Friday, January 30, 2015

How I Take It Off...!

Purchased By Shelby Lou

I just couldn't resist the innuendo ;-)
I feel like I do need to add a disclaimer before this post: I am not a licensed nail tech and this is just how I do my removal. I use layman's terms even though I have learned technical names. You may or may not be able to get the same results or I might be unaware of some horribly unsafe thing I'm doing. Anyway...

We all love our pretties, but removal can be a real pain in the @$$. Luckily you don't need to dread even the most saturated, sparkly, and glittery polishes out there any longer. I change my polish a few times a week (it used to be daily!). I found that the tin foil method was best to prevent not only arduous scrubbing but all kinds of cuticle staining and glitter/shimmer/flakie herpes (OPI Eurso Euro is still one of my favorite polishes but HOLY CARP it's a stainer). I quickly came to hate tin foil. It doesn't tear in straight lines and one time when I tried to cut it I almost had a sensory nervous-breakdown. Reusing it is a pain but I feel so wasteful making new squares every time....

 *Queue super-hero music*
Nail Mates to the rescue!

I searched the internet for the best removal tips and found Nail Mates reviewed on Manic Talons. She did a great review that you can read here and you can visit the official website for even more info. Suffice to say if you change your polish even once a week this product is the holy grail. The kit comes with the sponge-y removers, but I actually don't prefer those--I think they are probably more helpful when you are removing gel polish, as that is what Nail Mates were really designed for.

These are my removal must-haves: 
Nail Mates
Zoya Remove Plus in the Big Flipper Bottle
Cotton Rounds
Cute Teeny Scissors
Craft Felt

So here is how I remove my polish:

First I cut my cotton rounds into quarters. I use cotton rounds because they are less linty and I can easily cut them into quarters. I got the cute scissors from the craft store, I think they are for thread so they are nice and sharp. And pink! I take a cotton quarter and give it one to two pumps of Zoya Remove Plus. I hate that I love such a pricey remover, but it is so gentle on my skin but strong on removing polish. And it smells pretty good! The flipper bottle is another product that will change your life. It's nice and sturdy too so it stays put. I have another one filled with pure acetone for when I'm stamping and need to quickly clean plates between fingers.

I place the cotton quarter on my nail and slip a Nail Mate over my fingertip. Remember those weird rubber change purses you opened by squeezing? It's like that and I have no other way to describe that process. I do one hand at a time and chillax while Remove Plus works its magic. After 5 minutes or so I take the Nail Mate off and drag the cotton quarter off my fingertip from cuticle to free edge. Usually everything comes off with it, yay! If it didn't, I reapply the cotton quarter and Nail Mate.

Finally, I use craft felt I've cut into squares and some more Remove Plus to take off any remaining color or glitters. The felt is scrubby so it easily takes off pigment, shimmer, flakies, and most glitters with ease. For some of the really large glitters I still have to use an orange stick to carefully dislodge them. I buy the large sheets of white felt at the craft store (like what your grandma may or may not put her Christmas village on each year) and cut them into squares while binge-watching something on Netflix or Amazon Prime (currently it's Friends and Big Love respectively).

So those are all my secrets on how I take it off. What are your best removal secrets? Will you be trying any of these? If you are limited on funds I highly recommend the felt! If you have the cash the Nail Mates are worth every penny in my opinion.

Edited to add: My mother has kindly pointed out that the scissors are quilting scissors for trimming loose threads that I stole from her because they were little and cute. You're never too old to steal from Mom!

Nail Mates
Zoya Remove Plus

Have you loved your cuticles today?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

2014 in Review

Hey, it's still January so I'm doing it haha! I took an impromptu week off last week. I had four days off and barely thought about polish. I went on a crazy organization, redecorating, and cleaning spree. I've been reveling and relaxing in the order and cleanliness ever since. Okay, but my Christmas tree is still up because I love the warmth and cheeriness it brings in these dreary days of winter (have I mentioned I live in Buffalo?). I love doing house things as much as I love nails and sometimes I don't know how to balance them. I also never want my nails to feel like a chore or make myself polish when I'm not feeling it.

