Friday, January 31, 2014

Audrey's Lace

I had some fun with new stamps and new polishes! This is China Glaze "For Audrey", a very popular color of theirs, but the first time I've gotten a bottle of it. I got a tiny bottle because I wasn't sure I would care for it, but I am thrilled! I'm gonna have to get a full size soon. I put an under color of white (Wet n Wild "French White Creme") so the teal would show up better, but I'm not sure I had to. The I stamped using Fing'rs Heart 2 Art stamping plate kit. They don't number their plates, but so far there are only 2 out there and they come in the same kit. Then on advice from some girls in my nail polish group I picked up "Picture Day" by Cosmetic Arts. It is now my very fav stamping white, beating out Claire's unnamed white and Milani "White On The Spot" and cheaper than all of them at 1.98 a bottle.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Duochrome TARDIS

Guess who got a new stamping plate? This girl did! I have been drooling over MyOnlineShop MJ XII for months as it is the only plate I've seen with Doctor Who images, and you all know I'm a bit obsessed with DW. So I saved up and got it! I will do a review later, but right now it's so bitter cold (-40 degrees in Chicago) that I don't feel like doing anything. I've been trying out a new base coat and I'm pretty pleased with it. Wet n Wild basecoat is only 99 cents but I got it on sale for 69 cents. I did an under coat of Wet n Wild "Black Creme" so that Fresh Paint "Sugar Crush" would stand out on top of it. The decal is Sinful Colors "Endless Blue" with Wet n Wild "French White Creme" accents. I loved this combo so much I made a necklace of it as well. Soon as I get a decent picture of it I'll post it too.

UPDATE: As promised, here is my necklace:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

3 Purple Challenge

My purples always photograph blue. I have no idea why.

So  for 2013 the color of the year was supposed to be Jade. I'm not sure what that means, but I love green in all its forms. This year it's supposed to be Orchid so I'm anticipating seeing alot of purples this year. Keeping that in mind I really wasn't surprised to see that this week's stamping challenge was to use 3 purples. What I didn't realize is that I really don't have many purples that look good together. 2 purples would have been easy, but 3 was harder than I thought it would be. I finally settled on the base color Sally Hansen "Grape Race". The ring finger accent is Sally Hansen "Grape Escape" and the rest is Ellen Tracey no name metallic purple using BundleMonster BM322. I wasn't sure I liked how hard it is too see the Ellen Tracy on the other fingers, but its growing on me. I don't think the mani will last long, however. After only a couple hours a break in the paint formed in the middle finger that you can see in the picture. I can't believe it happened so quickly. That tells me it will chip easily. More than likely it won't make it thru work tomorrow.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gradient Icicles

Snow is moving into the area again. It probably won't be as bad as it was on New Year's but it is coming. Here I wanted my nails to look like icicles and I'm not sure I got the image across all that well. It's Orly "Mirror Mirror" and Sally Hansen "Blue Me Away" in a gradient. I wanted the blue just at the tips. I then stamped in Claire's unnamed white stamping polish using BundleMonster BM319. Not exactly the look I was going for, but it worked out ok. I've been on a bit of a gradient kick lately and having fun with it :D

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How To: Fan Brush Manicures

The Fan Brush. Nifty little thing. You don't see mani's with it too often anymore, but I just got my first one and am eager to try a new (to me at least) technique. Pick the colors you will want to use. I went with a base color of Sally Hansen "Straw-ready" and will paint on the colors "French White Creme" and "Black Creme" by Wet n Wild using the brush.

First you need to paint your base color and let it dry.

The fan brush is simply a paint brush with the bristles fanned out in a arc. You can find this at most art stores and some beauty supply stores.

You can use acrylic paint if you like. Paint will be easier to clean out of the brush later, but if you are careful then polish is fine. You just want paint/polish to be at the tips of the brush. If you saturate the brush it will be a huge pain to clean later. I dabbed some polish on a paper plate and just dipped the tip into the puddle. I then tapped excess polish off because I wanted thin pretty lines.

Polish just on the tip of the brush.

In a smooth stroke, brush the polish on the nail from one side to the other. I think I may have dabbed off too much because half way across the nail my polish ran dry and I had to go again starting from the other side to the center.

