Saturday, September 27, 2014


Yay it's Saturday! My one day off this week and I am planning to enjoy it!  Today I have for you my first real nail art, using tools!  This is from nearly a year ago!  Disclaimer, I did this mani at work and was limited in my cleanup tools.

A little background here - I love Pacman, more specifically Ms. Pacman.  When my boyfriend and I had been together a few months and were too scared to say the L word, we would say that we "pacman 3'd" each other because of how you make a heart on a computer, <3  Needless to say, I have a fondness for the Pacman universe because of this.  So once I got a couple of tools, I set out to do a Pacman themed mani!

I used almost entirely OPI colors for this project.  The black is of course Revlon Espresso, the white is China Glaze White on White, and the OPI colors are Can't Find My Czech-book, Flit a Bit, Big Apple Red, and Need Sunglasses.

I painted each of my nails one color.  Then, for the ghosts I added black to the bottom and made eyes.

Then I added red and black to the thumb to make Ms. Pacman.  This was harder than I thought.  

But here is the finished look, I definitely loved this mani and it got me started into taking nail art seriously! 


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Eclectic Leopard

Hello all!  Can you believe September is almost over?? Seems to be going by very fast.  Today I have for you my current mani.  

Do you want to know a secret?  When I get nail mail, I immediately catalog it in my phone app and on pinterest, and quite often do a quick swatch.  But the organization stops there.  My nail mail piles up on my table until it nearly falls off, then it gets put in a pile in a box, and then maybe one random Saturday when I am feeling bored I actually put it away in its proper place.

With that being said, when I go to do my nails I often choose from my most recent nail mail out of pure laziness.  Sometimes seeing the bottles next to each other for so long sparks my imagination.  Hence, my current mani. 

Seeing so many leopard inspired manis on Instagram, I finally decided to do one myself.  I'd never done a leopard mani before, and I was surprised how easy it was and how awesome it turned out!

First, I used 2 coats of Lilypad Lacquer Neon Ocean Lights.  I absolutely love this color!

When it comes to using a surface for plopping down a puddle of polish, I reach for the nearest junk mail I can find - catalogs tend to be the best due to their rigidity.  So next, I poured out some of OPI's A Grape Fit and used a small brush to make small squared dots on my nails

Then I used my favorite black, Revlon Parfumerie Espresso - I love it because it has a great formula, but also smells delicious!  The smell lasts for a couple days and through topcoat.  I used a dotting tool to add borders to the spots.

Then, top coat, and done!  My top coat is the quick dry by Revlon - I like it because it doesn't shrink the polish, it drys fast, and it's cheap - I actually subscribe to it through Amazon, so every 2 months I get a bottle sent right to me!

Here's the finished look with the polishes used

Lilypad Lacquer is an Australian indie and is most easily obtainable from stockist Llarowe

OPI is available so many places

Revlon is also available nearly everywhere - I got the whole Parfumerie collection at Target because they had a deal where you could spend $15 on beauty products and get $5 off, so I just did a bunch of separate orders :) 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Shades of Gray

Hey everyone! TGIF!!  Today I have a dupe hunt for you.  

When I first discovered Enchanted Polish, I also found out that many of the colors are hard to find.  I swore to myself that I didn't need October 2013, a gorgeous dark gray holo. And so I purchased other gray holos as well as Enchanted Polish's holo top coat, Djinn in a Bottle to transform my non-holo grays.

Then someone had one for sale at a great price.  And I couldn't resist, even though I had crossed it off of my ISO long ago.  I figured why not buy it and see if I do need it, or if I already had a dupe for it.  Thinking of you, dear readers, I decided to get it and then compare all of my grays to it in order to solve the mystery.

I didn't realize I had so many grays until I started this project.  Luckily, I keep my stash on pinterest and on a free android app, so I can quickly look at what I have and choose what could be possible dupes.  I've never been a fan of the spreadsheet method, I'm a visual person, so if you are too, it's a good idea to make a pinterest board or use an app to keep track of your collection.  Did you ever buy an awesome color only to go home and find out you already owned it? I think we've all made that mistake!  That's why I recommend the app, because when you're in the store and see that color on clearance, you can just take out your phone and check to see if you already own it.  

