Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Police Nails

My Uncle just celebrated 30 years with the police force and will be retiring soon. I just got Messy Mansion's plate MM28. Coincidence? I think not. The universe is obviously telling me I need to do a crime and punishment mani so here it is. I rushed the stamping a bit because I was running late for work, but over all I like how it turned out! Index, middle and pinkie are all painted an unnamed grey from Fingr's and stamped over with BundleMonster's BM414 using Wet n Wild "Black Creme". I then used MM28 again and Cosmetic Arts "Picture Day" to add some fun images. Oh, the DNA strands are from MM25. The ring and thumb are Sally Hansen "Lighting" stamped with MM28 again in "Black Creme". I really do like it. The grey fingers remind me of fingerprint dust. Many people don't know this, but I started taking classes thinking I wanted to get into forensic science. That was the vague plan anyway. Then one semester I took a microbiology class as just a prerequisite and fell in love with micro. So Forensics fell to the back-burner as Micro took front stage, but it still holds a soft spot in my heart.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Foiled by Foils

My Foils from yesterday that I was super crazy proud of? This is what they looked like today. I didn't get more than a few hours out of them. I need to find a way to protect the foil, but topcoat ate it. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do, but it's time to experiment.

My First Foils

I have always admired nail foils. So shiny! And a fascinating effect that glitter and holos just can't quite copy. I did get some by Fingr's Heart 2 Art collection, but it didn't come with glue. Fingr's directions was to paint your nails and just before it was completely dry to put the foil on then. That seemed incredibly stupid so I just hung onto the foils until I got some glue. I figured it was just a matter of time before I did. A couple weeks ago I proved myself right when I found It's So Easy Foil 'Em Kit. 3 rolls of foil and a small bottle of glue!

My camera didn't want to pick up the patterns in the foil at all. The rolls in the box are, from the left, silver with holo lines running thru it, aqua blue with holo dots, and violet with holo dots.

The directions are more what I expect from a foil kit. Paint your nails with the glue. As it dries it turns from milky lavender to clear. The interesting thing with foil glue is it dries sticky.

Here you see the light purple color of the glue on my thumb. The ring finger is almost dried so you can see how much clearer it is.

I tried to keep the foil on the roll but it was unwieldy so I cut a small square off of it. Press the boring color side of the foil to the clear, dry glued nails. Rub it onto the nail and keep it as flat as you can to avoid wrinkles. Then gently lift it off the nail. You will see the colorful part of the foil stick to your nail leaving clear plastic in your hands. You can see on my ring finger that some glue got on the skin and the foil transferred to it too.

 I've always been told not to topcoat foils. Curious I just had to give it a shot. The topcoat I used (Pure Ice "Girl On The Run") looked like it ate the shiny holo bits and made it look over all kinda foggy. I took a pic then redid the nail. So don't topcoat your foils!

China Glaze "Coconut Kiss"
 You can always go back and fix any bald spots on your nails. I still need practice, but for my first time foiling I am super proud of it!

Friday, March 21, 2014

LeadLight Flowers

I got a new Watermarking software for my pictures!

Well, we made it past St. Patrick's Day. I love the holiday, but it's time to hang up the green polish for a little bit. Maybe next year I won't start my celebration right after Valentine's Day. Today we have a neat technique that I'm sure has been floating around out there for a while, but I only just discovered it when Messy Mansion posted about it a couple weeks ago. I may do a tutorial on it soon, but for now I'll let Messy Mansion explain it herself. Now she calls it the Leadlight technique after her new polishes coming out and that's what I call it too, but it also goes by "glazing". The term Leadlight makes me think of stained glass windows with the lead strips that hold the colored panes in place. I'm not sure what Messy Mansion had in mind when she came up with the name. The basic idea is a light color background that you stamp a dark color over. Then use sheer or jelly polishes to fill in the colors. The colors will stand out over the light color, but won't obscure the dark color lines. I've used a white background (Sally Hansen "White On" and Wet n Wild "French White Creme". I was running low on white so I poured them both into the same bottle) I stamped with Wet n Wild "Black Creme" using MoYou Pro 06. Then I filled in the flowers and leaves with Sinful Colors "Irish Green" and OPI "Guy Meets Gal-veston" and "Y'All Come Back Ya Hear?". All three are strongly pigmented jellies that I don't get a chance to use all that often.

