Monday, July 30, 2012

Giveaway Results...almost.

*Incoming wall of text! Scroll down for blog suggestions and responses...the beginning is just a long-winded 'Thank you for being awesome!*

Kawaii Nail Lacquer
Before I announce the winner (in a separate post) I wanted to thank everyone who entered my very first giveaway and made it something special for me. As a new blogger I wasn't sure how you ladies would react to my 'style'. I'm not particularly witty, I don't take the best photos, and I don't have a real steady hand when it comes to nail art, I can't always afford the newest indies, or even the new national brand collections when they come out. I take a practical stand on buying new polish; "Do I have something that looks like that in my collection already, or is this totally new?" After reading the comments you all left I realized that I'm a lot like most of you: A hard working woman with bills to pay and an affinity for pretty things on my nails.

(Random side note: To make this an official 'polish related post' check out my newest nail mail! Kawaii Nail Lacquers PINK BLIZZARD! *DROOL* Pink Martini is next on my list!)

As part of my giveaway I asked the question: "What do you love and hate about nail blogs? What would you like to see on Fox Claws? How can I improve my site?" I was so surprised at the responses I received. I expected "INDIE INDIE INDIE, TUTORIALS OR BUST" but instead I got a great mixed bag of suggestions that I wanted to share with you to let you know that I hear you and I intend to deliver (or 'DELIVRAR' if you're into gaming like I am!) I want this blog to be something you want to read, not something you just stop by on a random giveaway occasion. So thank you for the compliments, encouragement and suggestions! I will definitely put them to good use in the coming months.

On to some of your comments!
  • I love to see bloggers swatch and feature polish that is affordable and readily available. As someone on a budget, I can't afford a $12 or $16 bottle of polish all the time!
    • I hear you girl! I will definitely be showcasing affordable polishes as this blog progresses. I'm definitely a bargain shopper. 
  • I love seeing new Indie Polishes!
    • I LOVE wearing new Indies when I can grab them for a decent price. I have a few in my arsenal and will get post sup on them as soon as possible :)
  • I love all the colors and info on deals, I hate bad pictures (you take great shots).  I love drug store brands, art and comparisons.
    • Thank you for the compliments on my photos! I'm experimenting with my different camera's and lighting around the house. Unfortunately the weather doesn't like to agree with me because by the time I get around to taking photos its overcast. I swear. Happens every dang time.
  • I love learning all the new tips n tricks, not sure what I hate...maybe when they go way way way off topic. More nail art. Your site is great.."if it ain't broke don't fix it!"
    • Uh oh! I will definitely be guilty of going off topic (you should hear me talk, sometimes I switch subjects so fast my fiance has to literally tell me to back up and slow down.) As a way of combating my ADD-communication issues and make reading easier, I'll be adding a TLDR (Too Long; Didn't read, aka TEAL DEER) section at the bottom of each post to give you the skinny on the wall of text above it. Aside from the polish, its probably my favorite part of my blog.
  • I think your site is pretty awesome!  I like that it's not *just* nail polish pictures.  Hauls, nail art, all of that stuff is nice.  I also think your TLDR bit at the end of each post is hilarious.
    • I'm glad you like the TLDR! It's one of my favorite things. I often find myself scrolling some website with a crap-ton of information and thinking "WHERE is the TEAL DEER, this is going to take FOREVAAR!"
  • I would like to see nutrition and nail care talked about.
    • This is a fantastic suggestion, and something I never really thought about. This is definitely something we could all benefit from! Thanks :)
  • I love swatches and comparisons, and i hate NOTHING! it's all good fun, what could be bad?
    • You got it! Comparisons are one of my favorite things too! Why buy the $16 Deborah Lippmann when you can get the Claires dupe for $5!?
  • Tips on taking care of nails.
    • I don't consider myself an expert on nail care but I would be happy to share and discuss my routine. I am always open to learning new ways to make my nails and cuticles look healthy and happy! Thanks for the suggestion!
  • Love all the creativity, hate that everyone's nails are longer than mine. I would love to see anything you feel like posting!
    • Hey, I was a nail biter for 26 years before I quit. YOU CAN DO IT! Grow them out, take care of them. Nails are jewels not tools ;) I hope I can continue to post things that you will want to read, and I'm always open to suggestions!
  • Personally, I think blogs put too much into reveiws and I'd like to see more nail art (diy nail art). I'd like to see diy, step by step, nail art on Fox Claws and I think that would help to improve your site! (=
    • Noted! Thank you for your honest feedback. I will definitely see about putting up some tutorial type posts (see my leopard print post for a short gradient tutorial) I'll have to try to bribe my fiance into taking photos for me ;)
  • Love pretty colors, hate nothing. More Cara art!
  • I love swatches and art. I dislike regularly posted non-polish posts. Every now and then is ok, but I come to blogs for the polish. :)
    • Got cha! It is a nail blog after all! I'll try to keep the non-polish related posts (after this one of course) to a minimum ;) I can't promise I won't include my cats in some of the posts though LOL!
Ahhh, that was fun. Thank you again for your wonderful comments and suggestions. If I didn't address yours here directly don't think I'm ignoring you! I carefully went through every entry (and removed some naughty cheaters) to make sure I didn't miss anything. Please, please, please, feel free to continue to shoot your suggestions to me. I want this to be a place for all of us to enjoy and learn in. (Oh man..cliche much!? *sigh*)

