MONTH IN REVIEW – CIATÉ LONDON FAVORITES

January is coming to an end which means Ciaté London month is almost up! So why not celebrate by showing off my favorite Ciaté colors of the month?

COLORS

Of all the colors from Ciaté London that I own, these are probably my top four colors. Trust me, it was hard picking just four because Ciaté has a beautiful array of colors that can be used for multiple occasions for multiple different moods- but there is something about these four that always having coming back for more. Plus, I’ve used all four of these for a tutorial at one point of another, so if I’m willing and able to share the with you all- then why not highlight them?

Let’s jump in, shall we?

  •  CIATÉ LONDON – STARLET
    • My go to Ciaté dark colored eye candy. I don’t know why, but I am eternally drawn to this polish pot. With the color shifts from green, to purple to a deep blue, you get lost in the shades of pure awesome. Totally my top favorite- seriously, INVEST IN THIS COLOR!
  •  CIATÉ LONDON – TWEED AND TAILS
    • I never thought I’d love this color to be quite honest. I wondered when in the hell I was going to be in need of a green- especially a neutral toned, not necessarily bright green. But let me tell you- I was wrong. So wrong. Pair this puppy with gold caviar pearls and you’ve got a posh and sophisticated polish that is worthy of the name tweed and tails.
  •  CIATÉ LONDON – RASPBERRY COLLINS
    • The name of this one won me over 100% It’s just so fun to say- Raspberry Collins (and the drink isn’t too bad also). It’s this perfect mix of not being overly bright, but not a muted dull pink that falls to the background. You can also find this polish part of the Suncatcher Collection, with other eye popping polish paints.
  •  CIATÉ LONDON – BEACH BUM
    • Now finding this color was a complete fluke, because it appeared as if by magic at Marshalls on sale- so of course I had to get it. I don’t usually stray to neutral colors, but it’s such a perfect base for any nail design as well as a go-to color that will pretty much match anything. While no longer available for purchase on the Ciaté London, I did find a handy link to the Ciaté London 2014 Summer Beach House Collection on Amazon for anyone searching for this one!
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VARNISHTA TUTORIALS – BEACHSCAPE NAILS

BEACHSCAPE

(ABOVE) ONE WEEK LATER MANICURE IS STILL INTACT.

This isn’t just a simple manicure or some trendy pattern that’s been sweeping the runway- it’s a storyscape manicure that continues from nail to nail, typing a fun scene together for your own enjoyment! This manicure, The Beachscape, travels from sunset to ocean floor with the help of the Ciaté London Summer 2014 Beach House Collection.  

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Even though this tutorial is in depth, I tried to condense everything to 10 steps!

INSTRUCTIONS

  1.  Paint your nails with the clear base coat.
  2. First, paint your thumb with two coats of Ciaté’s Raspberry Collins, this is the start of the beachscape and will represent the sky.
  3. On the rest of your fingers, paint them with two coats of Ciaté’s Off Shore, this will be the ocean! Yay! (Dry with your mini fan.)offshore
  4. Once each finger has dried, apply Ciaté’s Beach Bum with small strokes to the bottom on your thumb, the bottom of your pinky and the tip of your index finger. This will represent the sand cascading from the beach into the ocean floor and the ocean floor itself. Use two coats for the top of the index and only one coat for the thumb and the pinky. Allow each to dry.
  5. Once your thumb has dried with one coat of sand, apply Ciaté’s Hopscotch in a half circle, just above the sand- to represent the sunset. Allow to dry for 5 minutes- the fan helps, I promise!
  6. Dip a Nail Art Precision Brush to dip into Ciaté’s Palm Tree to make, well, a happy palm tree on your thumb. On your pinky, make two or three squiggly lines to represent the seaweed of the ocean floor. Once finished, add a second coat to all your nails with sand. Allow 5 minutes to dry.
    1. If you don’t own a Nail Art Precision Brush, check out THIS beauty cheat code for an alternative!

      sun1

      POOL PALM TREE TO MAKE…WELL, PALM TREES!