So what do you think? I think this is a good substitute for those that just can't seem to get the hang of stamping decals, tho not a replacement for them. You have the limitation of only being able to color over light colored backgrounds. Other than that, it does seem to be a viable option for art in its own right.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

And a simple design to finish off my St. Patty's day celebrations! I wanted a very simple cream base so the glitter I added to the accents would stand out better. OPI "Jade is the New Black" as a base color. I don't have many OPI's as they tend to be more expensive than my regular fare, but this was a gift. I never understood why OPI is so popular, but I think I get it now. I was very pleased how this dried even before I added the topcoat. And application was a dream too. If only the decals had behaved as readily. Messy Mansion MM04 is wonderful to work with, but I'm still getting the hang of decals and these ones put up a fight. Wet n Wild "Black Creme" filled in with Sinful Colors "All About You" and "Gold Medal". I thought they came out wonderfully, and at a distance they really don't look all that bad.

But close up? Ugh. Bubbles in the paint. A lot of bubbles in the paint. The more it dried, the bigger the bubbles got. I'm at my wits end with this problem. Then as the ring finger dried it got these weird ridge-like wrinkles in the topcoat. Please, any advice would be greatly appreciated! Leave tips and tricks in the comments section.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy Pi Day!

Ah, Pi Day again. This year I'm happier with the results. I do seem to be craving spring it seems, the colors I chose look a bit Easter-ish to me. For those that don't know, the mathematical constant Pi is the circumference (the distance around) a circle divided by its diameter (a line that cuts thru the middle of a circle). It doesn't matter how big the circle is, the Circumference divided by the diameter will always equal 3.14159....(it's a very long number. No one has found the end of it yet). This number is also called Pi, named after a Greek letter.  There are a few numbers in math that do this, but not all of them share a name with a tasty dessert. Mmmm...Pie....

First the basecolors: Here we have on the index Sally Hansen "Grape Race", the middle has China Glaze "Seahorsin' Around", the ring finger has China Glaze "Running in Circles", the pinkie China Glaze "Wish on a Starfish" and the thumb Sally Hansen "Lighting".

Second the stamping: The black is Wet n Wild "Black Creme" and the freehanded Pi symbol is Sinful Colors "Gold Medal". Since the blue, green and pink were glittery I added a coat of China Glaze "Icecap" to the purple and yellow to match. The numbers on index, middle, and pinkie are BundleMonster BM311, the thumb is BM408, and the ring is isolated parts of BM425. The 2 stamps on BM425 actually read I <3 YOU and CUTIE PIE, but I just used the I <3 and PI. That was trickier to do that I thought it would be.

And yes, I am a big enough nerd that I scheduled this post for 3/14 at 1:59am. *giggle*

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Nail Polish Lexicon ~ Indie and Messy Mansion Product Review

I just got my first order of Messy Mansion plates. They are my first "indie" plates, plates designed and sold by an independent manufacturer. Commercial plates like Bundle Monster and MoYou are awesome, but ever once in a while I like to support those people that go at it alone. It is like the difference between a grocery store and a farmer's market. Indie plate makers are having a hard time of it lately. Some commercial makers have been trying to copyright the act of nail stamping and are attacking indie makers with lawsuits and cease and desist orders. You won't see me buying plates from people who do that anytime soon. And there there is the opposite side of the scale, the cut rate dealers. I don't mind super cheap plates of suspicious quality, but when they steal the designs from other makers it becomes not cool. So independent plate makers have the big commercial companies trying to force them out of business, and cheap companies stealing their designs.

Anyway, here is my first indie purchase. The 3 plates come in resealable baggies with a holographic sticker on the bag sporting Messy Mansion's logo "MM". I bought MM04 the Irish plate, MM25 the Science plate, and MM28 Crime.

The logo sticker really caught the light in this photo :)

Well first lets take a look at the size of the plates. They come with the standard blue film to protect from scratches. And they are larger than many of the plates I've gotten in the past. Here I compare it to BundleMonster's BM221. BundleMonster is a standard sized plates. Most plates you buy come in this size.