Do the same thing with your second color and you are done! Very simple artwork that just requires the use of a different sort of brush. You can keep adding more colors or more coats of the same colors. It just depends on the design you are trying to create.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rainbow Gradient

Mom has the winter blahs and wanted something bright and cheerful. So what's more cheerful than rainbows? She also loves gradients. I wasn't sure I could get that many colors in a gradient but was willing to give it a try. I'll run through the polishes real quick: I started with an under coat of Sally Hansen "White On" to make the other colors brighter. Then I used Essie "Fifth Avenue", Sinful Colors "Clementine", Sally Hansen "Lighting", China Glaze "Tree Hugger", Sally Hansen "Blew Me Away", and Sally Hansen "Grape Race". I painted these in thin stripes on a cosmetic wedge sponge and dabbed them on to the nails. I did 2 coats of the gradient. Then to smooth the transitions I painted over the gradient with China Glaze "Ice Cap" a light sheen of chunky gold shimmer. I like the effect it has to soften the color shifts. That and glitter makes everything better :D I would liked to have done a bit more clean up, but she had to get to work, so I cut clean up short.

Monday, January 13, 2014


This week's challenge in my stamping group was to do a manicure based on a TV show you are watching. Now I usually do Doctor Who, but that show won't be back on till August. To be honest, the show I'm watching a lot of right now is Sherlock. The new episode will be airing next week and I'm super excited for it. Each nail is based on a different episode and I'll go through them one at a time.

First up is the index. "A Scandal In Belgravia" introduces us to Irene Adler, the Woman. I really think that this is the one woman that Sherlock could really fall in love with. I wanted to go with red and black, something seductive, for her. The base color is Essie "Fifth Avenue" and stamped with Wet n Wild "Black Creme" using MoYou Suki 07.

Next is the middle finger. "The Hounds of Baskerville" is a classic episode! I wanted to stamp a black wolf howling at the moon, but apparently I have NO wolf stamps at all. So my black wolf looks suspiciously like a fox. The base color is Milani "Mr. Sandman" stamped with "Black Creme" and MoYou Landscape/Mother Nature plate 03. Odd thing about this plate, it's from the Mother Nature Collection, but the name etched into it is Landscape. I think maybe that was the original name for it before they went with Mother Nature. Oh, and the eyes are dotted with "Fifth Avenue".

The ring finger is based on the episode "The Blind Banker". I painted it with "Black Creme" and stamped a couple times in Sally Hansen "Red-io Active" using BundleMonster BM206. I then freehanded the cipher over the top in Sally Hansen "Lightning".

Finally the pinkie. "A Study In Pink". The base color is Sinful Colors "24/7" and the skull is stamped in "Black Creme" using BundleMonster BM211. Very simple.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Diagonal Gradient MPP

My nail art group does a Monthly Palette Project each month. I thought for sure I had written about this before, but I can't find the post, so I'm gonna write about it again. Possibly for the first time. Anyway, they post a picture with some color options and we use the picture as inspiration for a mani. Here is the photo they used this month:

Unfortunately I don't have many of these colors so I had to come as close as I could. I used the 3 colors on the right. This month we also had to include a gradient in the mani somewhere. I thought I would test myself a bit further and try and put the gradient on a diagonal. It wasn't that much harder, I just had to focus on where I was holding the sponge so my lines would lay in the same spot for each coat I added. I painted my nails with Sinful Color "Unicorn", then I sponged on "Unicorn", China Glaze "Tree Hugger" and Salon Perfect "Scarlet Enchantment". I wish "Enchantment" was closer to the turkey red in the inspiration picture, but I think it turned out ok. I added just a little stamping to dress it up a little. BundleMonster BM314 in Wet n Wild "Black Creme". I like these mini challenges. It stretches the creative muscles.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas Clearance

Christmas is over and all the stores are trying to get rid of all their leftover Christmas product and gift sets. Including manicure, nail art and polish gift sets! Here is a quick look at the haul I made yesterday. I'll prolly write up proper product reviews on them later.

This was the set I went looking for. My nail art group on Facebook was talking about a cheap nail stamping kit at WalMart and I just had to get a look. My luck was in as I hit my second WalMart and found the last one on the shelf. That and it was 75% off! Two and a half bucks for a new stamping set. Even if every thing in here is rubbish, it was still worth it.

Sorry for the glare, I'm still learning
how best to use my Ott Light.

