Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Hiatus


I truly apologize for my recent hiatus.  I have been having health problems for quite a while now (nothing life threatening, just life interrupting) and I started a new job in July, at which I work 50+ hours a week.  So, between my health, my job, and what little time left over I have for my husband, family, and friends I have not been able to wiggle in blogging.  Thankfully, my health insurance will kick in in October and I will be able to beginning exploring possible solutions.  My hope is that once I get my health back under control I will be able to continue my love of spreading nail joy.

I have not, however, stopped doing my nails  :)  So, for now my goal is to keep the galleries (which I have separated into Nail Art and Swatches & Plain Manicures) and collection list updated.  I will also answer any questions concerning these and related topics as quickly as my schedule allows.  I hope that y'all can understand and forgive me.  I do miss y'all and promise that I will be back as soon as possible.

Thanks & Gig 'em!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Think "Biggs"


I know I haven't gotten a post up in awhile, and honestly I don't know when the next one will go up, but this has been heavy on my heart for awhile...

Today's manicure is inspired a wonderful young man that has changed many lives and continues to be an inspiration to others.  On January 22nd of this year, a dear friend of mine lost her youngest brother in a tragic car accident.  The driver of the vehicle was drunk and lost control at high speed.  God's only mercy was that Brice "Biggs" Contreras, a passenger and not driver, was killed instantly and did not suffer.  I have experienced a great deal of death in my life, too much of it alcohol or poor choice related.  But this one was still extremely difficult, just in a different way.  I did not know Brice directly, but I felt like I knew him.  And, I know that he was starting down a very rewarding path when God took him home, but because of a young man's determination to drive under the influence I will never get to meet Brice in this life or see him become a great man that changes the world.  But my difficulties and grief arefor his family.  They have to find a way to make it through each day and he has two newborn nephews that will never feel his warm touch here on Earth.  His older nephew keeps asking when he'll be back from Heaven.  Tragedies such as these CAN and SHOULD be avoided.  If you drink, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not drive.  Nothing may happen, or you may make many people's worlds stop turning.

The base color of this inspired manicure, OPI DS Magic (which by the way applies beautifully and I adore), was actually given to me by Brice's mother and as soon as I saw it I knew that the first manicure I did with it had to honor Brice (and each after would remind me of him).  He loved the Dallas Mavericks and this blue just screams of Mav spirit.  The stamping is done with Orly Luxe faded into Orly Dazzle and Konad Image Plate m83.  I know the Mav's colors do not include gold, but hear me out (besides it's not obvious at all).  The pattern reminded me of both plants and fire.  So I used the gold and silver to be representative of it all.  Why plants and fire you ask?  Well, Brice was showing immense growth at the time of his death and he has caused immense growth in others.  Also, Brice had an inner fire that spread to those around him anytime he was around.  He was warm and caring, a friend to all.  How do I know this if I never actually met him myself, you ask?  Because I know people that knew him and he made a difference in them.

The world needs more people like Brice and fewer people driving drunk.  Please think before you get into a car under the influence or not, you are in control of a weapon that can end lives.  Please pay attention and be mindful.  Think "Biggs", because you're actions are bigger than yourself.  In April, Brice's family and many friends walked with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) to raise funds and awareness.  They are in the process of creating a website for a foundation created in his memory, Think "Biggs".  Please check periodically to see how you can help once the website is up and running.

 Thanks & Gig 'em!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

It's Independence Day, but Everyday is Memorial Day and Veteran's Day


I know today is Independence day (and I am sporting a red, white, and blue mani toady since I can't stand wearing a mani that is chipped :/), so this post seems a little out of place timing-wise, but I truly mean the sentiment in the title.  This day 230+ years ago a group of very brave men put their lives on the line by taking a stand.  Many of them went on to do so on the battlefield as well.  The tradition of proud, strong-willed Americans defending freedom continues today.  So, in my humble opinion, today we should all not only think of and celebrate the men that began that tradition, but the men and women that continue it.  I know the American government isn't the most popular subject or entity around, at home or abroad.  Honestly, I'm not always a fan.  But I am still proud to be an American, and I am more proud of the men and women that have fought, do fight, and will fight for America.  I am always humbled to say thank you to a veteran or soldier.