The area within the full nail image is also larger than BundleMonster's.

Much longer and a tad bit wider than BundleMonster. The size for full nail images do vary quite a bit. I'm just using BundleMonster because it is a very common plate company. And the plate happened to be sitting on my desk when my MM shipment came in.

And on to the stamping. The images are etched evenly and deeply. I think they are deeper than any plate I've gotten before. The edges are crisp and clean. I am in love! I've ordered 5 more plates and can't wait till they come in!

I am totally in love. By the way, what do you think of my new camera. I'm still working on the best way to use it, but I think the results are stunning. The shape of the photo is different and I'm trying to come up with a way to fix that without having to crop each and every photo, but other than that, I am super pleased.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Celtic Knotwork

I thought I was super clever when I came up with my Book of Kells mani. I guess I was too clever. People asked about my nails and when I proudly proclaimed that they were inspired by the Book of Kells, I got blank stares and "Book of what?". Apparently no one knows what an illuminated manuscript even is. *sigh* Luckily my first order of Messy Mansion plates came in yesterday so I can go back to playing with classic green manicures. This is 2 coats of China Glaze "Running in Circles" my fav chunky green shimmer ever. Then stamped in Wet n Wild "Black Creme" using Messy Mansion MM04. I'll be writing a proper review on Messy Mansion later, but short story? I am so impressed! I Love Them!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Book of Kells

Well, I wanted to do a St. Patrick's Day mani without using green, and I think this qualifies! I was falling asleep a few nights ago trying to come up with a green-less mani and had a brilliant idea. The Book Of Kells! I could mimic the calligraphy and colors used in that famous illuminated manuscript. I fell asleep that night knowing I had solved my problem. The next morning I could not remember my idea to save my life. I knew I had thought I came up with an answer, I just couldn't remember what that answer was. Frustrating. It took me a couple days, but I did eventually remember it.

A note about the base color. I've been looking for a perfect "old parchment paper" color. Not a stark white, but a slightly yellowed, maybe almost creamy brown type of color. I have not been able to find what I was looking for anywhere. So I decided to make one. I didn't take progress shots because, honestly, I didn't expect it to turn out as well as it did! I took an empty bottle of top coat, poured in some Wet n Wild "French White Creme". I don't use it all that much since I discovered Cosmetic Arts "Picture Day" for stamping. I then added in a small amount of Sally Hansen "Lighting" and a couple of drops of Milani "Dark Coffee". The color was perfect! Exactly what I was looking for!

Image from Wikipedia.

I then sponged on just a little bit of Sinful Colors "Nirvana" in random areas to look like older, browning areas of the paper. Then came freehand time. Using a small detail paint brush I painted large decoative letters on the thumb (Essie "Fifth Avenue" ), index ("Lightning" again), and ring (Wet n Wild "Saved by the Blue"). Outlined the letter in Wet n Wild "Black Creme" and dotted around the edges. Middle and pinkie got random letters that I hope look like the calligraphy in the Book of Kells. I wish I had some Celtic knots to add around the edges, but over all I'm pleased. Turned out much better than I thought it would.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Green Gradient with Claddagh

This gradient I both liked and didn't like. The transition between all the colors is amazing, but the colors themselves look gritty and spotty. I liked the over all color tho. This is a 4 color gradient. The darkest is China Glaze "Holly-Day" then "Starboard", Sinful Colors "Pistache" and finally Cosmetic Arts "Picture Day". "Picture Day" is a stark white, but as I was sponging on the colors I kept going up and down the nail to mix the colors well. I like it, but again I'm not sure why it came out gritty looking. I couldn't decide what to stamp over it. I was gonna go with some clover from a MoYou plate. However when my new set of BundleMonster plates showed up yesterday morning I just HAD to stamp the Claddagh image! I suddenly like the mani a lot more! Stamped in Maybelline "Bold Gold" using BundleMonster BM418.

I love green, but I'm starting to burn out with it. 6 Green manis in a row (some didn't turn out all that well so I probably won't post them). I'm starting to crave other colors. I'm sure it's possible to do a St. Patrick's Day mani with other colors... I just gotta figure out how.