Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: Sally Hansen VitaSurge Strength Gel, Day Two

Hello, all! Today is day two of my five-day journey using Sally Hansen VitaSurge Strength Gel. You can by this product here for $6.99. Here we go!

For anyone who hasn't seen my first post, here are the details:

I'm going to apply this product twice a day over my bare nails and let it dry on its own. I bought this bottle for $7.49 at Walgreens. The package says that this strength gel will make your nails stronger in five days, which is how long I'll be trying it out.

Here are the instructions on the bottle:
"Shake gently. Apply daily over bare nails or dry nail color. Massage in with applicator or finger. Reapply as needed."

Again, here are my bare nails.

This was taken directly after I applied the strength gel.

Here they are again, ten minutes after the gel was applied.

Here's a comparison from day one to day two. My lighting's a bit different in each picture, so it's not too easy to see any difference, but I think the nails are a little more opaque. Other than that, there's not much difference.

So, my comments:
- Again, I wasn't able to get any of the little beads on my nails. They may or may not do anything, but I'm beginning to think I'll never know.
- Even after washing the leftover goo off my hands, my nails are still fresh and moisturized. I don't feel any need rub in Vaseline into my nails as I usually do when they're bare. 
- It's only been two days, so I can't tell if the product is working or not. I'll just have to keep at it!

There we have it! Not much has really happened over night,  but I'll keep you all posted. 

Sally Hansen VitaSurge Strength Gel can be found at the Walgreens Website for $6.99. You can also find it in almost any store that has a nails section.

To follow the rest of my five day experiment, please follow on my blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

*Note: I was not paid to review this product. All comments and opinions are my own.*

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Sally Hansen VitaSurge Strength Gel, Day One

Hello, all!
So for anyone out there who's ever tried to grow your nails out, you know that once nails get past a certain length, they break. A lot. My nails are no different from anyone else's, and I hate to have broken nails that aren't looking their best. I recently heard of Sally Hansen VitaSurge Strength Gel, and figured I'd try it out. I'll do whatever it takes to fix my poor, sad nails.
The package said that it would cause stronger nails in five days, which I'm not sure I quite believe, but that's how long I'll be trying this product out. I'm going to apply it twice a day over my bare nails and let it dry on its own. Those little specks you can see are what the package lables as “Micro-encapsulated vitamins.” I bought this bottle for $7.49 at Walgreens.

Here are the instructions on the bottle:
"Shake gently. Apply daily over bare nails or dry nail color. Massage in with applicator or finger. Reapply as needed."

For a reference point, here are my natural nails before applying any of the strength gel. I have nothing on them except some nail glue on my first and middle fingers.

Here are my nails right after I applied the gel.

This was taken ten minutes after the strength gel was applied. It had soaked in pretty well by that point.

Now, for my comments:
- Application was fine. The brush is more like the brush on a tube of lipgloss and less like a normal nail polish brush. My one complaint was that it was practically impossible to get the little beads (pardon me, micro-encapsulated vitamins) on the brush. As you can see from the second picture, there are none on my nail.
- The strength gel has a wonderful smell. It's not too chemical-ish at all, and I actually kind of like it.
- It dried extremely quickly, even though I didn't rub it in too much. All I had to do was apply it, and then I was able to go on with my life without smearing it on things too much.
- Maybe I'm being silly, but I swear my nails already feel stronger. I'm always nervous about breakage when my nails are bare, but they feel fine.
- It does leave a bit of a sticky residue after it's applied. Even an hour later, my nails are a bit gooey. You'll need to wash it off if you don't want your nails to feel gross all day. 
- This doesn't have much to do with anything, but I love the color. It's so fun and cheerful. It reminds me of a swimming pool or something.

There you go! I'll be posting each day to show the progress! If you'd like to buy Sally Hansen VitaSurge Strength Gel for yourself, it can be found at the Walgreens Website for $6.99 (50 cents less than I got it for, grr!)

To get updated on the rest of my experiment, please follow on my blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
Thanks for reading!

*Note: I was not paid to review this product. All comments and opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Very Corn-y Nails

Hey, guys! Fall is rapidly approaching, so I decided to paint my nails to represent what that means in Illinois: corn! I spent hours trying to figure out what to decorate my nails with next, and I found the inspiration all around me!

You will need:
- base coat
- yellow polish
- green polish
- a dotting tool
- a topcoat (optional)

Start of with your base coat as usual. Next, paint your nails yellow. This doesn't have to be perfect, as most of it will be covered up later. 