  7. To help out the ocean theme use Ciaté’s Surf’s Up on all your nails that have “ocean” and “sand”. The holographic flecks enhance the feel to make it look like iridescent water and shiny shells in the sand! Allow for this to dry as well.
  8. Allow 10 minutes with your fan to dry!
    1. NOTE: As you can see, to give it a more beachy feel I used Amazing Gracie & Boudoir to make a life preserver on my middle finger; as well as a beach towel and beach umbrella. You don’t have to add all these odds and ends- but I usually go all the way out! Even without these little tokens, your beach scene will look fabulous!logo
  9. Once everything has had a preliminary dry- give it all a final top coat for extra seal and shine. Dry for 15 minutes!
  10. This nail session should take about an hour- depending on your patience!

WORDS OF ADVICE

  • Settle in loves, because this manicure took me a while to do. Mainly because I tend to get lazy doing large manicure products so I did all the base coats, let them dry overnight (i.e. went to sleep) then finished the accents in the morning.
  • Even though this manicure had a LOT of components, everything held up nicely! I mean, even sleeping on this (with the proper dry times) didn’t ruin anything for either hand!
  • The Off Shore mini is this beautiful blue color that I became obsessed with the moment I put it on my nails. I am totally over the moon for this one!
  • Beach Bum surprised me the most! I wasn’t sure how such a neutral tone would last as the sand accent- but let me tell you I was won over. Not only did it serve the beachscape beautifully, but it has easily become one of my favorite go-to colors.
  • I went a little overboard for the ocean accents, but if you want a simple beachscape, you can easily just do the sand and water. I just wanted mine to tell a little story!
  • The pink and orange sunset (Raspberry Collins + Hopscotch) went so well against the blue and helped enhance the colors of the trees and sun umbrella! Have fun with your colors! It’s a manicure- break the rules a little!
  • Unlike Snow Globe, the Surf’s Up mini with holographic flecks did NOT clump up on me. In fact, it stayed beautiful and consistent throughout!
  • To say that I piled on a lot of polish, this manicure lasted me the whole week! Chipping only started at the end of day 6 and even that was sparing. At this point, I am completely impressed by Ciaté and it’s last factor. Any polish can come on beautifully, but it’s the ones that stay that make the difference!
  • Overall, I’d grade the whole Ciaté Summer Beach House Collection and astounding A+. 

Make sure to post your own adaptations or let me know how this tutorial works out for you!

YOU ARE NOW VARNISTA-VERIFIED

HOLIDAY IN THE (WINTER) SUN

So I gave you all a little tease the other day regarding this week’s manicure. I wonder if any of your guesses came close as you were basking in the mystery.

beach

Even though it’s the winter time, I’ve got summer on the brain! Especially since I found the 2014 Ciaté Summer Beach House Collection, I decided to go a little bit wild. I mean, you guys, I went a little crazy with this manicure. Did any of you guess what it was going to be from the teaser? If not, behold below:

BEACHSCAPE

THE BEACHSCAPE MANICURE

I know the unknown rule of manicures is that you either match all of them or they all have to have some consistent color that ties everything together. Well, I decided to break the rules on this one. I decided to go with a whole “beachscape” theme that stems from left to right. The manicure in itself tells a story of a sunset at the beach- which I kind of love! You can’t just look at one finger to get the full story, you have to look at the manicure as a whole! So I will go one by one with this one and explain them.

LEFT HAND

  • THUMB
    • The orange sun sets in the pink sky against the coast, with the palm tree swinging in the wind and the remnants of a beach towel and an umbrella sweep the sand.
  • INDEX 
    • The sand clumps and swells until it reaches the blue ocean.
  • MIDDLE
    • A lone life preserver floats in the ocean as flecks of shells sparkle in the ocean around it.
  • RING
    • The deep blue ocean is sprinkled with mesmerizing flecks of sunlight that shimmer through the water.
  • PINKY
    • We reach the ocean floor finally, where seaweed grows and sways in the currents.