Anyhow, onto the dupe hunt!  First I took out all the grays I thought could work, either alone or with a Djinn topper.

From left to right we have: Enchanted Polish October 2013, Chanel Orage, Chanel Black Pearl, Chanel Graphite, Liquid Sky Lacquer Storm Break, OPI Nein Nein Nein Ok Fine, Sally Hansen Gunmetal, Mod Lacquer Men in Black, and Sally Hansen Magnetic Graphite Gravity

And here's Enchanted Polish Djinn in a Bottle

First, I swatched all the colors, two coats each, in the order I listed above


Then I topped the non-holos (everything except October 2013, Storm Break, and Men in Black) with one coat of Djinn

Now here comes the real work: a head to head comparison of each one
           (October 2013 is on top in all the head to head pics)

               First we have Chanel Orage topped with Djinn

As you can see, Orage is too dark - no dupe here

Onward to Chanel Black Pearl topped with Djinn

 As you can see, Black Pearl makes October look brown, which it isn't, so they definitely aren't dupes

Next Chanel Graphite, which is already a fine glitter but I put Djinn on it anyway
Graphite is too light, I do like how it looks with Djinn though :)

Then we move on to Liquid Sky Lacquer Storm Break, which I originally purchased because I couldn't find October for a good price.  So this was the moment I was waiting for
 I can't believe I am saying this, but Storm Break is just too holo to be a dupe.  I did not put Djinn over this because it is already holo.  

Moving on to OPI Nein Nein Nein Ok Fine topped with Djinn

It is too dark and olive toned to be a dupe, oh well.

Then I tried Sally Hansen Gunmetal topped with Djinn

Gunmetal is way too blue gray to be a dupe

So we move on to the other gray holo I have, Mod Lacquer Men in Black, not topped with Djinn because already holo
Men in Black is gorgeous, but too light and too holo to be a dupe

Finally we have Sally Hansen Magnetic Graphite Gravity topped with Djinn.  I did not use the magnet on this obviously
 It's too light but probably the closest to being a dupe

So there you have it, no exact dupe in my collection. I can justifiably own all these grays :)  My recommendation, based on cost, would be to go with Liquid Sky Lacquer's Storm Break, because even though the Sally Hansen is not expensive, Djinn can be, and also hard to find at times, whereas Storm Break doesn't need Djinn and is only $12.  If you find October 2013 at a good price, yes, grab it, but if you'd rather not stalk Storenvy you can easily pick up Liquid Sky Lacquer - the creator, Carolyn, restocks constantly, to the point where I sometimes wish she wouldn't because I might as well just sign my paycheck over to her!  

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you check out my stash and want to see any other comparisons, let me know!  I am happy to help you find dupes!  In fact, I spent many hours the other night trying to dupe Enchanted Polish's 2 AM Summer Night, and I just did not have the right combo.  The purple can be duped by OPI Suzi & The 7 Dusseldorfs but it needs that duochromey green flash and I don't have anything that will make that happen, but I've got the first part of the recipe down!  

You can also follow me on Instagram to see my newest nail mail and manis!

Chanel can be purchased on their site as well as Nordstrom's

Liquid Sky Lacquer can be purchased on their site - she typically restocks every other Saturday at 2pm PST, but follow her page on Facebook for restock news

Mod Lacquer can be found on their site

OPI and Sally Hansen can be found nearly everywhere

Enchanted Polish, as I mentioned, is hard to find - your best bet is Storenvy, Facebook, Instagram, or eBay, also stockists like Mei Mei and Nail Polish Canada.  You can sign up for Enchanted Polish's newsletter and find more info on restocks from their Instagram.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Octo Obsession

Happy Tuesday!  Today I have for you a brand new mani and a brand new (to me) indie polish!!

First, you should know that I have a fascination with this pirate octopus that I saw on some bathroom decor in Target one day.  I just adored the idea of a pirate octopus - I very quickly bought every part of the themed collection and now my bathroom is a pirate octo paradise.

