Friday, November 30, 2012

Before & After Twinpost: Flip Flop Fantasy


I promised you a summery manicure today, and here it is! This week Dina and I are up to Cheeky plate 37, and we decided on the flip flop image from that plate.

I want to go on record as saying I was not a fan of this image from the start, lol! I'm not sure why, maybe it's because the full image has the word 'flip flop' in the middle, or maybe because in the whole image there isn't one pair of flip flops that aren't cut off one or the other in some way, and that drives my OCD crazy, lol. Whatever the reason, it just isn't my thing. But as Dina points out, that's what makes this a challenge, because it makes us do stuff we might not otherwise!

So here's what I decided to do with it. I started with a base of China Glaze Bare If You Dare, which is a really pretty coral-orange color with a golden shimmer:

China Glaze Bare If You Dare

I decided to do a layered look for the flip-flops, so I started with Sally Hansen Insta Dry Lightning, and then stamped over it again with Konad red, to make it look like there was a sole and a top-section. Then on the accent nail, I stamped little footsie prints in Lightning, with Shany plate 03...I figure, since the flip-flops are empty, the feet must have gone off on their own! (Note: I never said I wasn't crazy):

Flippety Floppety Feetsies
Overall I like it, I think it's cute; I just have to pretend I didn't mess up on the first finger as badly as I did. Ironically, it was actually the last finger I stamped. Grrrr...

So, there's a little flash of summer for you, and don't forget to check out what Dina did with this stamp, which you can see by clicking here!

Thanks for looking. :)


Thursday, November 29, 2012

NOTD Before & After: Glitter Gal Evening Light


As we leave fall and sneak on into the full-on Christmas season, I thought I'd do a manicure for you that has a slightly different color scheme than the ones I've been posting lately. Tomorrow's will be a big seasonal departure...but I'll leave that a mystery as to why. :)

For today's manicure I started with what might be one of the prettiest, girliest duochromes I've ever seen, and I love it like crazy. You know I don't care for pink, and this definitely has pink, but it has a rosey, glowy pink that shifts coral, and even a bit purple-y. It's Glitter Gal's Evening Light, and it reminds me of the sorts of sunsets you see in pictures of Maui. :) Take a look:

Glitter Gal Evening Light

Evening Light in direct sun

Even in the shade, it does look like it is it's own light source, and it has a very subtle shimmer, not in-your-face at all. It's very flattering on me, and I have a finicky skin tone, so I think it would be pretty on most people. :)

I wanted to do something a little different with the color-scheme of the stamping, so I used China Glaze's Tree Hugger, an avocado-moss sort of green. I stamped using Bundle Monster plate 314:

Soft green leafy vines. :)

Good shot to see the duochrome shift :)


This is one of those manicures I couldn't stop looking at, and that I didn't want to take off. I will definitely be recreating this one again. :)

Thanks for stopping by to take a look! Stay tuned for a summery manicure tomorrow...:)


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Before & After: L is for Lalique


Are you ready for this week's installment of Llama Nails' alphabet challenge? This week we're on 'L', and I decided to use 'Lalique' as my 'L'.

To recreate the look of some of the beautiful pieces by Lalique, I chose retro colors and a swirly lacy design. :)

I started with Maya Hex (Indie Alert!!) for my base; this is a simple, understated polish that can be easily overlooked. It's an olive 'drab' with a gold undertone and gold flakies in it that give it just a little bit of flash:

Maya Hex

Maya Hex

Next, I stamped over it using China Glaze Passion, and Anna's  W217 plate. Then I put dots of Color Club Alter Ego on the swirls to give it an inlaid look, and on the accent nail put microbeads that I got from Born Pretty Store on the design (I told you I'm addicted to those mirco-beads!):

L is for Lalique...Art Nouveau goodness :)

Or, at least, my attempt at Art Nouveau goodness...:)

I can't say I'm completely in love with it--I do like it, but it's not quite what I was going for. Regardless, it does call up the sort of design that I think a woman would wear if nail art had been around at that time, to complement a beautiful Lalique necklace or pin!

