Sunday, March 31, 2013

NOTD: Happy Easter (Or, how I was beaten down by a manicure...)


It's no surprise that on Easter Sunday, my stamping group decided to have Easter as our theme. I knew what I wanted to do, had it all planned out in my head, knew I'd do it Easter morning, all was good.

You know what they say: If you want to make God laugh, make plans.

First, after two months of sorting, packing, unpacking, sorting, trying to fit things into a small house, and still more nails finally surrendered to fate. I know it's not surprising, but I was so hopeful it wouldn't happen. After all, I'd almost made it to the end; even though all of it (along with the weather) have shot my cuticles completely, and I've had a few little chips along the way, I hadn't had any bad breaks. But no; it was not to be. Finally I broke a nail big time...below the nail bed line. And not just one, but several--and on both hands. Luckily, on the worst ones my nail bed had grown out past the tip of my finger, so with a little gentle pushing back, I didn't have to actually injure the nail bed and bleed out. Hull breach avoided--but I am now Queen of Nubbins.

So, I made my first change to my design, simplified it a bit for shorter nails.

My original plan was to use China Glaze Tranzitions (Duplicityy and Modify Me), and stamp on them with my Bunny Nails DH plates, and a non-fast-drying topcoat. I tried three different ones. None of them worked.

Okay. 'Nother change of plans. Instead, now I decided to stamp the blue on the green and vice versa. Thank goodness, it worked:

Here comes Peter Cottontail

Hoppin' down the bunny trial...

Oh, but the story isn't done yet.

Since my Tranzitions artwork didn't work with the topcoat thing, I figured I might as well put top coat over the design; I figured it would just make it go to the darker colors. And that's when things went horribly, horribly wrong...The topcoat made the polish change, but not in a uniform way! It was all streaky and gross!!! It was so horrible, I didn't even mind when a cat hair got stuck in the polish--that was actually an improvement:

NO. Bad polish. BAD polish!
Wow, this is an epically horrible result--And I didn't have time to redo it, since I waited until Easter morning to do it. Ugh!! When I bought these, I figured, hey, even if I don't manage to find a way to use it for nail art, at least I can get two different colors out of each bottle, and that will be cool. Apparently not! Thank goodness I only bought three of these--and I'm regretting even that.

But, before I over-react, I need to play with them more. Maybe topcoat over the whole thing isn't the best idea, but that doesn't mean other things won't work. And I did like the manicure before I messed with it, so the colors are good as long as I don't put on topcoat.

Thanks for taking a look. Hugs!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Preview of coming events!


Just a quick post to let you know some of the things I have planned for the blog in the next few weeks:

1) New feature: Polished Pairings--this is designed to highlight layering combinations, particularly with an emphasis on glitter toppers, but not just limited to that. Sometimes these will include simple stamping that accent the pairing, and sometimes I'll let the combination shine on its own.

2) Review of Drikk plate Drk-C, with video.

3) Review of Pueen plates, with video.

4) My favorites: blue, green, and maybe purple!

5) The return of Fix My FAIL, in a new-and-improved format to broaden options. :)

6) A new challenge from the Nail Challenge Collaborative, with a monthly-shifting theme.

7) Reviews of multi-shaped studs from Born Pretty Store, along with a new-to-me pick-up technique

8) My first manicure-based Dupe Or No Dupe, where I see if two similar polishes look the same when used as the base of a mani

9) And plenty of Before & Afters!

Thanks for stopping by! Hugs,

Friday, March 29, 2013

Review: Ruby White Tips Polish part 1


I recently discovered the indie brand Ruby White Tips, and were bowled over by the polishes--they're the sort of polishes I just adore. I knew I had to own some of the and review them for you, so I jumped at the chance to buy some of these at a reviewer's discount. I went a little overboard because I there were so many I loved and I couldn't narrow it down more than that, lol. I'll show you 3 today, and the rest next time. I'll show each color first and then talk about formula at the end.

