Monday, April 13, 2015

Before & After: Sagebloom

(Polishes sent for review)

Hello!

Today I have a soft spring look to show you, with nary a bunny in sight! Just because Easter is behind us doesn't mean pretty spring looks have to be. :)


I started with Zoya Sage, a light sage green matte:


Zoya-Sage
Zoya Sage

Zoya-Sage
Zoya Sage


Then I stamped with Zoya Ana, a very soft pink matte, using Born Pretty Store plate 08; I pulled different parts of the image for each nail:


Sagebloom
Sagebloom
Sagebloom
Sagebloom

Sagebloom
Sagebloom


I love the matte-on-matte look of this, and I love how the soft color pairing keeps this on the elegant side. And these Zoya mattes wear exceptionally well, so I don't have to worry about chipping with no topcoat in a day.

What do you think of the matte-on-matte look?

Happy stamping,
M.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Saturday swatch spam!

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!

Yes, it's time for another installment of Saturday swatch spam! Here's a selection of swatches that for one reason or another didn't make it up on the blog before now.

China Glaze Stoked To Be Soaked: Creamy neon orange

China-Glaze-Stoked-To-Be-Soaked




Julep Cleopatra: black wax finish

Julep-Cleopatra
Julep Cleopatra

Julep-Cleopatra
Julep Cleopatra


Julep Lola: Deep purple-leaning navy with a matte finish

Julep-Lola
Julep Lola

Julep-Lola
Julep Lola

Julep-Lola
Julep Lola


Orly Ablaze: dazzling neon orange with yellow shimmer

Orly-Ablaze
Orly Ablaze

Orly-Ablaze
Orly Ablaze


Orly-Ablaze
Orly Ablaze



Shirley Ann Nail Lacquer Knot-Knot over Julep Lola: Love this purple celestial glitter!

Shirley Ann Nail Lacquer Knot-Knot over Julep Lola

Shirley Ann Nail Lacquer Knot-Knot over Julep Lola



Sinful Colors Blue Persuasion: Textured blue polish with a dousing of pink glitter


Sinful-Colors-Blue-Persuasion
Sinful Colors Blue Persuasion

Sinful Colors Blue Persuasion
Sinful Colors Blue Persuasion

Zoya Thandie: Peachy-Orange cream

Zoya-Thandie
Zoya Thandie

Zoya-Thandie
Zoya Thandie



Hope you enjoyed these random pretties!

Happy polishing,
M.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Review, test, & How-to-useS: MoYou London Kitty 14

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!

On the heels of my comparison of MoYou London Kitty 12 and 13, I had to follow up with a review of Kitty 14, my personal favorite plate of the collection--of course, because it's one of their collage plates!

Up first is the my video:




And here are the still shots of the plate:


MoYou London Kitty 14
MoYou London Kitty 14

MoYou-London-Kitty-14
MoYou London Kitty 14

MoYou London Kitty 14
MoYou London Kitty 14

And to give you a general sense of the size of the elements, here is a comparison with a standard Konad plate:


MoYou London Kitty 14 vs. Konad
MoYou London Kitty 14 vs. Konad

So how does it stamp? Pretty darn well:


MoYou London Kitty 14 stamping test
MoYou London Kitty 14 stamping test


So what can you do with this plate?


1) Butterflies galore!  Small butterflies. Big butterflies. And even one butterfly in the center that can get you that butterfly-wing effect manicure.





2) Flowers, flourishes, and foliage!  Plenty of pretty elements to use in collages or by themselves.





3) Full-nail images: Some of these are a little tight and may work better for smaller nails:





4) Mirror-image-carbon-copy effect: My favorite part of this plate is the funky huge butterfly on the left--I love all of the scrollwork and flowers inside of the butterfly wings, and I love that you get a mirror-image-carbon-copy of the two halves, so you can play with two colors together opposing one another on different nails.





And just to finish off, here's a manicure I did with this plate; I showed it to you before, and you can see all the details by clicking here:





I turned this design so I could get each wing on a different nail, but if you rotated it about 90 degrees, you'd get full coverage over a single nail. :)

So there you have MoYou London Kitty 14!

Happy Stamping,
M.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Review, comparison & test: MoYou London Kitty 12 & 13

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!

Nail-stamping lover: "Boy, I sure do love those MoYou London plates, but I'm never sure whether I should get the XL or the regular plates! And those cool butterfly plates, I'm not sure which will work to make my nails look like little butterflies!"

Me: "Nail-stamping lover, you have come to the right place! Today I'm going to compare MoYou London Kitty 12, which is a 'regular' plate, and Kitty 13, which is an XL plate, so that everyone can get the effect they want from this collection!"

