Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday Before & After: If Art Deco Pleases You

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!

In honor of Throwback Thursday, I have another Before & After from back in the day that didn't make it into the rotation because I wasn't fully happy with the pictures. But in honor of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie coming out, I figured I should bust it out.

I started with Literary Lacquers If It Pleases You, one of the polishes that Amy made that were inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey. It's a mind-blowing purple holo with an intense blue-dominant rainbow flash:


Literary Lacquers If It Pleases You
Literary Lacquers If It Pleases You

Literary Lacquers If It Pleases You
Literary Lacquers If It Pleases You


Then I stamped with Nfu-Oh 61, my go-to polish for silver holo stamping goodness; I used the art deco design from Pueen 15. For a finishing touch, I added two tear-drop rhinestones:



If Art Deco Pleases You
If Art Deco Pleases You

If Art Deco Pleases You

This is a wonderful type of design for stamping over holos; the open areas allow the beauty of the holo flash to still shine through. And of course leaving two of the nails as negative space allows the holo to shine through as well.

Thanks for hopping into the way-back machine with me!

Hugs,
M.










Monday, January 26, 2015

Review and Before & After: Incoco's Love Story Collection, Valentine's Day 2015

(Press sample)

Hello!

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and Incoco has released a love-ly collection (see what I did there?!) right on time: their Love Story Collection.

I have three of the eight different styles to show you up close and personal:

Blowing Kisses is an easy-as-pie Skittle manicure in a package. Almost each applique is different, but they are all similar and cohesive, so you can mix-and-match without any worries about how your nail art will turn out:


Incoco Blowing Kisses
Incoco Blowing Kisses

Incoco Blowing Kisses
Incoco Blowing Kisses



Hello Sweetheart is a sweet pink-and-silver glitter over a soft pink base; some of the glitters are holographic so they give and awesome flash:


Incoco Hello Sweetheart
Incoco Hello Sweetheart

Incoco Hello Sweetheart
Incoco Hello Sweetheart


One of the things I love about Incoco glitter appliques is that they remove soooo easily, none of the crazy mess you have to go through with glitter polish. All the look with none of the fuss.


And finally, here's the namesake of the collection, Love Story, a blend of soft roses and romantic script that's also perfect for making a fast skittle mani:


Incoco Love Story
Incoco Love Story

Incoco Love Story
Incoco Love Story



I also wanted to be sure to show you how well the colors go together; each have a dusty feel to them and you can use them together easily. I particularly love how well the glitter set goes with each of the other two:


Incoco Love Story Collection
Incoco Love Story Collection

Incoco Love Story Collection
Incoco Love Story Collection



For the 'Before' portion of today's manicure, I chose Love Story. As I was picking out which pattern to put where, I decided I wanted my ring finger to be covered completely with roses, but there wasn't one the right size. So I took one of the designs I wanted, placed the ring-finger-sized wrap over it, and trimmed around; this left me with a wrap the right size for my ring finger:



Incoco Love Story
Incoco Love Story

Incoco Love Story
Incoco Love Story

Incoco Love Story
Incoco Love Story



Then, I added some very, very fast bling to make it a little more special; I applied China Glaze Travel In Color with my smallest dotting tool to all of the roses on my middle fingers and thumbs, and one of the roses on my ring finger:



Incoco Love Story with China Glaze Travel In Color
Incoco Love Story with China Glaze Travel In Color
 



I finished up with a coat of Seche Vite; you don't have to wear topcoat with Incoco's nail appliques (notice how shiny the appliques are in the above pictures before the nail art), but when I add nail art, topcoat makes everything look smooth again. :)

These are now available on Incoco's website; while you're there, check out their very cool special effect glitter topper wraps, as well. :)

Hope your week is off to a great start!
M.




Saturday, January 24, 2015

Before & After: The Time Traveler's Wife

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!!

Today's theme in the Crumpet Nail Tarts 31 Day Challenge is 'Decals'. These days I love making my own decals with stamped images, so that's what I did for today's manicure.