The first one I have today is Vernita Green, from her Kill Bill collection. This is a lovely olive green polish with a liberal sprinkle of holographic glitter, and a teeny weenie touch of hair bar glitter for visual interest here and there:

Ruby White Tips Vernita Green, indirect outdoor light

Ruby White Tips Vernita Green, indirect outdoor light

Ruby White Tips Vernita Green, indoor light

I'm biased here for sure, because I just love this sort of green. I love when a polish takes a traditionally masculine shade of green like this and makes it soft and feminine; the holographic glitter definitely accomplishes that. The bits that look like little silver dots in these pictures give off crazy bling with the sun hits; you can see it a bit in the bottom picture. Unfortunately the sun didn't want to play the day I swatched this, but the feel is certainly captured here. :)

Following up on the non-traditional green theme is Lonesome Pine Trails. This is a creamy sage green polish with a soft sprinkle of holographic glitter and again a very tiny addition of bar glitter for visual interest:

Ruby White Tips Lonesome Pine Trails, indirect outdoor light

Ruby White Tips Lonesome Pine Trails, direct sunlight

direct sunlight

Blurred to show holograpic glitter

Direct light

This polish looks amazing in every light, and if it's possible, I might even love this better than Vernita. Okay, maybe not, I don't know, don't pressure me! Please don't make me choose!!! I want both of da pretties!!

Finally for today, there's Man Eater. She mentions on her site that demand for this polish has been hard for her to keep up with, and I completely get why. I'll be honest--I'm not even sure how to describe this one. It is a magic soup of amazesomeness. It has teeny glitter. It has slightly less teeny glitter. It has flakes. Or are they flecks? Hmm--are there occasional tiny glitter shards in there? I'm not sure. It's not quite a jelly, but not really a crelly either...And she doesn't give any clues on the site to make it any less of a mystery. Visual inspection of the polish in the bottle only helps so much. And that's okay--I don't need to know exactly what happened here. All I know is, with all of the stuff that's in it, it could have easily turned into a horrendous nightmare--but it all melds together and comes out looking incredible. Judge for yourself:

Ruby White Tips Man Eater overcast outdoor light

Whoa-oh here she comes

Watch out boys, she'll chew you up

Whoa-oh here she comes

She's a man eater!

I don't know how she did it. I don't need to know. I'm just glad I own it. A gorgeous shade of red with deep texture and depth. It's like a flakie that matured and got a healthy dose of elegant...and I'm in love. :)

Formula on all of these polishes were divine. With so much blingy goodness in them, I expected them to be a bit difficult, but I had no problems whatsoever; they were a pleasure to apply.

If you want a sneak peek of Poppy, one of the polishes I'll be reviewing in the second half of the collection, I used it in some nail art here.

In the meantime, you can find Laura's Etsy store here. Her polishes range from $8.25 to $8.75, and she has a mystery box for $12.75. She also has several charity polishes that I'll be talking more about next time. You can follow Laura on Facebook by clicking here. Of course her polishes are three-free and cruelty-free!

Thanks for taking a look! Xoxox,

(The polishes in this review were purchased with my own money, however, I was given a reviewer's discount in exchange for my 100% honest opinion)

Before & After: Space Invaders Twinpost!


So, it's time for another Cheeky twin post with Dina of Secretary's Nail Art. :) We're on plate Cheeky 45, and we agreed to use the two top images from that plate.

Okay. So. Do you remember the game Space Invaders?? I am probably revealing a little too much about my age, but...when I was a little girl, there weren't too many video games around, and I LOVED the ones that did exist. Space Invaders was one of those, and I could play it for hours:

Flashback!!! 80's retro FTW!!!

When I saw the images on the plate months ago, I knew I was going to try to recreate me some Space Invaders! I started with a base of Wet n Wild's Nail In The Coffin; this is one of their tombstone bottle series, and while I love it for that, it didn't live up to what I hoped it would be. In the bottle, it's a black polish with multi-color glitter; on my nail, it's a black polish that may or may not have glitter in it--it's hard to tell, and that's just not good. This isn't the first black glitter polish that has disappointed me in this very same way; luckily, I did find one that I like, this one by A'dor Beauty Supplies, and honestly I think I'm going to stop while I'm ahead with that one. Anyway, here is Nail In The Coffin:

This was the very best shot I could get of the glitter--and it didn't show up that much in person.

Next I stamped using Cheeky 45 and Barry M Silver foil. With a dotting tool I drew in my cannon and the laser dots shooting out to kill the Invaders...OH NOES!! It looks like two of them are going to get past me....NOOOOoooooooooooo....

Wah wah over. :(

It's simple, but I had a blast making it. Took me right back to my youth! Hope it made you smile, and please don't forget to check out what Dina did, which should be up later today. :)

Thanks for stopping by! Xoxox,

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Before & After: Stipple manicure


Today is my final purple-green-coral manicure from the Tri-Polish challenge!

