Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Before & After: Candy Cane Snowscape

(Polish originally sent for review)

Hello!

So you know how I'm always telling you in my how-to-use posts that you can use all sorts of strange stuff in your collage-style plates? Like borders and things? Well today I'm gonna put my polish where my mouth is.

Today's theme in the Challenge Your Nail Art 12 Days Of Christmas nail art challenge is glitter, and I couldn't resist using Quaint Paints High Fructose Victory, a dreamy pink-jelly glitter polish from the Atomic Refreshment collection (click here for my review of the collection):


Quaint Paints High Fructose Victory
Quaint Paints High Fructose Victory

Next, I stamped with MoYou London Festive plate 01 (my plate says 'Christmas collection', before they changed it to festive):





I used the portion circled below, and put the candy cane border on my tips for a French-tip look. I stamped with Konad White, and I didn't even have to do anything tricky to get what I wanted; I just painted my polish upward from the stars/snowflakes and scraped in the direction of the candy cane border.



Candy Cane Snowstorm
Candy Cane Snowstorm


Candy Cane Snowstorm

Now seriously, how cute is that! Because the candy cane portion is not solid, it's very forgiving as a French tip; you don't have to get a perfect stamp like you would with a solid stamp. And I love to do at least one holiday manicure each year that uses non-traditional colors, so here you go for this year. :)

If this isn't quite your thing, or even if it is, check out the manicures done by the other CYNA ladies. :)

Hugs!

M.



Monday, December 15, 2014

Before & After: Christmas Stamping

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!

Today's theme in the Challenge Your Nail Art's 12 Days of Christmas challenge is 'Decorations', so I did a skittle of some of my favorite holiday decorations, including ornaments, poinsettias, and swirly flourishes.


I started with Zoya Oswin, one of my new favorite polishes; it's a textured glitter polish in a deep ruby red:


Zoya Oswin
Zoya Oswin

Zoya Oswin
Zoya Oswin

Zoya Oswin
Zoya Oswin

The polish dries to a naturally matte finish, and it looks gorgeous like that. But I prefer it with a coat or two of topcoat; I think it transforms into an amazing ruby-slipper type finish:



Zoya Oswin with topcoat
Zoya Oswin with topcoat

Zoya Oswin with topcoat

Zoya Oswin with topcoat


To decorate the manicure, I stamped with Barry M Gold Foil, using Bundle Monster H03 and LeaLac LLC-B; I also added some textured studs:






I love the way the textured studs accent the effect of the stamping over the textured polish. I love this manicure--I want to thrown a dinner party decorated like this, lol. :)

Be sure to check out the other decoration manis below...:)

Hugs,
M.



Saturday, December 13, 2014

Review: Quaint Paints Atomic Refreshment Collection

(Press Sample)

Hello!!

Today I have a fun collection to show you from Quaint Paints Nail Lacquer; it's called the Atomic Refreshment collection, and it's based on the Fallout video games series. I haven't played these games, but apparently it's set in a post-apocalyptic world where soda bottles from pre-days are scarce and their caps are used for currency. Such a fun premise, and the collection contains four polishes that capture that whimsical vibe; each represents one of the types of soda found in the games.

The first is High Fructose Victory--and that name is so perfect for this polish. It's a pink jelly filled with teeny gold holo glitters, gold, orange, and red hexes, along with gold stars:


Quaint Paints High Fructose Victory
Quaint Paints High Fructose Victory

Quaint Paints High Fructose Victory

Quaint Paints High Fructose Victory


This is cotton-candy clouds and pink sugar-plum fairies. It's princesses and ballerinas and sweetness and dreams and happy. I love the addition of the orange and red hexes, because they keep it from being too sweet--they give a little edge and dimension, and make sure this isn't like other pink polishes. It's girly and playful and feminine, with a little bit of bite. The glitters are perfectly balanced to give it a pleasing visual flow--not too much chunk, not too much little stuff. Oh, and did I mention? It GLOWS in the dark, a rich orange glow, not the standard ghostly white-green.

In these pictures I have three coats, with no undies. The polish was easy to apply, and the formula was good to work with. You will have to fish a bit for the stars, as with most polishes that contain specialty glitter like this. Laura recommends that you turn the polish upside down for an hour before using it to minimize fishing; I didn't find that necessary, a brisk shake did the trick for me. The glow-in-the-dark pigments cause it to dry matte, so you'll want to use topcoat. I have Seche Vite on in these pictures (and in all the rest, too).

You can also wear this with undies; if you do, Laura suggests that you use two coats over your undies to be sure to get the glow-in-the-dark effect.


Next up is my favorite of the collection, with my favorite name: The Nuclear Beverage Of Choice. This polish has a brown jelly base, and a healthy scatter of red and white small shard glitter:



Quaint Paints The Nuclear Beverage Of Choice
Quaint Paints The Nuclear Beverage Of Choice

Quaint Paints The Nuclear Beverage Of Choice
Quaint Paints The Nuclear Beverage Of Choice

Quaint Paints The Nuclear Beverage Of Choice


I fell in love with this polish the minute I saw it, because it looks just like one of my favorite holiday treats: dark chocolate peppermint bark. The brown has a pretty golden shimmer to it, and there are just enough shards to give it flair without overwhelming the base color. This has a subtle festive look to it that can also be worn year round. ADORE.