If you want to pick up the micro-beads, I reviewed them yesterday, and you can get them at Born Pretty Store by clicking here; here is my 10% off code for your entire order:

Born Pretty Store

Thanks for taking a look, and please check out the other 'L' manicures, linked below. :)


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: Micro Beads and BO 13 Polish from Born Pretty Store


I have some artwork and product I'm really excited to show you today. Born Pretty Store recently contacted me to pick out one of their polishes and one of their nail art supplies to review. I've been dying to try micro-beads for a while now, and never got around to it, so this was the perfect time!

First I'll show you the polish, then I'll show you some nail art I did with the microbeads. :)

The polish I chose is an icy-olive shade with a foil-metallic finish, BO 13:

Born Pretty Store polish BO 13

The polish was very thick when I got it, and I added some polish thinner to it. It remained thick, and application was a little tricky, but not bad. This is one coat of the polish, and it's fully opaque, which is always a plus for me. Also, when I saw that it was a bit thick, I decided to try stamping with it, and it turns out to be an excellent polish for stamping! I'll show you that below.

Next I wanted to try some nail art with the micro-beads. Here is the set I picked, it comes in cute little pots that make it easier to keep the beads separate than those nail-art wheels; this is the picture from the Born Pretty Store site:

Since Christmas season has officially kicked off, I decided to do some little Christmas trees on my nails. I stamped one of the Christmas trees from the new Bunny Nails HD plate series, using China Glaze Holly-Day. Then I put micro-beads on the trees for ornaments, and finished off with a rhinestone star on the top of each tree:

Micro-bead trees!

I didn't have any bleeding with these micro-beads like you get with some of the craft store beads, and when I applied them and covered them with Seche Vite, they stayed put until I took them off a day later. :)

I also wanted to try stamping with BO 13, so I did a second manicure to test this out, and to work with the micro-beads again. This time I started with a base of Dandy Nails Hands Of Time (Indie Alert!), a gorgeous blue polish with blue-green glitters and shimmers to it. Then I stamped using Magno Nails plate O (which I will be reviewing for you soon), and BO 13 as the stamping polish. Then I added some olive green micro-beads to give the design extra dimension:

Dandy Nails Hands of Time + BO 13 + micro-beads

Ugh, chipped the nail on my middle finger a bit...sigh...
The polished stamped like a dream, was perfection to work with as a stamping polish, and looked perfect. :)

This is one of those manicures that exceeded my expectations; I loved it and didn't want to take it off. I love the way the micro-beads work with the glitters in the polish, they complement each other beautifully, and the icy-olive circles give the whole thing a sort of surreal underwater feel. This was an A+ manicure in my opinion, the micro-beads just pushed it over into very cool.

As far as usability, it took me less than 5 minutes to apply the micro-beads to this manicure, very reasonable I think. The Christmas trees were closer to 15 because there were so many beads and they were all so close together. And again with this mani, the beads stayed put until I took them off the next day.

You can find the BO 13 polish by clicking here.
You can find the micro-beads by clicking here.

Also, if you use code MCL91, they've been nice enough to give readers of my blog 10% off of your entire order. Their prices are already low, this makes it even better. :)

Born Pretty Store

Thanks for taking a look! I'll have another manicure featuring micro-beads for you tomorrow. I'm sort of addicted to them now...


(the products in this review were sent for my honest opinion.)

Monday, November 26, 2012

MSMD Before & After: Home-made Milky Glitter


I recently saw a very cool tip on how to make your own milky glitter from any glitter you own here on Nouveau Cheap's blog. Of course I loved the idea of getting more use out of glitters I already have, and I'm familiar with the glitter sandwich concept, so I had to try it. The only problem was I didn't have a milky base polish suitable to do it.

