Manicure Mania!

Posts Tagged ‘black’

Lubu Manicure

Posted by manicuremania on October 31, 2009

This morning I was sitting at the breakfast table thinking about the manicures I’ve been wanting to do that I haven’t had time to do lately (a Lubu manicure, for one). Then I started admiring how long my nails had gotten, and I decided to file them down some, because really it’s just tempting breakages when they’re that long, plus I just like the look of them better when they’re a tad bit shorter. Anyway, so there I was halfway through when I realized, YOU DON’T SHORTEN YOUR NAILS UNTIL AFTER THE LUBU MANICURE, DUMMY.


lubu man 2

So here it is! This was actually kind of interesting. I did the red under-tips first, using a tiny little flattened square nail art brush, and it went on fairly painlessly and pretty neatly. I think I got to three coats before deciding I’d achieved the opacity that I had in mind. As I always am, I was startled by how beautiful Ruby Pumps is – it really is probably one of my favorite polishes ever. Man, that shimmer!!!!

lubu man 6

lubu man

Then, the Lubu Heels. I sit under a lamp to do my nails, so I was directly under a light source, and the red glitter was sparkling like crazy. And I considered rethinking my opinion that this polish sucks – until I walked across the room out of direct light and my nails just looked black again. ūüė¶ I think that for me, Lubu Heels is nice in theory but not so great in actuality. Vampy black polish with secret red shimmer/glitter!!! That sounds awesome!!! But, the glitter just isn’t noticeable enough for me. If I want a black polish, I will wear black polish!

lubu man 4

When I was all done, I needed a little something extra. It just wasn’t awesome enough yet. So, I painted the edges of my nail tips with Ruby Pumps, and I think that kicked it up a notch, at least from 5 inches away!!

lubu man 5

lubu man 3

I think that I really did need longer nails for this. with there not being too much nail to paint the underside of, I went down as far as I could, which, as I found out when I tried to remove it, was a total mistake. I’m left with little lines of red polish deep under my nails that I just can’t seem to get out.

lubu man 7


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Ombre Manicure

Posted by manicuremania on October 3, 2009

Today I finally have some time to do some nail art! First I did an ombre manicure – I’ve been wanting to try this for forever!

I love grey polish so I thought a grey ombre manicure would be awesome, and…I think it kinda is!! I think the gradation is a little more subtle than if I had used a bright color. Also, I purposely tried to make the change from nail to nail more subtle than on other ombre manicures I’ve seen. I like it better that way. But I think I could have even gone a little less subtle on this and still have been happy with it.

I just used plain old Wet n Wild Black and white polishes for this.

ombre 1

ombre 2


My goodness, I’m surprised by how much I like this! I’m usually very careful about not wearing anything too out-there on my nails – I am not at ALL a fashion risk taker – but I would (and will) soooo wear this.

As always, things I will do better next time:

I think it would make more sense to start with a color I want to use for the middle nail, instead of starting with the darkest color. It seems like it would be easier to make the tone changes more even that way. Or, start with the lightest color instead of the darkest – I started with black and worked my way to the light grey pinky and I was having to add a LOT of white. A lot. I ended up with sooooo much useless polish at the end and it felt wasteful. Note to self – don’t start with enough polish to paint all the nails because I will be adding polish as I go along!!

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Diamond Cosmetics Mattes!

Posted by manicuremania on September 20, 2009

Today I will do something that I never really planned on ever doing: swatching a collection just to blog it. But, I happen to have them all, and I haven’t seen anyone else post about them yet, sooooooo…here are the new Diamond Cosmetics mattes!

I also included a picture of each polish with a glossy topcoat and with Essie Matte About You topcoat. I did a rotten job of applying all of these because I was rushing – also my nails and cuticles now hate me. I’m off to moisturize!

Matte Black:

Pretty good coverage considering this is a black, but I probably should’ve gone for the third coat now that I look over my pictures. Also, enormous smudge!

dia matteblack 335

website swatch

dia matte black

dia matte black 2

dia matte black 3

Matte Burgundy:

This was so streaky! It’s a lovely color but I had to use four coats before I just completely gave up on trying to reach opacity and evenness, and now it just sort of looks dull and dark.

website swatch

website swatch

dia matte burgundy

dia matte burgundy 2

dia matte burgundy 3

Matte Mulberry:

Now this one I like! It’s a pretty purply color. Not streaky like the Burgundy was.

Noooooooot an accurate swatch from the Diamond website at all:

website swatch

website swatch

dia matte mulberry

dia matte mulberry 2

dia matte mulberry 3

Matte Smoke:

This one’s probably my favorite. I really enjoy grey polishes, and this is a nice shade. The matte finish looks nice in this color also.

