Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blog Name Changes

So Muffin Nails is now officially "The Polished Platypus." I've set it so that Muffin Nails should automatically redirect to my new blog name. I feel like this new name suits my personality better, and I don't want to spend the rest of my blogging career wishing I'd changed the name earlier. I'm going to update Facebook, Twitter, etc. as soon as I can. I hope you'll all enjoy continuing to follow Muffin Nails The Polished Platypus!

Nail Art Challenge Day Six: Gradient Nails

Hello, wonderful nail polish addicts! It's finally time for day six: gradients! I've been looking forward to this day of the challenge for the entire month, so here goes!

And for anyone who wants to see what's in store for the rest of the challenge:

So for this one, I used three shades of purple separated by striping tape to make my gradient look. Actually, I think this counts as ombre instead, but the two words are used interchangeably so often that I don't think it matters.

Can you guys tell this is my first time using striping tape? I had some trouble with it, so it's not as perfect as I wanted, but for my first try, I think it turned out pretty well.

Oh, yeah, I also tried out Seche Vite! I'm in love with this stuff already. The smell makes me feel like it's killing my brain cells or something, but it's sooo smooth and shiny!

Anyway, onto the pictures! Since I'm going to be mentioning the colors in my captions, I'm going to list them here instead of at the bottom of the post.

Base coat:
Top purple:
Middle purple: Orly - Ingenue
Bottom purple: Zoya - Aurora
Top coat: Seche Vite

I used not one but TWO unuseds for this challenge - Ingenue and Aurora. I'd originally planned to just use Ingenue with one coat in the middle and two coats on the bottom, but there wasn't enough difference, so I brought out Aurora. I'm so happy I used it!

Anyway, onto the pictures:

Fancy angle time! Isn't Aurora so pretty?
I'm loving how 3D it looks.

Another angle

One more different angle

With my handy dandy sign

Close up (sort of)

Annd a blurry photo! I just wanted to show how glittery and awesome Aurora is. I am completely in love with this polish.

Taa-daa! What do you wonderful ladies think of my gradient (ombre?) manicure? Let me know in the comments! We've got three days left in the challenge - make sure you see them by following me here, 'liking' on Facebook, and following on Twitter. And make sure to thank Erica's Nails and More for this wonderful challenge, while you're at it! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nail Art Challenge Day Five: Valentine's Day Nails

Happy Valentine's day, everyone! Or, if you're single and lonely like me, happy Singles Awareness day! I'm really excited for today's post, so I'm just going to jump right into it. Enjoy!

And if anyone wanted to see, here's the list of the prompts each day. I can't wait for day 6- gradients are my favorite! But onto today's mani: I chose to do those little candy hearts with the silly sayings on them for my design. A friend of mine actually came up with the idea (Hi, Kathryn!) and I loved it right away, so it's what I ended up going with. Just in case you can't read the nails (I need to work on my nail polish handwriting...), they say from left to right: XOXO, Love you, ILY, and QT Pie. I know, they're all stupid sayings, but I had trouble finding things small enough to fit on a nail.



another angle

With the sign

Bottle shot
Taa-daa! What do you guys think? I was going to add a matte top coat but decided against it. I think I should've used it, though - I let someone borrow my regular top coat, and it came back goopy and hard to use. Grr.

The colors I used for this were:
Background pink: OPI - Steady as She Rose
Yellow heart: Sally Hansen - Lightening
Pink heart: OPI - Sparrow Me the Drama
Green heart: Essie - Navigate Her
Purple heart: Essie - Playdate (which was my unused for today!)
Red text: OPI - Cajun Shrimp

That's it! What do you guys think about this mani? Make sure to get updates from my blog by following here, 'liking' on Facebook, and following on Twitter! Don't forget to share the love with Erica's Nails and More by following her, too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nail Art Challenge Day Four: Inspired by a Pattern

Hello, nail polish lovers! Happy Tuesday. It's day four of the nail art challenge, which means we're almost half way there! Onto the post!