Anyway, my nails look like crap and I'm hiding them in shame. I was doing okay when I tempted fate by posting them nude on IG. Then I went crazy and tried to round them again and JUST NO SHELBY. so lets look back at some better moments in 2014! I picked my fav mani from each month. It was hard.

Love, Angeline still has some of the best white jellies out there! She shared this mani and I was so proud. At this point my lighting and photography was so inconsistent but this photo turned out lovely. I think I need to get back to the upside-down photos....

So proud of these swatches, thermals are hard. And this one is so beauteous.

I got so many compliments on this mani. 
I am sort of figuring out this photography thing at this point.

I love this mani to this day, even though my skin is a little lobster-y. I usually change my profile pictures to this in the Spring and Summer.

So this might be my favorite mani EVER. Love me some neon and nude!

June & July: 
Oops, skipped this month and most of July. This was that nightmarish bathroom renovation. And yet we still have a hole in the ceiling where the upstairs toilet decided to blow through the wax ring two weeks after the ceiling was done.... But look, I made a meme!

RenCos is one of my favorite up-and-coming indies from 2014. I actually got to meet the creator and blogger Meghan from Will Paint Nails For Food through a mutual friend. She is lovely!

I love Hare and I love skittles. I still love this mani so hard. Black and white and color, yes please!

Mental health is a professional and personal issue for me. 
I loved this simple but bold mani using Jindie Nails, another fav indie of mine!
And in case you need the number: 1-800-273-TALK. 
I used to work on a suicide hotline and answer these calls :-)

I don't know what it is about this mani, it just tickles me. 
Why do ugly curtains make the best nails?

I am still super-proud of this clever use of KBShimmer's decals. 
I never wanted to take my lil tree off. 

In looking back at 2014 I see a lot of accomplishments with my blog, personal life, and professional life that I am so proud of. Blogging will continue to be a hobby for me and I'm trying to keep posting two times per week. I'm going to be doing a lot more with instagram, too--I may or may not have received my first macro lens for my phone...

Thanks for checking out this look-back with me! What were your favorites? What were your biggest accomplishments in 2014, nails or otherwise?

Have you loved your cuticles today? (Dude, I don't even know if love can fix mine right now.)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Guest Post from Lavish Layerings

I am excited about a lot of things today. First, I have a four-day weekend! I have been working weird schedules for about a year and this is a very rare treat. I have already filled the days with house cleaning projects and volunteering with the Red Cross. Clearly I like to stay busy. Second, Jenny from Lavish Layerings has done a gorgeous mani to share with us! She is one of the most lovable bloggers I have had the pleasure to know in my polish adventures. She does gorgeous swatches and macros, and always has the latest and most amazing indies to share. Her pictures are always making me drool on my electronics. And she does a fair bit o' stamping...


Hi everyone! I'm Jenny from Lavish Layerings and I'm so excited to be guest posting for Shelby this month! I have adored her blog and her nails for ages and she is a total sweetheart. Some of her signatures that I love are her brilliant use of accent nails and her subtle, yet very striking use of charms. Shelby and I share a few common loves. One of them is Pahlish, which will not be the focus of my post today, but it's definitely worth mentioning. Another is Hare Polish, which I knew I had to wear if I was going to be posting on her blog. The third thing is a certain MoYou-London plate that we both went absolutely bananas over, so today you get a combination of two of our loves in one post: Hare Polish and MoYou-London Fashionista plate 07.

