Saturday, June 28, 2014

Before & After: Hurley Swirley


I'm in the mood for something refreshing and fun...

Let's start with Color Club La Petite Mint-sieur (and I will try not to let my head explode from the mistakes in that name...aarrgghh...), a kicky mint creme:


Next, I put a coat of Go-Go Gren, a fun glitter with teal, neon lime, and white hexes, on the accent nail. I finished up by stamping a swirley image from Pueen 47 first in Konad White, and then with Sally Hansen I-Rush Luck:

I think the teal in this makes it look fun and summery, and the swirly patterns put me in mind of clouds passing by on a beautiful day. :)

I hope your weekend is going well! :)


Friday, June 27, 2014

Before & After: Life On The Interwebs


I don't know about you, but I live a remarkable (and perhaps disturbing) amount of my life on the interwebs. Surfing, shopping, working, keeping up with friends, everything. So I decided to make a manicure that reflects my interweb existence.

I started with Julep Winter, a light gray creme:

Julep Winter
Julep Winter

For the next phase of the design, I used this stamping plate that Born Pretty Store sent me for review; I adore all of the little icons on it!


The plate stamped beautifully; I had no problems at all. Perfect transfer, perfect everything. :)

First I used Bundle Monster 415 to put on a background of bits and bytes and bites of bits; then I stamped my little icons on top of that. I used Konad Black and White:

Might as well face it

You're addicted to the interwebs

Born Pretty Store has a ton of cute stamping plates for your stamping pleasure, so check them out...If you decide you want to buy something, I have a coupon for 10% off your order that you can use. :)

What do you think? Do your internet activities warrant an internet mani?

Hugs and loves,

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Before & After: The Blob takes a city near YOU!


It's no secret I love Halloween, and sometimes it's hard to wait a whole year for it. But thanks to some awesome googly-eyes that KKCenterHK sent me for review, I was inspired to do a Halloween-Horror-In-June manicure!

I started out with this most ugly of base polishes, Zoya Codie, which can only be politely described as the delicious color of sludge (I don't mean that in a bad way--sometimes sludge is just what the doctor ordered):

Something about this screams 'The Blob' to me, even though the color isn't quite right. Do you remember that movie? It's one of those old-time horror movies from the '70s that replayed on Saturday morning/afternoon television during the '80s:

(Image found on Wikipedia) 

To make my version of the blob-scape, I stamped a city-scape using Bundle Monster 414 and Barry M Silver Foil; then I painted the sludgy jelly down, oozing it over the buildings. Finally, I added the eyeballs to make it just a bit monster-ier; no, the movie Blob didn't have eyes, but hey, artistic license is the birthright of the nail artist:

Run for your liiiiiiives!!!!

These googly-eyes were very easy to use, you just stick them down with topcoat. They're very fun, but don't expect them to stay on for more than an evening, because they stick up pretty high; you can see that in this picture of them:

If you want to buy these or anything else from KKCenterHK, here's a code for my readers: lacquerorleaveher, and it's good for 10% off your order.

Hope you enjoyed this little dose of whimsy in your week!


Monday, June 23, 2014

Before & After: Honey Hive Lead-Lighting


Here is my second try at lead-lighting...I'm loving this technique, it's so crazy easy! If you missed the post where I explained it, you can find it by clicking here.

I started again with Color Club Look Don't Tusk, and ivory creme:

Then I stamped with Konad Black, using Pueen 54 and Mash 36:

And finally I finished by applying my translucent (LA Colors Tahiti Sunrise and Fiji Purple) polishes with my dotting tool:

In the close-up here you can tell the color was applied with a dotting tool in the open circles, but IRL, you can't see it unless you get up on top of it. :)

So which do you like better? This one, or yesterday's?


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Before & After: Lovely Leadlight Flowers


This month's theme in the Nail Challenge Collaborative is Black & White, so I decided this was the perfect time to try out the 'lead light' technique everyone is talking about.

If you haven't heard of it, it's basically an extremely easy way to get a stained glass effect for you manicure. Here's what you need:

(1) A white/very light base color
(2) Black/very dark stamping
(3) Several colors of very sheer nail polish.

