Saturday, June 30, 2012

NOTD: Faux water marble stamped nails


First, this is my last post for the day, I promise, lol. I got myself a little behind and I'm trying to catch up.

Second, this post is going to do double-duty. I had several people ask me how well the faux water marble stamp on the new Bundle Monster plate (BM-320) actually simulates a water-marble pattern, so I wanted to test that out. Luckily for me, I knew I had a summer water-marble challenge looming on the horizon that I was trying to find a way to do despite the fact that I am water-marble challenged! Don't you love it when things work out like that? :)

To try to simulate a water marble as best I could with this stamp, I used 2-3 polishes, depending on the nail. I brushed stripes of polish over the plate, trying to get a random pattern. Then I scraped in the direction of the stripes, and stamped:

I started with Revlon's Smoldering as a base, and I used China Glaze's Cherish (light green metallic), Metallic Muse (light blue), and Avalanche (light purple metallic) to do the stamping. If I did it again, I'd use a darker color for one of the three (probably a darker purple since purple is the most dominant color in Smoldering).

One of the cool things about this technique is that if you mess up when you stamp, it's not the end of the world--you can double up on the stamping and it just looks like a more in-depth water marble (that's what happened on my middle finger, you may have already figured it out, lol).

My conclusion is that this stamp can give you a faux water-marble effect pretty well, at least if you use the right set of colors. I'm not sure how well it will work with more strongly contrasting colors...I'll have to try that next. :)

Thanks for stopping by, and please check out the other blogger's water marbles--most of which are *actual* true water water marbles. :)


Rainbow favorites: Red!


So excited about today's post, because it's about my favorite color, RED!! It is really impossible for me to pick just one red I love and decorate it, so what I'm going to do is show you a couple of reds that are very cool.

First up is Hits Ares, from the No Olimpo collection: 

Two of my favorite things combined into one--red and holographic polish. The sparkle in this lights up the strawberry red color and makes it sing...This is one of those polishes that is so gorgeous on its own it's hard for me to bring myself to stamp them. And that's not easy to do, get me to NOT want to stamp a manicure. :P

I recently also got Orly's Grave Mistake on clearance from Sally's...I had seen it before but it just felt like another red, so I hesitated to buy it. Clearance prices make these decisions so much easier, hee hee! Turns out, I really love it:

It's more of a sexy red creme, and it's even darker in indoor light. It has a retro feel that I love...I may try to do a manicure with it that goes in a pin-up sort of direction.

Next up is my favorite orange...:) In the meantime, please check out the other bloggers participating in this challenge!


Rainbow Favorite and NOTD Before & After: Misa Toxic Seduction


Today I am doing my first 'Rainbow Favorites' post, which I'm behind on--and I'm doing it out of order because I'm lame, and I apologize. I'll get back on track shortly! Anyway, my current favorite green is a deep green polish by Misa for you: Toxic Seduction. How cool is that name?! It makes me think of that bad boy that you just love, that makes you feel all squishy inside, but who you know just isn't right for you. But oh, man, for a time, how glorious it is!

Toxic Seduction is a deep blue-green color, a sort of an evergreen. It has an interesting texture that is sort of like some types of marble.  Here's it is on its own:

Toxic Seduction sunlight

Toxic Seduction shade

Toxic Seduction inside light

I put this on before going to sleep, and after starting into its deep green eyes for a while, I decided it was time to stamp it. I used plate Mash-41 with China Glaze's Cherish, a light metallic green. It looks silver in the picture, but it shows light green in person:

Simple and elegant! And a good way to play up the dark aspect of the color. :) Hope you like it!

Thanks for looking, and please check out the other bloggers who are participating, below. :)


Rainbow Favorites Memory FAIL!!

Hello everyone!

This last week and a half have been crazy for me, and I managed to let something big slip through the cracks. I was supposed to be participating in a 'rainbow favorites' challenge starting a few days ago, and I completely forgot about it until I saw another blogger post about it. I am going to try to catch up with it as soon as possible (starting with my favorite green after this), and in the meantime want to be sure I refer you to the other bloggers in the series--they actually HAVE been doing the challenge!

Also, I want to apologize for dropping the ball on this, and I will catch up as quickly as I can, even though it's almost over. >.<

Here are the bloggers involved in the challenge:

9ml universe
Captivating Claws
Fancy Phalanges
Fe's Nails
Follow the Yellow Polish Road
Football and Fingernails
Fresh Air & Fashion
Happy Nails
Jolien's Kingdom of Polish
Kelly's Kolors!
Lacquer Dreams
Liesl Loves Pretty Things
Light Your Nails!
My Life In Polish
nailpolish is alive(:
Nail Polish Lane
Nubbin Nails
Of Color n Music
Polish and Such
Sincerely, Obsessed with Polish
So You Think You Can Paint
The Rantings of a Nail Polish Hoarder
To Polish or Not?

Please go check them out! And my apologies again. :(


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Test of new Bundle Monster plates (set 301-325)

Hello everyone!

