Thursday, October 30, 2014

Before & After: Great night for a broom flight

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!!

Today's theme in the Challenge Your Nail Art Halloween Challenge is Halloween villains! One of the listed 'villains' was witches...




Now, I think we could have a debate on whether or not witches count as villains...after all, Glinda was a GOOD witch, right? But let's put all that aside, and just embrace the chance to have an awesome Halloween witch mani. :)

I started with a base of Orly Beautiful Disaster, one of my favorite basic Halloween polishes; it's a grape-y purple with a shimmer of blue:


Orly Beautiful Disaster
Orly Beautiful Disaster

Orly Beautiful Disaster
Orly Beautiful Disaster


Next, I put on a coat of LynBdesigns This Is Halloween:


LynBDesigns This Is Halloween over Orly Beautiful Disaster
LynBDesigns This Is Halloween over Orly Beautiful Disaster

LynBDesigns This Is Halloween over Orly Beautiful Disaster
LynBDesigns This Is Halloween over Orly Beautiful Disaster


Next, I stamped over this using Bunny Nails HD-D and HD-C, with Konad Black (my witch) Konad white (the ghost and the cloud) and Pure Ice Silver Mercedes (everything else):


How do you make a witch float?

Two scoops of ice cream, some root beer, and a witch.







What do you think? I'd like to believe my witch is fighting the little ghosties and making the world a safer place...you go, girl!

Happy Halloween Hugs,

M.



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Before & After: Spooky Punikens

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!

Today's prompt in the Challenge Your Nail Art Halloween Challenge is pumpkin faces! I've been waiting for this one for a while, so let's get to it!



I started with an awesome flakie gradient (I believe by definition any flakie gradient must be awesome) using LynBDesigns Do I Look Like A Frolicker and Nfu-Oh 51:


Possibly the most awesome flakie gradient ever, with LynBDesigns Do I Look Like A Frolicker and Nfu-Oh 51
Possibly the most awesome flakie gradient ever, with LynBDesigns Do I Look Like A Frolicker and Nfu-Oh 51

Seriously, that's just awesome

There's your fall magic right there, buddy

Next, I stamped my puniken faces using Konad Black and Bunny Nails HD-D (you can see my review of HD-D here):






I love this--it's a little bit spooky, but not too spooky, just the right blend. And just, just, just...that gradient. *SIGH*

Happy Halloween Hugs!! :)

M.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NOTD: Whimsical Halloween Poem mani with Stampaholics ST02

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!

I have a quickie NOTD to show you; it's the sort of Halloween manicure suitable for children's parties and more whimsical (rather than spooky) events. :)

Today's theme in the Challenge Your Nail Art Halloween challenge is to use classic orange and black for a mani, so here goes!




I started with a base of Color Club Look Don't Tusk. Then I stamped on it using Stampaholic ST02 (you can see my review of the plate here); I used Sally Hansen Orange Impulse for the images, and Konad black for the words:





I think it's sweet and captures the fun of the season. I hope you do too! :)

Halloween hugs,
M.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

NOTD: Freshly Dead

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!!

I recently saw a 'burnt parchment' technique on my friend's blog (Bob Plays With Polish), and my mind went a little crazy with the idea...and I decided to turn it into a little Halloween experiment.

Basically how the technique works is, you layer several colors of polish, then you take a brush dipped in acetone and swipe down through the layers to show the different colors. If you do it with whites, browns and blacks, you get a burned parchment look the the beautiful one she made. But my mind thought...what about flesh, blood, and bone?

And thus was my 'Freshly Dead' manicure born:


Freshly dead corpses

with lots of yummy maggots...

nom nom nom nom nom


I'm not sure if the corpse has started to split open due to decomposition, or if it was sliced into before death...either way, the maggots don't care and are enjoying their feast!

Because this month's theme in the Nail Challenge Collaborative is 'stripes', I decided to go for the most Halloweenest stripes ever...this is why the rotted parts are up-and-down stripey splits (and yes, sometimes my brain scares me, too).