The Diamond swatch isn’t anywhere close to true color on this one either.

website swatch

website swatch

dia matte smoke

dia matte smoke 2

dia matte smoke 3

I’m not real impressed by these. They’re just not very matte. Although these definitely ARE matte polishes, it’s sort of more of a satiny finish. I hope the photos demonstrate that they really just don’t have that complete absence of any shininess, which is what the Essie topcoat has. They weren’t very easy to work with either, verrrry thick, and they didn’t dry as quickly as other mattes I’ve tried. They were all very pretty with the addition of a glossy topcoat though! Worth buying for $2, I think. And yes,¬† even the mattes are only $2, from!

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Leopard Print

Posted by manicuremania on September 17, 2009

So, to continue on the animal print theme, I have made leopard nails, inspired by a ton of bloggers lately:


Nani’s Nails

Nail Na Nails

And surely more, this has been everywhere lately, but these are the ones I can find right now.

I tried out my Art Deco black nail art polish for this one, and it worked OK – I oddly had the same problem as I had with the Konad polish: adding a topcoat made it streak BADLY. I know why the Konad polish does that, but this polish dries pretty quickly! Are you just not able to use topcoats with nail art, or what? Anyway, I stopped adding topcoat after the first two nails so that I could get some pictures.

Finally, I found a use for my semi-ugly China Glaze V polish, which I only got because it was on clearance at Sally’s!

leopard 6It’s nighttime, so no sunlight shots, sadly.


leopard 2

leopard 3

leopard 4

leopard 5

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Tiger Stripes

Posted by manicuremania on September 16, 2009

When I was in high school, I used to use fine paintbrushes to paint flowers and stuff on my nails, but I really haven’t done any nail art since then. Today I decided to try tiger stripes!

I painted my nails with China Glaze’s Secret Peri-Wink-Le, added a coat of Seche and let it dry. Then I collected my polish palette and my brushes, and I looked through my stash of black polish. My “stash” consists of a Wet n’ Wild black, O.P.I. Black Onyx, and Konad Special Polish in Black. I tried the O.P.I. first, but it really needs two coats for opacity, so I went with the Konad polish in the end. I used a thicker brush than I normally would because I wanted the stripes to be thicker.

tiger art

Anyway, I used a fine art brush to make squiggly lines in random patterns, starting from the edge of my nails.

tiger art 3

tiger art 2I added forks randomly, and really just tried to keep the lines wiggly, and to not repeat the same pattern on two nails.

Using the Konad polish was totally a mistake. It dried to the touch, but when I added topcoat it smeared like craaaaaazy. So I’m still on the lookout for an opaque black polish for stuff like this.

tiger art 4

tiger art 5

tiger art 6

tiger art 7

tiger art 8

tiger art 9

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China Glaze – Secret Peri-Wink-Le

Posted by manicuremania on September 16, 2009

The name of this polish bugs me!!! Secret Peri-Wink-Le? I don’t think adding all those dashes made the name as cute as was intended.

cg secret peri

The color is awesome, though! It’s a purply blue creme, and I really love it. And on top of that, this was a two-coater, which makes me happy cause all of my recent polishes have needed three coats!

cg secret peri 2

cg secret peri 3

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French Week – Tire Tracks Konad

Posted by manicuremania on August 30, 2009

french week
I did this one a while ago and thought I’d drag it out for French Week! I love the combination of pink and black – it seems so vintage and it reminds me of poodle skirts and sock hops. The Konad pattern I used also looked nice, but not in black – I kept getting people exclaiming over my nails and then asking me if I’m into Nascar, or mentioning that it looks like tire treads. Not quite the effect I was going for.


cellphone pic, slightly washed out

I think I’ll try another variation of the pink and black this week without the tires.

This was Finger Paints Pink Dawn Konaded with black Special Polish and plate 44.

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Sally Hansen Black Diamond

Posted by manicuremania on August 9, 2009


if i don't put in a caption, it adds a blue link border

I picked¬†this tonight because I’ve been realllllly eyeing Orly’s Goth lately. So far I’ve held off on actually buying it because I don’t wear black polish, but it’s really only a matter of time till I¬†start it zooming toward my house in the mail. I also wanted to try out a dark color on my nails tonight. I have so many colors that I’ve never worn and that I pass right over when scanning my collection looking a polish (too ugly, too dark, green,¬†too sparkly, too red, makes me look like a corpse, I hate purple, too sheer, etc) and I’m really trying to branch out and actually wear more different types of polish. I tend to buy lots of different colors, but then I just set them on my shelf and never seriously consider them again.

still nothing to say!

still nothing to say!

This is really a pretty great black sparkly polish. The glitter is so fine that it’s almost a shimmer, so it prevents me from feeling completely emo. Actually, my nail length doesn’t scream “emo” to me…OK, it prevents me from feeling like Elvira. It was very difficult to photograph, though – I couldn’t quite capture the shimmer. It looks silverish in some lights!

On another note, I have got to figure out how to clean up around my nails a little better. I took my new “Nail Polish Corrector Pen” to it, but it just doesn’t work very well¬†– I think the polish smears are coming off just by pressure, not from any actual acetone contact! However, my fingers are clean now. Holding them 3 inches from my face, I see no smudges, the skin looks perfect!

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