Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sinful Colors "Green Ocean": Compare and Review

Hello Readers!

Today I really wanted to play with Sinful Colors "Green Ocean", which is a gorgeous green jelly polish with lots of little flakies. I did some swatches over a bunch of different greens, turquoises, and black, to see what it looks like paired together with them.

I did two coats of each base color, followed by one coat of Green Ocean. This polish really has a great saturation of the little flakies, so if you're using it as a topper one coat is really all you need. 

I printed this chart from Bundle Monster. It's a super helpful free download, and can be found here

Here it is on its own first. This is three coats. If you wanted to get a kind of jelly, translucent look I would recommend starting with a white base because the green jelly in this polish is super sheer.  

So, starting with the lightest swatch, I have Sinful Colors "Kool as a Kukumber" from Kylie Jenner's collection. The flakies are a fun addition to this lighter polish, but I feel like Green Ocean really shines on the darker tones.

This is LA Colors "Meadow", which is available at the Dollar Tree. It has a little more gray in it than "Kool as a Kukumber". I feel like it ends up looking a little washed out. 

This polish is LA Colors "Citron", also available a the dollar tree. I've really been loving this polish lately- it's a neon that doesn't really need a white base coat to become opaque, and it's such a bright and fun color. It kind of has a citrus look with the Green Ocean. It reminds me of limes; it could be fun summer combo.

This polish is Color Mates "Groovy Green". I'm not sure how available it is anymore, but I don't have a lot of greens in this shade so I wanted to show you how it plays off of a more medium color. This kind of seems like a halloween-y look to me; like a witch's nail. Wicked Witch of the West?

Now I have another dollar tree find from a couple years back- there's no color name on the polish but the brand is Nail Pops. It's kind of a teal with a little more gray in it, and it's really pretty though the formula isn't the best (streaky). Still, I love how Green Ocean looks over this dark teal. You could substitute a similar teal polish, and it would make a great combo for mermaid nails. I think I will be trying that out soon!

Another teal, but a bit brighter: LA Colors "Atomic", currently available at the Dollar Tree. 

Here's a gorgeous color: Wet N Wild Wild Shine in "Carribean Frost". Because this is already a metallic polish, the shine from the flakies add even more dimension for a really pretty effect. Another great mermaid combo.

Now to go a bit darker, I have Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in "High Stakes". This one is probably my second favorite. The darker shade helps the flakies really pop off of the nail.

Finally, my favorite- plain old black. Green Ocean really stands out over black, because the green flakies aren't hiding and competing with green polish underneath. This would be a really pretty combo for a galaxy themed mani. 

Overall, I think Green Ocean is a super fun, easy to use topper that can really transform the look of polishes you already have in your collection and give them new life. Try it out on your favorite colors and see what happens!

Happy Polishing!
-The Midnight Stamper

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Simple Sunday Mani

Hello Readers!

Every Sunday I go to church, and so I prefer to do a more simple, formal manicure on Saturday night to wear next day. (Because I have little ones, I find that painting my nails during the day is a sure-fire way to end up with a ruined paint job. I ALWAYS smudge it when I try.)

Today I had a couple of polishes I really wanted to try out, both from Essie- "Belugaria" and "Jump in my Jumpsuit." I found them on clearance at Walgreens recently and have been scheming up what to do with them ever since.

In case you are not familiar with it, Belugaria is a textured polish meant to resemble caviar. I didn't realize this when I picked it up, so I was pretty surprised when I swatched it! I decided to try reverse stamping with it to see what would happen.

As it turns out, it doesn't look that different than regular polish with the advanced stamping technique. Once you get the topcoat on, it kind of smooths it out, though it is a bit more 3-D than a normal polish. 

I also used Sinful Colors "Devil's Stare" over the Essie's "Jump in my Jumpsuit" for the accent nail. I decided to stamp my image in Sinful Colors "Easygoing", because I wanted a more subtle look instead of a harsh white line. 

The image I used is from the Born Pretty XL plate "BP-L015". You can see it in the photo, just next to my index finger. 

Thanks for looking, and Happy Polishing!
-The Midnight Stamper

Sinful Colors Devil's Stare: Review and Comparison

Hello Readers! Today I have a review of a really fun Sinful Colors polish, "Devil's Stare". This is a jelly polish with gorgeous flakies in it! It's really fun to layer over other polishes, so I have tried layering it over several different drugstore polishes today to show you what it looks like. 

I printed this swatch sheet from the bundlemonster website- it's free to download, and super convenient to use. You can find it, along with many other styles, here:

From left to right, I have layered Devil's Stare over two coats of: ORLY "Red gloss glitter", Essie "Jump in My Jumpsuit", LA Colors "Feverish", and Wet N Wild "Red Red". On the final swatch, I painted 3 coats of Devil's Stare. It wouldn't be opaque on your natural nail on it's own this way, but to get this look you could layer it over white.

Here's another photo that shows some of the shimmer this polish gets in the light:

I really like how it looks over Essie's "Jump in my Jumpsuit". In fact, I think I am going to be trying the combo out in my next manicure, paired with some black polish and stamping!

