June 29, 2010

World Cup 2010 Japan


Another heartbreaking World Cup game today as Japan gets knocked out of the tournament after a scoreless game with overtime that had to be settled with penalty kicks. The Japan team has recently been called the Samurai Blue so I used OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui for most of my nails. I then proceeded to use up lots of time, 2 different white polishes and a few reds to try and make the darn flag! I am not good at making a perfect (or even a decent) circle with a brush! I repainted that nail three times and this is after I had tried out various methods on a nail wheel. Blech. It still turned out ok eventually though.

Thanks for reading!
April

June 28, 2010

World Cup 2010 "Group of Death" Nail Art


I used my new ManGlaze Matte is Murder for last week's Group of Death games in this year's World Cup. Here's a definition of the term from Wikipedia.
A group of death in a multi-stage tournament is a preliminary group which is unusually competitive, because the number of strong competitors in the group is greater than the number of qualifying places available for the next phase of the tournament. Thus, in the preliminary round, one or more strong competitors in the "group of death" will necessarily be eliminated, who would otherwise have been expected to progress further in the tournament.
Brazil & Portugal made it out this time but Ivory Coast had to go home.

I won all of the ManGlaze polishes recently from Sara of Daily Polish. Thanks again! I used my amazing smARTnails sticker stencils and ManGlaze Hot Mess & Fuggen Ugly for the skulls.

Here's a shot of ManGlaze Matte is Murder before the skulls. It was easy to work with and required three coats.


Thanks for reading!
April

June 26, 2010

OPI Absolutely Alice


I won OPI Absolutely Alice from The Lacquer Lady. It's a gorgeous polish, dense blue glitter in a clear base with a sprinkling of gold glitter thrown in too. It takes three coats for opacity, which is not bad at all for a clear based glitter. While this is lovely, I just couldn't see mysellf wearing it again so I already passed it on to a new loving home.

I'm still way too sad to talk about the World Cup today. I started looking up players and teared up again. I'll try again tomorrow.

June 25, 2010

Reader Apreciation Giveaway! Ends July 11th. (Closed)


We're having lots of fun with this blog! It's been a little over a year now and I've learned so much and met so many great people! I want to have another giveaway that's open internationally and I can always do that when I don't have a company sponsoring the giveaway. Everything is brand new. Some are items I've won but can't use or don't need since I already have something similar. Some items were purchased just for this giveaway.

One lucky follower from anywhere in the world will win:
  • A set of Kiss Mix or Match Nails
  • Cream Perfume Company Rose de Rosee Body Moisturizer
  • Olivia Care Olive Oil Verbena Soap
  • OPI Tiny Takeouts Hong Kong Collection
  • 2 Tic Tac Polishes
  • 3 Maybelline Express Finish Polishes
  • A Sally Girl Polish
  • 2 Sally Hansen Salon Polishes
  • A Nubar Polish
  • 4 Sinful Polishes
Here are more details and pictures about each item.

We have a set of Kiss Mix or Match Nails (MNK01), Cream Perfume Company Rose de Rosee Body Moisturizer, & Olivia Care Olive Oil Verbena Soap.

OPI Tiny Takeouts Hong Kong Collection which includes Red My Fortune Cookie, Dim Sum Plum, Suzi Says Feng Shui & Rapid Dry Top Coat.

Tic Tac Polishes in Blue & Green.

Maybelline Express Finish in Lime Aluminum, Blue Aluminum & Golden Khaki.

Sally Girl Honey.

Sally Hansen Salon polishes in Ru-by or Not to Be & Pick a Sheer.

Nubar 2010! My favorite nail supply store just started carrying a limited selection of Nubars for $2.50, woohoo!

Sinful Colors in Cloud 9, Pearl Harbor, Courtney Orange & Mint Apple.