So, I decided to do some nail art inspired by those wonderful men and women in fatigues in hopes that if someone noticed it I would get to remind that person of the people that inspired them.

I used Essie Mochacino and then painted a side tip with Essie Armed & Ready, then stamped it with Konad Special White and plate m7 across the tip.  The intention was that the bottom of the bow would land where the two colors met.  I didn't quite manage on every nails, but close enough that the general public was impressed lol

Have fun and be safe today.  And, do me a favor if you get the chance, tell a service man or woman thank you.  And not just once, but every chance you get.

Thanks & Gig 'em!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Black Knight


I recently had the opportunity to crush a MAJOR lemming, butter LONDON The Black Knight, from Ashley of Ashley is Polish Addicted on her blog sale.  I must say, it is the most mesmerizing black I have EVER seen.  I knew I would love it from reviews on other blogs, but I had no idea that I would be spellbound by it in person!  The pictures below do NOT even BEGIN to barely capture the beauty of this polish.  It applies without flaw, but did need a couple coats of Seche Vite to get a smooth finish on it (I'm not a fan of feeling the texture when I touch my nails), which only makes it even more gorgeous.  A guy friend of mine likened it to a custom paint job with a heavy metallic flake and super high gloss finish, obviously he liked it lol

If you get the opportunity to obtain this beautiful, sexy lady, DO IT!  You will not regret it!

Thanks & Gig 'em!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Retro Review


I found some old manicure pictures the other and decided that it might benefit some of you for me to do a review on some of the polishes used, namely the Essie Luxeffects Collection, since they're still readily available and you might be wanting some glitters.  I added them to the new NOTD Gallery, as well :)  The Luxeffects collection is a topcoat collection, so it doesn't require anything on top.  With that said, I do use my usual Seche Vite over it for a couple of reasons actually.  First, because I like a smooth finish.  Second, because I CANNOT keep my hands still long enough for the manicure to dry otherwise. lol  (Please excuse the chubby-ish fingers.  These were last year and I was still losing weight.  Also note that this is was before I expanded my horizons past Essie polishes.)

First up, the one that is probably my least favorite of collection (though still a beauty and I love her), As Gold As It Gets.  In this picture she is over Essie Pretty Edge (it was a Christmas manicure).  She is fairly subtle, so the name is a slight misnomer.  But over, a great option for a little glitz.

The next lady is also a subtle one, rather coy actually.  Pure Pearlfection, here over Essie Midnight Cami, makes any polish look star-kissed.  It's glitter is super fine, quite pearly (definitely got this name right :)), and rather dense therefore it doesn't call for a thick layer at all.

Shine of the Times seems to be a favorite of many.  Some call her a flakie.  She definitely comes alive on top of dark underwear, here over Essie Luxedo.  Depending on the light and angle you could be dazzle with a whole spectrum of colors from magentas, fuchsias, yellows, lime greens, blues, and everything in between.

The next two are truly my favorites of the collection the silver glitter is Set in Stones and the rosy glitter is A Cut Above.  Both are a mixture of round and hex glitter in various sizes.  They look like you sequined your finger tips.  I cannot count the number of compliments I received while wearing either glitter.  So many people said it looks like I'm wearing diamonds on nails when I wear Set in Stones, ironic, huh?  Even funnier, I sell diamonds!  I was going to say that both of these wear like iron, but I think wear like a diamond is more fitting ;)  You'll definitely need acetone to get them off.

Do you have any of the Luxeffects?  Or now plan to pick some up?

Thanks & Gig 'em!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tip Top of the Line


As I write this I completely feel like a rockstar...  I was contacted by a wonderful lady named Joan, the Director and Founder of Tip Top Products, about reviewing some of their products.  I was completely shocked and flattered.  Obviously, I said yes.  I was baking cookies Monday when all the sudden my doorbell was ringing and it sounded like the door was about to be broken down.  I rushed to the door and was pleasantly surprised by a mailman asking me to sign for my international package.  Oh, did I mention that Tip Top Products is a South African company!  I could barely contain my excitement when I realized what I was holding.  I tore into the package and started to open the the cello bag before I realized I should take a picture lol  Joan kindly sent me four bottles of polish to review.  From left to right of the bottom line-up in the picture:  Nail Addict by Tip Top Café Café, Love From Above, Dangerous Robot, and Smell the Roses.