Here's how I did it:

(1) I started with a base of Color Club Look Don't Tusk, which is an off-white bone color, for my 'bone' layer. I used two coats, but if I were to do this again, I think I'd do three, to make sure I had enough white.

(2) I put on two coats of Barielle Miami Heat, for my 'blood' layer.

(3) I put on two coats of Barielle Pillow Talk for my 'flesh/skin' layer.

(4) I stamped some stitches using Konad Black and MoYou London Gothic 04.

(5) I free-handed some yummy maggots with acrylic paints. Yes, I know maggots don't usually have big eyes like that, but I thought it made them creepier, so I went with it.

(6) I used a layer of Seche Vite between each of the colors, and then on top of the art.

What do you think? Is it deliciously disgusting?

Happy Halloween Hugs,
M.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Review and test: Bundle Monster Sun-Kissed collection 501-510

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!

I love fall, but I know not everybody does...saying good-bye to summer can be hard when you love the sunshine and the long days. There's not much we can do about that, but Bundle Monster has a set that will let you keep summer on your nails all year long. :)

I give you Bundle Monster's Sun-Kissed collection (plates 501-510):




And here are the still shots:


BM-501
BM-501: Kelp ahoy!

BM-502
BM-502: Waves and scales

BM-503
BM-503: Fishes fishes fishes!

BM-504
BM-504: Waves and jellies and shellfishes!

BM-505
BM-505: Shells galore!

BM-506
BM-506: swirls and tentacles and lighthouses...

BM-507
BM-507: Hanging at the beach

BM-508
BM-508: Pirates and attack of the birds!

BM-509
BM-509: Anchors and ropes and tridents

BM-510: Mermaids and hulas and treasure maps!

And here it is next to a Konad plate for comparison:




How do they stamp? The CYO Bundle Monster set had a few issue with light engraving that didn't stamp too well (only on 1-2 plates, to be fair). I didn't have that issue with these plates:



BM-508

BM-506

BM-507

BM-505

BM-503

BM-504

I didn't have any issue with these plates at all--they stamped beautifully, even the tinsiest of details (I used the Barielle Me Couture Fall 2014 collection for the stamping, btw). The quality is top-notch, so the only issue here is whether or not you like the beach/summer theme of the plates.

These currently sell for $11.99 on Amazon.

What do you think? Do you like these images? If you could design any themed set of plates you wanted, what would your theme be?

Hugs and loves,
M.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review and test: MoYou London Gothic 04

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!

Oh yes, oh yes, I have another Halloween plate review for you--MoYou London Gothic 04. It's not *just* a Halloween plate--in fact, MoYou have just come out with some plates specifically designed for Halloween in their Festive collection--but, this is definitely an awesome plate to use for Halloween looks.

First up, here is mah video:




And now some stills of the lovely:



MoYou London Gothic 04
MoYou London Gothic 04

MoYou London Gothic 04
MoYou London Gothic 04

MoYou London Gothic 04
MoYou London Gothic 04

MoYou London Gothic 04 vs. Konad

"But Michelle!" I hear you saying. "I'm not really into Halloween!" Okay, fair enough. This plate might not be for you. But, before you decide that, let me point out a couple of very cool things here:


  • The lace pattern and the cross-hatch pattern could easily be used for romantic manicures.
  • The tree could easily be a fall or winter tree.
  • The Latin words are awesome for general background purposes or anything to do with books, studying, scholarship, Church, etc.
  • The stained-glass-esque pattern is gorgeous and could be used for a ton of beautiful lead-lighting.
  • Ditto for that stunning arch/window.


So if you're worried about getting a plate that you'll only use once a year, I don't think you have to have that worry with this one. :)

Okay, let's take a look at the mani I did with this plate. I started with Barielle Soho At Night, from the recent Me Couture Fall 2014 collection:


Barielle Soho At Night

Barielle Soho At Night
Barielle Soho At Night

Because this month's theme in the Nail Challenge Collaborative is 'Stripes', I went with the cross-hatch pattern for a background (of criss-crossed stripes). I used Sally Hansen Lively Lilac and Barry M Silver Foil to stamp my designs:






*Cue creepy music as the hands play with the spider*

One thing that bummed me out a little about this plate (and I've had the same issue here and there with other MoYou plates) is I had a little bit of difficulty getting the thing lines and flowers to stamp completely solid, without any missing spots. But, you'll notice that the hand/spider stamped perfectly.