- Giveaway is coming to an end!
- I heart your suggestions
- Thanks for the love and lulz.
- Long live Teal Deer!
- I love you guys!

<3 Fox

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Leopard Print - Jilltastic Challenge

Looking around my house, especially in my closet and on my nail polish racks one could surmise that I love pink. And one would be correct. I'm not a one of those crazy Barbie fanatics that has pink coming out the wazoo, but given a choice between pink and green for example, 9 times out of 10 I'll go pink. (I also prefer the pink "Mike's" from Mike and Ike's Topical Typhoon candy, which I just happen to me noshing on for breakfast at the moment.)

Anyway...I hummed and hoed (hoed...LOL) about Jilltastic Nail Designs most recent weekly challenge of leopard print. I love the look of it, but it just looked too complicated. After a TOTAL fail on a dried flower mani that I attempted yesterday, I started fresh and decided to give the leopard print a go. You never know until you try right?

I started with a base coat of Essie's Guchi Muchi Puchi which applied like an Essie polish does; globby, streaky, uneven. This is probably 3 coats if not more.

I should mention that I LOVE gradients. I love looking at them, I love doing them, I love their versatility, so of course I used a gradient as a base for my spots. I use the "make up sponge" technique to sponge the gradient on. Here's how I prepare my sponges, and complete the gradient.

Step 1: Find a regular ol' make up wedge and a pair of scissors.
Step 2: Cut the sponge in half 'hamburger' style (throw back to elementary school!)
Step 3: Cut those halfs, in half, 'hot dog' style
Step 4: Paint your base color on the edge of the flat squarish side of your sponge (In the photo above see the light pink in step 4 on the right.. Then layer your 2nd gradient color (Essie - Chastity) right above it (in the photo above its on the left of the light pink). It's important to use BOTH colors when using this method to insure that the colors blend together on the nail and you don't get any definite paint lines. If you only use the sponge for your 2nd gradient color, you'll end up with a 2 toned nail, not one that gradually fades to another color.

Before sponging, make sure your base coat is completely dry. For added protection I usually toss a thin coat of Seche Vite over it before proceeding. Position the sponge over your nail so that the base color is facing your cuticles, and your 2nd gradient color is facing the tips of your nails (this sounds confusing but its common sense). Gently dab the sponge onto the tips of your nails and work your way down toward your cuticle. DON'T DRAG.

Step 5: I forgot to take a photo of this step. Paint a very sheer shimmer or micro glitter top coat (I used Confetti's 'Tiara' -- another favorite is China Glaze 'Fairy Dust') on all of your nails. For whatever reason this completely smoothes out the gradient and makes it look flawless!

SPOTS: I used a large dotting tool and added random dots of Essie - Need A Vacation. Then I took the smallest dotting tool I had in my arsenal and, using a stippling motion, traced black polish around the pink dots to form the leopard spots. I also added some random black smudges, and some extra pink dots over the black to create some different colored spots for interest.

Overall, its okay. From a normal distance its pretty cute, but up close you can definitely see that I'm a n00b at this design. Would I do it again? Yes, I probably would. How cute would these be for a bachelorette party?!

