Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Nail Art | Red, Green and Gold

Internet is now okay (thank heavens), so blogging will now resume. :) Like what I said the last time I blogged, I have two more Christmas-related nail art designs - concentrating on red, green, and gold - which I am going to share to you now.

Red, Green, and Gold Nail Art

The idea of this nail art came from a Chevron Nail Art written by my friend Joanna, but instead of using triangles, I used a curvy design. A slightly much difficult process to do as I had to use a bracket-shaped stamp, stamped on pieces of masking tape before cutting and placing it on my nails. What I learned by doing this design is that you have to place all the tapes on your nails before painting the design.

I mainly used Caronia nail polishes for this design - Gold Rush for the base, Kiwi and Simply Red for the added design. for the top coat, I used Colortrends "Gold Glitter." I am not at all raving for the finished design I created, probably because I bought a not-so-good shade of green, but I was quite happy that I tried this one.

Christmas Water Marble Nail Art Christmas Water Marble Nail Art

I still can't get over the water marble technique, so I attempted to do it again. With the many new bottles of nail polish in my collection, I was able to find out that aside from Caronia, there are other local brands of nail polishes that would spread good in the water, which I used for this design.

I first painted my nails white using Sweet Cherry "Snow White." For the swirls, I used Klik "Pussy Red" and "Green Tea" as well as Caress "Wintermelon" for that slightly yellowish tinge. For the top coat, I used Colortrends "Gold Glitter."

I was very happy with how this turned out. I know water marble design would "waste" a lot of nail polishes, so for this, I decided to use a cut up Yakult bottle so the nail polish won't spread too much. I used about six to eight drops of nail polishes (wintermelon - red - wintermelon - green and repeating the sequence), depending on how the polishes would spread. Using toothpick, I just swirled the design until I see something I would like to use. Oh, taping the spaces in the fingers truly helped making clean up easier, but don't tape too close to the nails, so there wouldn't be little gaps on the sides (it really helps that you apply a base nail polish so if there would be gaps, it wouldn't be too noticeable). Others use petroleum jelly instead of tape, but should you tape your fingers, use tweezers to take out the tapes so your other set of nails won't get tainted or damaged by the design clinging on to the tapes.

I could say now that I have "mastered" the technique, though of course I still watch a lot of videos on YouTube to check more designs. Doing nail art can be a little overwhelming; it can be time consuming and might waste a lot of nail polishes (especially if you're a newbie like me), but it can be really rewarding.

Next year, I hope to try more nail art.

Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Another Year Older

Birthday GirlMom and I Bro and Sis

My rest day at work usually falls on Sundays, but I asked my boss if I could have another rest day last Monday because it was my birthday and I wanted to celebrate it with my family. About two months ago, I sort of decided to celebrate it by having either lunch or dinner at Bigoli because they serve affordable Italian dishes (and we still haven’t dined there), but a few days before my birthday, my siblings and I saw that Kangaroo Jack just opened, so we went there instead. My sister and I are trying to cut back on our food intake and mom’s sugar and cholesterol levels are quite high, so instead of ordering a lot of food, we decided that we go for our own choice of meals. For this celebration we had:


Nachos - Yes, we decided to go for our own meals, but brother wanted to have some pica-pica while waiting for our meals, hence this appetizer. It was quite interesting that they used sliced finger chilies instead of jalapeno peppers, and I loved that this seemed to have two types of cheeses, giving it more flavor. All of us raved about this one; good thing brother decided to go for this.

Meatballs Pasta

Meatballs Pasta - Mom’s choice. At first she was like, “Just three meatballs?!?” but when she cut it up into little pieces, she appreciated it more. Nothing special about the sauce, but I liked the meatballs because it didn’t have that much extenders.

Beef Morcon

Beef Morcon - Brother’s meal. Brother’s eyes lit up when this was served; all the more was he pleased when he saw that his serving of morcon was taken from the end part of the “beef log” because it meant he ate more beef and less of the stuffing. The beef meat was fork tender, it was seasoned well (loved that citrusy hint), and it tasted great with the vegetable sidings.

Bangus ala Kieve

Bangus ala Kieve - Sister’s Meal. At first she chose to go for Fish and Chips, but went for this instead because it was something new for her. I wasn’t able to taste this (as I am not that much into fish), but sister said she liked it because the bangus belly had a slightly thicker fat.

