Sunday, February 26, 2012

Opera and singing

Good morning, lovely readers!  Tonight is the last night of Sac Opera's Rigoletto (Wikipedia synopsis, for the unfamiliar).  You know the opera, it's the one with this song: 

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We're all on the same page now?  Good.... :)  Anyway, I'm in the opera, and although I don't get to sing (I'm a supernumerary, otherwise known as an extra), I get a fabulous wig and a huge costume and I can't paint my nails until the opera closes.  As a result my poor nails have gotten rather nubbin-y, because I'm more likely to pick and prod at them without their thick coating of nail polish and topcoat.

Look, it's me!  This is before I went downstairs to get the rest of my stage makeup...
And a few production shots, courtesy of  Elakis & Elder Photography.  Being on stage is great fun... even if I don't get to sing!
[Elakis & Elder Photography]
[Elakis & Elder Photography]
[Elakis & Elder Photography]

In other upcoming news, I'm giving my senior degree recital in a little less than two weeks... it's rather scary, but also very exciting!  I get to dress up all pretty, sing for an hour, and then go eat dinner.

Recital dress, shoes, and a bracelet
So, I have my dress and shoes, I finally found a bracelet that goes, my friend has a pair of earrings that would be perfect that she doesn't want, so she's sending me those...  I just have to decide on hair, makeup, and nails (of course)!  My jewelry & shoes are almost exactly the color of China Glaze Tinsel Town, but that might be a little too matchy, so I'm open to suggestions if any of you have an idea!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

NOTD: Valentine Hearts

Why hello there.  I hope you remember me... I'm Frances?  I used to write a nail polish blog?'s been a while.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I'm currently in a production of Rigoletto.  I only have one more week of total insanity, culminating in a few days of non-nail-painting (the show is in period costumes, and I have an unreasonably ruffly petticoat), but hopefully I will get at least one post up during that week.

Anyway, today's manicure.  This was my nail design for Valentine's day.  I used the same technique I used to make hearts in my last manicure to make two overlapping sets of hearts on each nail.

I was surprised by how well this turned out!  It looks a little jagged up close, but from a distance the hearts looked much smoother.  I got lots of compliments on this design!

To achieve this effect, I used one coat of my Sinful Colors Basecoat followed by two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On.  I made two sets of hearts, the first using Confetti Dance Party Pink and the second using Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Rapid Red.  The red got a little gloopy and difficult to work with because of the fast drying formula.  I used an eraser to make the top of each heart, and then I used the tip of the pencil to pull the dots together into a point.  I topped the design off with NYC Grand Central Station.

Friday, February 10, 2012

NOTD: Valentine Skittles

All nail photos outdoors, open shade
Good morning lovely readers, and happy Friday!  Today I have for you an over-the top skittles-style manicure for Valentine's day, but before we get into that, I need to welcome all my new followers!  We have  Ria of Dragon Lady Nails, Ame of GiMiKd Girl, Shally of The Polished Pixie, Ashleigh of Nailbrite, and Nasli_, Allya, Mariana, and Stella, all blogless.  Thanks so much!  I'm up to 72 followers now (insert happy dance here)... I never thought I'd have that many people actually reading my blog!

Okay, today's nails.  That's why you're here, right?   These are just slightly over the top.  I did a skittles mani a few months ago with black and silver, and I thought it might be fun to do one with black and red since it's almost Valentine's day.  Not to mention, you could probably use any one of these designs on all your nails for a more subtle look.  Want to know how to do it yourself?  Keep reading!

  • Sinful Colors Basecoat (or, y'know, any basecoat)
  • Sinful Colors Black on Black (or your favorite black polish)
  • Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Rapid Red (or your favorite red creme polish)
  • Revlon Valentine (actually probably not necessary...)
  • OPI Black Shatter (or another black crackle polish)
  • Wet n Wild Tangled in my Web (black glitter)
  • Wet n Wild Behind Closed Doors (or another one of the Lipmann Ruby Red Slippers dupes)
  • China Glaze Lubu Heels (black with fine red glitter)
  • China Glaze Ruby Pumps (red with red glitter... there are lots of dupes)
  • NYC Grand Central Station (or your favorite topcoat)
  • A large and small dotting tool (not shown) ... I suggest a sharpened pencil.  Use the eraser for big dots and the lead for small dots.

Thumb: 3 coats of Lubu Heels, with a little hex glitter from Behind Closed Doors dabbed on near the cuticle.
Index: 1 coat of Rapid Red, one coat of Valentine (which I think made it too dark, you could omit that...) & one coat of Black Shatter, painted on the nail in a diagonal.
Middle: 3 coats of Behind Closed Doors.
Ring: 2 coats of Black on Black.  For the heart, dab some Rapid Red on to a scrap of paper or plastic.  Using the large end of the dotting tool, make two dots next to each other and elongate them slightly into ovals in a V shape.  Using the narrow end of the dotting tool, pull the dots together the rest of the way and make the bottom point of the heart.
Pinkie: 3 coats of Ruby Pumps, two thin coats of Tangled in my Web brushed towards the free edge of the nail.

TADA!   What do you think?  Sorry if my heart-drawing-description was hard to follow.  I think I may reprise that design, and if so I'll try to get some step-by-step pictures.  Have a lovely day!

Friday, February 3, 2012

NOTD: Pink swirlies

All pictures taken indoors, compact fluorescent lighting
 Good morning, lovely readers!  It's finally Friday, thank goodness.  Although that does mean that it's closer to being next week, and I'm not sure if I'm excited about that.   I'll be pretty busy for most of the month of February, really.  I'm preparing for my own senior voice recital, I'm going to be a supernumerary (aka an extra) for a production of Rigoletto at the end of the month, and I'm rehearsing for a concert of German romantic music.  Oh.  And working some evenings.  And taking classes.

Obviously, the best solution to this impending stress and doom is to paint my nails bright pin with white swirlies.  Since it is the beginning of February, I decided I would try to overcome my natural aversion to pink and do some Valentines' Day-appropriate designs.  I think this one fits the bill quite nicely.

For this design, I used my standard Sinful Colors Basecoat, followed by three coats of Color Club Poptastic.  On its own, Poptastic was way too bright and neon, so I toned it down with a coat of Icing Whtie Wedding, a sheer and shimmery white polish.  I stamped the design with Essence Stamp Me! White and Bundle Monster Image Plate BM201.  I think the swirly design on this plate is one of my favorite full-nail stamping designs.  I sealed everything with a coat of Orly Sec 'n Dry, mostly because I couldn't find my usual topcoat and my nails were already mostly dry.

I think my next manicure will have to be something a little less pink.