So there it is! My first attempt at leopard print. Not too shabby! Much easier than I anticipated. I hope the photos are alright, I took them with my new phone. Let me know in the comments below if you hate them! ;)

Don't forget I still have Coach Factory Online sale invites to give away. These are legit sales run by the professionals at Coach Factory and Outlet stores. 100% Authentic Coach bags, wallets, shoes, jewelery, everything! Shoot me a private message with your e-mail address on Facebook, or you can e-mail me at thefoxclaws[at]gmail[dot]com. I picked up a pair of super cute flip flops for $24!

My birthday giveaway is over in 2 days! Don't miss your chance to win Cinderella by Sinful Colors! You can enter my Birthday Giveaway here!

Colors used:
Essie - Guchi Muchi Puchi
Essie - Need A Vacation
Essie - Chastity
Random black nail art polish

- Leopard Print is sassy, you should have it on your nails
- Essie applies like poo
- Gradients are fab
- Fox Claws is not very good at explaining things...
- Should stick to swatches instead of tutorials.
- Fox Claws likes pink but is not a Barbie
- Fox Claws should stop referring to herself in 3rd person.
- Damn, did it again.

<3 Fox

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Eat Mainely Lobster...yes, 'Mainely'

While on a recent trip to Ulta I discovered a 2 for $12 deal on 'new' OPI polishes so naturally I picked 2 of them up - I Eat Mainely Lobster, a creamy coral color with a subtle pinky/gold shimmer,  and Color To Diner For, a fiery, slightly orangy red with goldish shimmer.

Color To Diner For
For a girl who loves all things polish, I admit that I've not had a lot of experience with OPI outside of a salon. Prior to the start of this blog I owned 2 OPI polishes, and honestly didn't find myself reaching for them as much as my China Glaze ones...BUT, that may change.

First, the brush on these beauties was fantastic. The end of the brush tube is crimped into a bit of a box, and there were plenty of bristles that fanned out very nicely. The edges of the brush even seemed to tapper up a little bit making for an easy, round application at the cuticle (i.e. minimum clean up!) It was incredibly easy to manipulate the brush to get polish exactly where I wanted it along the side of my nails, and around the cuticle beds. The bristles did not leave streaks! A+ Brush OPI!

Color To Diner For
I was really excited about this color. My fiance loves when I wear red so I am constantly on the lookout for a new, rich, beautiful red (if you have any suggestions please let me know in the comments.) But, after swatching it I found it kind of so-so. It was very similar to ELF's Red Velvet (If you want a side by side let me know and I'll make it happen.) Don't get me wrong, I'll definitely wear it again, it just didn't WOW me like I thought it would.
I Eat Mainely Lobster

I Eat Mainely Lobster
The color is not something I would normally go for. For whatever reason corals always strike me as 'grandma-y', but I actually really liked this. I found it to be a little too orangy for my nails, but I love it as a pedi color. (I'll spare you the photos of my feet LOL!) 2 Coats + Top Coat.

In closing I must say that I was quite happy with my OPI purchase. I felt it applied like a nail polish SHOULD apply. 2 coats to opaque (you could probably do one thick one with Color To Diner For but you might as well add the 2nd for more depth of color), evened itself out, no streaking what so ever. Nice EVEN color. Nice shine. Yay.

And just for some extra fun... I Eat Mainely Lobster with Sticks N Stones!

Sticks N Stones - 1 Coat + Top Coat

OPI - Color To Diner For, I Eat Mainely Lobster
Applied like dream - no streaks
2 coats to opaque
Fox Claws is not a big fan of Coral but liked IEML for Pedi's
Sticks & Stones makes everything more fun
No sun, rained all day

<3 Fox

Sunday, July 22, 2012

It's my birthday and I' what I want to?

....because I certainly don't want to cry! LOL

Today I am 28, one year closer to 30! YIKES! I asked my facebook friends what kind of mani I should do for my birthday and overwhelming response was this one:

So that's what I did, and I freaking LOVE it. I got so many compliments at work! I made sure to give cutepolish credit whenever I could because there's no way I could have dreamed this up on my own. (Also, don't judge the 'cherry heart' LOL!)

Anyway, we're off to the Verizon Store to get me a new phone (I HOPE) because mine is an old POS. I have a couple of swatches coming up for you next week! Don't forget about the bonus copious credit for registered accounts! If you don't have an account you can sign up here! 

And of course my birthday giveaway is still going on here!