RULES:
PLEASE READ ALL OF THE RULES BEFORE ENTERING.
  • This giveaway is open to followers worldwide!
  • This giveaway starts today, June 25th, and will end Sunday, July 11th, 2010 at 11:59PM Central Time.
  • We'll select the winner with random.org's random number generator and notify the winner by email on Monday, July 12th.
  • The winner will have 24 hours to respond. If the winner doesn't reply within 24 hours, that winner will forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be selected via random.org.
HOW TO ENTER:
Everyone has the opportunity to earn up to six entries per person. You only need to fill out the form once. This works MUCH better than comments, so I've turned them off for this post to avoid confusion.
  • Mandatory Entry. Leave your name and email in the form below. That's all that is required for this one!
  • Become a follower or tell me if you are already following. (optional)
  • Blog about this giveaway or post in your sidebar, linking to this giveaway (doesn't have to be a separate post). And make sure you leave the link in the form. (optional)
  • Tweet about this giveaway, only once please! Leave the link to your twitter status update in your entry. (optional)
  • Tell me how you keep your nails from staining or remove the stain once it's there. I always use a base coat but my nails are still a little stained. (optional)
  • Look through our nail art posts and tell me your favorite. (optional)


I did not receive any compensation for this giveaway in the form of product or payment of any kind. I just love you all and wanted to share! I love to share!

Thanks for reading!
April

June 23, 2010

OPI Up Front & Personal


I won OPI Up Front & Personal from the Lacquer Lady's giveaway. It's a lovely champagne foil/glitter color. 4 coats. Still sheer but very pretty.

Woohoo USA!!!!! That was a very stressful game! So glad we made it through even though we had not one but TWO disallowed goals this cup that should have been counted!

Today's World Cup hotties are the Socceroos of Australia who played hard but were eliminated today. Special mention for Harry Kewell who couldn't play today because of a red card & Tim Cahill who was today's man of the match.

Thanks for reading!
April

June 22, 2010

Winners of the explodingmary Giveaway!


We had 70 entries and random.org chose #18 & #40.
Eric (#18) decided on this lovely wallet & Kimberly (#40) chose this fun one.

Don't forget Tex is also offering my readers a 20% discount through the end of the month! Just let her know when purchasing that you are one of Concrete and Nail Polish's readers. Thanks Tex!

And thanks to everyone who entered!
April

World Cup 2010 South Africa


Ashley did this manicure for the opening day of this year's World Cup. I don't have the patience to do something as intricate as the South African Flag! The Daily Nail made the flag on most of her fingers! I know Ashley used Ruby Kisses Caribbean Blue, but I'm not sure what else went into this one.

Well, the host nation, South Africa has been eliminated and so has France. This is the first time that a host nation has ever been eliminated by the round of 16. Poor France just had a giant meltdown this World Cup! What a mess! Since we won't get to see them any more this time around, I'm picking a couple of their players for today's World Cup hotties.
First we have Yoann Gourcuff. Yoann was sent off today with a somewhat questionable red card.
I have to include Thierry Henry! Henry is without a doubt one of the most attractive footballers ever. We have links to plenty of pictures to prove it. Sweet jesus, he's hot! I went straight to Ashley for help with this one because I know she already has a large collection of Thierry Henry photos for her wonderful screen saver which features a slide show of beautiful men from all over the world.

Thanks for reading!
April & Ashley

June 21, 2010

Weekly Giveaway Roundup


I love giveaways. Each week I'll post giveaways that I think are awesome! I'm trying to catch any giveaway that has nail polish & I always post them on the Monday before they close. I figure some publicity towards the end of the entry period is a good idea, so don't worry that I've forgotten yours if I don't post it immediately! On the other hand, I know that I will occasionally miss a giveaway or two. If I miss yours, please know that it was accidental and nothing personal!

NAIL POLISH & MORE
MAKEUP & SKINCARE
  • Gathering My Roses is giving away the Rejuvenesse Skin Care Set from Jean-Michelle! Ends 6/28.
  • Jet Girl is giving away a $100 SkincareRX gift card! Ends 6/28.
CLOTHES, JEWELRY, BAGS & SHOES
CHOCOLATE & OTHER GOODIES
MISCELLANEOUS
Please feel free to post your giveaways in the comments of the Weekly Giveaway Roundup posts! Let's keep them all on these posts and not on regular posts.
Thanks for reading!
April

June 20, 2010

World Cup 2010 Ghana


Ghana was one of my favorite teams last World Cup and they are this time as well. I used China Glaze Solar Power, a Tic Tac red, & BB Couture Poison Ivy for the Ghana Flag. I painted my nail yellow and then the next morning, I used a strip of blue painter's tape to make the green and red stripes. I used my smARTnails sticker stencils for the star. One coat of one of my favorites, Sinful Secret Admirer for the rest of my nails.

