Spring Nail Trends

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spring nail trends, rainbow pastel nail polish collection

Dig into the bottom of your nail polish stash and dust off those pastels, because it's almost springtime! If you're like me, and plan your nail polish by the season, you'll understand my excitement in getting to switch to a new family of colors for the warm weather. This spring, I am especially looking forward to  testing out different ways to wear pastel nails in a non-traditional way, with unique nail designs like these:

1. Marble Nails
2. Flower Nail Art
marble nail tutorial, flower nail tutorial, nail art for spring

Winter to Spring Necessities

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winterspring

The last weeks of winter to the first weeks of spring can be a tricky time to dress for, especially if you live in a place like Seattle, where there is fickle weather. Today, in particular, consisted of overcast skies in the morning, sunshine in the afternoon, and rain in the early evening. To combat the constant change, I have relied on the following:

-Layers: You never know when the temperature may go up or down. To accommodate the ongoing flux, I wear layers that I can be easily stripped off, or piled on. Some of my favorite layering items are boat-neck 3/4 sleeve tees (the orange and blue striped one you see above is from the J.Crew Outlet), thin sweaters, and military jackets.

-Waterproof gear: Seattle is known for it's rain for a reason. There hasn't been as much of it lately, but in case there is, I always keep a rain jacket on me, or in the trunk of my car.

-Close-toed shoes you don't mind getting wet: Kind of obvious, but for mixed weather, you're going to want shoes that are breathable, but won't freeze your toes off. Some of my favorites are leather boots (both tall and combat), and flats.

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The glitter heels aren't really relevant to this post, but I thought I'd include them anyway, because they're pretty. :)
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BFF Dream Jacket (noun): A jacket that you've been searching months for, when one day, your best friend finds it for you while you're at school, does everything she can to track down your size (including fighting heavy traffic), and surprises you with it.

Nail Polish Review: Butter London

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Two things I got my mom for her birthday this year were a Butter London nail polish and a pedicure. I had never tried this brand for myself (even as a nail polish enthusiast), but decided to throw in the towel anyway, because of the raving reviews it's gotten from everyone who has tried it.

The verdict? This polish is amazing. I can't speak too much on it's tendency to chip on fingernails, but my mom, having had it on her toes for a full week and a half, said that there have been no chips thus far. And even after removing it, she didn't get the yellow tint on her nails that usually comes with other polishes. As for application, I'm not sure if it's because we had just cooked dinner, but as I was painting my mom's nails, I didn't notice any strong polish fumes at all.

My first experience with Butter London was a great one. It's fume-less, smooth application, and long-lasting nature calls for an A+ in my book.

Emerald City

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emerald

Pantone crowned emerald as 2013's Color of the Year. I never really understood the purpose of this title, but came to create a reason of my own: to try new things. Since the beginning of the year, I've branched out to embrace emerald nail polish, jewelry, and accessories, things I would have never given a second glance before.

Need ideas on how to embrace this jewel-tone shade? Check out the following recommendations:

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necklace: Bauble Bar //nail polish: SEPHORA by OPI 'I Come in Peas', Essie 'Going Incognito', ZOYA 'Ray' (pictured above with Finger Paints 'Key to My Art') //earrings: Bauble Bar //clutch: Michael Kors

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The Siamese: A Giveaway

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checkitout

I'm excited to introduce the new SPONSOR section of SWEATshirt DRESSshirt. Each month, the following ad spaces will be available to claim:

-1 250x250 Persian ad for $10
-3 250x150 Siamese ad for $5
-5 250x100 Maine Coon ads for FREE with code SSDS13. "It's fo free!" --Brynn from Bridesmaids

Thank you for all your support. My blog wouldn't be what it is today without all of you. In honor of my appreciation, I'm giving away 2 Siamese ads for free (worth $5 each), and an optional custom avatar for each blogger to place in their respective ad spaces! Comment below to enter. Two winners will be selected on 3/4/13 at 12am Pacific Time.