Earlier I posted a video to YouTube showing my initial tests of the new Bundle Monster set that released on June 20th. This video had some sort of voodoo curse put on it--every step of the way everything went wrong and it literally took me 12 hours to shoot and edit. I am not kidding, I wish I were. So I warn you that the quality is not the best, but I put stills at the end of each segment to make sure the images are clearly visible, and I thought it might be useful to post them here, as well.

Here is the video; after that awesome sell job I'm sure you can't wait to watch it, hee hee ;-): 

Here are the still images from my testing:

BM-306, BM-309 (how cute is that owl!!), BM-312; BM-311 (the one I refer to as the 'newspaper nails image'). The smudged lollipop and patchy words are because I had dings on both nails that I didn't notice in time. Seriously, nothing seemed to go right...>.<

BM-301. This is what the image is supposed to look like, it's meant to be a texture image that looks sort of like scrunched up paper. My choice of colors just doesn't make it look pretty. But imagine it in two tones of blue. :)

BM-308, BM-322, BM-319, BM-301. I think this last one one, if stamped from the top down, would make great gradient nails; in fact, right after I posted this, I saw this AWESOME mani using this image, shortly followed by another awesome take on it here. This image has sooo much potential.

My comments: 

The images I tested were requested by viewers who saw my initial review video of these plates (plus one image I threw in because I loved it and thought it was a challenging one), and they were a good sample--some small detailing, some larger areas, etc. Also, in the video, on my left hand you can see the manicure I did using BM309 (shown in my last post)--that was the only other image I had stamped from this set before testing them on video.

While everything seemed to go wrong as I was making this video, from out-of-frame issues to a change in lighting to my video editor eating my sound, the only thing I didn't have a problem with was the stamping plates. The images stamped well, and the only one that gave me any problem at all was the 'newspaper nail' image on plate BM311; the script is very small and very detailed, which means it's gorgeous but you also have to work quickly before the polish dries. My image came out well (except for my dinged patch), but barely. All of the other images stamped beautifully the first time I tried, without fuss. And while I did use a Konad stamper and scraper, I used Sally Hansen (White On) and Wet n Wild (Ebony Hates Chris) polishes to stamp with, and these worked just fine. :)

Based on my testing, I recommend these plates; they are good-quality images. I have not tested every image or even every plate yet, but based on the range of images I did try, I think it's a representative trial run. If there is one you'd like me to test out, let me know and I'll do my best to get you some feedback on it. :)

As always, thanks for taking the time to visit!!


(The products in this review were purchased with my own money.)

NOTD Before & After: Color Club's Nouveau Vintage


A couple of days ago, I put on Nouveau Vintage for the first time.

I am completely in love with it.

Here it is, before I decorated it--and I almost didn't!:

Color Club Nouveau Vintage in the shade

Color Club Nouveau Vintage in the sun

It's one of those polishes that is named perfectly--for me, the combination of aged metallic shades in the polish calls forth images of turn-of-the-last-century Art Nouveau masterpieces like these:

An Art Nouveau ceiling...And of course, the famous Art Nouveau Parisian metro stations:

It was inevitable that when my new Bundle Monster plates came and I saw a vaguely Art Nouveau-ish design, I had to use it on this polish. So, inspired by that metro station, I created this, using Bundle Monster 309:

I stamped the design using China Glaze Passion, and free-handed the red leaves using Pure Ice's Siren. I loved this mani so much, I wore it for two days...until I ruined it making a stamping video...*pouts sadly*...But I can always revisit it again. :)

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: More Hot Topic Blackheart Beauty Polishes!


UPDATE: I have been informed that these polishes contain lead. While it seems that this is probably in trace amounts such that it doesn't need to be disclosed in most states, it does contain some, and you should be careful to not bite your nails or put your fingers in your mouth while wearing polishes from this line.

Today I have three more polishes from Hot Topic's Blackheart Beauty collection to show you; as you know, I really loved the first four of these that I bought, and lusted after more. You can find these polishes on their website, or by clicking here. Let me get right to the review:

First up is Royally Screwed (gotta love that name):

More skull bottles...I love them so much...

Royally Screwed in the shade

Royally Screwed in the sun
Royally Screwed is a royal blue glitter with small glitter particles and medium hexes, in a clear base. Here I am wearing it by itself, two coats, with no topcoat; I show it over other colors below. The deep blue color is gorgeous, and is rare to find in a glitter (at least in my experience). The hexes are well-suspended, and don't require a ton of fishing to get out, although just like with any other hex glitter, some strategic dabbing will help you get even coverage (if that's what you want, I often don't). The clear base makes this ideal for pairing with other colors (see how stunning it is over Jealous Type below), but means you probably won't be wearing it alone. It's versatile and rich.

Next up is Bright Night:

Bright Night in the bottle

Bright Night in the shade

Bright Night in the sun

Bright Night is one of the glow-in-the-dark polishes in the line, and it is a pale sky-blue jelly. Here I have it alone on my index finger, and over a coat of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On on my middle finger. In both cases, I have three coats on. As you can see, when worn alone, even with three coats you don't get much coverage; over white it fares better. While I could not find a way to capture it in a picture, Bright Night definitely glows in the dark--but only faintly if not put over white. The finger that did have the white undercoat glowed fiercely in the dark, while I could barely see the other finger. As you'll see below, the polish does well in blacklight with or without an undercoat.