And here's what you do. First, start off with your base polish. I used Color Club Look Don't Tusk, and ivory creme:

Color Club Look Don't Tusk
Color Club Look Don't Tusk

Color Club Look Don't Tusk
Color Club Look Don't Tusk

Next I stamped, using Konad Black and MoYou Explorer 21 and Tourist 20 (I will have videos for these before too long). I put on a coat of Seche Vite before the next step:

Finally, I used a variety of LA Colors polishes in orange (Tahiti Sunrise), magenta (Fiji Purple), lime (Current), light blue (Radiation), and purple polishes (Tropical Breeze), and went over the stamping with a dotting tool:

This was so easy to do, and it gives such a lovely look--very elegant and eye-catching. :)

I'll have another look using this technique next time...Hope your weekend was wonderful!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review: InDecisive Green Ichor and a bonus!


I'm back today with a review of the new Ichor from InDecisive Nail Lacquer's thermal Ichor line.

If you've never seen them, Aleksandra's Ichors aren't like other thermal polishes that change from one color to a different color--what makes them so much more fun is that they change from no color to color, so you can put them over any base polish you like, for whatever effect you like.

Her newest addition turns to a gorgeous grass green that's the very epitome of summer. When the polish is warm, it's clear, and when it's cool, it's green; when the air and body temperature meet, you get a French-tip effect. Here I show it over Barielle Panama Pina Colada:

InDecisive Green Ichor over Barielle Panama Pina Colada

InDecisive Green Ichor over Barielle Panama Pina Colada

InDecisive Green Ichor over Barielle Panama Pina Colada

InDecisive Green Ichor over Barielle Panama Pina Colada
InDecisive Green Ichor over Barielle Panama Pina Colada

For the most part, with the difference between my body temperature and the air around me, I either get the gradient you see above, or a bigger shift to almost entirely green. If I go outside and it's warm out, my nails will go completely yellow.

The most fun part of these polishes for me is looking down and being surprised by what I see; say I'm doing dishes or washing a piece of fruit, I might see something like the last picture above. And I'll stand there and go 'oooo' while it changes, and Mr. LOLH thinks I'm going completely insane. Ah well, good to keep him on his toes. ;)

I also love the potential in this for nail art. Shortly after the polish arrived, I was wearing a coral polish with pink glitter on it; holding the bottle in my hand, I thought, how cool would this look if I put some Green Ichor 'leaves' on the bottom? They'll disappear when I'm out in the heat (it's been close to 100 a few days out here lately!), and they'll reappear when I'm inside! I put on two coats at the tips, with an irregular edge coming up over the 'bud' of the flower:

I love how the thinner part of the petals going up the nail took on a bluish green color, while the bottom part stayed more true green. Which reminds me--I think the best way to wear this polish is with two coats over your base color, unless you do want more of a color blend with your base coat as I've done here. Also, this polish does dry quickly, so you don't want to take forever applying it--normal application is fine, but don't get too engrossed in that awesome scene from Game Of Thrones, you know, the one where Tyrion--wait, nevermind. The point is, don't dawdle too much, and you'll get a nice even coverage.

In terms of pure, simple fun and happy, awesome polish times, the Ichor line gives it to you in spades. :)

Also, I couldn't resist showing you another very happy, very fun polish today...Aleksandra mentioned to me that she has some triangle glitters (triangle!!! Must...have...triangle glitter polish!), I squeed an intense fan girl squee that is still circling around the ionosphere at hyperspeed, and she quickly made up an awesome polish to show me. This is a prototype, it doesn't even have an official name yet, but I love it so much I'm trying to convince her she should sell it--what do you think??

InDecisive no-name-as-yet

InDecisive no-name-as-yet

InDecisive no-name-as-yet

InDecisive no-name-as-yet

This is two coats of what I have been referring to in my head as 'Disco Unicorn'. Aleksandra said that the name 'Planetarium' has been running through her head for it, and I love that one too. It's a melange of teeny and not-so-teeny holo squares, silver circles, hot pink and silver mini-stars, and hot pink and silver triangles, all in a purple jelly. My camera has deep-seated purple issues, and so decided to have blue areas in the picture above--the purple parts are the true color. I love the crazy amount of depth you get even with just two coats, and in the sunshine--OMG.