Today's theme was "inspired by a pattern." For me, my pattern was a fishtail braid nail design. I've always seen it with a bunch of different colors, but I decided I'd rather go the simple route this time. One color plus a white striper (and a matte top coat!). This was a little bit more time consuming than I'd expected, but it was still pretty fun and easy. Here are the pictures!

Fancy angle shot thing.

Another fancy angle!

Bottle shot.

Picture with my handy dandy sign.
 For this design, my untried polish was the green background, which is China Glaze - Four Leaf Clover. It's totally not a February color, but I needed something bright and happy to get me through a cold, dreary week. Along with this, I used:
White stripes (which kind of turned green, woops): Stripe Rite - White
Matte Top Coat: Nails Inc. - Westminster Bridge Topcoat

I think that's it for now! I'm really excited for the Valentines manicures - if you want to make sure you'll see mine, don't forget to  follow here, 'like' on Facebook, and follow on Twitter!While you're add it, make sure to head on over to Erica's Nails and More and thank her for the awesome challenge!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Nail Art Challenge Day Three: Glitter-Loaded Nails

Hey, nail polish peeps! It's day three of the Nail Art challenge, which can only mean one thing.. glitter-loaded nails! 

Hooray for glitter! I actually had trouble with this one just because I couldn't decide what to do. There are so many options when it comes to glitter! I finally settled on a new color of mine, Toucan Touch This by KBShimmer. And I couldn't JUST use one polish, now could I? So I added some toucans on the accent nails. I'm not totally satisfied with how they turned out, but for my first time, I'd say they're not too bad. And onto the pictures!


Close-up of the toucan

Bottle shot

Photo with my sign

There you have it! So again, my unused color for this design was Toucan Touch This. The other polishes I used were:
Base coat - I tried using a glue base coat! I'll let you guys know how it worked out for me!
Black: Sally Hansen - Black Heart
White: Sally Hansen - Hard to Get
Green: Essie - Navigate Her
Orange: Sally Hansen - Sun Kissed
Brown: China Glaze - Foie Gras

I think that's it for this post! If you want to see more, make sure to follow here, 'like' on Facebook, and follow on Twitter! don't forget to head on over to Erica's Nails and More and follow her, too! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Nail Art Challenge Day Two: Half-Moon Nails

Hello, fellow nail polish addicts! Today's Day Two of the February Nail Art Challenge (held by the wonderful Erica over at Erica's Nails and More), and that means:

Half-moon nails!

I was really excited for this one. I've never done half moons before, and I love how they look. A problem quickly arose, though, when it was time to choose the colors.

I can be picky about color combinations. And that gets even worse when one of those colors has to come from my limited supply of unused colors. But funnily enough, both the colors I used ended up being unused ones! 

So onto the nails. I wanted to do something other than the typical half-moon, so I attempted a gradient dotticure which outlined the half-moon. What do you all think of it?

Angle 1

Another angle

Bottle shot

The official picture (with sign!)

For this, I used:
Base coat: Beauty Secrets - Ridge Filler
Gold: Orly - Luxe
Red: Pure Ice - All Nighter
Top coat: Sally Hansen - Strengthening Top Coat

That's it! Sadly one of my nails decided to start tearing, and I didn't get too many pictures before I forced myself to remove the polish and patch it up.

To make sure you hear about my next design for the challenge, go ahead follow here, 'like' on Facebook, and follow on Twitter! Make sure to head over to Erica's Nails and More, too! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Nail Art Challenge Day One: Galaxy Nails

Hey, wonderful nail folks! I think I've got an exciting post for you today, so I'm going to skip the long intro and jump right into it.

I'm participating in my second nail art challenge, again hosted by Erica's Nails and More. My nail art really improved over the course of the first challenge, so I thought I'd try it again. This challenge has nine days (they're usually ten days, but the month of February is too short for ten), and the days are spaced out by three days per design. Here's what all we'll be doing this month:

Anyone else really excited for this one? I'm dying in anticipation for day 3, and I love gradients, so day 6 should be pretty fun, too.