Edit: OH MY GAAAD! I am one of the winners from Beyond Beauty Lounge's massive Christmas in July giveaway!
2nd Edit: For anyone who is curious, I picked up a Samsung Galaxy SIII in white. SHES SO PRETTY!

cutepolish rocks!
I won!
Cuppy Cakes on mah nizzails
Its mah birthday!
<3 Fox

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jaded, Pearly Queen, and the paper cut

Ahhhh finally got to change my polish. Last Friday I was organizing a new filing cabinet at work and got an awful paper cut. It went half way to my first knuckle from the cuticle on my middle finger (and in true ME style, immediately posted a photo on Facebook). Needless to say it bled, it hurt, and I got to flip my boss off without actually flipping him off. Win.

Another downside to the slice, other then those mentioned above, was that I couldn't was scared to change my polish because as we all know: acetone + open wounds = OW! Wooo!

In my Big Lots haul from Friday I picked up some Revlon Top Speed Fast Dry duo packs for $2.00 each. One those those packs I bought specifically for Jaded - a cool, creamy, minty green. Since it was late and I wanted to be in bed by midnight I figured that a Top Speed Fast Dry polish would be the ticket.

It wasn't.

I opted for thin, 'even' coats that I could build on since I knew that Jaded was a little on the thicker side from swatching it on a nail wheel over the weekend. First coat was about what you'd expect. Streaky and uneven. Surely it will get better wont it? Meh, no, not really.

I ended up with 2 thin coats, 1 normal coat, and 4th touch up coat to try and even out the streaks and gobs. After all of that, and maybe its just me, but I feel like I can still see my free edge! Grrrr.

Anyway, I loved the color, but I wasn't crazy about the coverage so I layered Deborah Lippmann - 'Pearly Queen' ($6 - TJ Maxx find) over the top which gave it some beautiful iridescent sheen. Seriously. In the sun these claws shine like a mermaids tail. Thanks Pearly Queen, you saved Jaded!
Edit: There was no sun today! I had fully intended to take a photo of this in direct sunlight so that you could really get a feel for the iridescent-ness of Pearly Queen, but alas, it rained. There IS a decent photo of it on my Facebook.

While its a pretty mani on its own, it's not really 'me'. Oh well, can't say I didn't try!


Revlons Top Speed 'Jaded' - Mint Green. Slightly on the thicker side, streaky application, not quite opaque after 3 coats. Color was pretty true to bottle.

Deborah Lippmann 'Pearly Queen' - Gorgeous greeny-blue iridescent shimmer, sheer top coat (think mermaid, fish scales...well maybe not fish scales...ew) Applied like a dream, very thin. Evened out nicely. Multiple coats didn't appear to achieve additional shimmer benefits.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Big Lots Haul + $6 Deborah Lippmann

Last Friday I heard (it through the grapevine) that TJ Maxx had Deborah Lippmann polishes for $6.00! Jumping at my chance to own my first DL polish at such a killer price, I raced over there after work! After some searching I finally found them -- Naked and Pearly Queen. SQUEEE!! I ended up picking up Pearly Queen because...It's. Freaking. Beautiful! I can't wait to try it!
While I was on that side of town I figured I'd hit up Big Lots which is right next door to TJ Maxx. I found a couple of 4 packs of ELF polish for $1.80 (which I passed up because I haven't had good luck with their polish in the past), some Salon Express stamping sets for a little over $6.00 (passed over those because I already have them), and duo packs of Revlon Top Speed for $2.00. Woot!

I was about to head to the check out when they mentioned something about a 'drug store buy out' at the back of the store. Hmm...sure why not. I was about half way down the aisle when I saw it: Essie. Lots of Essie. Baskets of polish. Essie for $1.50! OPI for $3.00! OH MAH GOD. My head exploded. No joke.

It probably took me 20 minutes to make sure that I checked, and double checked the bins for duplicates. Anyone that came down the aisle quickly turned and walked away. I was like an addict looking for a fix. I walked away with 4 bottles of Revlon Top Speed for $4.00, 2 bottles of OPI for $6.00, and 7 bottles of Essie for $10.50!!

