Thursday, July 30, 2015

NOTD: Tropical flowers with UberChic Beauty 4-01

(Press sample)


I recently reviewed UberChic Beauty's Collection 4-01 for you (you can see the full review here) and mentioned I'd do a separate manicure with each plate. I'm starting today with the first plate, 4-01 (the beginning is a very good place to start, someone once said):

There's a lot to love about this plate and this set, but the first thing that grabbed my attention were those beautiful Victorian-style flowers, particularly their potential for reversed stamping and lead-lighting. So guess what I'm going to show you today?

I'm in a very summery mood these days, go figure, but sadly do not have any plans to go to Hawaii anytime I decided to bring Hawaii to my nails.

I started with a gradient using Zoya Darcy, Zoya Jancyn, and Zoya Thandie:

uber mat
Gradient with Zoya Darcy, Jancyn, and Thandie, with topcoat

Then I used reversed stamping to create decals with the flowers in the bottom right corner of the plate (you can see the decals drying in the background of the picture above, lol!); I used Julep Karissa and Zoya Darcy for the coloring. I'm loving how easy all of this was with UberChic Beauty's new Uber Mat (click here for my full review), I can't say enough good things about it:

Uber mat
Polish for the gradient goes right on the mat and I don't lose track of it!

uber mat
Same thing here--polish right on the mat, easy to work from!

And here's how the final manicure looked:

Hawaiian flowers with UberChic Beauty plate 4-01

Hawaiian flowers with UberChic Beauty plate 4-01

I am so so so in love with this manicure it makes me feel like I need go book a weekend in Hawaii right now so the manicure can reach its full potential! Seriously, I have no idea how I'm ever going to take this off. Ah-mazing. Sigh...

You can buy this collection of plates and the Uber Mat directly from UberChic Beauty. :)

Happy stamping!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: UberChic Beauty Collection 4

(Press sample)


I just got to try my very first UberChic Beauty plates, and I'm very excited about sharing them with you! I got to try out Collection 4, just released this Friday. I love the quality and the styles of the images--so much fun and pretty all in one place. :)

The collection features three plates, 4-01, 4-02, and 4-03; each contains a blend of antique and moder flowers and filigrees, along with some fun geometrics and whimsical designs.

Of course I did a video review of the plates:

And here are the still shots of the plates for your viewing pleasure:

Plate 4-01:

UberChic Beauty plate 4-01

UberChic Beauty plate 4-01

UberChic Beauty plate 4-01

Plate 4-02:

UberChic Beauty plate 4-02

UberChic Beauty plate 4-02

UberChic Beauty plate 4-02

Plate 4-03:

UberChic Beauty plate 4-03

UberChic Beauty plate 4-03

UberChic Beauty plate 4-03

I love the images on these plates. I'm a sucker for the Victorian flowers and flourishy filigree images, and there is enough variety in styles to give you lots of different looks. I really appreciate that the plates give you complementary images you can use together, like the close-ups of the flower images and the little images that pull out an element from the full-nail images. That gives you the creative flexibility to play and play and play.

Let's talk about size! The full-nail images are just a titch over 3/4" x 1/2":

 And to help you get a feel for the small images, here is a shot of the plate next to a Konad plate:

But the ultimate, the number one, the most important question of all is: How do they stamp??

Pretty darn perfect! Look at the details in those flowers and in the paisley pattern! Don't worry about the places where the purple looks a little darker or lighter, that's because I'm stamping on paper. The details of the images come through perfectly.

These plates have generous etching. With some brands you can run your finger over the plates and not even feel the etching; these plates are deeper than that. Neither is good or bad (unless the images are too shallow or too deep), but they do require slightly different stamping technique. For plates like this you want to be generous with the polish, and scrape well. Also, if you clean your plates with cotton, you may have fibers stick to the plate. You can fix this in two ways; either run your finger over the image (I hate the way that feels!) or just take a piece of tape and just stick it onto the fibers and they'll pull right up.

What is my overall impression of these plates? I love them so much I ran and ordered collection 3! Great quality, great elegant designs, great value for the money.

You can by this set directly from; it is currently selling for $24.99, a great price for three plates like this. And UberChic ships internationally, so you can get your stamp on world-wide!

I'm going to do a separate post showing you a mani from each plate individually, so stay tuned for that...

Happy stamping!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Review: Uber Mat by UberChic Beauty!

(Press sample)


Omg, omg, omg, I have the awesomest thing to hit the nail world in so long I can't even remember! It's the Uber Mat by UberChic Beauty, and it's designed to make manicures and nail art easier and safer (in terms of damaged furniture) than you ever imagined they could be. Yes, I absolutely love this product, and can't say enough about it.

I did a video showing some of the uses of the mat here:

And I'm going to walk you through it here, too. Take a look at the awesomeness:

Uber Mat by UberChic Beauty
Uber Mat by UberChic Beauty

The UberMat is made of some mysterious, magical silicone-like substance that makes it perfect for manicures and nail art; plus, UberChic Beauty has put on some awesome features that make it an actual tool to help you create your nail art, not just a mat that protects your table.

Why do I love it?

  • It's nail polish, acetone, and nail polish remover safe. So if you're like me and you constantly spill or set your acetone-soaked cotton pad on your table and pull off part of the finish, this is for you, and may even save your marriage. (Maybe that part's just me.)
  • It's huge, 16" x 12" so you have plenty of room to do your nail art, and if (or in my case, when) you spill your polish, you're gonna be safe. 
  • You don't have to put paper towels under your stamping plates anymore if you don't want to; any nail polish that gets on the mat can be wiped up with remover/acetone, or picked up with sticky tape.
  • There are nail guides right on the mat that allow you to plan out nail art.
  • You can make nail decals right on those nail guides.
  • You can test which polishes go together right on the mat.
  • You can test which polishes stamp over the polish you want to use, right on the mat. No more little flat marbles or nail swatch sticks.

