Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Quickie Recreation: Side Ruffian

So Spektor's Nails did a side ruffian, and about 3.5 seconds after seeing it, I had started plotting on how to get it for myself. Here's what I came up with:

My photo is much rougher (thanks, Indiana!), but the color combination is actually quite close. My nails are pretty much the discount version of the original post. I used Sinful Colors Rise and Shine in place of OPI My Dogsled is a Hybrid and Sally Hansen Hard as Nails in Pumping Iron in place of OPI Unfrost My Heart. She used Insta-Dri topcoat, I used HK Girl, I'd say they're equally shiny. She mentioned using french nail stickers to get the shape; I tried hole reenforcers, but that approach wasn't a good fit for this design with my nail shape, so I just freehanded with a striper. I also threw in a little glitter with a streak of Julep Joelle. It was fine without it, but I was in the mood for a little sparkle.

Usually when I try to recreate a mani I really like I end up frustrated, but this time I was very happy with the result. Honestly, I'm kind of annoyed that my pictures didn't come out very well, because this mani is so gorgeous. I love the color combination-isn't it great when you see a color combination or design that makes you want to polish right now? Definitely pop over to the original post to see photos that do it justice, and to enter the fantastic OPI polish giveaway running at Spektor's Nails through November 30th!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

November 2014 Julep Maven Review and Nail Art

My Julep Maven box was a home run this month! I ended up with three polishes, and I have to say that all three are likely to end up in regular rotation. November was a great month to be a Maven.

A closer look using the flash (blech!)
This month I ended up with three polishes. The first was Devon, this month's must-have when I was choosing my box. I looove greys. Devon is a "slate grey with fuchsia microshimmer" according to Julep, and I'd say that's pretty accurate. I expected the microshimmer to be a little more prominent, maybe giving a slight duochrome effect. That didn't happen, but it did add something extra that makes this polish different from the other greys in my collection and kept it from leaning metallic. The subtle shimmer reminded me of an indie polish-a very good thing. It's most definitely a baby elephant grey rather than a silver, and it makes a nice alternative to neutrals. It felt warm and fuzzy to me, so I accented it with a quilty pattern. While it doesn't bear much resemblance now, this design was inspired by this one at Amateur Manicure. To intensify the bling, I accented with A England Her Rose Adagio for the quilt lines and Sleeping Palace for my "buttons." The holo arc and dusty pink base of Her Rose Adagio was a perfect pair up with Devon's more subtle shimmer; I can't wait to pair them up in a gradient.

My next pick was harder. After much deliberation, I swapped out my other Classic With a Twist option for Kiki, an "oceanic silver shimmer." I'm not sure why they implied this color was silver, it is straight up blue. "Oceanic with silver shimmer" would have been quite appropriate, though. Look how pretty!

I spotted a mini-tutorial from (the caption where I found the video isn't in English and I had trouble figuring out who to attribute it to, but you can check it out on Facebook) and was inspired to use Kiki as the base for a sugar spun design. I loved the black/metallic look in the video, so I flipped it and put Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out on top rather than the bright contrasting colors I usually see with sugar spun nail art. Mine came out less messy than hers, but I think the same feel is there.

Finally, I just couldn't resist-I cashed in some Jules (basically reward points that you spend to add on to the monthly boxes, for those non-Mavens among us) for Joanne, a "smoky plum creme." I am SO glad I did! Joanne is beautiful. It was a good match to the swatches on the website, and has a ton of shine. It's a little thin, but not so much that I had trouble working with it. I kept it simple with this polish, starting with a thick coat of Devon (the swatches above were two thinner coats), then carefully adding a ruffian of Joanne over the top. Since Devon's slightly darker than Joanne, one coat worked well for a neat, clean ruffian, but I would use two if wearing it alone.

This month's polishes seem to have hit the mark for a set of distinctly fall colors that skew away from traditional autumn fare in favor of a fabulous cozy sweaters vibe. I wasn't very interested in the new mascara that debuted with this month's box (their makeup is hit and miss, and I'm currently in love with Rimmel Scandaleyes, so no rush to try out new mascara), so I traded it in for another bottle of Oxygen base coat. In other news, winter is coming in Indiana, and my photos are suffering for it big time. It might be time to construct a light box. Anyone built one for your nail art photos? Tips?

If you decide to try Julep Maven yourself, feel free to use my affiliate link here or in the cute little "Classic With A Twist" button on your right. I get a Julep credit, and you get your intro box for only the $3.99 shipping cost with code FREEBOX.