A new aspect of this challenge is to use one unused polish (one you bought but never used, or one you haven't used in months) in each design. I'll talk about that more later!

So onto today's work. The theme for day one is galaxy nails. I've done these once before, and I was pretty proud of how they turned out the first time, so decided to switch up the colors for this one and use varying shades of purple instead of the typical white, yellow, and blue. This really looked better in my head; I had to re-do it a couple of times before I was even slightly satisfied with the design. I still feel like this could look better, but I was afraid of messing it up even more, so I stuck with it. 

Anyone notice anything different about my pictures? I decided to try switching to a black background! I'd been waiting to buy a black poster board to put in my light box, but finally I just pulled out an old black t-shirt and used it for by backdrop. What do you guys think about it? Personally, I think it looks much better than my white-background photos did.

And... let the photo montage commence!

We're required to do a photo using a handwritten sign to
make sure that we aren't using old pictures.

A different angle.

Another angle!

Bottle shot.

One more picture just for the heck of it.

A new aspect of this challenge is to use one unused polish (one you bought but never used, or one you haven't used in months) in each design. For this my unused's were Zoya - Kelly (part of the galaxy background) and Orly - Wild Wisteria (used to blend the black and the galaxy together). 

I used a boatload of other colors for this one, so I'll try to describe what they all are, but so many overlap in the pictures that it might be hard to tell which is which.

Base coat: Beauty Secrets - Ridge Filler
Black background: Sally Hansen - Black Heart
White galaxy background/stars: Sally Hansen - Hard to Get
Second galaxy background color: Zoya - Kelly
Purple galaxy accent - Zoya - Monica
Blend between black and galaxy: Orly - Wild Wisteria
Glitter top coat: Sally Hansen - Strobe Light
Top coat: Sally Hansen - Strengthening Top Coat

And... that about wraps it up! I hope you enjoyed my first post! If you'd like to see the rest of my designs for the challenge, make sure to follow here, 'like' on Facebook, and follow on Twitter, and don't forget to send some love to Erica's Nails and More, too! If you'd like to see what the other participants have come up with, check out the Inlinkz below! 
- Muffin

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Swatch: KBShimmer - Elle

Who's ready for part two of my KBShimmer swatches? I'm really excited for this one! Today I'll be swatching KBShimmer Elle.

Elle is a gray jelly base with varying sizes of pink and gray glitter, small white square glitter, and medium silver and pink square glitter (am I missing anything? I hope not!). The base is a little less opaque than Hex Appeal, but still solid enough to be worn without undies. Application was wonderful, just as with Hex Appeal. And enough with the talk - it's time for the pictures!

So here's Elle in one, two, and three coats, left to right. These are all with no top coats. One coat is definitely not enough, but you might be able to get away with two if you use thick layers. You won't ever need more than three. If you don't want all the coats

The glitter got pretty bumpy on this one, as you can (hopefully) see in the next two pictures.

I'd say this next picture shows the color the most accurately. It's a nice simple gray - not too brown or yellow or anything.

 I ended up using two coats of top coat to smooth everything in, and it's still a tiny bit bumpy in some areas.
The next picture is with flash. Bleck. I don't feel like the gray looks as accurate in this one. But you can see how much the top coat smoothed things out.

And a normal shot. My camera was being grumpy for this one, so I had trouble getting a non-blurry okay-looking photo. Sorry about that... I swear my camera has a mind of its own.

