Friday, January 20, 2017

Before & After: Zoya Merida + Messy Mansion MM79XL

(Press samples and affiliate links ahead!)

Hello!


Today I have another serene winter scene for you--I'm really enjoying winter this year since we're actually getting rain and cold weather in my neck of the woods after several years of drought! No snow, of course, but I can dream about it, which is probably why I love this type of nail art.


For my base, I started with Zoya Merida (also available here), a gorgeous deep forest green scattered holo:


Zoya Merida
Zoya Merida

I chose this to capture the complexity of winter pine trees, and then I stamped the big reversed tree image from Messy Mansion MM79XL in Messy Mansion Chalk:


Messy Mansion MM79XL
Messy Mansion MM79XL


Here's how it looked after that step:

Messy Mansion MM79XL and Bundle Monster BM-H02 over Zoya Merida
Messy Mansion MM79XL and Bundle Monster BM-H02 over Zoya Merida


Then I added made a decal of the cardinal image from Bundle Monster BM-H02:


Bundle Monster BM-H02
Bundle Monster BM-H02


I stamped the decal with Messy Mansion Carbon, and colored it with Messy Mansion Red-y Or Not and Banana Bender. Here's how it came out:



Messy Mansion MM79XL and Bundle Monster BM-H02 over Zoya Merida
Messy Mansion MM79XL and Bundle Monster BM-H02 over Zoya Merida

Messy Mansion MM79XL and Bundle Monster BM-H02 over Zoya Merida
Messy Mansion MM79XL and Bundle Monster BM-H02 over Zoya Merida


What do you think?! I love how this came out, and I love looking at it. The holo creates a deep dimension that makes it look like there's a bunch of needles, and I love the snow accents. And while I've never seen a red cardinal in real life, I did once come out to find a yellow cardinal on my bird bath, and that was a very cool moment that this reminds me of. :)


Happy stamping!
M.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

New Product Alert: Huston Lowell Nail Art Plates

(Affiliate links ahead!)

Hello!


A little birdie just told me about this stamping plate set from Huston Lowell...I haven't used it myself so I can't vouch for the quality, but word on the street (okay, in the Facebook groups) is that they pick up well, although the images are on the smaller side. So if your nails work with smaller images, you might want to check these out:




They're $14.99 for ten plates, and if you're a prime member, that includes shipping. Quite a deal!


Happy stamping!

M.

Review: UberChic Beauty Collection 14

(Press samples and affiliate links ahead!)

Hello!

UberChic Beauty just released some new plates, and today we're gonna start of my reviews with Collection 14. Here's my video review of the collection (I also have video reviews of the Love & Marriage 03 plate and the Party Time plate up on YouTube--blog posts coming soon):




Let's take a look at some still shots. First, 14-01:


UberChic Beauty 14-01
UberChic Beauty 14-01


Plate size: 9.5 cm x 14 cm
Full-nail image size: 17 cm x 21 mm (5/8th of an inch x 6/8ths of an inch)

My favorite images on this plate: I adore the sunbursts of diamond shapes, and love that she gives both positive and negative versions of the images. I love the fleur de lis, and her henna designs always make my heart flutter. But the highlight of this plate has to be the butterflies!


UberChic Beauty 14-02
UberChic Beauty 14-02


Plate size: 9.5 cm x 14 cm
Full-nail image size: 17 cm x 21 mm (5/8th of an inch x 6/8ths of an inch)

My favorite images on this plate: the layering mosaics (I'm gonna play with those and some square glitters) and the pinwheel-type flowers. I also love both the realistic flowers, and the illusion images are sooo fun. :)


UberChic Beauty 14-03
UberChic Beauty 14-03


Plate size: 9.5 cm x 14 cm
Full-nail image size: 17 cm x 21 mm (5/8th of an inch x 6/8ths of an inch)

My favorite images on this plate: So many, but my favorite part is all of the images with diamond shapes, especially the several perfect for layering. I also love the lotus-y flowers, the hexes, and the gradated mesh.


Here's a shot with a ruler to help you get a feel for the size of the irregular images:



 

 


So how do they stamp? I did my stamping test with UberChic Beauty's XL crystal stamper, and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Navy Fleet and Lightning:

 




I'm super impressed with how well those fine lines come out with a clear stamper--Look at the tiny detail on that rose!


For today's manicure, I started with a base of The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot and Hello Ground; both of these will release on January 20th. Then I stamped two images from 14-02, with Girly Bits Flame, and then I added some circle glitters:

UberChic Beauty 14-02 over The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot and Hello Ground
UberChic Beauty 14-02 over The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot and Hello Ground

UberChic Beauty 14-02 over The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot and Hello Ground
UberChic Beauty 14-02 over The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot and Hello Ground
 
UberChic Beauty 14-02 over The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot and Hello Ground
UberChic Beauty 14-02 over The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot and Hello Ground


I love pulling out the colors of the glitter when I do nail art, and since the glitters are multichrome, I used the gold and the rust glitters to capture two of the predominant colors and the blue to go with Hello Ground. The color scheme on this is very soothing somehow, and have a retro-70s sort of feel.


