what will happen on Thursday?  Another giveaway!  And I'm only a handful of likes away from 100 likes on Facebook.  So guess what will happen when I hit 100 likes?  Another giveaway!  I'm just chucking free stuff at you guys!  And please try to take a moment to vote for me in Bundle Monster's nail art contest here.  On to the Monday rainbow...

Zoya's Earth Day Promo:

L to R: Jem, Sooki, Yara, Arizona, Meg, Zuza
Sally's B2G1 and a couple of CCs from HEB:

L to R: Mysterious Curse, Buried Alive, Glowstick, Daisy Does It, Sparkle and Soar
Ninja Polish A-Englands:

L to R: St. George, Tristam, Princess Sabra

11 May 2012

Feature Friday - Scribble My Heart

First, enter my giveaway, and vote for me in the Bundle Monster contest!  Then, check out today's mani. 

This week's theme in Adventures in Stamping is to use a plate ending in 5.  I was crazy excited to use my favorite image from my new Cheeky plates!  Check it out!

I used the scribble hearts from CH 15, shown below.

 I started with SH Double Duty as a base and added three coats of OPI Barre My Soul.  After topping them with SV, I stamped the image using Color Club's Hot Like Lava, and added another coat of SV.  And there you have it!  You know I don't do a whole lot with pink, but it's my daughter's favorite color, and her birthday is Sunday!  Have a great weekend, everyone...oh, and GRADUATION IS TOMORROW!!!

10 May 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Spoiled I Don't Drink Cheap Wine

Good morning all!  Less than a week to enter my giveaway!  And please vote for my entry in the Bundle Monster contest here.  And on to today's color!

If you've noticed from a lot of my swatches so far, I do love some dark, vampy colors and this one fits the bill!  It's from Spoiled and it's called I Don't Drink Cheap Wine.  Since it is a Spoiled polly (and if you've read yesterday's post), you know I despise their brushes and this one was no different - oar-like.  But once again, I LOVE the color!  It's a deep, dark maroon with a subtle shimmer and it's beautiful!  The formula was pretty good.  I got full coverage in two coats.  If you can deal with the sloppy brush, it's a must have IMO.

 SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri for base and top.

09 May 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Spoiled Good Karma

Oh, my.  This day is already off to a bad start.  Today's color is my first from Spoiled.  I cannot express how excited I was for this one!  It's called Good Karma and it's a gorgeous, pearly, shimmery, dark teal.  I don't really know how to classify it for you.  Nail polish finishes (technically speaking) confuse the hibbity doo out of me and my tired eyes.  But can we talk brushes for a sec?  I know, me and my brush rants.

This one was positively horrible!  By far the worst brush I have come across!  Take the SH Complete Salon Manicure line's flat brush, widen it, and add more brush hairs.  Oh, and then bring in a rodent to gnaw on them for awhile.  If the SH brushes are like painting your nails with coffee stirrers, this was like painting them with a virtual OAR.  There was no way this was going to be a "neat" mani, and it wasn't.  I'm really quite sad about this.  I adore some of Spoiled's colors and do have a couple more to swatch for you.  But the brush is probably bad enough to keep me from buying any more unless they make a change.

Anyway, sorry for the rant.  The formula was actually okay.  It was a little streaky on the first coat (plus I was trying to control the brush with little success), but it evened out nicely with a second coat.  The color is still beautiful.  It just may be a bit difficult to get it on without a battle royale.  I guess you have to decide if the color is worth the hassle.  This one, for me, just might be.  I see some decanting in my future.

SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri as base and top.

08 May 2012

Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday - How to Remove Nail Polish

First - don't forget about my giveaway, which ends next week!

Second - I have an entry in Bundle Monster's nail art contest.  I would be most appreciative if you would please vote for me to push me into the second round.  You can vote once each day.  Please help!  Voting is through Facebook here.

And third - on to today's trick!  I know that removing nail polish seems like a no-brainer.  But it's surprising how many people still do this the hard way.  So, my military background insisted that I create a step-by-step how-to.