To begin with, I ADORE THE BRUSH!  It not the usual thick or thin, but holds the polish in such a way that it evenly disperses it as you pull it across you nail and doesn't drag AT ALL!

First up in the review, my least favorite of the four as far as application/formula is concerned, Love From Above.  Let me qualify that with I adore the brightness and slight silver shimmer (hard to see in the pictures) of this polish.  The picture above is the first coat.  The pictures to the left and right alternative three and two coats from the index finger down to the pinkie with no top coat.  I think a topcoat might bring out the shimmer more, but didn't think to try it until after my sweet dog, Buddy, messed up the swatches.  I polish is on thin side, so I definitely recommend three thinish coats to achieve even opacity.  I am looking forward to future art with this polish.

Next up is a polish that I am completely over the moon about and my mother (who doesn't wear polish on her fingernails hardly EVER) was completely drooling over.  Café Café is a camel tan with a wonderful gold shimmer.  The formula is the perfect consistency.  Thick, but not gloopy, still thin enough to spread easily.  The picture to the right is just one coat in two different lights.  The pictures below are two coats with no top coat, and the shimmer is completely alive.  This is a polish that I, and apparently my mother, will get many a mile out of.  I just wish that the bottle were bigger!

Smell the Roses is right on par with Café Café.  The same perfect consistency, maybe a little better even.  If you look to the right, the picture is only one coat! Someone could totally get away with wearing it this way.  It is such a gorgeous bright and rosy, but deep, reddish pink.  It's actually really hard to completely describe and capture this stunning shimmery polish.  The below pictures are two coats and no top coat.  Again, the shimmer is dancing in the light even without the top coat.

The next polish is actually a jelly based polish, of which I own very few.  Jellies aren't usually my thing honestly.  I prefer polishes that end up opaque and jellies never quite seem to get there, even an extremely pigmented one like this.  But, I was very impressed by this polish.  And even if I weren't, the name is ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!  I would love to hear how it came about it's name :)  Above to the right is one coat (ring finger) versus two coats (pinkie).  Below that is two (ring finger) versus three (pinkie).  And finally at the end is three (ring finger) versus four (pinkie).  Interestingly, in the last picture the polish on pinkie seems opaque, but in real life it wasn't quite there.  I considering attempting my first jelly sandwich with Dangerous Robot.  Actually, I'm dying to try a jelly sandwich with Dangerous Robot!  So definitely be on the look out for that NOTD :D

I want to say a BIG, HUGE, Texas-sized "THANK YOU" to Joan and Tip Top Products for choosing me to review their wonderful products.  I am so grateful and still so flattered and surprised.  I look forward to ordering more polishes from from Tip Top one day in the future.  Until then, there will definitely be plenty of NOTD manicures with the ones above. :D  Don't forget to like them on Facebook either!

Thanks & Gig 'em!

**** The products reviewed in this post were provided at no cost to myself by the company for my honest review.  The opinions expressed above are my own, completely honest, and unbiased.  I received no further compensation than the polishes themselves.****

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Teeny Bit of Essie Bikini So Teeny

I recently convinced my husband (man, I love saying that!!!) that I needed some new polish.  Ok, maybe I simply convinced him that I was deserving of a treat. lol.  And since I had coupons for Ulta I decided to get a couple of colors from the new Essie collection.  I debated a bit.  I really liked Bikini So Teeny, but felt that I had a similar blue here at home.  With that in mind and Wade's votes I settled on Off the Shoulder and Mojito Madness.

Mojito Madness is a slightly muted kelly green.  More like the color of actual mint leaf lol  I was really on the fence about this color until it go on my nails, then I loved it!  Which, might I add, is completely out of character for me since I am SO not normally a green person. Not only did I love the color, but the application was a breeze, even with the tiny brush.

Off the Shoulder was equally amazing.  Bright, cheerful, and honestly the closest comparison I can think of is the color of Double Bubble just after you start chewing it (sorry if that was a little too gross for anyone, but it is the closest color comparison I can manage).  Application was wonderful for this polish, as well.  I see myself getting alot of wear out of Off the Shoulder this season.

