Saturday, December 22, 2012

1st Place!!

I'm very happy to announce that my Grinch nail set has won FIRST PLACE for Best Overall Creativity :D

Thursday, December 20, 2012

This week so far! UV Gel & Acrylics.

 Here's what I did in school this week!

We had a representative from professional nail product company Young Nails come to the school and do a demonstration, and I got to be the model!
She gave me a bunch of different Holiday themed nails :)

 Here's a simple holiday mani I did on a class mate.
It's UV gel as a base with Shellac gel polish on top, and on the accent nails I added some encapsulated glitter and hand painted candy cane stripes!

Here is a full set of tips, each nail is a completely different design!  There are various inlays of acrylic including marbles, mylar flakes, glitters and confettis :) 
The shiny stuff on her cuticles is actually just cuticle oil, I always use cuticle oil to help replenish any moisture that might have been lost during the nail service!
Another view!

 This is a sculpted set of stiletto nails.  There were no nail tips used, instead I sculpted the acrylic on a form into the shape that she wanted!  
On the accent nails there are 3D acrylic black roses and hand painted black chevron tips over OPI's "Pink Friday" polish.
Chevron is a style of a French tip, in the shape of a V rather than the classic U shape, and I suggested it to her because I thought it would look very sexy on a stiletto shaped nail!
We also did a variation of "Louboutin" nails, but instead of red bottoms, we went with black bottoms to match the pink & black theme!
I really love these nails!

Monday, December 17, 2012

You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch!

We are having a "Grinchmas" themed nail/hair competition at school, so this is my entry! 
There are 7 nail tips across the bottom covered in acrylic and painted as the floor.
The Grinch, his dog Max, the bag of toys, presents, train cars, tree & ornaments are all sculpted out of nail acrylic! 
I hope I win! :)
 Sorry the photo is so big, I wanted the small details to be visible!

More Adventures in 3D Acrylic Art

Hello my dear friends :)
I have FINALLY gotten a replacement phone (P.S.  Sprint SUCKS)
So I have uploaded some photos from the last week or 2 that I've been wanting to share with you!

Here is my first full set of sculpts and my first attempts at doing 3D acrylic rose nail art!
A sculpted nail is different than tips because there aren't any tips on these!
We use a weird looking thing called a form, it's almost like a very rigid sticker, wrap that around the finger and just mold the acrylic from the short natural nail out onto the form :)
I also tried a little something I had seen on Instagram a long time ago - "Red Bottoms" or "Louboutin" nails, you paint the underside of the nails red.  It's very sexy and it really does remind you of Christian Louboutin's sexy red-soled shoes!
And here is my second attempt at 3D acrylic cupcakes.  
I think they came out a little better than the first ones, practice makes perfect!

Have a great Monday :D

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Social!

Sunday Social is a fun & simple way to help your readers get to know you a little better.
You can link up with your blog at ashleyscarnivalride or acompletewasteofmakeup and join in on the fun! :)
 This week is random questions.

1.  What is the wallpaper on your phone?
This picture of me and my bf.. almost makes me want to shave the side of my head again!

2.  What do you keep beside your bed?
Cell phone, my glasses (I have horrible eyesight), my 3 rings and watch because I wear them every day!

3.  What is your least favorite chore?
I would have to say washing the dishes.. 
It feels so gross, and the dishes are just going to all get dirty again in a few days anyway!

4.  If you could eliminate one thing from your daily routine, what would it be?
Drying my hair!  
I have awful hair and it never does what I want it to, so I basically always wear it the same style.
At least when the side was shaved, I had less hair to worry about lol.

5.  What do you do to vent anger?
Usually throw things.
That's how my cell phone ended up breaking the other day.. oops.

6.  What is your favorite holiday of the year and why?
I've said it a million times before, Halloween is my favorite.
I always have good memories of Halloween as a child,
and I love dressing up & seeing other peoples creative costumes!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Review: Geo "Princess Mimi" Circle Lens

I know this isn't nail related, but it is beauty related so I'm sharing a review with my dear readers :)
On Black Friday, I ordered a pair of circle lenses from because they had a free shipping special offer and they finally arrived 2 days ago!
If you are not familiar with circle lenses, they are large colored contact lenses that make your iris appear much larger.  
They are very popular in Asia, and actually illegal in the US!