I've been seeing a lot of brush-stroke manis, and they're cool, but none of them really inspired me to do my own...until I saw this one.  Instead of being a brush-stroke manicure, it's almost more of a stipple manicure, as though she just barely touched the tip of the brush to the nail. I love it, so I had to try to do it. :)

I started with my coral as a base, on the theory that it would make the manicure as light as possible given the two dark colors. I stippled randomly with purple, then green, then purple again, then green. Then I coated the whole thing with a light coat of China Glaze Golden Opportunity, a topcoat that has teeny holographic golden glitter:

It's a little bit like what Monet would have produced if he were on crack.

Or maybe toward the end of his career, when he was losing his eyesight.

In that spirit, I decided it needed some flowers! I stamped with Bundle Monster plate BM11.

Turns out, I love this technique (although it's a bit messy and as you can see I had a tough time with clean-up!) and I'm definitely going to do it again. I'm still on the fence about how these three colors went together, but I will say it looked a little less like someone threw the 1970s into a blender in real life, lol.

To recap the colors, my purple was China Glaze When Stars Collide; my green was China Glaze OMG A UFO; and my coral was Sally Hansen Snappy Sorbet.

Thanks for taking a look! Xoxox,

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Before & After: Egyptian Era


This week in the Llama Nails Time Periods challenge we're on to the Egyptian time period. I love all things Ancient Egyptian and was excited to do this manicure; I've been wanting to use my hieroglyphic image for ages. :)

There's a small story behind the polish I chose for my base color. As I've mentioned on the blog, while I've loved nail polish since I was a little girl, my obsession with it and nail art started when I discovered Konad about this time last year. Shortly after, when browsing through Ninja Polish, I discovered NerdLacquer...Before I even really knew what 'indies' were, I fell in love with it, based on the cool colors and awesome names (she had me at 'Entirely Unlike Tea'). I clicked on 'notify me when in stock' and waited. And waited. And waited.

After a while I sort of got the feeling something was up, and I decided to ask about it in one of my polish groups. I found out at that time that Amanda, the maker of NerdLacquer, had gone missing...nobody knew what had happened or if she'd ever be back.

I was sadface.

You can imagine my excitement when she showed back up again and announced she'd be starting to make polish again. Me and the rest of the polish universe. I missed her first release, because it was at a bad time for me. But her last restock was at a time I could make! So I poured over the polishes and made my list so at the target time, I could get what I needed before she sold out.

And that's when the story went to a dark, dark place.

Her restock was at 1:00 pm. I I refreshed, and suddenly things were in stock! I clicked, added to cart. Clicked, added to cart. Three more times. When I added the 6th polish, all within less than 30 seconds, the cart page came up...and I'd been cart-jacked. All of my polishes except two were gone. I wasn't sure what had happened--I'd never been cart-jacked before! I went back and the polishes were sold out now. As I did, it dawned on me what happened, and I realized I'd better go back and check out quick! I did, and a third polish had shown up--I still don't now if I clicked it or what--and I didn't look to see what it was, I just checked out as quickly as I could, so I wouldn't lose what I had.

When I finished my checkout, the time was: 1:04pm. In less than four minutes she had sold out.

I went to my receipt to see which polishes I'd manage to get, and there was one on there I hadn't intended to buy--The Ring. In the craziness I must have clicked on it, but I don't remember doing so. I was a bit worried about it at first, because gold polishes really aren't my thing, except for nail art. But then I figured, who cares! It's a NerdLacquer, and if I don't like it, I'm quite certain I'll be able to find it a loving home.

But I'll tell you this...I still have nightmares from the trauma of the cart-jacking...::sobs::...(

When I got the polish, I was happy to discover it's a deeper gold color, and has red micro-glitter in it--we all know how I feel about red. So when I was looking to start my Egyptian manicure, I thought, what could be more Egyptian than a deep gold, with bits of red? Here it is:

NerdLacquer The Ring

NerdLacquer The Ring

Next I stamped over it with the hieroglyphic image from LLC-A, using Konad Black. On my ring finger I added an Eye of Ra with Sally Hansen Rapid Red, using Mash plate 36:

How cool is it the way that the gold glitters catch the light and peek out from under the hieroglyphs? I adore the way this came out, although I think I'd do it with Konad Red next time to make it a bit more opaque over the black stamping.