I'll be back shortly with manicures from the other two plates; in the meantime, you can find this collection in UberChic Beauty's shop, and don't forget to follow UberChic Beauty on Facebook and Instagram. :)


Happy stamping!
M.

Monday, January 16, 2017

NOTD: Frozen (featuring Messy Mansion MM27XL and Zoya Saint)

(Press samples and affiliate links ahead!)

Hello!


Today I have a manicure I made using Messy Mansion's new MM27XL plate, which I like to call the Fire & Ice plate. Here's the video review I did for the plate:




And here's a look at the plate up-close-and-personal:


Messy Mansion MM27XL
Messy Mansion MM27XL

I love the combination of fire and ice images on this plate, and I love how much texture there is here. But my very favorite thing about this plate is the gorgeous phoenixes--the shapes especially of the main three remind me of Celtic knot-type patterns, and they're just breathtaking.


Here's a shot with a ruler to give you a feel for how big the images are:


Messy Mansion MM27XL
Messy Mansion MM27XL 

So how does it stamp? Here's a look at the quality:




For my manicure, I started with a base of Zoya Saint (yes, I am obsessed with that polish), and stamped the layering icicle images first with Messy Mansion Blue You A Kiss, then Hydrangea Blue, then Sterling:

Messy Mansion MM27XL over Zoya Saint
Messy Mansion MM27XL over Zoya Saint

Messy Mansion MM27XL over Zoya Saint
Messy Mansion MM27XL over Zoya Saint

I thought it would be a good idea to leave a little overlap between the layers, but I don't think that was a good idea, because it ended up looking a little sloppier than I would have liked. But, I think its still came out good, and I love the frosty feel!


You can find the plate and the stamping polishes in Messy Mansion's store, and don't forget to check them out on Facebook and Instagram. :)


Happy stamping!
M.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

NOTD: Sassy Pants Polish New Fallen Snow + UCB 12-03

(Press samples ahead!)

Hello!


Is it cold in your neck of the woods? Where I am, we've had record lows coming and going for several weeks--probably the coldest winter so far that I remember in a long time. I do love the cold, though, so I'm happy--but our plants are not.


In keeping with the seasonal weather, today's mani is a winterscape...I started with a base of Sassy Pants Polish New Fallen Snow, a gorgeous polish for any snow effect you want to achieve. Then I stamped the tree and bird layering images from UberChic Beauty 12-03:


UberChic Beauty 12-03
UberChic Beauty 12-03


I stamped the trees with Hit The Bottle Polish Everyday I'm Truffling (also available at Beautometry) and the birds with Messy Mansion Red-y Or Not; here's how it came out:


UberChic Beauty 12-03 stamped over Sassy Pants Polish New Fallen Snow
UberChic Beauty 12-03 stamped over Sassy Pants Polish New Fallen Snow

UberChic Beauty 12-03 stamped over Sassy Pants Polish New Fallen Snow
UberChic Beauty 12-03 stamped over Sassy Pants Polish New Fallen Snow

There are no words for how happy I am with how this turned out! I love the little pop of red, and the trees against the snowy landscape just feels serene and peaceful to me. This was absolutely one of those manis that it killed me to have to take off.


Happy stamping, and stay warm!!
M.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Review: The Lady Varnishes Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy polishes

(Press samples and affiliate links ahead!)

Hello!


One of my top three favorite reads is the set of five books in the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy trilogy (no, that's not a mistake, this trilogy has five books--take that up with Douglas Adams, not me, hehe). The basic premise is that when Arthur Dent wakes up to discover his house is being razed to make way for a bypass, he doesn't think his day can get any worse--until he finds out the entire Earth itself is also being destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

Luckily, Arthur has a friend who's from another planet, and knows how to get them to safety just in time. And that's when the adventure begins.


Note that I said I love the books--to really enjoy the phenomenon, you must read the books. Douglas Adams is a master of bizarre humor, and so much of that is included in the 'entries' contained in the guidebook, which don't translate as well to other media. The BBC miniseries actually manages this quite well, so that's an acceptable alternative. But please don't EVER make the mistake of watching the movie, at least not until you've read the books first, because it will ruin them for you.


As you may have guessed, the polishes I have to show you today are inspired by the Hitchhiker Trilogy, by The Lady Varnishes. And as much as I love the books, I've discovered there is something that can make them better--multichrome glitter.


(But that's true of everything, isn't it?)