Oh, btw? Since these stars are mini and not full size, they are immersed completely and don't catch on anything. Not one single catch! Now I can actually enjoy star glitter in my polish.

For some reason I can't explain and am not rich enough to explore through therapy, this reminds me of the fun I used to have at the roller rink when I was a little's just packed with happy, sparkly energy. It makes me want to get up and dance around the house while my cats and my dog look at me like I'm insane. Seriously, if you can't find something to smile about when you have this polish on, well, I don't think any polish can help you. ;-).

I will be asking her to make me up a full-sized bottle of this. The only question is...will it be a custom made only for me, or are you guys going to grab up this beauty too? I'm not sure how much triangle glitter she has, so if you want her to put it in her regular line, let her know. You can find her Etsy shop by clicking here, and you can also check out her Facebook page.

Polish is fun, that's why we love it. And these two polishes are some of the funnest I've seen in a long time. 'funnest' a word??


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Review: InDecisive Nail Lacquer Speckled Neon collection


Are you ready for some summer? Well don't worry if you're not, 'cause I have just the thing for you: Some awesome glitters that will brighten any day.

Aleksandra of InDecisive Nail Lacquer has expanded her Speckled line to include several gorgeous neon glitters. I'm a big fan of all of the Speckled polishes--they're an great way to get a spray of color over your nails in an elegant, understated way. They give a beautiful effect no matter what color they're in, and the neons are no exception.

Let's start with a look at Speckled Neon Green, which I show over Color Club Evolution:

For all of the polishes, I show one coat, with a coat of Seche Vite. These brush on easily and give even coverage without any hassle. If you decided you want more dense coverage in one area you can easily dab on; if you want more coverage overall, throw on a second coat. Another thing I love about these polishes is that the glitters don't settle at all, so no fishing needed. :)

Next is Speckled Neon Blue, which I show over Zoya Demi:


This color is a vibrant summer sky, the kind that makes you want to fly kites or go to the beach. So pretty!  I love it over this purple, but it would my other top choices for this would be over white or green.

There's also a Speckled Neon Yellow, which is sunshine in a bottle: I've paired it here over Barielle Miami Heat:

This glitter will add a dose of hot to anything you want to jazz up. It would be beautiful over blues, greens, oranges, pinks...the possibilities are endless. :)

The last is Speckled Neon Pink; it's so deliciously neon and bright that it gave my camera an aneurysm! So bear with me while I show you it to you in a couple different ways. In the first picture, I have it over Barielle Panama Pina Colada, to show you how it photographed:

And in the next picture I did a photo adjustment for color (which I will never do without telling you) to show you the actual color of the glitter. It's much more hot pink than it photographs, as you can see, so I don't want you to buy it thinking it's a soft pink:

Although the photo is funky, it does show the color of the glitter (both on the nail and in the bottle) more accurately. It's hot pink and it's bright and it's happy and fun. :)

Here's another pairing, and while this again shows it a little more pale than it actually is, it shows the coverage without the strange haze effect I got with the yellow base. Here it is over Barielle Hawaiin Sunset:

These polishes bring out my bright fun side, and make me want to lounge by the pool, or walk on the beach, or go to an awesome picnic or...just get out and celebrate life. I think that every polish lover needs one or more in their collection--yes, I even think the pink is a must have, and you know how I feel about pink!

You can find these polishes on InDecisive's Etsy site; you can also visit her Facebook page. And here's a little spoiler for you--if you're a fan of her Ichor line (her thermal polishes that go from clear to colored), next time I'll be showing you her newest addition to that line, her Green Ichor. :)

I hope your weekend has started out happy and fun (although it would be funner and happier with these polishes!). Hugs,


Monday, June 9, 2014

Review: Salon Outlet Nail Art Case


I was recently contacted by Dana of Salon Outlet about reviewing their portable nail art case. Since I'm always looking for good ways to organize my nail art supplies, I'm sure this is a big issue for you, too.

No matter what, we can all agree that whatever solution we find, it's gotta be cute. This one definitely lives up to that! The exterior is pink faux-croc, with aluminum accents--and it's a good shade of rocker pink! The top picture is the one that's color accurate; I had to take some of the pictures outside of my lightbox (like the second picture) and the color isn't true in those.