 I had a little bit of extra time that day and was feeling spunky, so I added a little art, including a rhinestone for the first time ;)  I used Essie Bachelorette Bash off the shoulder to create a diagonal path of various sized polka dots on all but my index fingers.  Then, I use Bachelorette Bash to create a four petal flower on the top, outside (pinky-side) corner as to make sure that it was focal point.  Finally, I added a tiny green rhinestone in the center of each set of the petals to complete the flowers and topcoated.  And, viola!  I got so many compliments on this mani and I truly adore the flower nails!  I will most definitely do another manicure with these flowers as the inspiration.

On a related note...  I had always been nervous about using rhinestones in a design, but I have a tendency to chip my polish, as I am pretty hard on my nails.  But, when I changed this manicure to do my Jubilee Manicure.  I had to WORK to get the rhinestone off!  So, for those of you interested, but timid towards rhinestones, try it!  They apparently stay put... lol!  (please excuse the staining, just part of having fabulously decorated nails ;))

Thanks & Gig 'em!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Ultimate Picture Heavy Post


In an attempt to make this finding inspiration and manicure combos easier and more fun for everyone, I have compiled all of the manicure and swatch pictures into a NOTD Gallery.  You can flip through.  Click a picture for more info.  Or, just let it play and enjoy the pretties.

Thanks & Gig 'em!

Giveaway... Why Not?


So I've been thinking, since I have been so MIA the past month or so y'all deserve a shot at a giveaway.  Whatcha think?  Like that idea, huh?  lol  Well, since Facebook is throwing it's weight around and shutting down pages that offer giveaways there, like I was doing, giveaways will be over here from now on.  Don't worry, I will put announcements over on the self-proclaimed Almighty Facebook, in case you miss an update over here.

So let's get to the fun stuff :)  What is the prize you ask?   A brand new bottle of butter LONDON Knackered!  I would appreciate if you would like Totally Lacquer Obsessed on Facebook and spread the word, but I decided for this one to not make it an extra entry.  We will try to open this up to international followers, as well this time.  Please note that some countries won't let me send it to you, so if you know that you are in one of these countries, please understand that it pretty much disqualifies you :(

You must email me back within 24 hours of my emailing you to notify you of winning.  If you do not you forfeit your prize and a new winner will be chosen.

Feel free to leave me a comment with some feedback :) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Blog Lovin'


You can now follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Thanks & Gig'em!

Disappointing Changes


Sometimes, I REALLY hate change.  Like when you paint your nails and a color changes after you top coat... In one of my Julep Maven Mystery Boxes I received Taylor and Alicia.  I was feeling summery (because spring is practically non-existent here in Central Texas) the other day and thought that these colors would make a fabulous combination.  I was so thrilled with the base colors on my right hand and added OPI Pirouette My Whistle to my accent nails (ring finger and thumb).  Now I was super excited, but then I starting to topcoat.  And, WHOOSH!  Taylor became a deeper, brighter blue!  Though it was pretty, I was SO disappointed!  It definitely wasn't the color/look I was going for.  Notice the middle finger (topcoated) vs. the index finger (not topcoated) in the picture to the right.  In addition to the color change, the formula wasn't the best.  It was a little transparent and streaky to begin with.

 I decided to go against my unusual pattern habits and do my hands inversely (mainly because I LOVED Alicia, but was so disappointed in Taylor and didn't have time to start completely over lol).  I surprisingly enjoyed the inverse style of the manicure.  Maybe I'll do it again sometime ;)

So, have you ever had a polish change after topcoating or otherwise?

Thanks & Gig 'em!

P.S.  For another polish that changed on me, check out my Jubilee Post.

A Diamond Jubilee!

Howdy all!

In honor of Queen Elizabeth II's 60 year a few of us nail bloggers decided to celebrate on our nails!  We all used different combinations of British brand nail polishes to create a British Day Jubilee Manicure.  For mine, I started with butter LONDON Slapper and then sponged on a gradient of a-england Princess Tears.

I started out liking it a great deal, but as it set and dried the Princess Tears changed colors! It ended up looking more like Princess Sabra/Tristam's Tears.