World Cup fever is real and I have it! It's safe to say that the World Cup has taken over my life. I've watched all but one game! I'm way behind on the blog! I was supposed to start my blog anniversary giveaway on the 17th but I STILL haven't had a chance to get to it. I promise I will soon.

I wanted to post this yesterday, but no time! So yesterday's World Cup hottie of the day is the entire team of Ghana! Especially Ayew & Gyan!

Thanks for reading!
April

June 18, 2010

Maybeline Lime Aluminum


Maybelline Lime Aluminum is a great polish but not the best color on me. This is 3 coats.
I'll probably save it for Konad since all of the old Maybelline Aluminum work well for stamping.

Thanks for reading!
April

June 17, 2010

Blog Anniversary Giveaway Starts Tomorrow


Woohoo, I've been blogging for one year! I've had fun & met lots of people from all over the world. I've learned many things along the way. Did you know that I am definitely NOT a collector? Ashley & I both avoid getting dupes if at all possible and are ruthless about which polishes we save from our "to be used in a future franken" stash. Only ones we love stay in our collection. I also discovered that I actually love nail art! Not something that I thought would ever happen.

I'm celebrating with a giveaway. Nothing much, just some things that I've picked up along the way that I couldn't use or don't need and some more Sinfuls & Tic Tacs that I will be adding sometime next week. The World Cup has consumed all of my time so I haven't had a chance to pick up the rest of the prizes! The picture above gives you an idea of some of the goodies that will be up for grabs.

I really wanted to get this giveaway started tonight but I just didn't quite make it, so watch tomorrow for all of the details.

Thanks for reading!
April

Sally Hansen Celeb City


I got Sally Hansen Celeb City hoping it would be a dupe for Zoya Trixie. This is 2 coats with lots of cuticle drag. Celeb City stinks! It smelled very strongly of sharpies, even on my nails for a few hours. Blech. I'm not the only one who has had problems with this Sally Hansen Line. Here's Rebecca of Nails Etc's post about her experience. I really can't stand the smell but it sure does look great!

Today's World Cup Hottie pick is Gonzalo Higuain playing for Argentina. He scored a hat trick in today's game!

Thanks for reading!
April

June 16, 2010

Essie Chinchilly


This is 2 coats of Essie Chinchilly. It's a gorgeous grey creme, but still doesn't beat Recycle. Chinchilly seems to have some yellow undertones. What's your favorite grey creme? Or are you opposed to grey polish in general?

I have major World Cup Fever! Ashley and I went to Germany for the last World Cup 4 years ago. We get up early for every game and occasionally even scream at the television. It's the biggest thing that happens on the planet and I get totally caught up in the magic! And the men! That's how I first got hooked on the World Cup way back in 1994. I was flipping channels when suddenly my tv screen was filled with beautiful men from around the world!

So now I present to you April's World Cup Hottie of the Day! Today's pick is Diego Lugano playing for Uruguay! I don't know all of the ins & outs of posting photos that you find on the internet, so unless one of you can help explain the rules to me, I'll just link to a photo. (That's allowed right?)

Thanks for reading!
April

Winners of the Cream Perfume Company Giveaway!


We had 55 entries and Random.org chose #4 & #20.
Raelena of Through the Haze Reads chose the Ylang Ylang d'amore solid perfume.
Erin of Sew Much More Stuff chose the Jasmine Floriental solid perfume.

Thanks to everyone who entered and left such lovely comments! I'll be announcing a new international giveaway tomorrow!
April

June 15, 2010

A Few BB Coutures

I won these along with Poison Ivy as part of an Earth Day BB Couture set. I love Poison Ivy, but unfortunately, I don't like any of these 3 brushstrokey frosts. I used 3 coats for each of them.

