Friday, December 30, 2016

Swatch: OPI Ski Teal We Drop

I really enjoy some polishes even though they came out a long time ago. OPI Ski Teal We Drop came out in the Fall 2010 OPI Swiss Collection. I really like wearing it this time of year, it just really speaks to me with the beautiful dark teal color.

It wears beautifully on me and lasts really well. This shows 2 coats and look at how shiny it is! I decided to wear this on its own without any additional nail art because I think it just looks that pretty.

What colors speak to you during this time of year?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Party Manicure

Last year I went to a Christmas party and did this manicure for it. I've discovered that I have taken many, many photos of manis over the past few years that I have never actually blogged. I've been sharing some of them earlier this year in October but thought I'd show another one today. It's really interesting going back and seeing what type of manicures and techniques I previously did and how I've improved so much. Not only in my skills for nail art, but also in taking photos of it.

This manicure is so dark in the photos and I waited a few days to take the photos of it (as evidenced by the tip wear...). I can also see the difference between this photo and how using nail oil has really helped around the cuticles. They look so dry here, but now they are so much better and healthier. (I've been using Bliss Kiss for about a year now).

I started with a base of Funky Fingers Ectoplasmic and then tried my hand at a few decals. I used Il Etait un Vernis Paint It Black, Konad Green, and Funky Fingers Gesso. I made decals for the bell and champagne glasses coloring them in with silver polish and red Sharpie markers.

Plates used are as follows:
-Dashica SdP 24 (Holly Berries)
-Dashica SdP 14 (Champagne Glasses, Bells)

(Since this is from last year I'm not sure which plate the large bell is from. One thing that I've learned is that I really need to write down what I'm using so when I post I can let everyone know. Also, I might want to recreate something or use an image again.)


What do you think? How have you grown in your nail art over the past year?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Snowflake & Flowers on a Blue Holo Background Featuring Glitter Gal Blue Suede Shoes

Occasionally, in the winter the sun can come out. What a perfect time to enjoy a holographic polish!

Here is Glitter Gal Blue Suede Shoes Holographic polish as the base. I love how holographic this is, but it does take a few coats for opacity (something I put it over a white base or a coordinating creme base in order to not use as much polish).

I wanted to stamp a winter-y design over this so I went with some Konad Red and Konad White and stamped the flowers that sort of look like snowflakes. What do you think?

I think it sort of looks like Poinsettias in the snow!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Challenge Your Nail Art October Challenge, Day 17: Orange

Today's challenge calls for orange. I wanted to try something a little different and think outside the box. I came up with this retro looking Flamingo mani.

I started with a Base of Kleancolor Neon Orange and topped that with a thin layer of Kleancolor Chunky Holo Candy for the glittery goodness. I think did just the tips with a textured polish Sally Hansen Sugar Coat in Sweetie.

I used the Flamingo from Winstonia 210 and my Creative Shop Stamper with Funky Fingers Dark Night to stamp.

I used a dotting tool and OPI Fly as an accent to bring the whole thing together.

What do you think? Does it look retro? I liked the mixture of the different textures this created. Do you like texture polish?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Swatch: Il Etait un Vernis White Canvas

A brand I don't see mentioned as often is the French brand Il Etait un Vernis. They come out with collections every few months. I love the formula and the colors are phenomenal. They also have a collection In Media Res that has all your essentials in it like cuticle oil, top coat, base coat, white and black polish.

This is White Canvas which is a great one coater! It is nice and thick so even works for stamping. But not too thick that it goes on gloopy or where as you push the brush it pics up more polish from the nail. I like it as a base for nail art, neons, or to use to stamp.

Have you tried this brand yet? What do you think?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Challenge Your Nail Art October Challenge, Day 3: Gradient

For today's challenge, I used an older manicure. It's interesting going back and looking at manicures from a few years ago. My nails are so different. The nail shape for one, but it also seems the part by the cuticle is a bit different as well. And of course my cuticles are in much better shape. I used to have so many hang-nails but now that I use cuticle oil regularly that has improved so much.