There you have it! What do you guys think of Elle? It can be found at the KBShimmer website for $8.75 a bottle. I'd definitely recommend this one for anyone who loves a good glitter-jelly combo. 
If you'd like to be notified whenever I post, make sure to  follow here, 'like' on Facebook, and follow on Twitter. Thanks for reading! One more post before I start February Nail Art Challenge from Erica's Nails and More - there's one more day to sign up, so hurry on over there if you're interested!
- Muffin

Thursday, January 17, 2013

2012 in Review

Hello, wonderful readers! 2012 is over (sad face), but that also marks another year of some wonderful polishes and nail products! It was difficult, but I tried to sum up all of my favorites into a neat little post. Enjoy!

Favorite Nail Buffer:
Tropical Shine Mini 4-Way Buffer Block
Sells for: $4.29 at Sally Beauty

Pretty much my favorite buffer ever. I have loads of various nail buffers laying around the house, but all of them either a) don't make my nail shine at all, b) leave my nail torn up and covered in scratches, or c) add shine, but it wears off after a few minutes. This is the best buffer I've ever found, and it's lasted through many months of constant use with no issues (and as you can see in the pictures, it definitely gets a lot of use).

Favorite Cuticle Cream:
Lush - Lemony Flutter
Sells for: $16.95 at Lush

So up until a couple days ago, Burt's Bees Lemon Cuticle Cream was my favorite cuticle cream. I swore by it to anyone who would listen. But then I discovered Lemony Flutter. It goes for around $17, but you get a whopping amount of cuticle cream in each container. For you ladies with longer nails, you know how hard it is  to remove Burt's Bees cuticle cream from the little container, and the softer consistency of Lemony Flutter makes it loads easier to get some out of the container (without getting half of it stuck under your nails, bleck). There's enough of the cuticle butter to last you for months, the smell is great (it's not *as good* as Burt's Bees, but that one's pretty hard to beat in the smell department), and there's almost no greasy feeling.

Favorite Polish Brand:
China Glaze

This one was pretty hard for me to decide. I'm a huge fan of Essie, too, but China Glaze had to win the top spot for me. I probably own more China Glazes than any other polish brands. The formulas and applications are always wonderful and it takes the cake for this year!

Favorite Indie Polish Brand:

Pretty much the most awesome Indie brand ever. Loads of jelly polishes packed with glitter - what more could you ask for? There's not much to say about this one. KBShimmer makes the prettiest, glitteriest, amazing-est colors you could ever imagine (if you want proof check my last blog post). They're also just $8.75, which is a pretty fair price compared to some other Indies (*cough Lynderella *cough) and even mainstream brands (yes, Butter London, I'm talking about you).

Favorite Lemming:
Ninja Polish - Floam
Sells for: $9 at Ninja Polish

It was the one polish that I always wanted but I thought I'd never get. And then... one day... I happened to check my computer during a restock. I think I thought I was dreaming for a second! So of course I ordered it, and now Floam is a proud member of my nail polish stash.

Favorite Topcoat:

So honestly, I haven't really tried very many top coats. I get one, and I stick with it until it runs out. I don't feel a need to buy a different one until my first one has run out! So that's why I've been using Sally Hansen's strengthening top coat, as opposed to Seche Vite or one of the other more popular ones. It dries my nails quickly and doesn't smudge anything, so as of now it's definitely my favorite top coat! If anyone has suggestions for what to try when this one runs out, let me know in the comments!

Favorite Base Coat: 
Beauty Secrets - Ridge Filler
Sells for: $3.69 at Sally Beauty

So I'm not sure if this actually counts as a base coat or not, but I use it as one, so that's why I'm including it here. I have terrible ridges in my nails, and even if I buff them out they reappear after a while. This makes a nice, even surface for my nail polish to go on top of. You can tell from the picture that it's used often! I couldn't ask of anything more from this base coat.

And that's all I have for you! I hope you all liked hearing about my favorite polish-related stuff. This is been a little bit of a rough week for me, blogging-wise, but we should be back to the normal posting schedule next week. Next week I'll be swatching KBShimmer Elle, so don't forget to follow here, 'like' on Facebook, and follow on Twitter to hear when I post that! 
Thanks for reading, 
- Muffin