What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by, and don't forget to check out the other Egyptian manicures, linked below. :)


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

NOTD: Holo Doto


Time for manicure #3 out of 4 of Crumpet's Nail Tarts Tri-Polish Challenge! I accidentally became an over-achiever and used all three polishes in both today's manicure and Thursday's. :)

I've seen a ton of dotticures lately, and it has stirred me to do one of my own, so that's the direction I went. To refresh your memory, the three polishes I'm using are China Glaze When Stars Collide, China Glaze OMG A UFO, and Sally Hansen Snappy Sorbet. Here's how it ended up:

Okay, so I know it looks like I made a mistake and messed up one of the dots. Nuh-uh, not me!! See, what had happened was? Um...Um...Um...Okay, see, the dot? It decided to undergo meiosis? And it divided all cell-like and stuff? And it just happened! Yeah! That's what happened!


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


Monday, March 25, 2013

Review: Half Pearls from Born Pretty Store


Today I have some nail art for you featuring some half pearls that Born Pretty Store sent me for review. I've been wondering about these for a while now, and I love the idea of using them for spring manicures. :)

"Half Pearls!" you say, "What are they?" Take a gander:

Half pearls from Born Pretty Store

You use these just like rhinestones; whatever your preferred method for putting rhinestones on will work perfectly here. And if you don't have one, I have a review coming up later that will show you a new tool I've just tried out for picking up and attaching things like rhinestones and pearls. :)

On to the manicure! I started with Ruby White Tips Poppy for my base (I'll be reviewing this polish, along with other beauties from her store, later this week, so if you want to see more, stay tuned!).  Then I sponged Pure Ice Silver Mercedes (now Silver Star, I believe) over half of the nail,  to give a textured edge. Finally, I added purple pearls to the accent nails, and pink pearls to the rest of the nails:

You could (of course!) do this with pearls on the accent nail only, if you want a little less pearl-itude, and I can see myself doing that for more every-day wear. But I love this for an Easter look if you want to stay away from the typical bunnies and eggs, lol. The pearls give it a soft, spring feel.

I love that you get a bunch of different colors in the set, and that the predominant color is white. I'll definitely use white most often, but I enjoy the fun of different color options for different looks. How fun would it be to use the blue and the pink in a dotticure for one of those reveal-the-gender baby showers that are hot lately?

You can find the pearls on the Born Pretty Store site by clicking here. They have another set with different colors, and sets that just have white (and in different sizes). This set sells for $3.55 for the full wheel; that's a great price IMO for the assortment. And you can also get 10% off of your entire order by using my discount code, MCL91:

To be clear because of the new FTC regulations, I am NOT an affiliate and I do not make any money when you use this discount code, when you click any of these links, or when you buy from Born Pretty Store in any way. And as always, I'm 100% honest about every product I review. :)

Thanks for reading, and hope you like the manicure! :)


(The pearls in this post were sent for my 100% honest review).

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Before & After: Spring has spring in holo flowers :)


Today AIS (Adventures In Stamping) is doing 'flowers' for our weekly stamping. Since I've been on a massive holo kick lately, I decided to play around with that.

Here is the base I started with, Color Club's Eternal Beauty:

Color Club Eternal Beauty, indirect light

Color Club Eternal beauty direct sun, but it was a bit hazy.

Then I stamped using Pueen19  (let me know if you want me to review these plates), with China Glaze Infra-Red (background on the middle fingers) and Strap On Your Moonboots (background on index and pinkie), and Barry M Gold Foil (accent flower). Here's how it turned out:

Spring Holo Flowers in the shade
Pretty, right? Oh, but wait til you see how it looks when the magic happens:

Spring flowers in the sun

Oh, man, I could look at that all day. Stunning holo goodness with a retro 70s feel...stick a fork in me, I'm done!

Here is what it looks like inside in artificial light, somewhere in between the two above:

What do you think! This is bringing a fun, bright element to my day that I love. Hope your Sunday is happy and fun, too!

Thanks for stopping by. Xoxox,


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Review: Literary Lacquers 'The Good Parts' collection


A while back, when I reviewed Literary Lacquers' Gift Of The Magi collection, I mentioned that she was coming out with a collection based on erotic fiction this year, called 'The Good Parts'. I was intrigued at the time to see what she'd come up with, and I was very excited to be sent three of the polishes to review for you.  Warning: this post will be picture heavy.

First, a few words about the collection. 'The Good Parts' is inspired by erotic fiction throughout the last few centuries, from the 1700s (Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a  Woman of Pleasure) to modern day (50 Shades Of Grey series). I love to read, and that includes erotic fiction; when 50 Shades Of Grey came out, I was a bit disappointed by it, and turned to some of the 'classics' of erotic fiction to explore how these themes had been handled by other authors. I personally believe that erotic fiction in the right hands is a powerful tool for female empowerment, and because of that, I am so happy to see a lovely collection of polishes that embrace this genre.

