Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Nail art inspiration: butter London Steampunk Ball

I pull nail art inspiration from everything from nature to architecture to graphic prints, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a lot of my inspiration still comes from the beauty world. (Case in point: my Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream nails, and FYI I have another Marc Jacobs-inspired nail post coming soon!) When the holiday Steampunk Ball set from butter London popped up on my Instagram feed, I instantly went YES, DOING THIS and took a screenshot.
image via Nordstrom
I just love the look of all the gears and cogwheels; butter London is amazing at making covetable polishes and packaging.

Nail art: inspired by butter London Steampunk Ball
I started out with a base of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Black Out as the base (two coats), then topped it with L'Oreal The Matte Velvet, a mattifying top coat (I love this one for the not-super-flat finish.) Next, I painted in the gears and cogs with Orly Luxe and China Glaze Gossip Over Gimlets. butter London seems to use only one shade of gold on the packaging, but I thought it would be fun to have a two-tone thing going on.

Nail art: inspired by butter London Steampunk Ball
For the longest time, I just could not figure out why my gears made me think less steampunk-industrial and more weird metallic flowers. I realized that I painted the teeth on my gears (called cogs apparently; thanks Wikipedia!) way too closely together--these gears are definitely just for show because they can't mesh together with other gears haha! I've since found out that butter London has a whole Steampunk Ball collection, including a set with rose-gold gears, so I might try this again and pay a little more attention next time.

What's a holiday beauty set that's caught your eye lately?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Crafty: Excel gum donut

I love the Excel Gum commercials. The cartoon donut, garlic, onion, and coffee make bad breath look pretty adorable. My brother and I especially love the donut--he's just so derpy and sweet (literally and figuratively!) Since I've started getting more into crochet, I promised to crochet him the little guy.

Here's one of the commercials, and the one I used as a reference when deciding proportion and how to construct the arms and legs.

Here he is! He came out pretty well if I do say so myself, although the colours are a bit off because I just used the closest matching yarn I had stashed. The icing has photographed as this eye-searing neon magenta, but the colour is more like a brightened pink (Loops & Threads Impeccable in Arbor Rose).

Friday, November 21, 2014

Urban Decay Chaos

Urban Decay Chaos nail polish
Last month I went on a girls' day trip to downtown Seattle; as a group of four fashion/beauty-loving women, there was no way we were just going to skip by Nordstrom Rack. I may or may not have seriously freaked out when I saw that they had Urban Decay polishes for $5, marked down from the original price of $15. I coveted these polishes when they came out with their shiny, gunmetal caps and perfectly UD-like shades but resisted... until now. You can't deny a deal like that!

Urban Decay Chaos nail polish swatch
Chaos is a gorgeous cobalt blue packed with very fine shimmer and (I think) glass fleck, as well as a super subtle pearl finish. Under bright light, this is the kind of polish that you just can't stop staring at because of the way all that microshimmer comes to life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick

Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick swatches + review
Did you know that Clinique's Black Honey Almost Lipstick is 25 years old? I had no idea! This iconic lipstick/lip gloss hybrid from Clinique was introduced in 1989 and has been one of the brand's most popular lip products ever since.

Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick swatches + review
I know you're thinking that this lipstick looks scary dark and wondering how such an intimidating-looking tube could be selling once every 3 minutes in the US. But I really think that Clinique delivers on its promise that this "blackened raisin" is meant to be a "go-to for women of every ethnicity."

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Two new ways to try the gradient nail

Hello! I'm back from a quick trip to Portland just in time to sneak in a post before the week is out! If you've wanted to try mixing up your standard smooth sponge gradient, this is the post for you. I tested out two different methods that put a new twist on the gradient nail, and used the same colours for ease of comparison.

Watercolour gradient nail art
First up is the "watercolour gradient" look. I absolutely loved this look when I saw it on The Nailasaurus and had to try it for myself! I have to say that Sammy makes it look so easy but I struggled a little bit with it (this is attempt #2). I don't want to be that person that blames it on the brush, but I swear it's because my one flat art brush (I mostly have fine detail brushes) sucks. It seemed to just drag the colour around unevenly a lot.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nails Inc Queen Victoria Street

There is something magic about Nails Inc Queen Victoria Street--and I don't just mean the smooth formula. No, I mean like straight-up witchcraft.

Why? Because this is not what Nails Inc Queen Victoria Street looks like in real life.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Crafty: Squishy brioche cowl

Hello! Today's post is something a little bit different--it's my first crafty post on the blog, finally! I've been knitting off and on for about 8 years and wanted to share a recent project that is one of my prettiest to date. It's a rather pic-heavy post, hope you enjoy!

Right side / wrong side
This striped brioche cowl is one of the squishiest and coziest things I've ever made. I used Purl Bee's two-colour brioche cowl pattern as a guide, but brioche is a well-known stitch for making a gorgeously lush fabric with more squish and dimension that your standard stockinette stitch. The left side of the photo is the "right side" of the cowl, which features the cream yarn more prominently, but I actually prefer the "wrong side" (right photo) because it just looks so much more interesting.
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