MoYou-London's Fashionista plate 07 features some amazing damask patterns that look so regal! You could stamp these designs over anything and make it look classy. For the base of my design, I chose Hare Polish Love You To Pieces, which has a plum jelly base filled with red, gold, and white flake shimmer. Love You to Pieces is one of those polishes that I've had forever and keep meaning to wear, so I was glad to finally have an opportunity to put it on. The formula is more on the sheer side, so I decided to layer 2 coats of it over American Apparel African Violet for my base. Once it was dry, I stamped over it with one of beautiful damask designs from Fashionista plate 07 using Essie Penny Talks. I love how crisply Penny Talks stamps! If you are a stamper, you need it! I was really happy with the finished design because I thought the luxe stamping really compliemented the beautiful flakes in the polish. I even managed to get a few ever elusive natural sunlight shots of this look!

So thank you so much to Shelby for having me and I really hope that you guys enjoyed my mani!


She knows me so well! I was doing a happy-dance in my computer chair when I saw this mani. If you don't own this amazing polish or MoYou plate, you are missing out (#sorrynotsorry). Jenny is always making me buy all the Pahlish, too haha. You can follow Lavish Layerings on most social media platforms, make you you check her out on your favorites!

Thank you for all the lovely things about this post, Jenny! <3

Have you loved your cuticles today?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Octopus Party Nail Lacquer: Body Electric & Embellishments

Purchased By Shelby Lou 

Western New York is just coming out of another big winter weather weekend. I was on stand-by for any sheltering needs with the Red Cross, luckily our services were not needed! I'm a little bummed at work though. I am working with a few families at work who have had to make the decision to make their loved one comfort care. Sometimes it's an easy decision and it happens quickly, there have been a couple in the past week though that have needed quite a bit of extra time to come around to it. Today was a tough day especially, so I decided to come home and immerse myself in some stud placement I've been wanting to do.

I just ordered a couple bottles of Octopus Party Nail Lacquer (or OPNL) and couldn't wait to get this nude beauty on--Body Electric. Dave, the maker (and sweetie!), describes this as "a champagne lacquer with salmon undertones, strong golden shimmer, and a subtle linear holographic flare." That description is poetry. I love this so much I just want to freak out and I have no idea how to put it in words. So I have a lot of pictures.

Octopus Party Nail Lacquer
Body Electric
No Flash

Anyways, I messed around with my assortment of gold studs and finally pulled out the metallic caviar beads I bought a billion years ago but had not messed with yet (soooo tiny....). I think I came up with something quite beautiful and Indian inspired--which is always winning with me. I think I must have been Indian in a past life, I just think their art (dress, dance, art, architecture, etc) is some of the most beautiful I've ever seen. I even have two henna-inspired tattoos I designed ;-)

Octopus Party Nail Lacquer
Body Electric
With Flash
I thought Body Electric was gorgeous on its own, these studs just take me right over the edge! I wore Body Electric alone to work and it kept my interest all day, all the shimmer and holo and gold metallic flashes. I have some more OPNL that I'm hoping to share soon. Has anyone else tried this amazing brand yet? What do you think of my stud placement?

Octopus Party Nail Lacquer

Have you loved your cuticles today?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hump Day HARE: A Surreal New Year

Purchased By Shelby Lou 

So tonight I am taking my pistol course with my husband, woo! My grandfather and my aunt used to be professional target shooters (they used to walk their guns across the bridge to Canada for competitions, can you imagine?!) so this is something I've always wanted to do. My husband has to have his permit for work now, so it's time. I am going to need a latte the size of my head to get through the evening class though--just like old times for night classes in college haha!

I am super-excited for today's edition of Hump Day HARE because they have metallic flakies! I know a ton of indies have been coming out with them, but these are in beautiful shades of delicate jellies (wipes drool from mouth). This year Hare released a trio for New Year's entitled A Surreal New Year. All of these beauties are based on famous works of Salvador Dali and they come with a limited edition gold bunny label!