Today's theme is gradient. This is one of the first gradient manis I did and also an attempt at creating a scene using some of the smaller images from plates. I used a bunch of different designs from the Cheeky round plates to create this look.

I did a gradient with some color that I thought would look good as a sunset background. This was my first attempt and I think I did all right, but think I need to add in some darker colors next time. I then stamped using my Konad stamper and Funky Fingers Black Knight.

What do you think? Have you created one of these gradient manicures before?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Challenge Your Nail Art October Challenge, Day 1: Black

Today is the first day for the Challenge your nail art October challenge! I enjoyed doing the St. Patrick's Day challenge so decided to try this one too. I really enjoy doing challenges because it gets me thinking outside the box.

This is an old manicure, but it fits the challenge so I thought I'd share The base is a grey creme polish by Ulta called Concrete Evidence. I then stamped the tree image from Petla plate Feathers stamping plate. I think those trees just have a spooky air about them, perfect for Halloween!!

I used Funky Fingers Dark Night for stamping and my Konad stamper. Goes to show how old thsi one is, from 2014 :) Do you keep pictures of older manicures and share them later too?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Blue Metallic Zipper Nails with Loja BBF 01

Going for the metallic look today with the base and stamping for this nail art. I started with a base of AEngland Holy Grail (original).

AEngland Holy Grail (original)

I got some Loja BBF plates, which is a brand that I hadn't tried before. I liked the zipper image on BBF 01 so decided to try that plate first.

I stamped it on with Kleancolor Metallic Sapphire.

I really liked the look but when I put top coat on it sort of smeared the stamping. It still looks good but the lines aren't as crisp when I first stamped it on. Has that every happened to you?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Glitter Placement with Kleancolor Tiara Gold

I tried some glitter placement with Kleancolor Tiara Gold. It has gold hex glitters in it large and small.

I tried globbing them on the nail with the polish brush but quickly realized that that makes a large mess. So I decided to take the globs on put them on a piece of paper and grab the glitter with a toothpick and then place it on the nail that way.

I tried different patterns on each nail. This turned out so elegant!! Have you tried glitter placement before?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Swatch: Kleancolor Pastel Purple

Today I've got a swatch of Kleancolor Pastel Purple. I really love this shade of purple. It's a nice light color but not too pastel so it's very versatile all year long. This is a cream polish that is opaque in one coat, since Kleancolor polish tends to be on the thicker side. Because of this it can also stamp.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Fair: My First Attempt at Stamping Decals and Tips to Help YOU!

A few years ago I went to the Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair to film an episode for my show, Out & About in Central Virginia. I wanted my nails to match the theme of the episode, which was filming at the newly opened museum right on the fairgrounds.

I found some images from the Cheeky Jumbo stamping plates that fit the theme. The above hot air balloons, some horses (Fredericksburg used to have horse racing as part of the fair), music notes to signify the parade that used to go through the historic downtown area (I was even told that the entire city used to have off school to go to the fair), flags, and ice cream cones.

I used a plethora of colors including Il Etait un Vernis Paint it Black to stamp. Since this was my first attempt at the decals, you can tell how rough the final product was. The images weren't long enough for my nails so there is space leftover at the bottom.

I learned a lot doing this manicure. If you look at the image above you can see how the decal sticks out from the nails a bit in places and didn't lay flat. I've since learned the trick is to get it all wet again while applying it on the nails with top coat. This allows the image to "relax" and be able to smooth out a lot more. I also learned that you should try to trim it as close as possible to your nail size BEFORE placing it on the nail. If you don't it can also lead to the image sticking up at the corners and ends as you can see on the hot air balloon nail.

Once you put the decal on, you should also put a coat of top coat over it again to help even out the final product. It can appear lumpy if you don't do this as the nail picture above shows. You can smooth it out just with your finger or even using a stamper head to help get in all the corners.