Luckily for me, the Wet n Wild petites went on sale at CVS, and I got the whole box for $0.99...and one of the ones included, Break The Ice, seemed perfect for this purpose. :)

For my glitter, I decided to go with Glitzology's Sherwood Forest (Indie alert!), because I've been dying to use it, and it's such a bold glitter that I thought it would present an interesting challenge. Here's a look at the colors in the bottle:

Glitzology Sherwood Forest

I applied one coat of Break The Ice, and then one thick coat of Sherwood Forest, and topped it off with another thick coat of Break the Ice:

Wet n Wild Break The Ice + Glitzology Sherwood Forest + Break The Ice again

I absolutely love it. I put a thick coat of this because I thought I needed to, but I think I could have used a bit less. Also, I was surpised that the topper actually changed the color of the glitter somewhat! I thought the sheer white would just make a it bit occluded, I didn't think there would be a shift in the color scheme. :)

Of course I can't leave well enough alone, so I wanted to do some nail art over it. I stamped using China Glaze Holly Jolly, using a Cheeky XL Fauxnad plate. Then I added a few microbeads and pearls:

The glitter peeks out from under the stamping

I think it's so cool the way the glitter adds a subtle texture under the stamping--almost like a bit of a marble effect. I also really like the sprinkling of mirco-beads and pearls, but I wonder if I should have just kept it on one accent nail. Hmmm...

Thanks for taking a look!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Indie-licious Review: Darling Diva Polish


Today I have five beautiful polishes to show you from Darling Diva polish. I recently fell in love with their Christmas collection, which is inspired by A Christmas Story, one of my favorite movies. When I saw they had a polish called 'Fuuuuuudgee!!!', I almost lost it, I laughed so hard. And when I saw how pretty it was, I knew I had to have it. Then I saw Sheer Poetry...and between the two I couldn't hit click fast enough.

(Oh, I should probably warn you--this post will be PICTURE HEAVY!! But completely worth it.)

Sheer Poetry is a light avocado green holographic polish with red micro glitter and red glitter squares. The holo is a light linear holo with a scattered element to it, too. If you love holos and you love Christmas, this is the perfect polish for you. When you wear it alone, it gives a cool retro Christmas feel, sort of like the colors and feel you see in 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas":

Darling Diva Sheer Poetry

Blurred to show the sparkle :)
This is three coats with Seche Vite on top, and it applied beautifully, no issues whatsoever. What really surprised me, however, was the wear--I wore it like this for three days and didn't get one chip. That never happens with regular polish, let alone holos which I normally can't wear for three hours without a chip!

But maybe you prefer your Christmas greens a little darker...Well, no worry! I also tried it over Color Club Date Night; here is two coats over that green:

Darling Diva Sheer Poetry over Color Club Date Night

Closer up :)

In complete shade--it was hard to find light that didn't have at least some sparkle and holo effect.

Oh. My. Goodness. How pretty is that? I wore this to a birthday gathering in a dark pub in the city, and even in that dim light, there was still sparkle to this. If there is any light around, it will pick it up and you'll get shine. The line in the linear holo that you see isn't here strongly, but the gorgeous holo scatter holds up and is just gorgeous. ::sighs with pleasure::

Next up is Fuuuuuuudgee!!!!!!. If you aren't familiar with this scene in the movie, you can see the moment in all of its glory here...poor Ralphie:

As for the polish, it's a clear-based polish with micro glitters, medium hex glitters, and square glitters. They are primarily metallic colors, with a sprinkling of other colors mixed in. It does remind me of those awesome fudges with cool stuff in them, or of fruitcake (I'm one of those strange people that actually loves fruitcake). Take a look:

Darling Diva Fuuuuuuudgee!!!!!! over China Glaze Bending Over Backward

This is one coat over China Glaze Bending Over Backward, with no special dabbing or fishing, just brushed on. Application was very nice, but what I love best about this polish is it's a well-thought-out combination of glitters that gives a very pleasing effect with different colors and textures, without it being a crazy glitter bomb. It has style and sass. It also has elegance and class, as you can see here in a gradient I did over China Glaze Hook and Line:

Fuuuuuuudgee!!!!!! over China Glaze Hook And Line

Sparkle wonder powers unite!
 I honestly can't imagine a color this polish wouldn't look beautiful over. So versatile!