I started off with Zoya Sansa, a deep blackened plum with a galaxy of gold flecklets throughout:


Zoya Sansa
Zoya Sansa

Zoya Sansa
Zoya Sansa

Zoya Sansa


Then I stamped the heck out of it! My theme was 'The Time Traveler's Wife', one of my favorite books. I made a collage with Bundle Monster H14, 311, 404, and 415 and Mash 32, 54, and 69; as part of the collage process, I made two nail decals out of the pocket-watch image. One was successful and one maybe not so much...



The Time Traveler's Wife manicure
The Time Traveler's Wife manicure with what appears to be a white blob

The Time Traveler's Wife manicure
The Time Traveler's Wife manicure with what appears to be a white blob



...So I stamped over it again with Konad Red to make the clock image more visible. I set it off a little because I also felt it extended a little too far onto the nail:


The Time Traveler's Wife manicure somewhat improved
The Time Traveler's Wife manicure somewhat improved


The Time Traveler's Wife manicure somewhat improved
The Time Traveler's Wife manicure somewhat improved

I think this improved it a bit, but in retrospect I'd stamp it in brown or black, I think. Still, I love the manicure overall; the other three nails each came out beautifully, and could stand on their own as accent nails, I think. :)

Thanks for stopping by--please check out the other manicure in the challenge, linked below! :)
M.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Before & After: Subtle Peacock with Born Pretty Store 04

(Press Sample)

Hello!

Born Pretty Store recently sent me several of their plates to review; I previously did a full post showing each plate; you can find the post here if you missed it, and here is the video if you missed it:





I'm back today with a manicure using BPS 04; I adore the peacock on the middle right, and wanted to see if I could do something magnificent enough to live up to it. :)


Born Pretty Store 04


For the base of the manicure, I chose Color Club Under Your Spell, an exceptional grape-purple-to--pewter-and-olive-green duochrome textured polish with a healthy dose of purple glitter and even a sprinkle of holo glitter:

Color Club Under Your Spell
Color Club Under Your Spell

Color Club Under Your Spell

Color Club Under Your Spell
Color Club Under Your Spell

Color Club Under Your Spell
Color Club Under Your Spell

Color Club Under Your Spell

This is, without a doubt, one of my very favorite polishes, certainly in my top 20. I could look at it all day...sigh...


I stamped my peacock over my pinkie and ring fingers, showcasing the head on one finger, and the lovely tail feathers on the other. I stamped with Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Lively Lilac, and then accented it with dots of I-Rush Luck and Brisk Blue:


My-pretty-peacock
My pretty peacock

My pretty peacock
My pretty peacock

My pretty peacock
My pretty peacock

The stamping is crisp, clean, beautiful--no issues at all with the plate. And I just love the feel of this peacock, it has a lovely Art Nouveau feel to it. And I love how the dotting on the peacock plays up the glitter on the other nails. This is one of those manis I never wanted to take off; I wore it for nearly a week. :)

Don't forget that you can use the code MCL91 to get 10% off of your order at Born Pretty Store, and you can use it as often as you like.



I hope your hump day is treating you well, and your short week has been good to you!
M.



Monday, January 19, 2015

NOTD: Incoco Opulence with Mesmerize

(Press Sample)

Hello!

I have one last manicure to show you from Incoco's Double Take duochrome collection, which I've done to fulfill my Nail Challenge collaborative 'Wallpaper' challenge theme.

The moment I saw it, Incoco Opulence reminded me of some beautiful gothic brocade dress or furniture or wallpaper; it's rich and deep and very sexy.

The duochrome on Opulence transitions between blue and purple, so I decided to complement it on my accent nails with Incoco Mesmerize, which shifts from purple to silver to olive. This way the purple pulls the colors together, but the duochrome flashes go different directions. :)

For my finishing touch, I stamped the accent nails with Born Pretty Store 03, using Barry M Silver Foil for my stamping polish.