The pair I ordered are called Geo Princess Mimi and the color is "Apple Green".
As you can see, my natural color is a greenish-brown, or hazel.
These lenses made the green more prominent and have a thick outer rim on the iris!
 I got green because I did not want to change the color of my eye too much, just enhance & enlarge. 

A great feature on the PinkyParadise website is that they actually have links to photos submitted by customers who have ordered the product, so you can see the specific lenses on all different eye colors! 

They are very comfortable and look great, I wore them to school yesterday and got a lot of compliments :D

(This bottom photo looks photoshopped but it's not, the exposure on my phone's camera was just different!)

image via
Every pair of circle lenses also comes with a free random choice cutie case, mine was blue hippo!
My phone completely broke before I could take a photo but this is the same one pictured above :)

So, overall I would definitely recommend this brand of circle lens.
The price was $23.90, came with a free case & the lenses are said to last a year.
 They were really comfortable all day and look lovely!
I have a feeling I will be ordering many more pairs!! :)

What are your thoughts on circle lenses?

This review was not sponsored in any way, I am simply just sharing my thoughts on a product that I like.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Candy Cane

So sorry I've been slacking on the tutorials, I am having a lot of problems with my phone and that's what I use to take photos & watermark my tutorials :(

I wanted to do something fun and simple for the holidays, so this week's tutorial will be for Candy Cane design.
**There are TWO ways you can do this pattern.**
- One would be to hand-paint the stripes with a brush, and that's what this tutorial will explain.
- If you don't have a steady hand with a striper brush, another option would be to do a diagonal tape manicure using a white base and red polish over the tape!  My tutorial for the Tape manicure can be found here!

How To Choose Colors For This Design:
I went with a typical red & white, but you could get creative and try to emulate one of the colorful candy canes!

Suggested Materials:
ANY brand is fine, listed below are the ones used for this particular mani
- Base coat - Seche Clear
- Fast dry top coat - Seche Vite
- Nail color - Sally Hansen Insta-Dri "Whirlwind White"
- Stripe Color - red nail art striping brush
- A clean, small paintbrush or cotton swabs, for cleaning the cuticles afterwards (optional)
- Nail polish remover (optional)

Before You Begin Painting Your Design:
These steps are optional, but definitely recommended!
- Put down some paper towels in your work area, in case of any spills.
- Be sure to remove any old nail polish.
- Gently file nails into desired shape and remove any ridges with a buffer.
- Push back cuticles with a cuticle pusher or orange wood stick and trim if desired.
- Apply a base coat to protect from potential staining from color polish; wait for it to dry completely.

Step 1:
Apply 2 coats of base color & allow to dry

 Step 2:
Begin painting your stripes on a diagonal.
I chose to start as close to the cuticle as possible.
You can do all thick stripes, or you can alternate between thick & thin.
Thicker stripes will be easier but if you are comfortable working with a nail art striper brush,
try to challenge yourself & alternate with thin stripes too!

 Step 3:
Make sure you have equal amounts of space in between your stripes.
If you are alternating thick & thin stripes, you can do 1 thick and 2 or 3 thin, since this is a very common pattern!
 Step 4:
Continue your pattern, spacing it out as evenly as you can, until you fill up the whole nail & top it off with your favorite topcoat.  Clean up cuticles for that extra finishing touch!
If you want to try this as a tape manicure instead of hand-painting the stripes, here is my tape manicure tutorial
Enjoy :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Haul, Review & Gradient Swatch: "Love, Charlotte" Polish

A few days ago I got these really awesome nail polishes at a store called Charlotte Russe.
It was very unexpected because Charlotte Russe is known for reasonably priced trendy clothing & shoes.  
I don't shop there, but my friends wanted to see what they had.
I'm glad we stopped in there because I never knew they had their own brand of polish called "Love, Charlotte"!