Of all of the Blackheart Beauty polishes I've tried, this is the first one I'm not really that happy with. For most of the glow-in-the-dark uses I can imagine, this color doesn't really come to mind; I'd rather go with Creep Show (a neon-ish green), a yellow (Toxicity) or an orange (Safety Dance), as these are more Halloween type colors. In terms of the color itself, it isn't unique, and you need to apply a lot of it to get the actual color if that's your focus. However, if you're going to a costume party and need a sky-blue that glows in the dark, this is the polish for you. :)

And finally, Jealous Type:

Jealous Type in the bottle

Jealous Type in the shade

Jealous Type in the sun

Okay, now we're back on track. Jealous Type is a kelly-green jelly that has a creme feel when it covers fully, which takes three coats. Here I have three such coats over white on my ring finger, and alone on my pinky--as you can see, you can't really tell a difference. Now matter what else it does or doesn't do, I love this color and am very happy to own it on that count alone.

Jealous Type is one of the polishes in the line that is intended to glow in blacklight. Note, it isn't meant to glow in the dark, and it does not glow in the dark. But under blacklight, it's vibrant:

In this picture, I have Bright Night on my index and middle finger, and Jealous Type on my ring and pinky. Both colors show up well in the blacklight, but as you can see, Jealous Type shows up a little bit brighter and better. And you can see where my cuticle clean-up was passable in regular light, but ain't foolin' nobody under blacklight, lol. If you want to make a splash under UV light, this polish will work perfectly. :)

I promised you above I'd show you Royally Screwed over both of these colors:

Royally Screwed over Jealous Type and Bright Night in the sun

Royally Screwed over Jealous Type and Bright Night in the shade
The glitter looks very pretty over both colors, and you can see it glitters and captures the light nicely. It looks good over Bright Night, and this is probably how I'll wear Bright Night, rather than on its own. But O-M-G--look at how amazing it looks over Jealous Type--that deep blue over the kelly green is a  gorgeous pairing.  I can see myself wearing this combination over and over again, and using it as a basis for nail art. It's a complete win.

All of the Blackheart Beauty polishes sell for $5 on the Hot Topic site, and they have a very reasonable shipping charge, particularly if you maximize it by buying several polishes. They have also started carrying other polishes, including some NYX polishes exclusive to their site, some magnetic polishes and some intriguing polishes called 'Manic Panic'.

Hope these swatches help you decide if these are for you! Thanks for reading. :)


(the products in this post were provided by Hot Topic. This did not impact the opinions, which are honest and are my own.)

NOTD: Colorblock manicure (Blue + Green + Aqua challenge)


Today's manicure is another one I did for a group challenge; the theme was to use blue, green and aqua in the same manicure. I've been wanting to do a colorblocking manicure for a while now, since it has been such a trend in fashion lately, and this seemed to be the perfect time. Here is what I came up with:

I started with China Glaze's Exotic Encounters as my base, and then I blocked off a diagonal half to paint with China Glaze's Man Hunt. When that was dry, I blocked of half of my original color, and painted that with Sally Hansen Insta-dry's Lickety-Split Lime. I then lined the blocks with aqua colored nail tape. I'm still trying to get the hang of nail tape...I don't seem to get the ends to stay down for more than a couple of hours...But I did just get a few tips so I'll try them and report back. :)

Thanks for stopping by,


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: New Bundle Monster stamping plates 301-325

(Purchased with my own money; affiliate links)


I got my new Bundle Monster 300 series plates in the mail today, and I wanted to get some pictures up of the plates for you as soon as possible. I also made a video showing the plates, if you prefer to see them in that format: 

The plates come in a little plastic box, and arrive with the standard blue protective film covering them. The film is a little harder to get off than on some other plates I've had, so be careful--I did a little bit of small damage to my nails getting them off, but once I took a bit more time and care I was fine. And I'd rather the film be hard to get off than not put on well enough, and end up with scratched plates. The plates also come with paper backing on them, so you don't have to worry about cutting yourself on sharp edges.

Here are the images from each plate; at the end, I'll talk about them a bit more:


BM 302



The Devil made me do it!!! (but the plates, that is...)



















Now for my thoughts. I love the designs, there are very few here that I can't see myself using. There are some that are crowd-pleasers and some that go in new fun directions (like the devil plate, which I love!). I really like the fact that they've made a number of the images complementary to one another--matching full nail and nail tip designs, and some full nail designs that are carbons of one another so you can play around a bit more with your designs.

The quality is excellent. The etchings are clearly well done, and the detail is very nice. I will do a separate video/post testing out the images, but I did do a mani tonight using the detailed art-nouveau looking design at the very top of BM309, and it stamped well. That combined with having had only great results with previous Bundle Monster sets makes me feel pretty confident that there won't be any problems using these images.

One of my followers (and future swap partner!) Janaina noticed that the nail tips here seem to be bigger than the Konad ones, and she's right. The definitely seem to be taller, but not so much wider:

You can get find these by clicking here. Happy stamping!

Thanks for taking a look!