First we have BB Couture Espresso Dream which I would describe as a frosty, metallic tan.

There was a pretty little butterfly flitting around my garden while taking pictures of this one.


Next we have BB Couture Caramel Carma, a frosty metallic caramel.


Finally we have BB Couture Autumn Sunset, a rusty brown, frosty metallic. I thought I would like this one the most but it made me feel like a scary, mean, old lady! The kind that would play slots all day in Vegas with her hair all done up while she chain smokes menthols.

I put all three of them on my pinky and I like them together.

The formula was nice and BB Couture still has more colors that I want to own than any other company. These three frosty browns just don't do it for me though.

Thanks for reading!
April

June 14, 2010

Weekly Giveaway Roundup


I love giveaways. Each week I'll post giveaways that I think are awesome! I'm trying to catch any giveaway that has nail polish & I always post them on the Monday before they close. I figure some publicity towards the end of the entry period is a good idea, so don't worry that I've forgotten yours if I don't post it immediately! On the other hand, I know that I will occasionally miss a giveaway or two. If I miss yours, please know that it was accidental and nothing personal!

NAIL POLISH & MORE
NAIL ART CONTESTS
MAKEUP & SKINCARE
  • I'm giving away the product of your choice from the Cream Perfume Company! Ends 6/15.
  • Perfectly Polished is giving away MAC Viva Glam Lipstick & more! Ends 6/15.
  • Bee's Go Buzz is giving away a $15 Shiro Cosmetics gift card! Ends 6/17.
CLOTHES, JEWELRY, BAGS & SHOES
CHOCOLATE & OTHER GOODIES
THINGS FOR YOUR HOME
  • Feltmeup Designs is giving a goody bag worth $50 filled with items from both of her amazing Etsy stores! I want a Hoot! Ends 6/16.
MISCELLANEOUS
Please feel free to post your giveaways in the comments of the Weekly Giveaway Roundup posts! Let's keep them all on these posts and not on regular posts.
Thanks for reading!
April

June 12, 2010

World Cup 2010 USA


I did this manicure in support of USA in today's USA vs England World Cup match! I like England's team too, but I've got to root for the home team!

I used smART Nails that I won from All Things Beauty With Skye & I love them!!! So easy & fast with practically foolproof results! smART Nails has an amazing website with lovely pictures and great video tutorials. I love Konad, but this is easier. smART Nails ends up being more expensive than Konad since you can only use each sticker stencil a few times, but I think they are totally worth it! Easy to get great results when using your non-dominant hand too. I used Ruby Kisses Caribbean Blue & Tic Tac (unnamed) and Sally Hansen White Out for the stars & stripes.

Don't forget to enter my giveaways!

explodingmary Art Wallet Giveaway! Ends 6/17.
Cream Perfume Company Review & Giveaway! Ends 6/15.

Thanks for reading!
April

June 10, 2010

Latest Water Marble


I love water marbling! It's pretty easy and the results are cool. This is a base of Essie Adore-a-ball, marbled with Essie Mint Candy Apple, American Apparel Hassid & Essence Go Wild. All of these three polishes worked great for marbling!

There are lots of great tutorials around for doing a water marble, so I'll just tell you what I do differently.

I start by grabbing whatever chapstick I have around and putting that around my nails to make cleaning up my skin much easier. I've tried tape, but i thought it was annoying. Vaseline put on with a brush works great too, but the chapstick is the easiest thing I've tried so far.

I use a dish that is large enough for there to be some water surface without any polish. I then dip my finger straight down into the water without polish and bring it face-up under my favorite part of the design. I think most people put their nail face-down into the design, but I find this awkward. It works great for most people, but if you're feeling frustrated with that method, try it this way and see how it goes.

The part I would really like to improve is making designs in the polish after dropping them into the water. Does anyone have favorite links to tutorials?

explodingmary Art Wallet Giveaway! Ends 6/17.
Cream Perfume Company Review & Giveaway! Ends 6/15.