So let's take a closer look! 

Polish/Remover Resistant

The most universally useful thing about this mat, whether you do nail art or not, is the polish/remover resistance. You can do your full manicure on this without worrying about spills; whatever you spill can be wiped right up.  If it's nail polish, you can wipe it up with acetone/remover, or if you try to limit your exposure to those chemicals (since I do my nail so often, I try to avoid acetone/remover whenever I can), you can let it dry and peel it off/use sticky tape. 

This is especially useful when you're a stamper. We've all filled up countless paper towels when we scrape and wipe the polish from our stamping plates; with this mat, you can scrape right onto the mat:

Scrape that polish

Right onto that mat

Then wipe it on off

And you're good as new!

Now, for me personally, I will still use paper towels when I'm using bigger plates, so I don't have to worry about setting my plate on wet polish--that's just me being anal. But with smaller plates that I can just move over another inch each time I scrape for a new nail, I'll be skipping the towels from now on. :)

Make Nail Decals

The fingers printed on the mat provide a perfect place to create nail decals. Whenever I use ziploc bags or page protectors, I have a tendency to forget where exactly my topcoat ends on the sheet. This mat has the perfect guidelines already drawn out for you, and you can work on all 10 decals at the same time, and still  have plenty of room to do other things on the mat while they're drying. 

1) Brush on your topcoat. When I was playing around with this, I found out that some topcoats work better than others. My beloved Seche Vite doesn't work too well for this unless I put on a generous coat, but my Qtica topcoat worked perfectly with a single, light coat. So test your polishes out to be sure of what works. 

Brush on your topcoat

2) Stamp your image. This is just like making decals on any other surface, just stamp once the topcoat is dry.

Stamp your image over your decal

3) Decorate as desired. This is also the same as on any other surface.

4) Peel off your decal. There are a couple of ways to do this. Bend the mat and the edges should just pop up--then you can grab the edge and peel off. If it's more stubborn and you need to be careful to avoid ripping it, you can use an orange stick or similar tool to loosen the decal.

Bending the mat will likely make the decal edges pop off

Or you can use an orange stick for more stubborn decals

And up it comes!

Testing polish combinations

You can test to see which colors look good together, or which polishes will show up when stamped over another polish. You can do this anywhere on the mat, but they've designed it with three circles set to the side for just this purpose. As a stamper, this is one of the coolest things ever--I can swatch my heart out and test polish after polish. LOVE.

Swatch 'n' stamp! I prefer the one on the left, don't you?

Then, when you're done, simply wipe off with remover/acetone; if you want to avoid those, peel off or use sticky tape:

Tape down

Pull off! Easy-peasy. :)

Other kinds of nail art

I love the nail guides not just for stamped decals, but also to plan out placement for things like rhinestones, striping tape, etc. I am forever starting a mani and misjudging the spacing or number of rhinestones I need:

Preplanning saves a lot of frustrated nail fails...sigh...

I haven't tried it yet, but I think this might be a great way to do other sorts of nail art as well. I know a lot of people struggle with decorating their dominant hand with their weak hand; you could use the same decal principle as above and do your freehand or fishbraids or whatever directly on the mat, then pop them off and put them on your nails.

I do have one warning: if a polish stains your nail stamper, it will stain the Uber Mat, too. So if you want your mat to stay pretty and perfect, don't use those polishes on it. Luckily, very few polishes stain in that way.

As you can see, I'm in love with this mat, I think it has so many awesome uses for nail fanatics; I rarely say things are must-have products because tastes differ, but I think this is a must-have for anyone who does their nails regularly, and doubly so if you're into nail art. :)

You can purchase the mat directly from UberChic Beauty here; while you're there, check out the awesome new nail plates they just got in stock. I have a review of Collection 4 here (the plate you see above is from that collection) and Fairytale: Sweet April here. UberChic ships internationally too!

Happy, safe, and mess-free stamping!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

New Cici&Sisi stamping set (Jumbo 5)!!

(Affiliate links)


Check out this new set Cici&Sisi just put out, jumbo set 5!

It's available now through Amazon. :) What do you think, will you be grabbing this set?

Happy stamping,


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Before & After: String me up v 2.0

(Polish sent for review; affiliate links)


I recently showed you a matted manicure that I just adored--I loved it so much, in fact, that I wanted to try it a second time with different colors.

This time I started with Zoya Isa, a blurple flecked duochrome from Zoya's Paradise Sun collection (you can see my full review here); the finishes on these polishes just cry out to be matted:

Zoya Isa
Zoya Isa

Then I stamped the heck out of it with Pueen 45:

Using Hit The Bottle stamping polishes in A Rose By Any Other Name and Pool Party:

I chose these colors because the blue goes so well with the flecks in the base polish, and the pink complements the purple flash in the duochrome. This isn't a combination I'd normally wear, but I love love love it. :)

So what do you think? Do you like these colors, or do you prefer the green and blue version I did before?

Happy stamping,

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Before & After: Abstract Oceane

(Polishes sent for review; affiliate links)


I love ocean-inspired manicures during the summertime, and I love abstract-y art stuff, so I decided it was time to do myself an abstract ocean look!

I started with Zoya Oceane, from their Paradise Sun collection (see my full review here):

Zoya Oceane

Zoya Oceane

Next I stamped with two images from Pueen 45 (see my review of the set here), using Hit The Bottle stamping polishes in Absinthe Minded, Purple Reign, and Pool Party; then I and added some dots:

Abstract Oceane

Abstract Oceane

I love this manicure, I think it's fun and colorful, but still relaxing. Hope you do, too! :)

Happy stamping!