You will need nail polish remover, polished nails, and something to use to remove the polish.  Personally, I prefer cotton rounds.  Depending on the amount and type of polish, I can usually get all 10 nails clean with one round, two at the most.  Some people prefer cotton balls, paper towels, or even cut up felt.  I have heard that the felt does a great job of removing polish, especially glitter, but it also does not hold much remover and can be very drippy.  Just go with what works best for you. 

I use nail polish remover with acetone.  Some like to use use pure acetone, but I think it is overkill.  Regular remover works just fine for me, and I am spared the drying effects of pure acetone.  If you do use pure acetone, I suggest putting Vaseline on your cuticles prior to use to help protect them.

The "hard way" is to put remover on the cotton and go to work scrubbing the polish off of the nail.  Some people rub back-and-forth, others go side-to-side, in circles, or a little of everything!  Once you've removed the polish from the nail, you will probably have a lot of staining on your cuticles, as well as polish that was pushed under the nail that you will need to work on next.  Good luck with that.

Now for the easier method.

I will hold the cotton round over the opening on the bottle of remover and give the bottle a quick tip.  You want to get a decent amount of remover on the cotton without completely saturating it.  Then, hold the cotton on the nail, applying light pressure.  Depending on how thick the polish is, hold the cotton on the nail (without moving it around) for anywhere from 10-30 seconds.

Next, keep applying pressure and slightly wiggle the cotton side-to-side.  As you wiggle it side-to-side, also slowly start wiggling the cotton down the length of the nail towards the free edge.  In most cases, by the time you wiggle the cotton off of the nail, all polish will be gone...no stained cuticles, no polish under the nail.  My favorite part is that if you have some nail art going on, occasionally you will see the design on the cotton in a neat little square.

I will then put a little more remover adjacent to that spot on the cotton and repeat.  I typically "load" my cotton round with remover only 3 times for each hand.  By the third load, it's pretty well wet to get through the rest of that hand.

And there you have it!  Hope this helps someone out there and I'll talk at you tomorrow!  :o)

07 May 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Icing Cherry Blossom

I did it again...I bought another Icing polish!  This one is called Cherry Blossom.  I've been wanting to find some great raspberry shades to my stash.  This one was a little brighter than I would normally like, but I figured I'd give it a shot anyway.  Given the problem with Icing's wonky brushes, I did check the brush in the store, so no problems there.  I know I've had a lousy track record with Icing's polishes.  I really do love some of their colors.  Their brushes and formula are just not always up to par.  However, I was actually a bit happier with this polish than I have been with the others.  I did have a slight problem with it flooding my cuticles, so I'll try to get it to thicken up a bit to fix that.  So excuse the mess.  Not a fun color to clean up!

SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri for base and top.  Mental note:  need to add more thinner to the top coat.  Boy, that one really likes to thicken up!  Other than that, it's a great top coat.

04 May 2012

Feature Friday - An Award, Exciting News, and a Purple Leopard

First, don't forget about my giveaway!  Second, I want to say thank you to Silje over at Foxy Mary's world for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger award!

I am not going to go through the process since I just recently did it, but I did want to thank her and tell you to go check out her blog!

And in even more exciting news...I am DONE!  I finished the last of my papers, and did my last presentation Wednesday evening.  And, my professors this semester gave me the greatest compliment.  They all encouraged me to pursue my doctorate, saying that my work is of that caliber.  SO COOL!  Thursday was my first day in a very long time that I did not have a discussion board to do, article or chapter to read, paper to write, etc.  All I have to do now is sit back, and wait for graduation to roll around next weekend!  Woohoo!

So, the mani I did for this week's challenge for Adventures in Stamping is the Purple Leopard.  The theme was unnatural animals.  I originally intended to get really creative with some kind of supernatural mani featuring ghosts or zombies.  But, I was so enjoying my day with nothing to do, I didn't want to exert too much effort!  LOL  So I randomly chose a plate, and used my favorite color, purple.

I started with my base of SH Double Duty.  Then, I added two coats of ChG Sweet Hook topped with SV.  Then I used SH Complete Salon Manicure in Bewitched to stamp the leopard print from BM 221.  I topped it all off with SV and called it a day!  Have a great weekend, everyone!