Thanks for reading!
April

P.S. I can't wait for the World Cup!!!!!! Who's the sexiest player this year?

June 8, 2010

Essie Adore-a-ball


I won Essie Adore-a-ball from the Lacquer Lady's giveaway. This is 4 streaky coats. It looks great from a distance but streaky up close. Sheer, soft, just barely pink. The picture below was taken in strong sunlight.

I love this color and even the visible nail line though! So pretty!

Can anyone recommend a similar, just barely pink polish that isn't streaky?

explodingmary Art Wallet Giveaway! Ends 6/17.
Cream Perfume Company Review & Giveaway! Ends 6/15.

Thanks for reading!
April

June 7, 2010

Weekly Giveaway Roundup


I love giveaways. Each week I'll post giveaways that I think are awesome! I'm trying to catch any giveaway that has nail polish & I always post them on the Monday before they close. I figure some publicity towards the end of the entry period is a good idea, so don't worry that I've forgotten yours if I don't post it immediately! On the other hand, I know that I will occasionally miss a giveaway or two. If I miss yours, please know that it was accidental and nothing personal!

If you think it's not worth your time to enter and that you'll never win, you're wrong! I won two giveaways just this morning! Thanks Daily Polish & Le Vernis Chocolat!! I use Google Calendar to keep track of giveaways. I'll be happy to go into more detail about my process for entering giveaways if anyone is interested.

NAIL POLISH & MORE
  • Mandabear is giving away Hidden Treasure! Ends 6/8! Only 4 entries so far! Let's help her get some new followers!
  • Susie's Home & Hobbies is giving away 8 nail polishes & lots of nail art goodies! Ends at 500 followers.
  • Lali Amora is giving away baskets of nail polish! Multiple winners! Ends 6/9.
  • Another Bottle of Polish is giving away Diamond Cosmetics Summer Beach Blowout Collection! Ends 6/9.
  • Painted Lady Fingers is giving away the BB Couture Formal Collection & lots more! Ends 6/10.
  • Jellynat is giving away 3 H&M nail polishes! 2 winners! Ends 6/10.
  • All You Desire is giving away Dior Vernis! 2 winners! Ends 6/11.
  • Linnie's Favorites is having a huge nail polish giveaway! 2 winners! Ends 6/11.
  • XOXO Parisky is having a huge Essence nail polish and more giveaway! Ends 6/11.
  • Not Just Nails is giving away 20 nail polishes and more! Ends 6/11.
  • Short n Chic is giving away Hidden Treasure! Ends 6/11.
  • Fun & Mental Changes is giving away OPI My Private Jet! Ends 6/12.
  • Tuli's Nails is giving away a $15 Piggy Paint gift card! Ends 6/13.
  • Korean Sushi is giving away 3 nail polishes & lots more! Ends 6/13.
  • Nails Etc is giving away 16 nail polishes! Ends 6/13.
  • Delta Cephei is giving away a set of 6 mini polishes! Ends 6/13.
  • All Lacquered Up is giving away the OPI Hong Kong, Zoya Flash & Zoya Sparkle collections plus lots of Seche products!!!! Ends 6/14.
MAKEUP & SKIN CARE
  • Tan For Less is giving away Sun Laboratories Sunless Tanning Lotion! Ends 6/10.
  • Geeky MAC Boy is giving away MAC products! Ends 6/11.
  • Beauty Judy is giving away a Lip Tar!!! Ends 6/10.
  • I'm giving away the product of your choice from the Cream Perfume Company! Ends 6/15.
CLOTHES, JEWELRY, BAGS & SHOES
  • DeSmitten is giving away a necklace/bracelet! This thing rocks ladies; I want it bad! Ends 6/10.
  • How Doth the Little Crocodile is giving away the Crazy Dog T-shirt of your choice! Ends 6/13.
CHOCOLATE & OTHER GOODIES
  • Love That Max is giving away Wonka gift packages! Ends 6/8.
  • Happy Hippy Mom is giving away a case of Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate Minis! Ends 6/13.
THINGS FOR YOUR HOME
  • Rockin' Mama is giving away an HP Photosmart Plus Printer!! Ends 6/13.
MISCELLANEOUS
Please feel free to post your giveaways in the comments of the Weekly Giveaway Roundup posts! Let's keep them all on these posts and not on regular posts.
Thanks for reading!
April

June 6, 2010

Barry M Silver Sea

This is my first Barry M polish; I won it from Simone of Give the Jew Girl Toys. She does all sorts of amazing things with her eyeshadow! Barry M Silver Sea is a gorgeous turquoise jelly with silver glitter!