The Lady Varnishes Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy inspired polishes: Poetry Reading, Depressed Robot, and Hello Ground
The Lady Varnishes Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy inspired polishes: Poetry Reading, Depressed Robot, and Hello Ground


In each of these three polishes from The Lady Varnishes, Kirsten has infused a gorgeous base color with a mystical melange of multichrome magic. Okay, yes, that's a lot of 'm' words, but what can I say, multichrome glitter does that to me. Oh, and hey, guess what--THEY ALSO GLOW IN THE DARK. Which is very useful when you find yourself stashed away in the hold of a Vogon constructor ship. But I'm getting ahead of myself.


Let's start with The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot, and taupey-brown shimmering crelly with multichrome glitter that mostly shows copper, but shifts green and gold:


The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot
The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot

The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot
The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot

The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot
The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot

The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot
The Lady Varnishes Depressed Robot

Formula: Beautiful. No application issues on either coat, smooth and easy.
Coverage: Two coats for full coverage.

This is my kind of neutral! This is work appropriate with a dash of happy to get you through your nine-to-five. It's elegant, but also fun. 'Depressed Robot' is a reference to Marvin, a robot Arthur encounters on his travels, who possesses a Genuine People Personality(TM), a module created by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation that makes a robot into 'your plastic pal who's fun to be with!'(TM)). Unfortunately, it turns out that Genuine People tend to suck, and the personality that Marvin has is pessimistic and suicidal. This polish is what would happen if Sirius Cybernetics fixed the module and threw in some pizzazz, turned that frown upside down, basically added a miraculous dose of Prozac to Marvin's miserable life. And I love it.


Next we have The Lady Varnishes Hello Ground, a navy shimmering crelly with that same multichrome glittter mixture:


The Lady Varnishes Hello Ground
The Lady Varnishes Hello Ground

The Lady Varnishes Hello Ground
The Lady Varnishes Hello Ground

The Lady Varnishes Hello Ground
The Lady Varnishes Hello Ground

The Lady Varnishes Hello Ground
The Lady Varnishes Hello Ground

Formula: Beautiful. No application issues on either coat, smooth and easy.
Coverage: Two coats for full coverage, unless you have longer nails with staining like me. You can see I have a bit of VNL, but that didn't show in most lights. Still, you might need three coats to be sure.

This is a gorgeous night sky polish--imagine the galaxy nails you could make with this. The name 'Hello Ground' is difficult to explain without giving away why it's funny--let's just say that due to bizarre circumstances that only Marvin could have predicted, a whale and a pot of petunias are called into existence in the stratosphere of a planet, plummeting toward its surface. We're treated to the considerable internal monologue of the extremely cheerful and optimistic whale, who looks forward to making friends with the new, vast thing rapidly approaching him from below. By contrast, the pot of petunias has only one thought: "Oh no, not again."*


Finally, I give you my favorite from the three (and it wasn't an easy choice!), The Lady Varnishes Poetry Reading, a moss-green shimmering crelly with that awesome multichrome glitter:

The Lady Varnishes Poetry Reading
The Lady Varnishes Poetry Reading

The Lady Varnishes Poetry Reading
The Lady Varnishes Poetry Reading

The Lady Varnishes Poetry Reading
The Lady Varnishes Poetry Reading

The Lady Varnishes Poetry Reading
The Lady Varnishes Poetry Reading


Formula: Beautiful. No application issues on either coat, smooth and easy.
Coverage: Two coats for full coverage.

I am obsessed with this polish--I adore this shade of green, and the way the shimmer makes it look like it's as deep as eternity. This is deep forests with lichen on rocks, or pots of gold dripping down your nails on St. Patrick's day. And something about the coppery orange of the glitter gives it a reptilian, alien feel perfect for the name of this polish. You see, when Arthur escapes the exploding Earth, he does it by hitching a lift on the Vogon constructor fleet that's been sent to clear the way for the hyperspace bypass. Vogons are an alien race that are just this shade of green. Vogons are known for writing astoundingly bad poetry, like, so bad people kill themselves rather than have to listen to it. Vogons also aren't fond of unapproved hitchhikers. So, Arthur and his alien friend Ford are tortured with  welcomed with  a Vogon poetry reading once they're discovered. Yeah, it's like that.


So what do I think of these polishes? They capture the spirit of the book--the names and the colors evoke some of my favorite moments in the story, and the multichrome glitter and the glow-in-the-dark adds a dash of surreality that I believe Douglas Adams himself would have approved of. And the quality is amazing.


The Lady Varnishes Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy inspired polishes
The Lady Varnishes Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy inspired polishes

These polishes go on sale on 20 January 2017, so mark your calendars. You'll be able to find them in The Lady Varnishes's store, and in the meantime, you can follow The Lady Varnishes on Facebook and join the Facebook fan group for news, sales, and inspiration.


Happy polishing, and remember to always know where your towel is,
M.
*And yes, if you read the entire trilogy, all five books, you will find out exactly why the petunias thought that. And it's totally worth it.