Monday, July 27, 2015

TUTORIAL: Bordeaux Gradient with Jewelry Half Moons, Inspired by Forever For a Year

Bordeaux gradient with jewelry half moons by @chalkboardnails
This tutorial post is sponsored by Macmillan. 

Today's nail art tutorial is inspired by B.T. Gottfred's novel, Forever For a Year. Since the book is all about romance and first love, I've created a look that's perfect for date night. This sultry bordeaux gradient is accented with a gold jewelry-style half moon. It's a look that is chic, romantic, and put together... with just a touch of flash.

Forever For a Year has also provided a date night prize pack for a giveaway! Head to the end of the post for details on how to enter.

For my date night nail art, I used:
LVX Cameo (burgundy)
OPI Lincoln Park After Dark (dark purple)
Essie Good As Gold (gold)

You'll also need a cosmetic sponge, cotton swabs or a latex barrier, and dotting tools in three sizes (large, small, and pinpoint).

Bordeaux gradient with jewelry half moons by @chalkboardnails

With this easy gradient nail art, you'll be date-night ready in no time! And no matter where the night takes you, you know your tips will be looking fresh.

About Forever For a Year
When Carolina and Trevor meet on their first day of school, something draws them to each other. They gradually share first kisses, first touches, first sexual experiences. When they're together, nothing else matters. But one of them will make a choice, and the other a mistake, that will break what they thought was unbreakable. Both will wish that they could fall in love again for the first time . . . but first love, by definition, can't happen twice.

Told in Carolina and Trevor's alternating voices, this is an up-close-and-personal story of two teenagers falling in love for the first time, and discovering it might not last forever. In stores now.

Learn more on B.T. Gottfred’s Tumblr, and follow the author on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

So now that we've got a plan in place for your date night nails, you're gonna need some supplies! Forever For a Year is hooking up one (1) lucky reader with the following prize pack:
  • A copy of Forever For a Year;
  • $25 Sephora gift card;
  • nail polish and compact mirror. 
To enter, just comment on this post describing your dream date night activity!

Here are the rules: 
  • One entry per person.
  • Giveaway open to US addresses only.
  • Must comment with a valid email address to be reached for your prize.
  • Must be 18 years or older (or have parent's permission) to enter.
  • Entries close Friday, July 31st, 2015 at 11:59pm MST.
  • Chosen winner will have 48 hours to reply to the notifying email, after which a new winner will be chosen.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Floral Bouquet Accent Nail with OCC Cosplay Nail Lacquers

Floral bouquet accent nail by @chalkboardnails

Way back in the day, when I was first getting into nails, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics held a sale. I think they were changing their bottle shape and wanted to clear out their old inventory. I figured it'd be a good opportunity to try a new-to-me brand, and picked out "Grandma," a pretty coral, and "Ghostly," a lavender-grey. When I gave them a go, I remember being really impressed with the formula.

Now, here we are, some three or four years later, and I'm still just as pleased with the quality of OCC products. You may already know them for their Lip Tars, but if you haven't tried out their nail products yet, I definitely suggest picking a few of them up.

Floral bouquet accent nail by @chalkboardnails

All of the shades I used for this manicure are from their latest collection, "Cosplay." I thought it'd be nice to do a floral accent nail to show off the range of colors, and drew inspiration from Paulina's Passions' distinct floral aesthetic.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics - Silence (greyed beige, base)
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics - Femme (pink)
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics - Cosplay (green)
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics - Cha Cha (orange)
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics - Belladonna (purple)

I created the shade variations by mixing the colors with a white nail polish, and finished the manicure off with a matte topcoat.

The standout here, for me, is definitely Silence. It has this gorgeous silver shimmer to it and covered well in two coats. Super chic, very "me," I'm in love!

Floral bouquet accent nail by @chalkboardnails

These lacquers are available now for $10/ea from

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Kawaii Watermelons, or How to Make Your Fruit Cute

Kawaii watermelon nail art by @chalkboardnails
I love watermelon, but I don't know that I would necessarily think of it as cute. UNTIL today. I've done some summery watermelon nail art before, but I wanted to take it in a different direction this time. In a cute direction. In a SUPER cute direction! And now I want to kawaii-fy ALL the things! All you gotta do is add faces!

Kawaii watermelon nail art by @chalkboardnails

I used two of the new KBShimmer summer shades for the classic watermelon pink/green! I did this as a ruffian with the pink over the green, but I think it probably would have been easier to just paint a green band on top of the pink.

KBShimmer Lei It Again
KBShimmer For Sail By Owner

Both polishes were opaque in two smooth, easy coats. I really enjoyed working with them.

I also used black and white polishes for the faces and other detailing.

Formula X Dark Matter
Essie Blanc

Kawaii watermelon nail art by @chalkboardnails

I dunno what else to say! I just love their little faces so much! KAWAII FOREVER

Disclosure: This post contains press samples.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Nail Pop x Skelanimals Decals

Nail Pop x Skelanimals decals via @chalkboardnails

Have you visited Nail Pop lately? They've got some awesome new decal designs, including some that may make you seriously nostalgic for the early days of the internet. One of their latest collaborations is with Skelanimals. Read on for more details and my thoughts about these babies!

Nail Pop x Skelanimals decals via @chalkboardnails

Nail Pop decals are water slide decals, which means that you cut out the image you want to use, soak it in water, and slide the decal off of the backing paper. You can then situate it on your nail where you want it, and seal it in with topcoat. I found them pretty easy to use, though I do have a couple of tips!

  • Cut around the decal as closely as possible. This eliminates any extra material from around the image and will make it much easier to work with when you go to place it on the nail.
  • Choose a light color as your base to help the decals show up better.
  • Use a paper towel or makeup wedge to soak up any extra water on your nail before you topcoat.
  • Work over a dry or mostly dry manicure. I pressed down pretty firmly on my decals, so you don't want to dent the goods.
  • As the water dries out of the decals, they will start to look slightly translucent. Don't worry! The topcoat will soak in and make them clear again. 

Nail Pop x Skelanimals decals via @chalkboardnails

Nail Pop x Skelanimals decals via @chalkboardnails

Though these aren't my usual style/aesthetic, I do have to admit that they're pretty cute!  I like all of the small pieces too, which could be used to add just a touch of flair to your manicure.

Skelanimals decals are available from Nail Pop or Dolls Kill.

Disclosure: This post contains a press sample.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Contrary Polish's When In Rome from the August "A Box, Indied"

Contrary Polish When In Rome via @chalkboardnails

Readers, meet Contrary Polish's first ever linear holographic nail polish! Yes, it's true... The brand best known for its gorgeous shimmers has branched out into the world of holo.

It's named When In Rome, and it's being released as a part of August's "A Box, Indied" polish box. The theme of the box is All Hail Holo, so holoheads... be sure to mark the release on your calendars.

The polish consistency is on the thinner side, but it applies evenly. I used three coats for the coverage you see here.

So let's break it down: not only is this an awesome shade of greyed-purple, WITH holo, but it also has a gorgeous flash of rose gold shimmer (in true Contrary fashion). You can check it out in the first pic up there; look at the area around the white light reflections.

Contrary Polish When In Rome via @chalkboardnails

In addition to Contrary Polish, the "All Hail Holo" box will include special releases from Colors by Llarowe, Cupcake Polish, Different Dimension, and Glisten & Glow. It is available as a monthly subscription or as an individual box.

Look out for the release on July 26th at