Salon Outlet nail art case, from the side

Salon Outlet nail art case, from the top

The case is large; it measures 9 3/4" x 5" x 5 1/2". The large interior compartment (which you'll see below), measures 9 1/4" x 4 3/4" x 3 7/8".

I've seen other cases like this (and always loved them), but what makes this one special is what the interior does. The lid is like one of those amazing contortionists in Cirque Du Soleil; that allows you to protect your nail art brushes (or other supplies) in the lid, and then prop it open so you have everything at your fingertips with super easy access:

Half of the lid has a specially-designed sponge insert that holds your tools securely in place; the foam is very flexible, so it will hold a small bush in place (see the top brush, but also even accomodates my much thicker nail-art pen. From top to bottom I have my (1) a striper nail art brush (2) Mash nail art pen (3) nail art detail brush (4) cuticle oil pen (5) cuticle clean-up brush and (6) dotting tool. And notice below that when the lid is closed, my brushes are tools are protected:

The main interior compartment comes with a removable spongy-foam insert perfect to hold polish, each opening has diameter of 13/16":

I tested out the insert with a selection of different polish bottles to see if they would all fit, including Sally Hansen Insta-Dry triangle bottles, Sally Hansen Prisms oval bottles, Julep's rectangular bottles, Indie square bottles, standard polish bottles from Zoya, China Glaze, and Sinful Colors, and even a Butter London rectangle polish:

All of these fit just fine, snug as a bug in a rug (the Insta-Dry bottle looks like it doesn't fit, but the triangular bottom holds it firmly in place), with the exception of the Julep bottle ; it was just too thin. But, two of them together would fit nicely in one opening. :)

Or, you can choose to remove the insert, and you have a very spacious compartment that will fit tons more polish, or other types of nail art containers (wheels, tubs, etc.). The first picture shows how much space you have in terms of length and width:

And the second shows that you have plenty of height for your pretties:

I think a very important part of a case like this is the connective tissue--the latches and bolts and rivets that hold it all together. I was very impressed by their quality:  

Salon Outlet nail art case, from the front end

These were all very solid-looking, with corners reinforced near the edges, and a strong-looking latch. These seem like they'll take a fair amount of abuse, which means this should hold up if you want to use it to take your nail art places. 

I was less impressed with the lining. There were gaps at the corners where the cloth was glued into the metal, and some of the glue was visible on the lining itself. Those issues are mostly cosmetic--I put my nail into that gap you see near the metal, and pulled on it a bit, and it didn't move much. If I had been determined to rip it out I certainly could have, but for normal use I think it would be okay.

Less okay was the lining in the bottom of the main section; one of the corners, top left here, wasn't fully attached, and I could slip my finger under it. I don't know if I happened to get an off one, because the other three corners were glued down well. For me, this was not a big deal because I'm a crafter and have about 5 different craft glues that can fix that in a second. And, to be honest, I'd love this box just as much if it had no lining at all. 

So, overall, what do I think? This is a great case for storing or carrying nail art supplies, and I will be using it on a daily basis. I love that it gives me super easy access to my nail tools; when my nails are wet, I don't need to be digging through a bunch of stuff to get my hands on what I need, I can have my supplies sticking out of the special section and grab them with no smudges. I don't use mine to store polish, I use mine to store my nail art supplies (my rhinestones, nail tape, nail decals, nail art wheels, that kind of thing), but if I were going to someone's house to do nail art for them (girls night or something), I'd put that insert right back in and throw a few base colors and stamping polishes on in there. This would also be a great cosmetics case for traveling or home use, and I can certainly see myself using it for that in the future as well.

I think the price on this is a steal. I was recently looking at a nearly-identical box that had no special inserts, and it was twenty dollars more than the $39.99 price tag on this one. I'm really impressed that for this price, the hardware on this is pretty hardcore, this box certainly can take a hit without falling apart.

Salon outlet also has a ton of other cool things, including other make-up bags and cases with a zillion compartments and very on-trend colors, as well as other hair-care and make-up equipment. Check them out!

I hope your week is off to a great start! Hugs,