Sally Hansen - Lightening

Using the green polish, paint the "husks," or paint the nails green and leave a V shape in yellow. Try making them all look a little different, and I also loved using a thin amount of polish to get the stripey look of the corn husk.

Essie - Mojito Madness

Next, use your dotting tool and the yellow polish to make the little corn pieces. Place a drop of polish on an index card and dot it onto the yellow section of each nail.

This is another one of those designs where you can use a topcoat if you'd like, but I chose not to just to preserve as much of the texture as possible.

That's just about it! I hope you enjoyed this fun fall food design, as well as that lovely alliteration I accidentally created.
If you'd like to see more of my designs, please follow here, on Facebook, and on Twitter!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Swatch/Review: Kleancolor - Chunky Holo Scarlet

Recently I was stumbling around on Copious, and I discovered this beauty. I probably wouldn't have bought it in normal circumstances, but my credits were due to run out the next day, so I had to spend them on something. Cindy Lin has all sorts of wonderful polishes listed, so I suggest heading on over and seeing what she has to buy!

If you don't have a Copious account yet, you can sign up here. The first time you visit, you get $10 in free credits, so it's definitely worth it!

So first, I'd just like to express my love for this polish. It looked magnificent in the bottle, and on my nails I'm even more amazed by it. I've never been particularly impressed by Kleancolor, but after this polish I am devoted. I've never done a swatch before, but I thought that it was just necessary for this polish.

Chunky Holo Scarlet is, like its name suggests, a holo. At first glance the glitter seems red, but you can easily pick up on the oranges and more subtle greens and blues.

On my nails here I applied one, two, and three coats, with a base coat underneath each. One coat is almost enough, but two really makes it solid. I don't think three is necessary at all. Application was a breeze. There was no glitter clumping and the polish glided on wonderfully.

Removal was a snap, even for a glitter polish! It practically glided off for me. This is one of those polishes that is IMPOSSIBLE to get out of your cuticles, however, so avoid flooding at all costs.

The base seems red when on its own, but layer it over another color, and that glitter really gets to shine (get it? Shine? Heh...) I chose to layer it over black, and it's just stunning.

Each wonderful color does come with a setback, however, and for this polish it's the smell. I have never been so disgusted by the smell of nail polish in my life, and I'm pretty darn used to it by now. So I highly suggest using this one in a well-ventilated room, preferably with all windows open and as many fans on as possible.

Even with that small annoyance, this is no polish to pass by. It's a brilliant color that will make you gasp the first time you see it, and it gets even better once it's on your nails.

So thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my first swatch/review. I'd love some feedback on how I did, so please let me know anything I could do better! I totally forgot this time, so for my next swatch I'll try to take multiple pictures of the polish, such as one with flash and one outside. I'd also like to hear your thoughts on this polish!
If you liked this post, please follow here, on Facebook, and on Twitter!

- Muffin

Note: I wasn't paid to review this product. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

(A Sort of) Splatter Nails

Hello all! I feel so bad about forgetting to post yesterday, so I will try to make this one as wonderful as possible! I really enjoyed this design, not just because it was easy and quick but because it was just... cool. I hope you all like it as much as I did!

I wasn't quite sure what to call these, so  I settled on splattered nails. They're not quite spun-sugar but not fully splatter. Oh well.

You will need:
- Base coat
- white polish
- three other colors of polish (here I'll call them polish A, B, and C)
- an index card
- a toothpick
- Chapstick (optional)
- a top coat (optional)

Start of with a base coat. Next, paint your nails two solid coats of white.
If you'd like to experiment with this technique, you could try a black background, or go totally crazy and choose neon green or something!

Sally Hansen - Hard to Get

This step isn't necessary, but is extremely helpful. Rub a little chapstick into your cuticles and the skin around each nail to make cleanup loads easier at the end. Make sure not to get any on your actual nails.

Place a small dot of color A on an index card. Use the toothpick to mix it around until it gets nice and stringy.

Using the toothpick, drag the polish across the nail. It should form little strings and you'll be able to pull it across. If it's not working, try putting a tiny dot on your nail with the toothpick and just drag from there. Do this for the first one-third of the nail. 

OPI - Sparrow Me the Drama

Repeat with Color B on the second third of your nail.

Sinful Colors - Boom Boom

Finish up with color C on the last empty portion of each nail.