Shelby Lou Nails
Hare Polish Rosa Meditativa
New Year's 2015: A Surreal New Year
Charm from Hex Nail Jewelry
Rosa Meditativa is a mauve jelly with assorted ultra chrome flakies. On Hare Polish's website it looks more rosy, but mine definitely looks more purple in my photos and it did so in real life. I haven't thought to contact Nikole about it before now--oops. Either way, I like it! Imagine all the beautiful metallic flashes with every hand motion in person.

Shelby Lou Nails
Hare Polish When the Melting Clock Strikes Midnight
New Year's 2015: A Surreal New Year
Charm from Hex Nail Jewelry
When the Melting Clock Strikes Midnight is a white jelly with ultra chrome flakies, gold flakes, and iridescent gold glitter as well as purple shimmer. Ahmahgahd! I can't even. Image this making you pant, it's that much more beautiful in person. I think this is going to be my new go-to neutral!

Shelby Lou Nails
Hare Polish Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening on New Years
New Year's 2015: A Surreal New Year
Charm from Hex Nail Jewelry
Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second before Awakening on New Years. Yup, that is indeed the name of the polish and the famous work! Dream, as we shall call it, is a smokey blue-toned purple jelly filled with all colors of ultra chrome flakies. I was especially delighted to see this polish because not only does it make my heart race, it is based on one of my favorite Dali pieces. I wanna stamp it...

The jelly formula on all three of these polishes is perfect. I did three to four thin coats in all of my swatches, no pooling or uneven application. All of the charms are from Hex Nail Jewelry, I thought they fit the collection well. So tell me what you think of the metallic flakies in jelly!

Hare Polish
Hex Nail Jewelry

Have you loved your cuticles today?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Jindie Nails: A Tale of Two Beauties

Purchased By Shelby Lou (Jindie Nails Phone, Keys, Polish, Check!, Daily Charme)
Press Sample (Jindie Nails The Blue That Holds Us Together)

I am officially over a horrid flu I got last Tuesday night, thank goodness. I had a fever of 101 for awhile there, plus horrible body aches and stuffiness. Since it happened right before New Year's Eve my whole vacation day was ruined, and since I have worked pretty much every other holiday this year that really pisses me off the most. I tried to work on Friday but the doctor I worked with literally called my supervisor and was like, "she is contaminating my floor, she needs to go home" haha! If I had to get the flu, why couldn't it have happened during some uneventful and holiday-free time like February? Ugh, I am so over this. Tomorrow it's back to the grind.

Today I have some AMAZING Jindies to share with you: Phone, Keys, Polish, Check! and The Blue That Holds Us Together. I have shown them both accented with one of my favorite bow charms from Daily Charme--I just can't do a "plain" swatch hehe.

Shelby Lou Nails
Jindie Nails Phone, Keys, Polish, Check!
Phone, Keys, Polish, Check! is a stunning pink jelly polish absolutely packed with shimmer and glitters in matte, metallic, and holographic finishes. I have shown two coats and a coat of Rica's Glossy Glam. I applied my TC poorly and you can see some weirdness in the one of the photos--user error. I can't believe it took me so long to purchase this beauty!

Shelby Lou Nails
Jindie Nails The Blue That Holds Us Together
The Blue That Holds Us Together, Check!'s sister polish, is a bright blue jelly full of coordinating glitters in metallic, matte, and holographic finishes. The overall effect is indescribable, it's like looking at melted metals through water. I used two coats topped with Rica's Glossy Glam.

I hate to say it, but these polishes are way better in person! I've never seen anything quite like them, they are jelly, metallic, holographic, and somehow flakie all at the same time. Both of these colors have a similar formula.

There is a lot of goodness going on in these and the formula is thick, so I added thinner to mine to make it more spreadable. I did a first thinner coat and let that dry well. Then I applied a second thicker coat with a light touch. I found it to clean up rather easy but kept an orange stick handy for when I got too close to my cuticles. If you love blue or pink polish, these are some must-haves in your stash. Follow Jindie on your favorite social media platform to be alerted about restocks!

Jindie Nails

Have you loved your cuticles today?
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