Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Before & After: New Year's Eve Inspired by Keith Haring

Happy New Year's Eve!!

Today I have the actual manicure that I will be wearing tonight as the ball drops and the New Year comes flooding on in. :) This is something I've wanted to put together since I found out we were doing the 'Inspired By Art' theme in the Nail Challenge Collaborative, but I also knew I wanted to wear it night of, so it had to wait until pretty much the last minute. :)

I started with a set of the nail wraps Incoco sent me for review from their winter collection, Galaxy Glitz, a predominantly multi-colored glitter over a midnight base, with sprinkles of aqua and gold:

Incoco Galaxy Glitz

Incoco Galaxy Glitz

Incoco Galaxy Glitz

Next, I stamped my ring finger with Bunny Nails HD-E, using Barry M Gold Foil; I love the guys toasting at the party, and although the are a little bit different, I thought they were close enough to a Keith Haring vibe that I could get away with combining them. Then, I stamped the Keith Haring guys from MoYou-London pro collection 16; I finished by stamping the top of the first image (the music notes) over the top of the Keith Haring dancers:

This manicure came out exactly like what I pictured in my head. I think this captures the fun of a NYE party as the confetti is flying and people are ringing in the new year. And since I've been planning it for weeks, it's nice that it actually came out the way I wanted it to, lol!

If you're a fan of Keith Haring's art, you know that it's full of movement and happiness (most of it). You also know that he started out doing quick drawings on blank ad space in the subway, grabbing any quick moment to leave something that would make someone smile (the precursor of Banksy, in a way):

I'd like to believe if he were still with us, he'd approve of his figures finding their way to nail art to celebrate the coming of the new year. :)

I hope you have fun tonight whether you're going out or staying in!

Hugs and loves,

Before & After: 2014!


I promised I'd show you two more of the nail wrap sets that Incoco sent used for New Year's manis, so here is the first of two before-and-afters I'm doing with them.

For this one, I started with Incoco's Ice Queen, a beautiful silver glitter wrap:

Incoco Ice Queen

Incoco Ice Queen

Incoco Ice Queen

Incoco Ice Queen

Incoco Ice Queen

This wrap is not completely solid--you can see through it a bit, and that gives it an almost lacy feel. It has a delicate feel while still being very sparkly, and it makes me wonder if you could put these on over a base color...although I don't think they'd recommend that. But hey, we don't live inside anyone else's nail rules, do we?? Heck no!

Oh, and did I mention that these glitter wraps remove like a dream? So if you love the look of glitter but hate the removal, this is a nice alternative for you. :)

I was feeling some fireworks over this beautiful glitter base, so I decorated using Bunny Nails plate HD-E; I stamped with Konad Red, Color Club Wild At Heart, and Konad Black.

This is even more sparklier (yep, that's acceptable grammar, I promiseses you) IRL, because Wild At Heart is holographic. Perfect for any New Year's Eve plans!

I got this up later than I hoped, so I'll be back later today to show you the second manicure...watch this space!

Hugs and loves,

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Luscious Layers: Textured polishes on top!

Hello there!

I know you know I love to put different colors on top of my textured polishes to make almost any polish into a textured polish. But I recently discovered that I can get very cool effects by layering them over other colors, as well.

To demonstrate, first take a look at Sinful Colors Got A Blush On You, a charming magenta textured polish with blue flecks:

Sinful Colors Got A Blush On You

Sinful Colors Got A Blush On You

When I first got this polish, I happened to be wearing Orly Galaxy Girl, and I was impatient to see how it looked, so I just threw it on over the Galaxy Girl. It looked nothing like a the color in the bottle, and it no longer looked like Galaxy Girl, which looks like this:

Orly Galaxy Girl

Here is what the amazing concoction looked like when I put Got A Blush On You over Galaxy Girl:

Sinful Colors Got A Blush On You over Orly Galaxy Girl

Sinful Colors Got A Blush On You over Orly Galaxy Girl

Sinful Colors Got A Blush On You over Orly Galaxy Girl

The moral of the story is...play with layers, and beautiful things might just happen. :)

Hugs and loves,

Friday, December 27, 2013

Review and How-To: MoYou-London Artist Collection 02 & 04

Hello there!