I think this is a great polish and it adds a really fun look to change up any red polishes you already own.

Happy Polishing!
-The Midnight Stamper

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Game Night Mani

Hello all! Today I have for you a game-night inspired mani, created for an upcoming session of good 'ole Dungeons and Dragons with some friends.

When I saw the 20-sided dice on this design, well, it was honestly one of the selling points for me to buy the bundlemonster 2014 CYO collection. I paired it with the octopus image from the CYO 2013 collection. I don't actually own the entire CYO 2013 collection; just the one plate because I loved it.

Here are the polishes I used on my nails:
Thumb, pointer, pinky: 3 coats LA Colors "Citron", stamped over with Sinful Colors "Navy I Do"
Middle, Ring: 2 coats LA Colors "Wander", followed by 1 coat Sinful Colors "Hottie", stamped over with Sinful Colors "Navy I Do."

I'm so impressed by how well "Navy I Do" stamps. This is the second mani I've used it to stamp with and I'm really loving it.

Here are the plates I used:
BM-602, "Pop Art Gamer", from Bundlemonster's Create Your Own 2014 collection. I've actually gotten quite a bit of use out of this plate- I used the "pow" image to create a 4th of july mani along with the top burst image. 

The typography image I used today picked up on my stamper really well; I didn't have any issues with the plate.
The octopus image on this plate is just so awesome. I had to try scraping the image from a few different directions to get it to stamp perfectly, but that's to be expected of an image with so much open space and once I tried scraping it from bottom to top I didn't have any problems.

Thanks so much for checking out my mani! Go out and create awesome things.
-Midnight Stamper

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Nail Fails: Learning from your mistakes

Do you ever have a great idea in your head, but it doesn't come out quite the way you envisioned it in your mind's eye? As someone who is pretty brand new to the world of nail stamping, I expect to make mistakes. The most important thing to me when evaluating my designs is to see the flaws, and to also see how I can avoid the same mistake in the future.

I have a couple of what I personally consider to be "nail fails" for you today. These are designs  I was excited to try out, but for different reasons I wasn't pleased with the end result.

Here is the first one:

Polishes used: Sinful Colors "Tempest" (light purple), Sinful Colors "Yolo yellow", Sinful Colors "Mardi Gras" (coral/orange), Sinful Colors "Poisonberry" (deep purple), Essie "going guru" (light green), Sally Hansen Xtreme wear in white (for stamping)

This was inspired by all the gorgeous advanced stamping people are doing with the more abstract patterns. I was excited to try it out, but the end result just isn't very pleasing to my eye. I think part of it is the open spaces on ring finger design that just look a bit empty to me, and the other part is the fact that I used a white polish for my stamping polish. When I filled it in, I found that white polish is not very forgiving. My mistakes were really obvious, where a black polish would have hidden them a bit better. I think there's something a little off about the color palette I chose, too. 

Here's the plate I used:

My second nail fail was one I was a bit sad about, only because I spent so much time making this mistake. 

I really love Bundlemonster's Fuzzy and Ferocious collection, so I was excited to use BM-S165, Jungle animals.

Polishes used: Sinful Colors "Call me" (dark purple), Sinful Colors "Kool as a Kukumber" (light green) Sinful Colors "Yolo Yellow", Sinful Colors "Tempest" (light purple), and Revelon Gel Envy "High Stakes" (dark green)

The adorable elephant! That swimming hippo! I thought that Sinful Colors "Call me" would add depth and round out my color pallette. Unfortunately, I didn't consider how dark that polish is and the fact that the black stamping on top of it would get totally lost. I also haven't tried advanced stamping over a dark polish before, and I have now learned that it's not the best idea. The lighter polishes have a hard time popping out with dark polish behind them. You could use a white polish underneath to help that, but the black details would still get lost against the dark background.

I did really love how the stamping over the light green (which is Sinful Colors "Kool as a Kukumber") turned out.  I was tempted to remove just the purple nails and keep the green, maybe paint them in the purple and yellow from the flowers, but in the end I decided to just try something completely different for my next mani. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pioneer Day

In Utah, we celebrate an extra holiday on July 24 called Pioneer Day. It celebrates the founding of our state, and is basically like an extra 4th of July complete with fireworks, parades, and festivities.

I did this manicure in honor of pioneer day.

For my base color, I used Sinful Colors "Navy I do" and "Beaches and Cream". I stamped the fireworks from Bundlemonster's Occasions Collection, plate # BM-S211, "OOH! AAH!", which is a really cute plate full of different full nail firework images.
I stamped these images with ORLY's "Don't Lasso Me Around", from the Wonder Woman Collection. I stamped the lady with the umbrella from a Born Pretty stamping plate, BP-L021, also in Sinful Colors "Navy I Do."

 Last, I added a few gold circle glitters from LA Colors "Dizzy" using a toothpick.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Desert Dwellers

Hi all! Today I have a desert inspired mani using bundlemonster's BM-S168, "Desert Dwellers" from the Fuzzy and Ferocious set 2. I just love all the cute animals on the plates in this collection- they are a lot of fun to color in. For the southwest image on my green nails, I used a born pretty XL plate, BP-L009. It has a lot of fun southwest inspired designs.