Steak and Egg

Steak and Egg -  Kangaroo Jack boasts their steaks, so why not try their steak? They have different types to offer, but I personally love eggs, so it didn’t take me long before I decided what meal I would want to have for my birthday. The steak wasn’t that thick, but it wasn’t paper thin either, so overall, I was okay with it. The taste was good, too!

Strawberry Iced Tea

Strawberry Iced Tea - Sister was the first one to choose her drink (Kangaroo Jack offers iced tea in different flavors), and when brother noticed that a pitcher of  iced tea meant saving 5 pesos and getting more drink (5 glasses), he decided to go for the pitcher instead. I don't know if they have their own blend or this is a store bought powdered tea, but we all liked it.

Twenty four. I am now starting to feel old. Hahaha.

Christmas Nail Art | Red and White

With the growing number of nail polish bottles in my collection, it really is tempting to try nail art. I admit I am very much a newbie at doing such art, but I really don’t want to let the Christmas season pass by without doing a few attempts. For this particular day, let me share two types of nail art I did concentrating on Red and White.

Candy Cane Water Marble Nail Art 

I don’t know when I first heard of such nail art, but when I learned about it, I tried doing it, but I always failed. Just recently, I checked Caronia Nail Polish’s Facebook Page and saw the different water marble nail art created by different people and realized that Caronia is a good brand of nail polish to try. Using room temperature filtered water, a plastic cup and an orange stick, I tried doing it using two newly purchased bottles of Caronia Nail Polishes and was amazed when I finally saw the drops of nail polishes spread on the water’s surface. This wasn’t my very first water marble nail art, but the very first one I did also used the same nail polish shades – Red Pearl and White Satin. I hoped to achieve the candy cane look, but obviously it wasn’t anything like that because the stripes are way too thin and it wasn’t uniformly horizontal. Still, I was pleased with how it came out, and I know now that doing water marble nail art wouldn’t be that difficult anymore. By the way, I also used Silver Glitter (by Chic) as a top coat.

Santa Hat French Tip 

I learned to do this through a YouTube video I saw days before we had our Internet connection disconnected. At first, I hoped to buy a tube of nail polish in special nail art container, but while at the Landmark (Makati) last Tuesday, I decided to buy a dotting tool instead. I realized, buying the special container nail polish would only limit me to do white dots, whereas buying the dotting tool would allow me to create dots in different colors. Doing this nail art was quite simple, but quite tricky, especially for a newbie like me. For this one, I used four bottles of nail polishes – Tony Moly RE01 (red), Caronia White Satin, Careline No.53 (base coat), and Chic Silver Glaze (top coat). I started by painting my nails with the base coat, and when it dried I lined the tips of my nails with tape just to be sure that the tips straight. I then painted the tips with the red polish, taking out the tape as soon as I am done painting the tips. After about 4 – 5 minutes, I painted the silver glaze top coat, then I started putting the dots. It was my first time to do it so it didn’t look so clean; my hands actually shook as I put the dots. For a first timer, I think I did good. I have two more nail art to try, which I will share tomorrow... or anytime within the week - we still don't have Internet connection at home :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sneak Peek | Caronia, Colortrends and Caress Nail Polishes

Last set of nail polishes on my collection...

I remember Caress Nail Polish as one of the first ones I used during Christmastime when I was still in college. When I started developing my fondness for nail polish last year, I never really get to buy a bottle of Caress, and now I am asking myself why. When Jessie and I went to shop at Landmark (Makati) last November, it never crossed my mind to buy some Caress Nail Polishes. It was Jessie who actually told me she wanted to try yellow nail polish, and suggested we try the Neon Mango Tango by Caress. I told her to place whatever nail polish she wanted to try in our basket, but she only chose two – the yellow one and the Blue Hawaii. The Wintermelon shade I recently bought at SM Fairview; I was looking for Caress Cool Blue, but wasn’t able to find one. I only have one yellow shade in my collection, so when I saw this, I decided to buy it. The two Colortrends Nail Polishes I bought at Mercury Drug branch in Makati last weekend. I went there to buy one more bottle of Careline Nail Polish (Frosted Beige, which I swatched yesterday), and while checking for different shades, I saw this bundle containing a small bottle of Bobbie cuticle remover and the two Colortrends Nail Polishes. It was only 49 pesos, so I bought it, afterall, I was planning to buy a top coat with gold glitters (because I already have the silver kind).