First up, here's a video that compares the two and tests them out:




And here are some still shots of the plates for quick reference; first, Kitty 12, the 'regular' plate:


MoYou-London-Kitty-Collection-12
MoYou London Kitty Collection 12

MoYou London Kitty Collection 12
MoYou London Kitty Collection 12

MoYou London Kitty Collection 12
MoYou London Kitty Collection 12

And here's Kitty 13, the XL plate:

MoYou-London-Kitty-Collection-13
MoYou London Kitty Collection 13

MoYou-London-Kitty-Collection-13
MoYou London Kitty Collection 13

MoYou London Kitty Collection 13
MoYou London Kitty Collection 13


And here's a side-by-side comparison of the images on the two plates:



MoYou London Kitty Collection 12 vs. 13

And just for fun, here are comparisons of each plate with a standard Konad plate:

MoYou-London-Kitty-Collection-12-vs.-Konad
MoYou London Kitty Collection 12 vs. Konad

MoYou London Kitty Collection 12 vs. Konad

Okay, now you've seen 'em next to each other, so let's get down to the nitty-gritty. As always, this comes down to two things, the size of your nails, and the effect you're hoping to create with the plates.


  • The butterfly-wing look: If you want to make each nail look like a mini butterfly wing, you are most likely going to need Kitty 12 to do that, unless you have very wide, long nails. There are several images that will work well on the plate for that effect.



  • Small nails: If you know you have very small nails, you'll probably want to use Kitty 12 regardless; it has more images than plate 13, so you're getting the best of both worlds there. 



  • Long/wide nails: If you have very long nails, or very wide/curvy nails, you probably won't get full coverage with Kitty 12, and should stick with Kitty 13 (and other XL MoYou London plates).



  • Other full-nail effects: There are a number of images here that work for more than just butterfly effects. There are several that look like animal prints to my eyes, and one that even looks like palm fronds. All of them create interesting texture if you're completely covering the nail. If you want to go for those sorts of effects, picking a plate gets a little tougher. If you have very small nails, the kind that you have no problem covering with standard Konad plates, then go for Kitty 12, the 'regular' plate. But if your thumb or any of your other nails are hard to cover with standard Konad, go with Kitty 13. Or, if you want a more open look, go for Kitty 13, where the designs will be a little more open. 


Here are two examples on the nail:


MoYou London Kitty Collection 12 vs. Kitty 13
MoYou London Kitty Collection 12 vs. Kitty 13

Here I've chosen one of the more traditional butterfly shapes, the sort you'd use to create butterfly-wing effect on your nail. Kitty 12 is on the left, Kitty 13 is on the right. You can see that the smaller image on Kitty 12 creates more of an obvious butterfly wing, where Kitty 13 creates a very interesting efect, but one that's less clearly a butterfly wing.


MoYou London Kitty Collection 12 vs. Kitty 13
MoYou London Kitty Collection 12 vs. Kitty 13

Here I've chosen an image to create an interesting full-nail effect that isn't necessarily a butterfly wing. This time I have Kitty 13 (XL) on the left, and Kitty 12 (regular) on the right. You can see the wider distance between the stripes, and how much bigger the circle is; this is going to give you a wider pattern on the nail, but cover longer nails with no problem.

So there you have it, Kitty 12 vs. 13! I hope this has been helpful when choosing which of these two plates is right for your needs. :)

Happy stamping!
M.















Monday, March 23, 2015

Review, test & Mani: Messy Mansion plates 18, 28, 34, 37 & 43

(Nothing to disclose)

Hello!!

I finally did it--I finally got my little paws on some Messy Mansion plates. Yes, I can hear you saying 'Whaaa?? How could it take so long, Michelle? How?' Well, there were several plates I wanted, and every time I went to buy them, one of them was out of stock. But then...the stars aligned, and I clicked, clicked, clicked!

Here is my video review and test of the plates:





Here's how they come packaged:




And here are the images of the individual plates:

Messy-Mansion-MM18
Messy Mansion MM18: Boujour, Paris!

Messy-Mansion-MM28
Messy Mansion MM28: You'll never take me alive, copper!

Messy-Mansion-MM34
Messy Mansion MM34: Celtic foxy wolves

Messy-Mansion-MM37
Messy Mansion MM37: Arrrrr, Matey!

Messy-Mansion-MM37
Messy Mansion MM43: Do you want to see my steampunk-punk-punk, my steampunk-punk?


I love the elegance of all these plates. The images are so detailed, and because the plates are larger than normal, you get a nice variety of images in the theme. But...how do they stamp?


Quite well, actually:

Steampunk suspenders and Parisian flourishes

I pressed too hard on the first try--but look at the beautiful detail on that second one

Barbed wire and an incredibly detailed map...


All of the detail come out perfectly, and I didn't have to struggle to scrape or pick-up; the images are well-spaced, so that even though there are so many of them, the plates work well.


So how big are those images, anyway? Let's take a look at them next to a standard Konad plate:


Messy Mansion MM28 vs. Konad




Messy Mansion MM28 vs. Konad


The full-nail images are large enough so you shouldn't have to worry about covering your width and length unless you've got some looooong nails. :)


I couldn't wait to play with these, and the beautiful spring colors I've been playing just called out for a country French theme...

I started with Zoya Daisy, my favorite of the spring polishes I've seen so far. Then I stamped using MM18, with Konad white and Sally Hansen Blue Away:


French country chic
French country chic

French country chic

French country chic

French country chic


I love, love, love this manicure--I wore it for nearly a week because I couldn't bear to take it off. And I never, ever thought I'd say that about a yellow-based manicure, but Daisy rocks. And I love the creativity that just jumped off of the plate.

I definitely recommend these plates--you can find them on Messy Mansion's website, and select plates are available on Amazon. :)

Happy Stamping,
M.