Next up is Seriously Serious, a glitter polish made of very small glitter in purple and greenish-blue. The polish-maker warn you not to put this over purple, because it won't show the colors well, so I tried it over a light metallic green, and I love the effect:

One coat of Darling Diva Seriously Serious over Finger Paints Be Leaf It Or Not
Two coats of Seriously Serious

Blurred to see the sparkle

I like it with one coat for a soft wash of sparkle, but I really adore it with two coats, because of the saturated effect it gives. The proportions of the colors in this glitter are very well-executed, and the effect is mesmerizing. It's hard to see the full impact of this polish in the first two pictures, so I took a blurry shot so you can see the beautiful sparkle a bit better. Application was perfect, and I can't wait to play with this more. :)

Next up is Dook At Me, a holographic topcoat with a spray of holographic square glitters. I love the name on this--it's named after the polish maker's niece, who says 'Dook at me' instead of 'Look at me'; I love the story behind it both because it's so darned cute, but also because this polish captures the fairy-princess magic of being a young child. There are a lot of holographic top coats out there in polish-land, but this one is just a little bit more special...when the polish is indoors and the holographic sparkle doesn't show up so much, the square glitters give it extra flash, and that makes the polish special in all lights, not just the ones that bring out the linear holo.

First let me show you a picture of the undie alone, for comparison purposes; notice how in the shade shot the topcoat lets the near-duochrome finish of this polish shine through, and doesn't cover it like many holo topcoats would:

Finger Paints Art You Blue?

Darling Diva Dook At Me over Finger Paints Art You Blue?

Darling Diva Dook At Me from an angle to show the linearity

Dook At Me in the shade; how pretty is that??

I didn't know what to expect  from this polish, but was so excited at how pretty it looked, I forgot to clean up my cuticles for the shot. Bad, bad polish reviewer. :(

Finally, I'll end on a very high note with Auld Lang Syne, aptly named because it would be perfect for New Year's Eve manicures. This is a gold holographic topper that has just enough larger glitters to give it a splash of texture that makes it extra-special. The sparkle is amazing and the color of the gold is rich. I couldn't help but try it over several polishes, and then I couldn't choose which one to show you, so I'm going to show them all! Unfortunately, this was a very frustrating polish to photograph; it's so much sparklier and holographier than it shows here!

First, here it is over China Glaze Running In Circles:

Darling Diva Auld Lang Syne over Running In Circles in direct sun

Blurred to show the holo sparkle

Next I have it over Color Club Model Behavior:

Darling Diva Auld Lang Syne over Model Behavior 

And finally, my favorite combination, layered over a-England Perceval:

Darling Diva Auld Lang Syne over a-England Perceval

This is the truest representation of how the colors look together :)

Blurred for your holographic sparkle entertainment

 All of these photos have one coat of Auld Lang Syne--I didn't feel a need for a second, the sparkle was so pretty with just one, but I can't wait to do gradients with a thicker layering of it. Application was really great, although if you want to guarantee a large gold hex on each nail, you may need to fish a bit for it. But who cares, with a polish this pretty!

You can find these polishes at the Darling Diva Etsy shop by clicking here. There a so many more gorgeous polishes to explore there as well--so many I can't wait to get my hands on, including several really unique holographic polishes. The polishes range in price depending on the components, and are comparable to other independent polish makers. Take a look, I promise you won't be sorry. :)

Thanks for taking a look!


(Sheer Poetry and Fuuuuuuudgee!!!!!! were purchased with my own money. The other polishes were sent for review.)