Incoco Opulence and Mesmerize
Incoco Opulence and Mesmerize

Incoco Opulence and Mesmerize
Incoco Opulence and Mesmerize


Incoco Opulence and Mesmerize
Incoco Opulence and Mesmerize

This is a great way to get the most bang for your buck with your nail appliques; use the left-over strips as accent nails for nail art, and you can stretch those wraps out for an extra couple of manicures. Don't be afraid to cut down bigger appliques for smaller nails--in this case I had some bad luck and ripped the nail wrap for my pinkie down the middle; I had another pinkie-sized one, but decided to see how easy/difficult it would be to cut down a bigger one. I took the backing from the pinkie wrap and put it on top of one of the thumb wraps, and just cut around it--it worked perfectly. I always have the two huge thumb wraps left over, so those make excellent back-ups for me. :)

This makes me think of masquerade balls and full-length gowns, of gothic mansions and vampires and Anne Rice novels. It's a statement for sure, and I love it. Hope you do, too!

Hugs,
M.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

NOTD: Veronika Layne Gets The Scoop!

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!

A few nights back, I got to go to my very first book launch party! This was an especially fun event for me, because I know the author, and have read the book--so of course I had to do a manicure for it. :)

The book, Veronika Layne Gets the Scoop by Julia Park Tracey, is a mystery/romance/chick-lit romp with some history thrown in for good measure. The heroine is Veronika Layne, a reporter for a small-town newspaper that's taken over by a big conglomerate. In the course of her reporting (sort of), she discovers that some builders seem to be destroying Native American 'shell mounds' in their haste to make a buck, and decides she needs to find out what's going on. It's a fast-paced, fun read perfect for a winter afternoon or a beach read. She has two more books in the series on the way, and I'm looking forward to reading them. Oh, and if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read the book for free right now!

Anyway, the point is, I decided to do a manicure based on her cover art:






I made a sky gradient with  Zoya Rocky and Color Club Endless Summer for the background; then I stamped Bundle Monster 503 to get the cityscape. Since the shell mounds play a central role in the book, I wanted to focus on recreating that element; I free-handed the hand holding the shell with acrylic paints, except for the thumbnail on the hand, which is Barry M Silver Foil.



Veronika Layne Gets The Scoop!
Veronika Layne Gets The Scoop!

Zoya Rocky and Color Club Endless Summer

Bundle monster 503 and some freehand art. :)

What do you think? I think I could have gone a shade darker with the gradient, and the shell is not the best thing I've ever drawn, but I'm pretty pleased with the hand (they're so hard!) and I think I captured the overall spirit.

Congratulations Julia on your launch! I enjoyed reading the book so much, and need you to get the next one out ASAP!!

Hugs,
M.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Before & After: Nubbin Camouflage

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!

I don't know about you, but when I have an ugly break, the kind that takes off a third of an inch of nail way back below the end of my finger, it breaks my heart to cut the rest down to match. I can cut them back most of the way, but it takes me a week or so to work up the heart to cut them all the way.

So, I wondered...could I play around with nail art a little to make it so the nubbin didn't look quite so out of place among the other nails while my mind processed the full nail tragedy? Since I broke the ring finger this time, my mind began to work overtime on the possibilities.

Here's what I came up with.

I started with a green base on three nail, since today's theme in the Crumpet Nail Tarts 31 day challenge is 'green base', and went from there. For step one, I put China Glaze Be More Pacific on the pinkie, middle and index, and Zoya Lianne on the ring and thumb, topped with a coat of Nail'd It Fall Flowers:


Step one: Operation Nubbin Camouflage
Step one: Operation Nubbin Camouflage

Step one: Operation Nubbin Camouflage


The idea here was that by painting it a different color, the whole 'one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other' would pull the eye and attribute some of the visual discrepancy to the different color. It worked to a degree, but I felt like it needed a little more. So, I sponged a little of Fall Flowers onto the cuticle area of the other nails, to break up the space on those nails:



Step two: Operation Nubbin Camouflage
Step two: Operation Nubbin Camouflage

Step two: Operation Nubbin Camouflage

So what do you think, did it work? It definitely made me feel like it was pretty, even if not perfectly even. Of course, the big-girl thing to do is just suck it up and even them out...sigh...In the meantime, I suppose I can always walk around like this:




Hope you're having a great week!
M.