I was a little hesitant at first, because I figured they would have a really bad formula, but I tested all of them in the store and the application was great and not streaky at all.

The colors don't have names on the bottle but I got a light pink which was "Pastel POP" brand, hot pink, purple, fine silver hologram glitter, large silver holo glitter & a large mixed light & dark purple and silver holo from the "Love, Charlotte" brand.
I decided to do a sponge gradient (click here for a mini-tutorial on sponge gradients)
I used the light pink, dark pink & purple and topped it off with the fine silver holo glitter!
 The sun finally came back out so I got a shot in the sunlight too!

If you live near a Charlotte Russe store, I would totally recommend stopping in to check it out!
They do have some polishes on their website, but there was definitely a better color selection in-store.
They were also on sale in the store but not online!
They were 2 for $3 and I also got an extra 10% off my purchase for giving them my email address, so I got all 6 polishes for around $18. 

Have a wonderful Sunday :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mega Update!

Dearest readers, I have not forgotten about you!
I was very busy this week with school, crafts (you will see these soon!)  and I even had some visitors from back home.

Here is a mega-update for the week, you can click on the photos to enlarge to see the details:
I finally had a chance to finish this acrylic set in school.  I am very pleased with the way it came out!
There are many different types of inlays in this set: marble, glitter, heart & star confetti, polka dots.
Here is a UV Gel set I did with glitter inlay and encapsulated hearts.

 2 of my lovely friends, Debbie & Ayana, drove down from New York to visit!
We went to the beach.
 Stayed long enough to see a nice sunset.
Visited some stores and found the world's cutest pomeranian puppy.  I named him Charlie.
And of course I did their nails!  Here is my first try at a 3D acrylic cupcake on Ayana.
 And a hand painted french manicure with Hello Kitty & 3D acrylic bow for Debbie :)

What have you all been up to this week?
Have a wonderful Saturday!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Social!

Sunday Social is a fun & simple way to help your readers get to know you a little better.
You can link up with your blog at ashleyscarnivalride or acompletewasteofmakeup and join in on the fun! :)
 Holiday Questions!

1.  What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Simple, just eating good food and spending time with the family!

2.  Favorite holiday movie?
Home Alone is a classic, and my absolute favorite is Elf!!

3.  Favorite decoration, or Pinterest decoration you wish you could have?
Both of these are from Pinterest :)
A gorgeous Christmas mantle and a seaside porch with a lovely tree!

                                                                     Source: via Lauren on Pinterest

                                                                                            Source: via Lauren on Pinterest

4.  Favorite holiday song?
Definitely "Last Christmas" by Wham! I love George Michaels & 80s music!

5.  Favorite holiday dessert?
Italian cookies!!
ESPECIALLY Pignolis ("pine nut" in Italian) and Rainbow cookies :)
Pignolis are simple, chewy cookies made with almond paste & crunchy pine nuts on top.
image via
Rainbow Cookies have 3 thin layers of colored almond-flavored cake with apricot preserves in between,
all covered by a layer of semisweet chocolate!

image via
6.  What is on your wish list this year?
I really hate when people give me gifts, so I never have a real wish list.
But I guess if someone were to ask what I wanted, I would like a Diamond Candle.
I just heard about them today & apparently they are quite popular!
 They're fairly cheap, about $25 (sometimes you can find coupons online)
Each soy candle has a ring hidden in the wax, so as you burn the candle, it reveals your treasure!
The rings are worth between $10 and $5000 dollars (wow).
Even the cheap $10 rings are beautiful!
I think they would also make a lovely holiday gift if you're not sure what to get for someone :)

What are some of your holiday traditions & wishes??

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Learning: Acrylic & Gel Inlays

 Here's a little update on what I've done at school.
The latest things we have learned is called "inlays" or "encapsulating".
This can be done with UV gel or acrylic.
The trick is to work with very thin layers & creating a base, color, an item to be encapsulated, and then a clear layer over the top to seal it in.
You can encapsulate almost anything: glitter, confetti, lace, googly eyes, candy wrappers, feathers, etc.!
Here are some encapsulations or inlays I've done on classmates.