With all the cold weather we have been having, it was actually nice to have a little vacation on my fingertips to keep me sane. I hope you all enjoyed my “beachscape” manicure. Check back this Friday for the tutorial of this varnish-venture. It’s going to be a doozy!

xx- varnishta

BEAUTY CHEAT CODE #1: ALTERNATIVE NAIL ART BRUSH

Before I show off my manicure of the week, I thought it would be helpful to spotlight a main component that I used! Mainly because it’s a mega beauty cheat code that I’ve always indulged in and it’s about time I share my secret.

Like most people out there who do their nails on a regular basis, I am not a professional nail technician nor do I have all the equipment necessary to create all the drama and grandeur of every design I want. The one thing I was missing from my nail polish collection was a Nail Art Brush. What I do have, is my MacGyver like thinking skills and determination- which lead to me the following beauty cheat. Which is the:

ALTERNATIVE NAIL ART BRUSH

brush1

And what is this alternative nail art brush you ask? It’s actually a liquid eyeliner applicator. Tada!

brush2

Turning a liquid eyeliner applicator into a nail art precision brush is actually quite easy.

  1. Make sure that you use ALL of your liquid eyeliner. 
    1. Not for any other reason than to make sure you don’t waste what you spent your hard earned money on!
  2. Discard of the bottle only leaving the top (as seen in the first picture).
  3. Use rubbing alcohol to disinfect the applicator. 
    1. You’ve been using this on your face and probably just throwing it back into the bottle- so make sure any bacteria is cleaned off by soaking the top in rubbing alcohol first.
  4. Use nail polish remover to clean the applicator after the soak. 
    1. It may seem a bit redundant, but I like to be extra safe when it comes to reusing things- plus it’ll take off all the left over liquid from the eyeliner.
  5. Once you have properly cleaned the eyeliner, you may now dip the applicator into your favorite varnish as precision for any design you’d like! Make sure to keep the nail polish remover handy to clean it!

I’m sure I’m not the first person to come up with this technique, but I thought it’d be a helpful cheat code to add to your rolodex of awesome nail art skills. However, if you are interested in purchasing your own Nail Art Sets without having to make them yourself- Here is a helpful list below:

NAIL ART BRUSH SETS

xx- varnishta

NAIL ENVY – NEGGIN HOSSEINI

NAIL ENVY – NEGGIN HOSSEINI

💭

A post shared by Neggin Hosseini (@negin_hn) on

 

Neggin Hosseini (@negin_hn) is a personal favorite of mine when it comes to girls who slay the varnishta game. With her eye catching colors and stylized posts on social media- no wonder her nail game is so damn envious.

WHITE AND GOLD DONE RIGHT

Like this white and gold manicure for example. Neggin is legitimately the only blogger I have taken pictures into the beauty salon to get similar manicures of because, come on, these designs are gorgeous. Whether it’s monocromatic, gold plated or dark colored varnishes, Neggin Hosseini hits the nail on the head when it comes to being a true varnishta. Make sure to follow her blogs and accounts (listed below) for more inspiration!

BLACK CHERRY WITH A TWIST

FOLLOW NEGGIN ON SOCIAL MEDIA: 

Note: All photos and images were used from Tumblr or Instagram. 

xx- varnishta

WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER

As you all know, I had a nail breakage situation over the weekend. What you all don’t know, is that I had a second, less intense, break the following day! I’ve been working hard on trying to keep my nails together but all the breaking has given me the urge to bite them. So instead of giving in, I decided to buy a nail strengthener to help ease the problem.