Sally Hansen - Perfect Plum

You can finish up with a top coat, but I really loved the texture on this one, so I skipped that step. If you would like to use a top coat, start with one going horizontally across the nail to prevent smearing and then complete with a second one going the normal direction. When everything is dry, you can wipe off the chapstick with a tissue and almost all of the polish you got on  your skin will rub off!

I hope you liked this tutorial! This design is great for that day that you don't have time to do something intricate, but really want your nails to stand out. If you enjoyed reading this, please follow my blog on the right, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Hey guys! I'm really in love with the colors I used in the last tutorial, so I just had to use them again. This time I used them for a fun dotticure!

You will need:
- Base coat
- Base color (here I used the pale purple)
- Three additional colors (I'll call them colors A, B, and C)
- dotting tool
- top coat

As usual, paint on your favorite base coat. Next, paint your nails two solid coats of your base color. The one I used really looks like a purple, but for some reason my camera wants it to be blue.

Essie - Lilacism

Place a drop of color A on an index card. Dip your dotting tool into it and place a dot on each nail. You can place the dot randomly, like I did, or place it in the same spot on each nail.

China Glaze - First Mate

Using the dotting tool and color B, place six dots around the first dot on each nail. You should now have what looks like a flower.

China Glaze - Exotic Encounters

Continue the pattern with another six dots, this time with color C.

China Glaze - Secret Peri-wink-le

You can fill up the nail with dots, or stay with what I think kind of looks like a snowflake.

And there you have it! Don't forget a top coat and cleanup.

Sally Hansen - Strengthening Top Coat

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial as much as I enjoyed making it! This one may be a tad time-consuming but it's totally worth it when you feel the pride of completing it.
If you liked this post, please follow my blog on the right. You can also like Muffin Nails on Facebook and follow on Twitter.
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Liebster Award!

Hey, all! So I was lucky enough to be nominated for the Liebster Award by Cupcakes and PolishLacqueerisa, and Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Lacquer. Thanks a bunch, guys! So here we go!

Since more than one person nominated me, I just chose my favorite questions from each one. 

These are the rules:
1. Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves.
2. They must also answer the 11 questions the 'tagger' has set for them.
3. They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.
4. They must then choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers and tag them in their post.
5. These lucky bloggers must then be told.
6. There's no tag backs. 

11 fun facts about Muffin Nails:
1. I have two lovely kitties, Abraham and Oscar, who just love “helping” me paint my nails.
2. Goldfish crackers are my favorite snack. Ever. I think I could live for months on them alone.
3. My favorite color is orange. And I only have four orange nail polishes. Huh.
4. Bazinga.
5. My camera refuses to take close-up shots. It’s the most annoying thing ever.
6. I hate people that call themselves hipsters. You’re not a hipster if you think you are. Duh.
7. My hair used to have a purple streak in it. Now, it’s just… bleach-colored.
8. I’m so terrible at coming up with random facts about myself that a friend came up with most of these for me.
9. Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.
10. The world’s going to end in 2012. It’s going to be a zombie apocalypse. Better stock up on your weapons now, folks.
11. This took me entirely too long to write.

My answers:
1. How do you organize your stash? 
I have my handy dandy polish drawer under my sink. But it’s kind of out of room so now I keep about my thirty most recently used polishes with me on my desk. It's not the most organized method, but I (sort of) know where everything is. And that's fine with me!

2. If there was a fire, and your family was all safe, what 5 polishes are you rescuing?
Gosh, this is tough. I’m sure I would probably be killed in the fire before coming to a decision on just five, but here are my picks.
OPI Cajun Shrimp – This is definitely my all-time favorite color. Red isn’t my favorite color, but this one is just amazing. I went out for a pedicure earlier this summer (I know, I could have painted them myself, but it’s just so relaxing) and this was the color I used. I spent the next month stairing at my toes, thinking, “I need that color,” until I finally found it.
Essie Mojito Madness – I just adore green polishes. It’s not my favorite color or anything, but the majority of the polishes I’ve bought in the last month or two have been some shade of green. This one is so summery and cool and a joy to use.
China Glaze Secret Peri-wink-le – A beautiful pale blue-ish purple. It makes me think of bright blue skies and puffy clouds and happy things. I actually only came across this one recently, but I don’t know what I would do without it.
China Glaze Exotic Encounters – Another green; no surprises there! I don’t really know how to describe this one. But I am oh so in love with it and if you don’t own it, run!! Go buy it! Now! I don’t think it’s for everyone but it truly is a wonderful polish.
China Glaze Smoke and Ashes – Let’s get this straight, I’m not a glitter person. I’ve seen too many glitters that come off as tacky or over-the-top to me. I also think the whole glitter polish removal process is such a hassle. However, this one is a complete exception. It's got little glittery blue and green specks and is so dark and mysterious. 