This last photo shows what happens when you don't cut the image before putting it on the nail. As I was trying to smooth it out and push the image into the corners it ended up ripping part of it off and my attempt to put it back together cause the image to be distorted. It also ripped off a bit on the bottom leaving that area of the nail blank.

I'm come along way since then but still need to remember these tips each time I prep for a decal manicure. Have you done decal stamping yet? What tips do you have to share?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Duochrome Peacock Feathers with Glitter Gal Contorted Mauve

Felt like trying something a bit different so I reached for Glitter Gal Contorted Mauve and my stamping supplies.

I started with a base of Kleancolor Pastel Purple and then painted 2 thin coats of Glitter Gal Contorted Mauve over all the nails.

Contorted Mauve is a duochrome that shifts between a mauvish-purple color and a very green leaning teal color. It's really pretty seeing the shift on the nails! Of course it made me think of peacocks so I decided to stamp some peacock feathers over it from Emily de Molly stamping plate EdM04

I finished it off with Glitter Gal Andamooka Blue flakie polish over the accent nail and top some blue sharpies to fill in the circles on he peacock feathers. That gave it a nice oil slick look then topped off with Seche Vite top coat.

What do you think?

Friday, September 2, 2016 Customer Appreciation Week 2016 Thank you and a Giveaway!!

Our first annual Customer Appreciation week is going so well we thought we'd make you a little video to show how much we value each and every one of our customers!!!

Can you guess how many bottles of polish were used in the making of this video?? Make your guesses below and everyone who guesses correctly will win a prize :)

-Open US and international
-Must subscribe to our YouTube channel
-Cannot have won a giveaway in the past 6 months
-18+ only 
-NO giveaway accounts

Brands that we carry:
-AEngland (England)
-Arcane Lacquer (Australia)
-China Glaze (United States)
-Esmaltes da Kelly (Brazil)
-F.U.N. Lacquer (Singapore)
-Femme Fatale (Australia)
-Glitter Gal (Australia)
-Il etait un Vernis (France)
-Powder Perfect (Australia)
-Seche Vite (United States)
-Kleancolor (United States)
-Hit the Bottle (Australia)
-Apipila Stamping Plates (Brazil)
-Betina Stamping Plates (Brazil)
-Chez Delaney Stamping Plates (France)
-Creative Shop Stampers and Stamping Plates (Ukraine and Georgia)
-Decor Unhas Stamping Plates (Brazil)
-Messy Mansion Stamping Plates (Australia)
-MoYou London Stamping Plates and Accessories (England)
-Mundo de Unas Stamping Plates (Mexico)
-Sugar Bubbles Stamping Plates (Brazil)
-Moyra Stamping Plates and Nail Art Accessories (Hungary)
-Bautometry Nail Art Accessories (United States)
-Bliss Kiss Cuticle Oil (United States)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Peacock Inspired Nail Stamping: Faux Duochrome

I stumbled upon a neat technique to create a sort of faux duo-chrome look between 2 polishes. I really liked the way it looked so I decided to play around and created this look with it.

I first started with a thin coat of China Glaze Towel Boy Toy and then a thin coat of China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada. Then, I finished with a third thin patchy coat of China Glaze Towel Boy Toy. The end effect was that you could see some of the color showing through in certain areas and it really looked like different colors across the nail as I moved my fingers. I think it looked like a faux duo-chrome and was really easy to do!

After adding Seche Vite top coat, I stamped with Hit the Bottle As Black as Night using the MoYou Rectangular stamper and MoYou London Mandala plate 02 (the image in the upper left corner).

I love the way this turned out! It reminds me of a peacock's feathers.

Do you think it looks kind of like a duo-chrome?

Friday, August 26, 2016

Reminiscent of Hawaii with China Glaze Electric Nights and Lite Brites

I've been feeling in a neon mood so I decided to try a gradient with some of the China Glaze neons from the Electric Nights and Lite Brites collection. I chose an orange and yellow from each for this design.

Using China Glaze Whip It Good, China Glaze Daisy Know My Name?, China Glaze None of Your Risky Business, and China Glaze Home Sweet House Music and the Beautometry Gradient Sponge set I created a base gradient for the stamping.