Okay, enough of my blabbing on about why I love the premise of the collection. Polishes, woman! That's what we read for! What about the polishes!!??

Don't worry: you won't be disappointed.

The first one I'll talk about is Zipless; this polish is inspired by Fear of Flying by Erica Jong, published in 1973. The premise of the book is that the author is looking for a sexual relationship with no ties--a break away from the traditional expectations women face when entering into intimate relationships. This polish absolutely captures that spirit! It's an orange-leaning red jelly polish with matte red glitter and holographic gold glitter. It's bold and flashy and flirty and fun; here it is alone with no undies, three coats:

Literary Lacquers Zipless in the shade

Literary Lacquers Zipless in the shade

Literary Lacquers Zipless in the shade

Look at that sparkle!!

Literary Lacquers Zipless direct sun

Literary Lacquers Zipless full sun

Close-up :)

The formula on this polish was excellent. I typically struggle with jellies, but this went on effortlessly, evenly, beautifully. I used three coats, but others might be able to use only two--my nails are a bit stained and need a bit more coverage. I didn't do any placement of the glitters; I let them sit where they came out naturally, and as you can see, they glided on very nicely, no fishing needed.

I also layered one coat of Zipless over China Glaze's Peachy Keen; I love the way the red glitters pop out a bit more over that background, it reminds me of chili flakes:

With one coat you may have to fish a bit if you want to be sure to get the large gold hex on every nail; however, the glitter is nicely even apart from that. How hot is this polish for sizzling summer manicures?

Next is John Thomas/Lady Jane. This polish is inspired by Lady Chatterly's Lover by D. H. Lawrence; Amy was particularly inspired by a scene where the lovers "Run naked through the English wood during a rainstorm. After their lovemaking, they celebrate the marriage of 'John Thomas' to 'Lady Jane'." There's something strangely reassuring to know that lovers have been coming up with silly names and scenarios for each other's body parts for at least a century, lol!

This polish absolutely captures this scene for me; I can see a beautiful English wood with raindrops falling down when I look at the varied green and white glitters in this polish. I've layered it over a light sage base here, and will show you first one coat and then two:

Literary Lacquers John Thomas/Lady Jane (one coat)


Literary Lacquers John Thomas/Lady Jane (two coats)

And another close-up. :)

The formula on this was good; the glitter cooperated and spread evenly without fuss. You could easily get full coverage without undies with two coats of this is you went a little thicker than I did. :)

And finally, we have Roissey. I gasped when I saw the name of this, before I even saw the color of the polish.

After reading 50 Shades, I turned immediately to The Story of O; I wanted to read the book that many think of as the seminal BDSM novel that brought this area of erotic fiction into the public consciousness. Despite having been published nearly 60 years ago, this book continues to be controversial; it is certainly intense, and at times disturbing. It raises issues of what it means to truly love someone and what the limits of that love should be; possibly more importantly, it explores  whether it is ultimately empowering to turn over your personal power to someone else. Why am I mentioning all of this? Because such an intense book needs to be represented by a special, powerful polish; Roissey is named for the place that O is taken to learn to be a submissive, and her journey while there takes her through both beauty and trauma. Amy has captured both of these aspects with a beautiful ocean-blue shimmered jelly filled with black shreds:

Literary Lacquers Roissey

This is three coats of Roissey. Again, the formula was wonderful, and the glitters played nicely, for the most part. I did have one stubborn little glitter that wanted to stick up, but it tamed easily under the lash of topcoat (literary pun not intended, but I'm pretty proud of it now that I see it).

While I couldn't capture it on film no matter how hard I tried, when indoors, I got a very slight duochrome effect; at the edges, I'd get a slight flash of green that enhanced the mystery and beauty of the polish. The polish is also a bit darker blue when indoors. I'm a fan of shredded glitter, that's not a secret, but I'd love this regardless. The color of the blue is so rich and mysterious, and the shimmer makes it feel like it's made of crushed pearls. Can you tell this is my favorite of the three?

There are 6 more polishes in the collection; you can see them at Literary Lacquers' Etsy shop by clicking here. You can also follow her on Facebook here. Her polishes are three-free and cruelty free, and sell for $10 each. I couldn't help grabbing a couple more myself from her collection, and I'll show those to you as soon as I can!

Thanks for stopping by! I'll be back tomorrow with some nail art. :)


(The polishes in this post were sent for my honest review.)