3. Least favorite nail trend?
Ugh. Stamping. I understand how cool it looks and everything, and I really appreciate those who are good at it, but I kind of feel like it’s cheating. I would rather spend hours lovingly hand-painting designs on my nails than stamping it on. Plus, I like to make nail art that’s easy for anyone to do. If I were to do a design with stamping, not everyone would be able to do the same thing (AND the design’s probably been done before by hundreds of others using the same stamping plate!).

4. Describe your personal style.
I think ‘random’ sums it up perfectly. I usually get really into things, and have forgotten about them by the next week. One day I might show up somewhere in a cute little skirt and a frilly top, and the next day I’m rocking some neon shoes. Life’s more fun that way.

5. One word that people that know you well would use to describe you.
I guess, spontaneous. Planning things out is okay, but I love doing things spur-of-the-moment. Things are more interesting when you don’t quite know how they’ll turn out until they happen.

6. Where is the weirdest place you ever polished your nails?
I tried to paint them on a school bus once. Not a very good idea. Everyone thought I was crazy, and I got more paint on my skin than on my actual nails. So lesson: Only paint nails when not in a moving vehicle.

7. Do you have any other hobbies besides nail polish?
I’m really into tennis, but I’m terrible at almost any other sport (don’t even mention running to me!). I like artsy creative stuff, and so sometimes you’ll see me carrying around a duct tape wallet or bag. I have a slight Minecraft addiction, and I’m shocked I haven’t done some Minecraft themed nails yet. I might just have to fix that.

8. What is your favorite wild animal?
An elephant. They’re so large and magnificent, but so cute at the same time…

9. When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging around the beginning of April. It was around the time I started getting really interested in nail art. I assumed I would keep up the blog for just a week or two and then forget about it (see question four) but, here I am!

10. How many bottles of polish do you own?
Math time! Based on my not-so-accurate counting skills, somewhere around 80. I would have more, but my family gets grumpy when I bring in new polish.

11. What do your friends / family think of your hobby?
I think it drives them crazy. My family hates coming home to the smell of nail polish all the time, but I think they appreciate it. Not sure about my friends. Some are excited to let me paint their nails while some tease me about it.

1. If you could only buy three more polishes for the rest of your life, what would they be?
2. How often do your paint your nails?
3. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
4. What’s your favorite nail trend?
5. Least favorite?
6. Zombies or unicorns?
7. What’s your favorite nail polish brand?
8. What is the most you’ve ever paid for a bottle of polish?
9. What’s the nail design you’re most proud of?
10. What nail design did you try out that totally flopped?
11. What do you like to do other than blogging and nail polish?

The eleven bloggers I chose:

Again, thanks to Cupcakes and PolishLacqueerisa, and Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Lacquer, and thanks to everyone for reading!
Don't forget to follow here, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
- Muffin

Monday, August 6, 2012

Argyle Nails

Hello, all! Today I'm going to do a tutorial for something I've been wanting to try out for a while. After multiple camera and painting issues, I'm not quite sure if I love how this one turned out, but it's still plenty of fun to do.

You will need:
- Base coat
- white polish
- three different polishes of your choice 
- a black striper
- top coat

Start out with a base coat. Then paint two coats of a solid white on all nails.

Sally Hansen - Hard to Get

Use your three colors to make little triangles on the tips of each nail. I used each of the colors in a random order on each hand. Try to get the point of each triangle in the very center of your nail. You can use two coats, but I used one just because for whatever reason, I really liked the splotchy paint look.

From L-R: China Glaze - Secret Peri-wink-le, First Mate, and Exotic Encounters
Now make a second triangle on each nail, again with the tip of it in the center. You should get a sort of hourglass shape.

Now use your striper to make diagonal lines across the hourglasses, like in the picture.

It's So Easy Stripe-Rite Black

Finish up by painting the rest of the lines. 

And then it's time for cleanup and a top coat!

I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial. It's quick and easy and it even matches your favorite pair of argyle socks!
Don't forget to follow! The button is on the top right of the page. You can also 'like' Muffin Nails on Facebook and follow on Twitter.
Thanks for reading!