I'm back with my next review/how-to of MoYou-London plates. It's after Christmas so I am now allowed to play with my MoYou-London plates I bought with my Christmas money!! Yay!!!

Today we're going to talk about Artist Collection 02 and Artist Collection 04; both of these are inspired by the artist Gustav Klimt.

First up, of course, here is the video I made about the plates:

And next, some still shots of the plates. First the full plates:

Artist Collection 04: Inspired by Gustav Klimt's The Kiss

Artist Collection 02: Klimt-esque images

And then some shots closer up:
Artist Collection 02: The image at bottom left is a little smaller than the similar portion on the 04 plate

Artist Collection 02

Artist Collection 04

Artist Collection 04

And then finally before we get to the how-to-use portion, here is a comparison of both plates with a standard Konad plate so you can get a feel for the size of the images:

Artist Collection

Artist collection 02 v. Konad

As you can see, the full-nail images are generous in size compared to the Konad plate, so you shouldn't have problems covering your nails unless you have really, really long nails. But, be careful! This is a plate from their XL collection; not all of the plates in the shop have full-nail images this big; they also have some plates with more images that are smaller. Be sure to check whether or not you're looking at an XL plate before you buy, if this matters to you. :)

Okay, let's get down to business--how to use the collage-style Artist Collection 04!

To recap my stance on the collage-style plates, I believe they are extremely versatile and give you a ton of creative flexibility. The only skill you need, other than regular stamping ability, is the ability to isolate images; you can see my tutorial on this by clicking here. But you probably won't even need that too much with this particular plate, because it doesn't have a lot of images to isolate, it's more about patterns.

So what can you do with this plate?

1) You can use any of the individual patterns to create a manicure:

I've circled four patterns in the left half of the plate that have areas well large enough to use for full-nail patterns without struggling. I count 8 different patterns you should be able to use with no problem, and three more than you can use if you're a little more careful. So just on that basis alone, there is plenty on this plate to make it worth buying.

Not creative enough for you? Okay, let's try something else.

2) You can create a pattern-transitioning-into-another-pattern effect:

Each collage-style plate has its own opportunities. One I love on this plate is there are two patterns that transition into new patterns; how cool would it be to have the one pattern switch into the other across your manicure? So, say you put the image in the left circle on your thumb and index finger, then the image in the middle circle on your middle finger, and the image in the right circle on your ring and pinkie finger--how cool would that look?? And, you could do something similar with the square-to-circles images right above that (the portion that is supposed to be the lady's dress).  If you have longer nails you might get a bit of the boundary line in your pattern, but I think you could purposefully have that running along it, and that would make it even cooler. :)

3) Easy patchwork nails:

Another thing this plate is really good for is it has a lot of areas where pattern intersect, which gives lots of opportunities for patchwork-style nails. I've shown a number of them above, especially places where more than two patterns meet; there are many more places where just two patterns meet. You can have one patchwork nail that shows patterns meeting, and then individal patterns on the other nails; you can have a patchwork effect on each nail; you can skittle the night away.

4) You can build your own version of The Kiss. 

This is what I did in yesterday's manicure, which I'll show again below (if you want full details on the mats used, you can find that post by clicking here). In most of the collage-style plates, you can build a scene of some sort, and usually multiple scenes. This one is a little more limited in that respect, but you can still use it that way. And, when you pair it with plate 02, you can use it to create your own version of a couple of Klimt's other masterpieces, as well (which is one of the reasons I chose to review these plates together).

Here is the original I wanted to pull elements from:

Here is my manicure:

And here is where I stamped to create it:

I wanted to get the woman's face, along with the man's profile kissing her, and the hands on her face. This was fairly easy to do, but if you have worries about aligning images on your nails, check out my tutorial on how to align images by clicking here to see if that helps. I wanted to bring in the rectangles and irregular circles from Klimt's original work; I also wanted to keep the feel of having different panes of pattern, so on my ring finger I purposefully picked up a section that had two different patterns on it.