My Haul included:
Revlon: Espresso, Jaded, Guava, Sugar Plum
OPI: Conquistadorable Color, No Spain No Gain
Essie: Be Right Bag, Au Natural, Anniversary Gala, Guchi Muchi Puchi, Need A Vacation, Chastity, Material Girl

WOOOOOOOO!!!!! That was fun! But the real fun came from seeing how much I saved when I got home!

Let's assume the following (I'm rounding) and add a little 'Price is Right' theme music:
OPI is around $8 at Ulta :  $8.00 x 2 = $16.00
Essie is approximately $8 at Ulta:  $8.00 x 7= $56.00
Revlon Top Speed is $5.00 at Walmart:  $5.00 x 4 = $20.00
Deborah Lippmann is $16.00 according the the tag on the box.

And the actual retail price is: $108.00

What I actually spent: $26.50

Holy. Crap.

Even my fiance can't argue with that purchase. I can't wait to swatch these and get them posted! I also have ORLY, ColorClub, Spectraflaire, and new (to me) China Glaze on the way, as well as some Ulta and OPI.

Big Haul at Big Lots, TJ Maxx
Essie for STUPID cheap
Lots of savings
Pearly Queen is gorgeous

Friday, July 13, 2012

Birthday Giveaway!


My birthday is coming up next Saturday and I wanted to celebrate the beginning of my blog, and my birthday, and summer, and the fact that its Friday the 13th, and everything thing else amazing about RIGHT NOW with my first giveaway! (Holy run on sentence batman!)

Up for grabs is one brand new bottle of Sinful Colors Cinderella! (Because what girl hasn't wanted to be a princess on her birthday?) Thank you to Christine from MakeUp, Beauty, and Fashion by Christine for allowing me to use her beautiful photos for this giveaway!

• 1 lucky follower (honestly, I wish I could send everyone something) will win one brand new bottle of Sinful Colors Cinderella.
• Giveaway ends July 31, 2012.
• You must be 18 years of age or older. Unless you have your parents permission.
• Sorry, open to US only. If you live internationally and know someone in the states that can send you the package you may enter.
• Please don't cheat. Cheating ruins the fun for everyone! I will be verifying entries. Duplicates and non-compliance entries will be tossed.
• The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to reply before another winner is picked.
• This giveaway is obviously not sponsored or endorsed by anyone other than me, with a special thanks again to Christine for lending me her beautiful photos. I purchased the polish with my own money.
• If you have any questions, please shoot me a message at

EDIT 7/24/12: In light of the whole Sinful Colors thing today, I will try to find an alternative prize for my Cinderella giveaway if the winner would prefer not to receive the SC polish.  I don't know what it will be yet but will attempt to work it out with the winner. Thanks for your understanding.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Obviously I'm new at this so if I forgot something, or any of you veteran giveaway-ers have any tips or comments I'd love to hear them :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Peroxide & Baking Soda Whitening Test

The other day I was browsing through some nail boards and came across a pin that said, "How to get white nails after so much nail polish -- make a paste using 1 tbsp peroxide and 2 1/4 tbsp baking soda. Let this paste sit on your nails for 5 minutes and voila! White nails! REMEMBER THIS AFTER USING Dark NAIL POLISH!"

KICK AAAAASSSSSSS, I thought. Just what I needed! My nails are still recovering from the dark blue KleanColor polish I wore for Independence Day. I've had some success in the past by soaking my nails in warm water with a Polident tablet or two in it, but those things aren't SUPER cheap and they kinda smell like, well, denture tablets.

So anyway, I tried the paste. I followed the directions exactly as stated them and even left the paste on for a couple minutes longer. After a few curious glances my way from my fiance (who didn't even ask what the hell I was trying to accomplish with foamy white paste on my finger tips, bless his heart), I ran to the kitchen sink and washed it off. THE RISE!!!
The fall...

NO noticeable change, what-so-ever. BLAST!

There are a few things that I can see that MAY have affected the outcome. First, and most obviously, perhaps my nails are just too stained, or the stains are too old to be 'bleached' out. Secondly, my peroxide was not brand new, it's about half gone. Maybe a newer bottle would have provided a different outcome? Maybe I should have soaked my nails in warm water before attempting this to soften them? Who knows.

Do you guys have any tips and tricks that you use to whiten your nails or lift stains? Let me know in the comments! I'll try pretty much anything...within reason. ;)


Random side note: I wear Seche Vite Base Coat. And yes, posting that photo of my naked nails is a little bit embarrassing. ;)