I've started to grow interested in Hard Candy so finding this set of mini bottles for 75% off was awesome. The mini bottles look kinda like their crushed chrome collection so another $2.50 was worth it to try them out.

These were in WalMart's regular clearance section and they are still a little pricey. I looks like they are getting rid of the Heart 2 Art collection Fing'rs came out with last summer. Shame, I really liked the idea of introducing all the different forms of nail art to the mainstream. Even if the product was a bit cheaply made I still liked it.

Another Heart 2 Art that I picked up solely for the fan brush. I've been wanting one for a while to play with but never got around to it.

The whole reason I picked this up was cause it was $2.48. Then Mom mentioned lips for Valentine's Day, so I'm gonna pretend that is the reason I got it.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Holiday Wrap Up Manicures

As promised, here are some holiday manis that I wanted to make into full posts, but time just got away from me or they just weren't interesting enough to warrant a whole post. I could hold on to them for next year, but I'm sure I'll forget all about them by then.

I finally got around to stamping the "prep" nails I did. Stamped with MoYou Festive 04 using Claire's unnamed white stamping polish.

This one and the next were a complete flop. Nothing I could do could make them turn out right. I'm trying to remember what polishes I used, and I think the base is either Wet n Wild "French White Creme" or Sally Hansen "White On". I was trying to mimic the Irish mani and my Grey and Pink dot mani using Christmas colors, but it just didn't work. The dots on the pic above are Maybelline "Bold Gold" and Pure Ice "Silver Mercedes". The dots on the pic below are...umm... I think Sinful Colors "Pine Away" and Salon Perfect "Scarlet Enchantment" with "Bold Gold" again. I was also trying a new topcoat so if you look really closely you will see the colors smeared. The topcoat never hardened so you can also see the impression of my bed sheets on them. Not gonna use that topcoat as a topcoat again. Its gonna be used to make frankens.

And here was a mani I intended to stamp over, but never did. I can't remember if I used a base color of "Bold Gold" or just used several coats of China Glaze "Angel Wings". So sparkly and pretty!

And here is a bonus picture. A Halloween mani using as many stamps as I could find! Fright Night Claw Polish "Phantom" with a white sponged at the tips that is prolly Wet n Wild "French White Creme". I wanted it to look like fog rolling in. I wanted to make a full scene of a haunted house, I just haven't gotten the hang of it yet. Stamped with a lot of BundleMonster plates (BM209, BM213, BM225, BM305) using Wet n Wild "Black Creme".

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone! Here is a mani inspired mostly by a woman in my nail polish group who got the idea from Diana's mani. She stamped white fireworks over a sponged on color and the color bled thru the white. I don't have many colors that will stamp over black so I thought that was an awesome idea! Her colors bled up into the white, but I don't own any KleanColor polishes so I thought I would use a sheer white for the same effect. Well, my white wasn't as sheer as I thought it would be, but I still like it.

Ok, wait. I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me explain the mani a step at a time. First I painted all the nails with Wet n Wild "Black Creme". Then I sponged some metallic colors in spots. Index, ring and pinkie were all sponged with Ellen Tracy polishes I got for Christmas but as far as I can tell they don't have names. Middle is sponged with Sally Hansen "Red-io Active" and the thumb with China Glaze "Tree Hugger". The thumb didn't turn out as cute so there isn't many pics of it.

Then I stamped over the color splotches with Sally Hansen "French White Creme". The idea is the white isn't that strong and you should be able to see the color thru it. I guess it was stronger than I gave it credit for, because the color doesn't show thru at all. I used MoYou Pro 06 (favorite plate!). I don't have a stamp of fireworks, but the dandelion puff made a good firework. I used the smaller puff for the pinkie, but wish I had used the bigger one.

Finally the year. I've been itching to use the identifying numbers and collection names ever since I saw the MoYou plates had etched the names on the plates. On my thumb I used the numbers on the MoYou plates, but they were very small. So on the Index I used BundleMonster numbers and it looks so much better. And I used plate BM201 so I only needed to add the 4 from BM204 to the end of the 201. Did that make sense? I stamped with Claire's unnamed white stamping polish. Here's a pic of the plates, maybe it will make that more clear.

And there you have it! This mani was a lesson in carefully placing stamps, which I still need to work on. Not a bad New Year's mani, I think.