NOTE: This is a First Impressions post, not a review post.

hardasnails

SALLY HANSEN STRENGTH TREATMENT – $2.99 (Ulta)

So Salley Hansen’s strength treatment has always been my go-to nail treatment. You apply it on clean nails and it helps strengthen the nail beds and growth. I usually use it as a nice base coat but there isn’t any heavy duty instructions when it comes to this product- which is why I love it. However, as I was about to buy it, I thought- “Why not switch it up?”

So this trip I wanted to see if I could invest in something different.

hoof

HOOF HANDS: NAIL STRENGTHENING CREAM – $4.98 (Walmart)

So the Hoof Hands: Nail Strengthening Cream caught my eyes first, mainly because I had never seen a nail strengthening cream before. The packaging of the product was nice and I mean, it’s the best selling nail cream…which only makes me wonder how many nail creams are actually out there. I was almost sold on this product, however the instructions sort of turned me off. You have to massage into the nail beds, cuticles and undersides 3 times a day. Now, I wouldn’t say that I was TOTALLY forgetful, but I probabaly wouldn’t be able to keep up with 3 times a day. On top of that, I paint my nails every week for my own personal sanity and to show them off to you all- so not having polish on just isn’t an option. Next.

pinkarmour

PINK ARMOR NAIL GEL   – $8.14 (Walmart)

Now the packaging of the Pink Armor Nail Gel made me pick this one up. I noticed right away the little As Seen On TV label at the top right- which didn’t help me whatsoever because I’d never seen it on TV. For a whopping $8+ I was sure that this was probably going to work, yet I couldn’t get over the semi-edited look of the nails on the cover, plus the price. It wasn’t for me, but hey, if it works for you then I’m willing to try it.

nutranails

NUTRA NAIL 5 TO 7 DAY GROWTH FORMULA – $7.49 (Walgreens)

Now products made with Calcium and Protein I adore, so I was sure that the Nutra Nail 5 to 7 Day Growth Formula was going to be a winner.  However, the maintenace of this product was a drawback for me. If three times a day was too much for me, then two times isn’t any better. I know that I can keep up with two, but since I use nail polish every week I know that this wasn’t something that I was willing to invest in. Plus, I just don’t like packages that include an asterisk on the completed results (shown above).

So what did I end up deciding on after all this pondering?

nailaid

NAIL-AID COLLAGEN NAIL BUILDER –$3.88 (Walmart)

The Nail-Aid Collagen Nail Builder was the winner for me. Why? You’re probably thinking I just went with the cheapest option- which is wrong. One, if I wanted the cheapest option I would have stuck with my Hard as Nails Sally Hansen Nail Strengthener. Two, there was no price around this product, so I assumed when I brought this to the register, it would be around $8-$9 (Also, it’s like $20 on Amazon so that price difference throws me). What sold me was not only the packaging, which seemed professional, eye catching and reliable (advertising is important, people!). Plus the maintenance wasn’t too taxing, just use it once a week or even as a base for polish- which I was going to do anyway. Since I did purchase this product, I looked up reviews which overall seem pretty good!

As I use this product, I will update you all on how it is working for my nails! In the comments below, let me know which nail strengthening products you use and how they’ve worked for you in the long run!

xx- varnistha

SUNDAY FUNDAY THE CIATÉ WAY

beach

A HEAVY DUTY WORK IN PROGRESS

CIATÉ LONDON 2014 BEACH HOUSE COLLECTION

Sunday is always Funday and today, I decided to revamp my nails with the Ciaté London 2014 Beach House Collection I purchased in my Monday Mini-Haul last week! Enjoy this little behind-the-scenes sneak peek of what I’m creating with this collection- anyone have any guesses?

Take the weekend to unwind and prep for the week to come and trust me, the varnish I have in store for you all is in-depth. The possibilities are endless when you have a good set of colors on your hands (pun intended)! I let my imagination run wild on this one, so I can’t wait for you all to see how everything ended up! Bask in the anticipation….BASK IN IT!

Check back this Wednesday to see the final product of these nails, then Friday for the Varnishta Tutorial!

xx- varnishta

POUR ONE FOR THE HOMIES

THE EVIDENCE.