Then I stamped using Hit the Bottle Black and images from the MoYou London Tropical Collection plate 04 with the MoYou London Rectangular stamper.

I reversed the gradient for the accent nail. I just love this look! So bright :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Swatch: Femme Fatale Isle of Cythera, a Holo that Stamps!!

We just recently launched the Femme Fatale Birth of Venus collection which is inspired by the painting with the same title. There are some linear holographics in this collection and I just couldn't wait to try them out!

This is Isle of Cythera which is a teal linear holo that also looks really beautiful without sun. It has a foiled appearance with sparkles in it plus super holo in the sun (and with regular indoor lighting as well).

I noticed this was pretty opaque, so I tried it for stamping. IT WORKS!!

For the accent nail I used Esmaltes da Kelly Hipapa and stamped using the MoYou Rectangular stamper and Messy Mansion plate MM15.

Do you have any holos that stamp?

Monday, August 22, 2016

MoYou London Tropical 08: You Put the Lime in the Coconut ...

Feeling tropical today and wanted to do a gradient. So, what better than to pull out the MoYou London Tropical plates and play!

I started off using the new Beautometry Gradient Sponge set to create a gradient using Kleancolor Wave of Peppermint (which smells like peppermint when dry), Kleancolor Bikini Green, and Kleancolor Apple Candy (scented to smell like apple when dry).

I then used Hit the Bottle Black and the MoYou London Rectangular stamper to stamp images from MoYou London Tropical 08 onto my nails and topped it all off with my new favorite top coat: Seche Vive (doesn't smear the stamping!!).

The accent nail has the gradient in reverse compared to the other nails. I like the way this mani came together with the limes on the accent nail and the coconut leaves on the other ones. Very tropical indeed!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

7 Days of St Patrick's Day Nail Challenge: Day 7: Happy St. Patrick's Day

Today is the 7th Day of the 7 days of St. Patrick's Day Nail art Challenge!! Happy St. Patrick's Day :)

For today's nail art, I decided to go traditional St. Patrick's Day and do a rainbow, pot of gold, shamrock, gold, green, and fun.

I started off with OPI Fly as the base. This is a very easy to work with cream and I really love the tone of teal it is.

I then used lots of techniques, from stamping to glitter placement to decals to drawing with sharpies to create this look. So much to mention!

I used Messy Mansion MM04 for all the themed images. I used glitter placement from Kleancolor Tiara Gold. I used Sharpies to color in the green on the shamrock on the thumb and write the verse on the other thumb. Various Kleancolor polishes were used to create the rainbow.

The black stamping was done with Il Etait un Vernis Paint it Black and colored in with Il Etait un Vernis White Canvas.

Have you tried Sharpies in your nail art yet?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

7 Days of St Patrick's Day Nail Challenge: Day 6: AEngland Dragon

Continuing with the 7 Days of St. Patrick's Day Nail art challenge I found on Facebook, I decided to do a swatch of one of my favorite greens.

AEngland Dragon is such a beautiful color. It is a grass green with olive green flashes and holographic particles! This is one of the first international polishes that I owned and what really got me started looking at international brands and indie nail polish polish. 

What was that first polish that got you checking out international brands?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

7 Days of St Patrick's Day Nail Challenge: Day 5: Funky Fingers Throwback

Continuing with the 7 Days of St. Patrick's Day Nail art challenge I found on Facebook, I decided to do a little throwback to one of the first times I did a crackle manicure.

This photo is from September 2, 2012!! This is right when Funky Fingers came out with a plethora of metal crackle colors, including this awesome sparkly one. 

I have Funky Fingers Mint Montauk on all nails and Funky Fingers Teal Scales on top. Don't you just love the combination?!

Crackle may not be the "in" thing anymore, but I still like 
seeing manicures with it. It's a fun, easy way to create nail art without much effort when you just need to "polish and go." What's your quickie nail art look?