I am so obsessed with this octopus that I briefly changed my occupation on Facebook to "pirate octo", my wireless network is named "pirate octo", and I have even considered getting a tattoo of this octopus!!!  

Very deep, the obsession grows.  So one evening I was just routinely googling pirate octos, as one does, and came across Octopus Party Nail Lacquer.  I immediately fell down the google-hole and looked at every swatch I could find.  I love polish, I love octos, and they're together?!? I just had to have ALL THE POLISH!!  

And so I did.  I literally have all the polish Octopus Party Nail Lacquer has made! The creator, Dave, is super awesome and worked with me so that I could bring all the octos home!  

Of course with all that polish, I didn't know where to start with my next mani, I just knew it had to be ocean themed.  I'm not at the stage yet where I can freehand an octopus, so I used some awesome ocean life decals!

I have been really into blues lately, so I chose two polishes to make a jelly sandwich! Ink or Swim is a gorgeous, deep cerulean jelly.

The sparkle and depth comes from the beautiful icy blue and white flecked glitter, Frost Bites

Together, they made for an awesome ocean!

I added the ocean life decals into my ocean and voilĂ ! 

I absolutely LOVE this mani!!! I think it is my favorite of all time!!  

The wonderful Octopus Party Nail Lacquer can be found on their shop.

I picked up the decals at Sally Beauty Supply. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Star Power

Today I have my very first mani where I used the awesome Nail Vinyls!  I've been pretty obsessed with them since I discovered them and for my first try I used the stars.

For my base color, I chose Chanel Attraction.  For the second color, I used Enchanted Polish Yesterday.

Here's what the star sheet of the Nail Vinyls looks like - and you can use them in two different ways!  Placing them on will let the base color show through as the star, and using them as a stencil the accent color will be the star.  I used both methods.

 The stars come in different sizes, and I played around with them quite a bit for the final result

 I happened to be wearing a star shirt that day, as you can see in these pics

This mani got me hooked on Nail Vinyls - I have several other shapes including hearts, lip prints, chevrons, straights, and lightning bolts!  

Since this was my first time, I wasn't quite sure of the best technique - having used the Nail Vinyls several times now, here's my recommended method to get the best result:

1. Paint the base color, 2 coats and then top coat.  Wait at least 30 mins.
2. Use the vinyl in either fashion, and only do one nail at a time because you'll want to pull the vinyl off fast with tweezers after applying the second color.
3. After you've placed the vinyl where you want it, paint two quick coats of the second color, wait about 30 seconds and pull the vinyl off with tweezers.
4. Wait at least 20 mins and top coat again.  Two coats of top coat if you feel you need it. Just don't top coat too soon, you don't want to drag the design and mess it up!

Nail Vinyls can be purchased from their site as well as Llarowe.

Chanel can be purchased from their site as well as Nordstrom's.

Enchanted Polish can be purchased from their site, but Yesterday is more easily available through stockists like Mei Mei's and Nail Polish Canada, and of course Storenvy, eBay, and various Facebook groups.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fur Baby Love

Hi all!  Hope you've been enjoying the blog thus far, and if you're new here, welcome!!  I finally made an instagram account (@trialandacetone) and I've been loving it! The polish community is awesome!

Today I have for you my very first nail art!!  This mani was from way back in 2013 LOL and was done to honor my first doggy.  I am a huge animal lover, so this is for all the fur babies out there!

I had done a plain mani using Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Lightning a few weeks prior and the color is very eye catching.  So when it was time for a nail art project, I had yellow on my mind.

The base color for the mani is another Sally Hansen Insta-Dri (love them - they're cheap, fast drying, and come in so many colors!) and that one is called Pronto Purple.  

I didn't have any "official" nail art tools back then, so I made paw prints freehand using just the polish brush!  It came out very well and is one of my all time favorite manis!

Sally Hansen can be found pretty much everywhere - I tend to buy mine on impulse at Walgreens or Target :)