 This encapsulated glitter was done with UV gel and a brush. 
UV gel is a bit different than gel polish, it's VERY sticky and can be a lot messier!
 Here are some acrylic inlays, done on the end of a French tip and some fades as well.
4 different glitters, acrylic polka dots, heart & star confetti and marblized acrylic!
Here's another view of the acrylic.. and some palm trees in the back haha (so difficult to get a good photo of these nails!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sponge Gradient Mini Tutorial & Winter Wonderland!

 Since I've moved to Florida and it's been 75-85 degrees every day, it doesn't really feel like the Holiday season to me!
I figured I would do a snowflake design to try to invoke some holiday spirit hehe
Here is my version of a Winter Wonderland!
 Indoor shot with flash.
Outdoor shot, natural sunlight.
I achieved this Winter Wonderland look by doing a dark/light blue sponge gradient, a coat of multicolored glitter and then hand painting each snowflake on top with acrylic paint and a tiny brush :)
This isn't a traditional tutorial but I think it can be explained pretty easily!

What I used, in order from lightest to darkest:
- Essie "Ballet Slippers"
- Essie "Bikini So Teeny"
- Sinful Colors "Aquamarine"
- China Glaze "Sexy in the City"
- Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear "Disco Ball" for the glitter
- Seche Clear base & Seche Vite topcoat

I am not that great at doing sponge gradients, but here is a brief explanation of how I do it:
 1. Choose whatever colors you want to do a fade, it can be anything but I find it easier to do a gradient of 1 color since it will blend easier.
2. Cut a nail-sized piece of a make up sponge.  I use the wedge shaped ones and cut off a corner.
3. Use any base coat, let it dry.
4. Paint 2 thin coats of the LIGHTEST color from the fade & allow to fully dry.
I used a coat of Seche Vite fast drying topcoat to speed this up!
5.  Paint a stripe of each color across the sponge in the order of however you'd like the gradient to go.
6.  Dab the sponge in an up-and-down motion along the length of the nail.
It will look kinda crappy at first, but the more you dab it, the better the colors will blend.
7.  It's damn near impossible to do a sponge gradient without getting polish all over your cuticle/skin, so don't be alarmed if you are making a royal mess!
Once you are happy with your gradient, and you've finished off with a topcoat, you can begin your cuticle cleanup!
Simply dip a clean, small paint brush or cotton swab in nail polish remover and swish it around a bit to clean up your cuticles.
Be sure to avoid getting any on the design, so you don't ruin it.

*If your colors are a little light, just repeat steps 5 & 6 until the desired color is achieved!*
I went over these about 3 or 4 times before I was finally happy with the colors, so please don't be discouraged.

Here is the gradient pre-snowflakes..  I'm really not great at it but it makes a good enough background!
If you'd like to try to hide some of the imperfections in your gradient, it's great to use a small/fine glitter topcoat.. it will help the colors to appear more blended and smooth! :)


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Social!

Sunday Social is a fun & simple way to help your readers get to know you a little better.
You can link up with your blog at ashleyscarnivalride or acompletewasteofmakeup and join in on the fun! :)
 Questions about 4's

1. Name 4 jobs you've had in your life:
Well.. I've worked at 4 different tattoo shops as a professional body piercer over a span of 9 years.
I also worked at Sally's Beauty Supply for about 5 months.
Right now I am jobless lol.

2. Name 4 movies you could watch over and over:
- Anchorman
- Rocky Horror Picture Show
- Nightmare Before Christmas
 - Wayne's World

3. Name 4 places you have lived:
Franklin Square, NY
Selden, NY
Lake Grove, NY
Farmingville, NY
I've moved around a lot haha now I live in Southwest Florida!

4. Name 4 of your favorite foods:
My grandma's stuffing (or "dressing" as some people call it)
Veal or chicken parmigiana
Bacon, eggs & cheese on a bagel - especially a NY bagel!
General Tso or Sesame Chicken from a Chinese restaurant