You can really see the glitter in these next two shots. This is 3 coats, easy application. Even though this is lovely, I probably won't wear it again. I still don't like turquoise on my nails for some reason.

Don't forget to enter my giveaways!
explodingmary Art Wallet Giveaway! Ends 6/17.
Cream Perfume Company Review & Giveaway! Ends 6/15.

Thanks for reading!
April

June 2, 2010

explodingmary Art Wallet Giveaway! Ends 6/17. (Closed)



I'm lucky to live in a city with tons of creative people! This is my third giveaway featuring handmade goods from my fellow Tulsans.

Tex Montana can sew like nobody's business and has an amazing talent for putting together colors and patterns! I love every single thing in her explodingmary Etsy shop! And I'm not the only one; her shop was just featured on Etsy's blog! Congratulations! Tex has graciously offered two of my U.S. readers the chance to win one of her gorgeous Art Wallets! I'll let Tex tell you all about them.
Got a kid? Yes? You need this. Badly. A nifty little art wallet for your aspiring Rembrandt. A must-have at the restaurant. Or the museum. Or the living room. You know what I mean, right? Compact when closed, opens to reveal 8 crayons and a pad of paper. Wow. It's like art school, only a heck of a lot cheaper. Velcro closure keeps wallet securely fastened, yet easy for little tater tots to open by themselves. And guess what. It's washable. Yep. Toss it in the washer on cold/warm setting and lay flat to dry. There you go - good as new. All your friends will be totally jealous. Totally.

Here's some boring junk, if you're interested: 100% cotton fabric reinforced with medium weight interfacing. Approx 4" x 6" closed, 4" x 13" open.
Tex is also offering my readers a 20% discount through the end of the month! Just let her know when purchasing that you are one of Concrete and Nail Polish's readers. Thanks Tex!

RULES:
PLEASE READ ALL OF THE RULES BEFORE ENTERING.
  • This giveaway is open to U.S readers only.
  • This giveaway starts today, June 2nd, and will end Thursday, June 17th, 2010 at 11:59PM Central Time.
  • We'll select the winner with random.org's random number generator and notify the winner by email on Wednesday, June 18th.
  • The winner will have 24 hours to respond. If the winner doesn't reply within 24 hours, that winner will forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be selected via random.org.
HOW TO ENTER:
Everyone has the opportunity to earn up to two entries per person.
  • Mandatory Entry. Go to explodingmary's Etsy Shop and tell us your favorite item! Please feel free to leave additional comments and questions. Use the form below to enter. This is required for a valid entry!
  • You can earn an optional second entry by adding explodingmary to your favorite sellers on Etsy. (There's a button on the right side of all Etsy shop that says "Add seller to favorites.") Be sure to leave your Etsy user name so I can validate your entry.
  • You only need to fill out the form once. This works MUCH better than comments, so I've turned them off for this post to avoid confusion.


I did not receive any compensation for this giveaway in the form of product or payment of any kind. I just love Tex's work and wanted to share it with you! I love to share!

Thanks for reading!
April

Zoya Giveaway Winner!

We had 117 entries and Random.org chose #17. The winner is Susie of Susie's Home and Hobbies! She chose the polishes shown below, Brizia, Coco & Pasha. I hope you all enjoyed seeing some lesser known polishes! Just for the record, Raine was the most chosen of these polishes.



Thanks for reading!
April

OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui


Will loves OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui, but I'm not so sure. I thought it would be dustier. It's still nice though. Easy application, three coats.

Thanks for reading!
April