Then I got the bright idea to add a bit of art... I used Konad plate m40 and Konad Special Polish in White to put a crown on my left ring finger.  Of course, I only had one crown, because there is only one Queen ;)  But, again, I couldn't stop there.  I added a little square rhinestone that had an AB finish (kinda hard to see in the picture :/) that I applied in a fashion that we in the jewelry industry would call kite set to the center point of the crown to mimic a diamond ;)

I must admit, I'm not in love with this manicure.  What do y'all think?

Thanks & Gig 'em!

P.S.  Make sure to check out the rest of the fabulous bloggers celebrating the Diamond Jubilee!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Get A Grip!

I am working on recovering the tutorials I shot from my camera – apparently it is not compatible with Windows 7, even after drivers run in compatibility mode are installed… grrr.  So, in the meantime I thought it might be nice to discuss our favorite and least favorite brushes and handles.  What do you think?
2012-04-07_22-40-18_33In this post I am only going to review six different brands’ brushes and handles:  butter LONDON, China Glaze, Essie, OPI, Orly, and Zoya.  I have more brands in my collection, but they are still in my untrieds and I didn’t have time to try them before this post (I’m supposed to be doing schoolwork, shhh, don’t tell my fiancé, lol). 
butter London’s brush seems on the narrow side at first glance, but it is wonderfully supple and fairly thick.  As you can see from the bottom picture the brush spreads out nicely and this is with very little pressure.  I enjoy the brush while painting my nails most definitely.  Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the handle.  It is very short and stubby.  Though not unmanageable, it is definitely not the most easily maneuvered.  To it’s credit, the ridges do help.  Of the six being reviewed, I would say that the brush is my second favorite, but the overall combo ranks number four on my list.
The China Glaze brush has a nice width and the handle is tied for the longest, making it much easier to maneuver.  The brush spreads, but not as extensively as the butter LONDON.  It is fairly soft, as well, allowing for nice contouring around the nail.  Even though the brush isn’t as supple as the butter LONDON the handle is longer and overall the combo make the polish easy to apply.  So, China Glaze rates number three.
The impression that the Essie brush is thin is, unfortunately, quite correct.  Thank goodness that Essie typically has great formula, because their brush and handle both leave something to be desired.  The brush is nicely springy, but just doesn’t have enough bristles to spread out over the nail.  This leads to me too often having to make more dips and swipes than I would like to cover a nail.  The handle is also stubby.  Not as stubby as butter LONDON’s, but it is smooth which makes it harder to hold on to.  Though this is one of my favorite brands of polish overall ever (the brand that started this all), the brush/handle ties for last place in this line up.

OPI has one of my favorite brushes of all time.  Truly.  It is wide, thick, springy, and supple - everything I look for in a brush.  This type of brush is a true joy for me.  I recognize that some may not like this brush's width, though.  I have wide nail beds, so I appreciate it.  If you have more narrow nails, you might try using the narrow side of the brush, or strategically placing your swipe so that you only need one ;)  The handle is among the longest so it is easy to maneuver.  I wish it had some texture or something, like butter LONDON or Orly (coming up next).  I would love that with all of the smooth brushes, honestly.  This is my overall favorite brush/handle combination (I wish it wore better for me! :( I know most people have great luck with OPI, but it just really struggles on my nails).Orly2
Orly has my favorite handle overall.  It may not be as long as the OPI and China Glaze handles, but it has a contoured and rubberized grip that makes it quite comfortable to hold and apply the polish.  The brush is on par with the China Glaze brush.  It is very similar in thickness, springiness, and suppleness.  But since the handle is so wonderful, Orly's combo ranks number two on my list overall.
Zoya's brush is on the thinner side and is abnormally short in my opinion.  It does spread out more so than the Essie, but is a little stiffer and SO short.  The handle is not much longer than the butter LONDON handle, but still shorter than the Essie handle.  Thankfully the shape provides an easily maneuverable.  It's about equally frustrating to me as Essie so it falls in the same spot.  Last.

I know that this long, but I hope that it is helpful for some of you.  As usual, feel free to leave comments and questions :)

Thanks & Gig 'em!