A breakdown of the prizes-- each winner will receive:
-1 Siamese ad that will run for 30 days
-1 Twitter and 1 Instagram shout out (It's OK if you don't have one, or either of these. I can still find a way to give your blog a shout out)
-1 custom avatar to place in the ad space (optional)

Rules:
-You must be a Google Friend Connect follower of SWEATshirt DRESSshirt
-One comment, per person

DIY: Ombre Glitter Nails

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ombre glitter nails with red nail polish and silver glitter, red and silver nails, sephora by opi, silver ombre glitter nail tutorial, unique nail art, easy nail art ideas

I've always loved the look of ombre glitter nails, but could never get the look just right. My biggest problem was that the ombre never came out as distinct as I had hoped, so every attempt that I created, I also had to trash. After doing a little research, I found a few helpful tips in the two tutorials below that encouraged me to give it another shot:

1. If you have a really really dense and opaque glitter, try this one: X
2. If you have an extra paint brush (or a paint brush from a top coat you don't really care about) and an average dense glitter polish, try this one: X

rekha by zoya swatch, simple red nails, picture of red nails

simple photo of nail polish, red and silver nail polish, nail tutorial for ombre glitter nails

Gold Rush

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goldsharpie

After posting about the DIY polka-dotted jar yesterday, I became a little obsessed with the paint pen, and had an urge to decorate more things. As you can see, the gold Sharpie technique works just as well on plastic, as it does glass and ceramic. Likewise, alternative designs, like the Moroccan-esque one shown above and below, are just as fun to display as polka dots.

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DIY: Polka-Dotted Jar

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polka dotted jar, diy polka dotted jar, sharpie gold paint pen, sharpie gold paint pen crafts, easy crafts, jar crafts

This DIY polka-dotted jar definitely takes the cake for the quickest, yet cutest project. I spent 5-10 minutes on it in total, and in the end, the jar even inspired me to re-arrange my nightstand. I'm not sure what I'll be putting in it yet, but for now, it'll just be something pretty to look at. Read on for directions on how to make your own!

TOOLS: a ceramic/glass mug or jar, gold Sharpie paint pen, and a white piece of paper or napkin

DIRECTIONS:
1. Clean the surface of your mug or jar.
2. If your surface is clear, stick a paper towel in your mug or jar to be able to see the dots better.
3. Begin drawing polka dots on your mug or jar's surface. Don't be afraid to experiment with different sized dots.

*If you decide to decorate a mug, or anything you can eat/drink out of, I don't recommend decorating any part of the container where there may be a risk of paint being consumed.

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Last-Minute Valentine's Day Nails

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valentine's day nails, red nails, romance inspired nail tutorial, date night nails

Looking for last-minute Valentine's Day nail ideas? Check out these 3 tips on how to make an ordinary manicure instantly festive:

1. Glitter: Need I say more?
2. Two-tone: Can't decide on a single color? Try pairing shades like magenta, red, and/or pink.
3. Hearts: Using a nail art polish, paint small V shapes on to your nails to create hearts.

valentine's day nails, red nails, romance inspired nail tutorial, date night nails

DIY: Galaxy Nails

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galaxy nail tutorail, zoya nail polish ibiza, opal, diy nail art

As a nail art enthusiast, galaxy nails have been my biggest challenge. I've attempted to master the look with techniques that include sponges, topcoats, various glitter polishes, but haven't been able to get just the look just right... until now. I finally realized that the secret, all along, was keeping it simple. The key ingredient to galaxy nails is the flake effect top coat. Layer it on top of a dark blue polish, and voila-- you've got galaxy nails in two simple steps.
galaxy nail tutorail, zoya nail polish ibiza, opal, diy nail art

DIY Bedazzled Bobby Pins

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bobby pins, bedazzled bobby pins, diy painted bobby pins, bobby pin ideas, bobby pin crafts, bobby pin craft ideas, nail polish crafts

After a long day of school on Tuesday, my roommate and I needed to do some self-care. Since we didn't have a lot of craft supplies at our place, we came up with the idea of painting bobby pins (well, actually, B did), and here is how they turned out. The glittery ones are probably my favorite.

TOOLS: Bobby pins, scrap paper, and your favorite nail polishes

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Slide as many bobby pins as you want on to a piece of scrap paper (we used a Trader Joe's bag). Make sure the pins are at least a centimeter apart.
2. Start painting! Depending on the polish, you may need more than one coat on each pin. No need to use a base or top coat.
3. Let dry.

TIPS:
-Try layering different colors of polish (e.g., white and silver glitter) for a unique effect.
-Experiment with different patterns like polka dots, and color blocking.
-Have trouble with deciding on what colors to use? Visit the website of your favorite brand/company to get color palette ideas. My pins in the first picture were inspired by J. Crew.

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