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.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Before & After: Stripey Skulls with Barielle Moda Bleu

(Barielle polish sent for review)

Hello!!

This month's theme in my Nail Challenge Collaborative is stripes, and since it's Halloween time, I decided to put both elements into my magical stamping cauldron and stir them together to see what sort of magical brew I could come up with...

I started with Barielle Moda Bleu, which I just reviewed as part of their Me Couture collection; it's a midnight blurple creme suitable for the gothiest of goths and the vampiest of vamps:


Barielle Moda Bleu

Barielle Moda Bleu

Barielle Moda Bleu



Next, I stamped some stripes on using Sally Hansen Brisk Blue and Cici&Sisi plate 18; then I stamped on a skull and crossbones using Konad White and Bunny Nails HD-C:



How did the skeleton know it was going to rain?

He could feel it in his bones!



So what do you think? Spooky cute? Or just spooky??

Hugs and loves!
M.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review & Stamping Test: Barielle's Me Couture Fall 2014 collection

(Press Sample)

Hello!

We are well and truly into Fall now, and I'm loving all of the Fall colors. Right on time I've received Barielle's Me Couture Fall 2014 collection for review, and it has some beauties. :)

But beauty is no longer enough for me. I noticed a few collections ago that Barielle cremes are good for stamping...so we're gonna take a look and see if this one holds up for that, too. *dun dun dun!!!!*

So let's take a look at the swatches...first up, Berry Posh, a saturated fuchsia creme with a hint of winter softness:


Barielle Berry Posh
Barielle Berry Posh

Barielle Berry Posh
Barielle Berry Posh

Barielle Berry Posh
Barielle Berry Posh

This is two coats, with full, even coverage. Easy application with no issues whatsoever. :)


Next is my favorite of the collection, Boho Chic, a teal-leaning green creme. No, that's not a typo--believe it or not, in outdoor lights, this color goes almost to a British Racing Green, so I call it a green that leans teal rather than a teal that leans green:


Barielle Boho Chic
Barielle Boho Chic

Barielle Boho Chic
Barielle Boho Chic

Barielle Boho Chic
Barielle Boho Chic

This is two coats, but if you're careful, you could probably get away with one. Application on this one was also easy, clean and problem-free.


Next we have Moda Bleu, a deep midnight blurple creme that looks almost black in some lights:


Barielle Moda Bleu
Barielle Moda Bleu

Barielle Moda Bleu
Barielle Moda Bleu

Barielle Moda Bleu
Barielle Moda Bleu

Again this is two coats. I had to pay attention to the application on this one to avoid patchiness, however it wasn't a big deal; it just wasn't quite as effortless as the previous colors were.


Here is my second-favorite color in the collection, Soho At Night; it's a dusty, smoky grape creme:


Barielle Soho At Night
Barielle Soho At Night

Barielle Soho At Night
Barielle Soho At Night

Barielle Soho At Night
Barielle Soho At Night

I was surprised by the application on this one compared to the rest; this is three coats, because the formula on this one was thinner than with the others in the collection. Still, it ultimately covered well, and the color is so yummy.


Next we have Taupe Notch, which is a medium taupe-gray creme with a very slight pink undertone:


Barielle Taupe Notch
Barielle Taupe Notch

Barielle Taupe Notch
Barielle Taupe Notch

Barielle Taupe Notch
Barielle Taupe Notch

I have on two coats here, and this one went on with simplicity and easy. :)


Last but not least, is the beautiful Vintage Gown, a shimmery creme that defies description; Barielle calls it 'a creamy rust with a hint of pink'; my eyes see it as more of a soft medium brown with a wash of pink, with a coppery shimmer:


Barielle Vintage Gown
Barielle Vintage Gown

Barielle Vintage Gown
Barielle Vintage Gown

Barielle Vintage Gown
Barielle Vintage Gown

Barielle Vintage Gown
Barielle Vintage Gown
This is two coats, and this one had awesome, effortless application.


Overall, I think this is a lovely fall collection of wearable, versatile colors that have a fall edge to them. The neutrals are pretty enough to be interesting in their own right, and the bold colors have a muted, happy fall feel.

But...but...but...will it live up to the previous collections that doubled as amazing stamping polishes? Let's see...



Barielle Berry Posh

Barielle Boho Chic

Barielle Moda Bleu

Barielle Soho At Night

Barielle Taupe Notch

Barielle Vinage Gown
(I used the new Bundle Monster Sun-Kissed collection for all of this stamping.)

I thought for sure that Soho At Night wouldn't stamp since it was thinner than the rest, but I was wrong--they all stamped clearly and well. Even the tiny details were preserved! In two cases the color of the polish read a little differently; Moda Bleu's purple side came out a bit more, and Taupe Notch favored it's brown side more than its gray.

So if you are looking to expand your stamping set-up and get some lovely fall colors in the process, this collection is for you! I call that an awesome two-fer. :)

So which one is your favorite color? And have you tried stamping with any Barielle polishes yet?

Hope your weekend is winding up well,
M.