This is two coats, and the formula was wonderful. I did no fishing here--I shook the bottle and brushed on as I would a regular polish, letting the glitters fall where they might. It's user-friendly, and applies well.

And one last thing--it's scented. Cola scented. How cool is that?? If scents aren't your thing you can get it without scent, but it's there if you want it, and I've never heard of a cola-scented polish before. Very cool.


Next up is Quantum Fizz-ics (totally cute pun); this is a blue jelly polish filled to the brim with silver and purple hexes that range from teensy to medium, and silver stars:


Quaint Paints Quantum Fizz-ics
Quaint Paints Quantum Fizz-ics

Quaint Paints Quantum Fizz-ics
Quaint Paints Quantum Fizz-ics

Quaint Paints Quantum Fizz-ics
Quaint Paints Quantum Fizz-ics


This polish has soooo much dimension when built up like this--layers and layers of stars and hexes, like looking into an endless sky. You all know I love me some night-sky polishes, and this qualifies in my mind--it's a lighter blue than any of the others I have, and the purple bits in it give it an icy celestial feel.

I have three coats on in these pictures. I didn't quite get full opacity; I have a little visible nail line in these pictures, and I you can see a bit of the staining I have on this hand in the pictures. In real life, when the light wasn't directly on them and I wasn't shooting them close-up, you couldn't really see those issues, however. The formula was good; I did have to fish a little for a few of the stars, and I did do a little dabbing to get the effect I wanted. Nothing extreme or unusual for a polish with this sort of glitter.

This polish is another glow-in-the-dark wonder; it gives off a blue glow instead of the standard greenish-white glow. As with High Fructose Victory, you can wear it over undies, and if you want to do that, you should apply two coats to be sure you can get the glow-in-the dark effect.


To see what two coats over undies looks like, I tried it out over Zoya Rocky:


Quaint Paints Quantum Fizz-ics over Zoya Rocky
Quaint Paints Quantum Fizz-ics over Zoya Rocky

Quaint Paints Quantum Fizz-ics over Zoya Rocky
Quaint Paints Quantum Fizz-ics over Zoya Rocky

Quaint Paints Quantum Fizz-ics over Zoya Rocky
Quaint Paints Quantum Fizz-ics over Zoya Rocky


I fished a little to be sure I got the number of stars I wanted, and did a little dabbing. I think this looks like a magical rain storm that has bits of holo hail and star crystals dropping from the sky. I had this on at a comedy show I went to tonight, and the glitters caught the light like crushed diamonds on my nails.


And for our final Atomic Refreshment of the evening,  I give you Sun Of A Sassafras; this is a clear-based glitter chock-full of red and yellow bars, orange and brown hexes, teeny gold hexes and red squares, along with bright cerulean blue stars and golden-yellow-matte flower/sun glitters:


Sun Of A Sassafras over China Glaze When In Doubt, Surf It Out
Sun Of A Sassafras over China Glaze When In Doubt, Surf It Out

Sun Of A Sassafras over China Glaze When In Doubt, Surf It Out
Sun Of A Sassafras over China Glaze When In Doubt, Surf It Out


This is a playful glitter that conveys energy and movement. The shock of blue peeking out of the glitter is balanced by the calm of the yellow flowers/suns; the end result is a vibrant and surprisingly versatile polish. In the above pictures I've layered it over China Glaze If In Doubt, Surf It Out, to give it a fall feel; below I've layer it over China Glaze Shore Enuff, and it has a much more spring/summer vibe. Over purple it gives a deep winter look.

In all of the pictures I have one layer liberally dabbed to get the different glitters where I wanted them. I did have to fish for both the stars and the flowers, but not too hard. This one doesn't dry matte, but I recommend topcoat anyway--as with all glitters that have stars or bars, topcoat will help keep you from catching the glitters on things.

But my favorite thing about this polish is that it's scented like root beer!!! Not a little bit like it--I mean exactly like root beer.  Mr. LOLH bought a soda today at Costco, and when I lifted it up to take a sip, I got a whiff of the nail polish and actually thought he'd filled the cup with root beer! Both times I've had it on, I get little sniffs of root beer all through the day, and it's just crazy yummy. If you like root beer, you have to try this. Trust me.



Sun Of A Sassafras over China Glaze Shore Enuff
Sun Of A Sassafras over China Glaze Shore Enuff

Sun Of A Sassafras over China Glaze Shore Enuff
Sun Of A Sassafras over China Glaze Shore Enuff

Sun Of A Sassafras over China Glaze Shore Enuff
Sun Of A Sassafras over China Glaze Shore Enuff



Overall, I found these polishes to be high-quality, well-made, and with excellent formula. The collection has a nice range of looks, from the more sophisticated end (The Nuclear Beverage Of Choice) to the more whimsical end (Sun Of A Sassafras), with two dreamscape-type polishes in between. Three of them have a holiday feel to me, and I'll be showing you two holiday manicures using these polishes in a few days. You know I'm not normally a pink fan, but High Fructose Victory inspired me to do something I think you'll like.