THE EVIDENCE.

I broke a nail today guys. #firstworldproblems.

homies

GIF FROM KEY & PEELE

Even though I was just going to make a funny little post, here’s some words of wisdom about chipping a nail from a recovering nail biter.

DO NOT BITE THE CHIPPED NAIL! 

It’s tempting, I know. There was this all of a sudden feeling of “Well, now all that hard work went down the drain. One nail won’t matter, right?” Wrong! Try to avoid that at all costs. It’s called a Gateway Nail, everyone. It can lead to bad things.

The best way to deal with this is file down the nail when you get the opportunity. At least this will make you feel better and depending on how bad the break was, you can even it out on both sides and still recover some of the growth! However you decide to deal with this, keep marching on and trust me- a good coat of varnish always helps!

xx- varnishta

VARNISHTA TUTUORIALS – INDEPENDENCE DAY MANICURE

indep

Here’s a step by step “how-to” guide to recreate this VHS-inspired manicure of the 1996 movie Independence Day. Why this film, you ask? Well check out Wednesday’s post “I PICKED A HELL OF A DAY TO QUIT DRINKING” for the full story on this out of this world decision!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

INSTRUCTIONS

  1.  Paint your nails with the clear base coat first! This will give an even surface for your polish to apply to and also it protects your nail beds from any staining (if you use a cheaper brand). Also, I find that it makes it easier for removal!
  2. Apply Ciaté’s Starlet as your base coat first, it should take a few minutes to “dry” with the use of the 4′ Mini personal fan. I chose this color because of it’s royal purple, blue and green transitioning texture. This goes great with the look of the space ship on the VHS box, which isn’t exactly gray in the least. The colors give your manicure depth!
  3. Apply a second coat. Paint to your own intensity! Wait about 10 minutes for the base coat to dry.
  4.  Use Ciaté’s Fit For A Queen to pool small bit of silver to make a semi large circle near your cuticule on all fingers. (as shown below). Allow for another 10 minutes in front of the fan to let the the dots dry.

    pool

    Pool a circle at the base of the nail.

  5. After the dots seem semi dry, next you are going to take a small amount of the Fit For a Queen polish and taper it toward the bottom without touching the end of the nail. Each taper should represent the tractor beam from the space ship touching down. (Boy, of all the things I thought I’d ever say in a nail tutorial…) This may take some patience!
  6. After you have applied the tractor beams, allow for each design to dry properly.
  7. NOTE: Why wait? Because when you put the top coat on, it may drag some of the sparkle from the design coat onto your space ship Starlet varnish. However, if it does, don’t fret! It’ll resemble the little lights on the space ship so it’ll end up as a happy mistake!
  8. Once everything had dried properly, put your top coat over your design and use the nail fan to dry!
  9. This nail session should take 45 minutes (depending on your patience!)

WORDS OF ADVICE

  • I implore you all to use Starlet and Fit For A Queen together at some point in your lives. The juxtaposition of color and shine pop on your nails giving this lovely look that goes with almost any outfit!
  • Just like Amazing Gracie, the Starlet mini went on perfectly with two coats and stayed smooth throughout.
  • I fared better with Fit For A Queen this time around because the colors get clumpy on me! Plus, the sparkle stayed the WHOLE TIME of the manicure- the full week! Which NEVER happens for me! Sometimes those shiny varnishes dull over time but this one glinted happily for me every time I looked at it.
  • This particular manicure lasted a week for me, however I do believe it would have probably lasted me longer! I change my nails every week but I could tell this one would have gotten to two weeks perfectly if I would have let it.
  • Overall, I’d grade Starlet and Fit For A Queen a perfect A+. Both were amazing, both are worth investing in and both are a vital part to any nail collection!

six

Make sure to post your own adaptations or let me know how this tutorial works out for you!

YOU ARE NOW VARNISTA-VERIFIED