Happy Halloween Hugs!!
M.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Review and How-to-use: MoYou London Tropical 07

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!

Today we're going to pause for a moment and put aside our preconceived notions of fall, in order to go on a happy tropical voyage...courtesy of MoYou London Tropical 07.

Here is my video reviewing the plate:




And here are the stills of the plate:





MoYou London Tropical 07
MoYou London Tropical 07


MoYou London Tropical 07





And here it is next to a Konad plate so you can get an idea of the relative sizes:


MoYou London Tropical 07
MoYou London Tropical 07 vs. Konad















So, how do you use it?? Let's take a look *rubs hand together with glee*. This is a collage-style plate, but unlike most of MoYou London's collage plates, the images don't come together to make larger images; it's just a hodge-podge of tropical stuff, more along the line of the Pueen Stamping Buffet collage plates. But there's still a ton of fun to be had!

1) Go crazy with fruit. There are so many different styles of fruit on this plate, it'll keep you going for ages. There are some standard strawberries and bananas, and of course some citrus fruits--but there are lots of different types of citrus to give you a great variety to work with, either for different manicures or for a manicure with a variety of images in it. Then we get into the pomegranates and the mangoes and I think even some kumquats. Let alone fie different styles of pineapple, each sporting a very stylish top!!



Fruit salad galore!

2) Jungle manicures. This plate has leaves and fronds and vines and more leaves and more fronds! There's even a stone path which could also double as a few different animal prints. All the awesome without the deadly bugs and snakes:


Jungle Boogie

3) Flowers: There aren't as many flowers as fruits and leaves, but there are still enough for a cool mani or two. And I think several of the pineapple tops are pretty enough to be flower-like (or at least like tropical leaves):





For each of these ideas, the ability to isolate an image from other images around it is helpful (although not necessary; the surrounding images make pretty background, depending on the look you're going for). If you're not sure how to do this, take a look at my tutorial on isolating images here.


4) Full nail images: While that isn't the main point of this plate, there are certainly several areas you can use to get single-image (or close to that) full nail designs. The fronds, the vines, the huge citrus fruits and the hibiscus-with-frond-leaves are easy to spot; I also think the watermelon would make a very interesting full-nail stripe design:



5) And the last one I'll talk about is what I call 'transition' manicures, where you transition a design over several of your nails (sort of like scenes in a comic book). This plate gives some interesting opportunities for that; the pineapple in the upper left-hand corner is the most obvious example of that, you could put the pineapple on your middle finger and the fronds coming off either side. I've circled some more less-obvious examples; I think with this particular plate slightly overlapping the images on the nail will give you a really cool effect:




Yellow: fruit salad!
Blue: Watermelon delight
Red: Tropical fruit salad!
Purple: Jungle fever
Green: See below manicure...


I used this last idea for my sample manicure; I started with a base of Sinful Shine Man Hunt, a silvery olive-gray green shimmer:


Sinful Shine Man Hunt
Sinful Shine Man Hunt

Sinful Shine Man Hunt
Sinful Shine Man Hunt

Sinful Shine Man Hunt
Sinful Shine Man Hunt


Then I stamped with Konad Golden Green, using the portions of the plate shown above (roughly):


Jungle manicure with tropical 07
Jungle-tastic

Jungle manicure with tropical 07
Jungle manicure with tropical 07



This is what I love about MoYou London collage plates. You can get a simple, easy manicure where each nail is different, but it all goes perfectly in terms of style and size. So much flexibility!

So there you go--a tropical manicure from a tropical plate, perfectly suitable for your fall mani needs. :)

Hope your week is off to a great start!! :)

M.