So there you have a few ideas on how to use this plate, or similar plates. There are certainly a ton more, but this will get you started...Also, if you find you're having a hard time picking out areas that you think would look good on the nail, Chit Chat Nails recently posted a very neat idea to help you visualize how a section will look on your nail; cut a nail-sized section out of a piece of paper, and then you can move that around on the plate and see what looks good to you. :)

I hope this has been helpful for you! Big holiday hugs as we head toward the new year. :)

(Disclosure: this website may be compensated for linking to other sites.)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Before & After: Inspired by Gustav Klimt


This month's theme in the Nail Challenge Collaborative is 'Inspired by Art', and you know I love that type of theme. Unfortunately, with the Christmas crazies, I totally forgot about it until now. So, I am going to try to get at least two manicures up on the theme before the end of the month. :)

Today I chose to be inspired by Gustav Klimt's The Kiss:

For my version I started with a base of China Glaze Unpredictable, the Peridot dupe from their Bohemian collection:

China Glaze Unpredictable

Next, I did something I've been wanting to do since I first saw MoYou-London's Artist Collection 04 plate, which itself is inspired by The Kiss; I stamped different parts of the plate using Konad black, and then decorated it with acrylic paint and rhinestones:

Kiss me, beneath the milky twilight

Lead me out on the moonlit floor

Lift your open hand, strike up the band

And make the fireflies dance, silver moon's sparkling

Tomorrow I will be doing a review of this plate, so this is sort of a prequel to that...In the meantime, I am completely over the moon about this mani. I love how it came out, it captures the texture, color, and metallic scheme of the original. When I look down, I feel like I have an actual work of art on my fingers. I'm not even bothered that the Konad polish smeared on her face a little. :)

Stay tuned tomorrow for my review of the plate, with some other suggestions on how to use it. :)

Big hugs!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Before & After: What Child Is This?


It's Christmas Eve, everyone! To me, Christmas Eve is almost as important as Christmas Day, although I often end up spending it scrabbling to finish things. And eating. Lots of eating. :)

The other day in my post of favorite holiday specialty polishes, I described a manicure I thought would look cute with a particular polish, and loved the idea so much I had to do it.

I started with 6 Harts Midnight Delight, a dark shimmery purple with a subtle sprinkle of silver glitter:

6 Harts Midnight Delight

I mentioned that I thought this would be a perfect base for a Nativity manicure, and that you could do a quick one with the design on Bunny Nails HD-F. So, I put may plate where my fingers was, and I stamped this one, using Barry M Silver Foil; I stamped the star from HD-E. I also freehanded a silver stripe across the bottom for a strip of ground:

What child is this, who laid to rest, on Mary's lap lay sleeping?

Whom angels greet with anthems sweet

While shepherds watch are keeping?

Peaceful and serene...And fast, my dear friends. This is a 5-minute manicure, believe it or not (well, the nail art part). Yes, it would have taken a minute or two more for me to redo the palm trees, and I probably should have...but palm trees tend to have gnarly bark, so I decided this just looks authentic. ;-)

Merry Christmas everyone,

Monday, December 23, 2013

Before & After: Changeable Snowfall


Are you ready for Christmas? I am definitely not. Today and tomorrow are going to be very busy days. But busy in a happy, good way. :)

Today's manicure started with LynBDesigns So Changeable, which is a beautiful blue-glitter that has a touch of purple duochrome (although I didn't manage to capture it in the pictures--it freaked my camera out!):

LynBDesigns So Changeable

On the pinkie in the second picture you can see the purple flash a bit--it's more visible in person. I love the texture that the glitter gives this polish; can you believe this is only two coats?

I've been wanting to use the snowflake full-nail image from Bunny Nails HD-F, because I love the intricacies of the snowflakes in that image, so I decided to make this a snow manicure. I stamped the pattern with Barry M Silver Foil, making sure the pattern showed up in different ways on each nail:

It's pretty, but I felt like it needed just a little something to make it better, so I added some silver microbeads:

What do you think? I like it, but I do wish that teeny size of microbead came in the half-sphere shape like the slightly bigger ones do, I think that would look so much better on this design. But how pretty is that glitter as a background? it looks like snow far in the distance, at least to my eye. :)

Hugs and Merry Christmas Eve's Eve!