Because sometimes I want to use all the images, but I don't really want to spend hours stamping, I do different images on each hand. I had a bit of a hard time getting the southwest design centered-  I guess I need more stamping practice.

For the main green color I used Essie "Going Guru", and the terra cotta color is Essie "Taj-ma-haul". I also stamped over the green with "Taj-ma-haul". I basically grabbed a bunch of random greens from my collection to color in the desert images with, along with a couple of pinks for the cactus flowers.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Watermelon Nails

I love watermelon nails, especially in the summertime. They just feel so bright and happy.

For this mani, I used two stamping plates: one from Bundlemonster (BMS-408, "Summer's Bounty" from the "Hangloose" collection) and one for Born Pretty (BPL-008). I really like both of these plates- the Born pretty plate is such a great one for basic patterns, and Summer's Bounty has some super cute summer images that are perfect for advanced stamping!

I used NYC Fuchsia Shock Cream for the pink base, LA colors Fresh for the blue, and Wet N Wild Leaf Me Be for the green. By the way, that particular Wet N Wild polish doesn't have the best formula, but I tolerate it because I have a hard time finding that particular shade of green, and it really comes in handy in a lot of designs. I stamped over the green with Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in High Stakes, which stamped beautifully.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Subtle dark-on-dark stamping

I created this more simple manicure with a couple of bundlemonster plates from the Holiday Collection. I wanted something a little more subtle and sophisticated for this particular weekend.

I used BM-H01 and BM-H16, which are Christmas and Valentine's Day themed, but the images I chose are pretty generic and will work well for everyday use. I used Sinful Colors "Berry charm" for my base and stamped over it with Wet N Wild "Black cream."

How NOT to do advanced stamping

So, I thought I'd try to be clever with this one. I thought I'd try to make decals the night before, and then apply them to my nails the next day. Yeah... that didn't really work out for me.

Maybe it would work better if I had used a nicer topcoat to create the decals (I used NYC's basic topcoat). Not really sure. But what I can tell you is that the decals became so brittle that they basically crumbled when I tried to pick them up from my non-stick mat. I managed to kind of get the pineapple one on my nails, but I had to piece it together. In the end I decided to completely re-do them, but by that time I was feeling impatient and didn't wait quite long enough to apply the decals to my nails, and they smeared a little bit.

But, there it is anyway. I really love the images, which came from Bundlemonster's "Hangloose" collection, plate BM-S408, "Summer's Bounty".

I used Sinful Colors Yolo Yellow and NYC's Fuschia Shock Cream for my foundation colors, and filled in the pineapples with Sinful Colors Let's Meet and Wet n Wild megalast "Leaf me be". I also stamped with the Sinful Colors Yolo Yellow, which showed up fine but probably wasn't as vibrant as a stamping polish would have been.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

I'm kind of a sucker for all the cutesy, oddly specific stamping images. Food, cute animals, cars, dinosaurs... I want them all on my nails.

A lot of them really beg for some advanced stamping, so I decided to give it a whirl.

Doughnuts and cookies manicure, with bundlemonster 2014 CYO set. Uses plates BM-614 and BM-S408 (Summer's bounty) with advanced stamping.:

I used Sally Hansen's "Dabbler" for the background color, Milani's "Morning Coffee" for the dark brown, Sally Hansen's Miracle Gel in "Tan-acious" for the light brown, Sally Hansen's "White Out" for the white, Sinful Color's "Endless Blue" for the dark blue, and Wet N Wild "black on black".

The stamping plates I used were bundlemonster's CYO 2014 plate number BM-614 (animals + sweets) for the cookies/milk and doughnut images, and BM-S408 (Summer's Bounty) from the Hangloose collection for the cloud images. I really, really love that plate by the way. It also has flamingos, pineapples, ice cream, popsicles, and watermelon. Simply adorable.

So I noticed when I was coloring in the tiny images with my toothpick that sometimes the tiny lines would come up, even when I was really trying to dab the paint on, not drag. To remedy this I put a topcoat (NYC's basic cheapo one) over the stamping before coloring it in and let it dry. This worked much better!
This was my first ever attempt at nail stamping. I had tried nail art before, but always became frustrated because I ended up adding too many layers, getting all goopy, and smudging my design because it never fully dried.

So, because of all that, I am so in love with stamping. The polish goes on in such a nice, thin layer that it dries super quickly and super thin, and the process is so much faster than trying- and failing- to paint things freehand. 

La colors petunia and sinful colors easygoing. My first stamping attempt!:

My first attempt didn't turn out perfectly, but I love it anyway.

The images are from Bundlemonster's CYO 2014 collection, plate BM-605 (Dreamcatcher). 

I used LA colors petunia for the base color, and stamped over it with Sinful Colors Easygoing. For the accent, I simply reversed the polishes, used a different background image and stamped the dreamcatcher in black (wet n wild black on black). I was pretty pleased at how well the LA Colors polish stamped, since it is such a cheap polish.