You can find the Quaint Paints Etsy shop by clicking here. While you're there, be sure to check out this amazing topper that has Christmas-tree shaped glitter and circle glitters that look like ornaments! All her lacquers are 5-free, cruelty-free, and vegan-friendly. You can also find the Quaint Paints Facebook page by clicking here.

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend! Big hugs filled with scented glitter and glow-in-the-darkness!

M.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review & Size Comparison: MoYou London Explorer 07 and 21

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!

Today I'm doing something a little different--I'm going to compare for you a MoYou London XL vs. regular-sized plates that have the 'same' images. I put that in quotes because the images are identical except in size. The idea is to help you get a feel for which size works for you, and what factors you should take into consideration when making that decision.


First, here is the video:




And here are the stills; first, MoYou London Explorer Collection 07, the 'XL' version of the images:


MoYou London Explorer Collection 07
MoYou London Explorer Collection 07


MoYou London Explorer Collection 07

MoYou London Explorer Collection 07


And here is 21, the 'regular' images:

MoYou London Explorer Collection 21
MoYou London Explorer Collection 21

MoYou London Explorer Collection 21

MoYou London Explorer Collection 21

MoYou London Explorer Collection 21


(You'll notice I have a defective image, the second from the top, middle row. I'll be contacting MoYou for a replacement; when this has happened in the past, they've replaced the plate no problem.)


And here are some shots of the images next to each other:


MoYou London Explorer Collection 07 vs. 21
MoYou London Explorer Collection 07 vs. 21


MoYou London Explorer Collection 07 vs. 21


MoYou London Explorer Collection 07 vs. 21

MoYou London Explorer Collection 07 vs. 21

If you want to be sure you cover your full nail and you have longer nails, you should probably get the XL plates. If your nails are pretty small or you want to make sure you have the entire image on your finger (so you're not missing the fingers on the hamsa, for example), then you'll want the regular-sized  images.

While the images themselves are smaller on the 'regular' sized plate than on the XL plate, the size of the patterns inside the full-nail images may be smaller, the same, or larger, depending, so take a look to be sure the patterns suit your needs.

For this post, I did a sample mani using both the XL and regular version of the leaf image above; in this case, the leaf pattern on the XL plate was actually slightly smaller than on the regular-sized image plate, although as you'll see, it's very difficult to tell the difference.

I started with China Glaze But Of Corpse, a frosty avocado matte with small purple hex glitters:


China Glaze But Of Corpse
China Glaze But Of Corpse

China Glaze But Of Corpse
China Glaze But Of Corpse

China Glaze But Of Corpse
China Glaze But Of Corpse


I love this polish; it's from their 2014 Halloween collection, but I think the green-purple contrast is subtle enough that it can be used for things other than Halloween. But beware--use an extra coat of basecoat, because this sucker stains.

Then I stamped with the leaf pattern from each plate. I used the XL image on my ring finger, and the 'regular' image on the rest--as I said, strangely enough, the leaves from the XL image are a little bit smaller, as you can see--but honestly, you have to look for the difference to see it:







So there you have it! I hope this post has helped you navigate the world of MoYou London XL vs. regular-sized images a little better.

Hugs,
M.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Review and Before & After: MoYou London Kaleidoscope 06

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!!

I've been wanting to do this manicure ever since I first saw the MoYou London Kaleidoscope plates. ::does happy dance::

First, here is my video review of the plate, Kaleidoscope 06:





And here are the stills:



MoYou London Kaleidoscope 06
MoYou London Kaleidoscope 06


MoYou London Kaleidoscope 06


MoYou London Kaleidoscope 06


And here's how  big the images are in comparison to Konad: 


MoYou London Kaleidoscope 06 vs. Konad


To start, I used Barielle Midnight In Paris, a deep blue shimmer with a slight purple flash (sent for review from Barielle's Jetsetter collection; you can see my review here):


Barielle Midnight In Paris


I wanted to go for a kaleidoscope look, so I wanted to add a layer of light-reflecting particles without losing the full color of the basecoat; I added a layer of Orly Mirrorball, which is an amazeballs holographic topcoat with a sprinkle of tiny hex glitters--if you don't have it, I suggest going out and finding it right this instant:


Orly Mirrorball over Barielle Midnight In Paris
Orly Mirrorball over Barielle Midnight In Paris

Orly Mirrorball over Barielle Midnight In Paris

Orly Mirrorball over Barielle Midnight In Paris


Then I added a medium player of Nayll Precious, a polish I made myself (you can see my review here); it's a clear glitter with silver, copper, and gold glitters. Then, I stamped over it all with Barielle Midnight In Paris to pull back that base color:









I know this is a lot of look, but I really love it. I love the concept, and I think it really does look like an awesome kaleidoscope; I also love how these polishes came together. I definitely wouldn't wear this for an every day look, but I love this for New Year's Eve, or for going out to a fun club or glitzy party. Hope you like it too!

Hugs,
M.