The five kinds of nail polishes on my nails – two coats each, no top coat. The Caress’ Blue Hawaii reminded me of another nail polish I have on my collection, but among these five, my favorite would be the Wintermelon. I was happy I purchased it, as I was thinking of buying the Avocado shade before I saw Wintermelon.

Yesterday, I swatched five Caronia Nail Polishes, and today, another batch. True, I am not totally over-the-edge happy with Caronia, but the supermarket just outside our neighborhood sells Caronia Nail Polishes (8ml) at only 27 pesos (regular variants) and 29 pesos (frosted variants), so I just found myself buying one after another.

These five colors felt like Christmas because of the red, green, gold and the glittery effect. I think Lounge, Gold Rush, and Marquise belong to the same collection because of its fine powder glitters, but I am not sure. I think I saw another one of its kind (Trance) at SM Fairview and might buy it next time. Anyway, I used three coats each of the nail polishes, without any top coat. My favorite would be Gold Rush – it reminded me of Elianto Nail Polish that I never got to buy (because then I found it quite expensive back then, and now I don’t see any Elianto stores). Formula wise, I loved Simply Red. So there... my complete nail polish collection. Right now, I have 53 bottles – including the top coats. I have 4 bottles of Korean-made nail polishes (it’s supposed to be 5, but Jessie misplaced the gray colored Etude House nail polish before I even used it), and the rest were locally made. I do like buying locally made nail polishes because it feels like supporting the local industry, but obviously because it was more cheaper. Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t purchase imported brands. In time, I will try them, too. Next week, will share some Christmas-themed nail arts I tried.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sneak Peek | Caronia and Careline Nail Polishes

I was supposed to post this last weekend, but our Internet connection has experiencing technical difficulties, which hindered us to blog for nearly two weeks. We already made necessary actions and we are now looking forward to having our Internet restored in the days to come. For now, I have no other choice but to go to an Internet Cafe to post this. Next week, I will be sharing my attempts at Christmas-related nail art (but don't expect too much as I am not really talented doing nail art), so let me finish with the swatches this weekend.

First up, Caronia Nail Polishes. Bliss and Sapphire were bought by Jesselyn early 2011, when I started painting my nails. These she bought without particular reasons, she just said she just saw these and because blue is her favorite color, she bought it. I did like that the formula of these were still okay, but of course both are quite thick now. White Rose I bought one time when I was looking for white nail polish. I guess I was a little color blind that time because I didn't realize it was the frosted kind until I got home. The White Satin I bought late October this year for a Halloween Nail Art I hoped to do, but wasn't able to, and the Red Pearl I bought just recently for a Christmas Nail Art.

Personally, I love and hate Caronia Nail Polish. They do have a great selection of colors, but some of their nail polishes proved to be difficult to use, especially the White Satin. I found the brush too thin and the formula thick in the sense that it was difficult to achieve an even coverage. I don't know if the fault was on my part because I do get to read different blog posts using the White Satin and their nails looked really good. I guess I will just have to learn how to adjust with this formula. I won't be making a post exclusively for White Satin (because the bottle is nearly empty now after using it in different nail art attempts) and I didn't want to buy a new bottle as I would like to try other white nail polish made by different brands. The other four, I will be making exclusive posts in the days to come.

By the way, I used three coats of each color on my nails, without top coat.

Next set will be Careline Nail Polishes. I got to know about this brand through a few Filipino nail polish blogs, which sparked my interest. Last month, before traveling home after a lunch with a friend, I passed by Mercury Drug to buy a bottle of water and saw their nail polish rack with this brand. Priced at 10 pesos each, I bought 4 bottles (to make my total bill at 50 pesos as the water was 10 pesos as well) - Copper Rock, Fantasy Red, Tahiti Brown, and African Plum. Careline didn't have that much colors to choose from (but they do have a lot to offer), so I was quite surprised that I got another bottle of African Plum. At first I thought it was chocolate brown, but I was wrong. Lesson learned: Read the labels. :) The Frosted Beige I bought just last week, so I could make a swatch on all five fingernails.

African Plum was the most difficult to use among the five bottles - as you can see it was too thick and quite uneven, but I found a way to handle such formula, which I will share once I make a specific blog post about this one. Color wise, my favorite was the Tahiti Brown, but the biggest surprise would be Fantasy Red, as it was a one-coater.

Tomorrow, the last set of nail polishes in my collection.