Monday, October 31, 2016

Challenge Your Nail Art: Halloween nails

Hello Readers!

Today is Halloween, and although I've been doing Halloween manicures all month, obviously I must do just one more for the big day! This is also for the Challenge Your Nail Art group on facebook.

I have a kindergarten Halloween party to help out with today, so I didn't want to go with anything too gory or scary. I haven't tried out the mummy plate from the Bundle Monster "House of Horrors" collection yet, and since my son is being a mummy for Halloween, I decided it would be the perfect theme for my nails today!

So this mani is fairly straightforward. All the images come from the mummy themed plate. For the accent nail I stamped a hieroglyphics image before adding a decal of the Egyptian death mask.

 I started off with 2 coats of Sinful Colors "Snow Me White", and then added a coat of Revlon Parfumarie "Fresh Linen". This is because Fresh Linen is super sheer and I didn't want to deal with putting 4-5 coats of it on.

Hope you all have a very happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Simple Sunday 10/30/2016, featuring Moyou London Rockstar

Hello Readers!

For today's Simple Sunday, I decided to try out a couple of untried things and go for a really easy mani with some simple stamping.

I was super excited to find a few OPI polishes at the Dollar Tree last week, and I haven't gotten the chance to try them out yet. So I decided to use one of my finds, "Love is Hot and Coal", for my base and stamp over it with BMC "Freedom Ring." The OPI polish is actually a very dark brown, though it reads as almost a black. It was a little streaky on the first coat, but on the second coat it was fine. It was, however, a little bit on the runny side. I imagine that's why it was at the Dollar Tree.

I used a MoYou London plate from the Rockstar Collection that has all kinds of classical music themes on it. I really loved the heart made up of the treble and bass clef signs, so I stamped that onto my middle finger. I've never seen an image like that before, and I think it is a really cool idea. I also stamped the violin, which is very near and dear to my heart as I played violin for many years, as well as the upright bass. 

I get a kick out of the composer faces- who look to be Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach- on this plate. Someday maybe I'll get around to painting these!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Halloween in the Wrong Colors

Hello Readers!

Today I am very excited to be joining up with the lovely ladies from the 26 great nail art ideas challenge for the first time! I've been watching this challenge for a while, last year when it was 40 great nail art ideas, and now that they have started over with a new year I decided to jump in and join the fun.

Today's prompt was a tricky one for me: Halloween in the wrong colors. I had to really think about what the "wrong colors" would be for me, and the end I decided to go with pink because that is the least Halloween-y color to me.

My base pink color here is Milani "doll face". I used a born pretty plate for the diagonal stripes.

This mani ended up a bit different than my original plan for it, ha ha, because life is like that sometimes. But I decided to pair my pink with some vampire images from this bundle monster plate, from the new House of Horrors collection:

I am still going to want to use this plate in a Harry Potter themed mani later- I think the castle would make a perfect Hogwarts!

Be sure to check out some more Halloween manis in the links below!

ABC Challenge: U is for Unicorn

Hello Readers!

This week is the "U" prompt for the ABC Nail Art Challenge, and the first thing that popped into my head was... Unicorns! Mostly because I recently purchased this awesome unicorn plate from the Bundle Monster Blogger Collab.

When I first saw this plate, I instantly thought pastels, but when I was taking a closer look to prepare for this mani, I decided it would be fun to go with a Lisa Frank-inspired color scheme. Throwback to the 90s and colorful folders in elementary school!

So I painted my middle two fingers with Sinful Colors "Dream On" to start, which is kind of a jelly polish and took 3 coats for opacity. For the rest of my fingers, I painted on 2 coats of  Essie "Nama Stay the Night" before trying out the dry brush technique to get a multi-colored background. 

Here's a quick look at the polishes I used:

And of course, a peek at the lovely stamping plate by Bundle Monster and nailed the polish:

Can't wait to see what else people came up with for the letter "U"! To find out for yourself, follow the links below!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Challenge Your Nail Art: Fall/Halloween Colors

Hello Readers!

For today's CYNA prompt I decided to do a Halloween color scheme of purple and green instead of orange and black.  This was mostly because I really wanted to use this plate because I thought the jars of body parts were oddly cute in a creepy Halloween way.

See what I mean? Maybe I'm the only one who thinks those jars are kind of cute, but that's ok. I still love them. :P I am also loving the way the thumb turned out. 

A word of warning about this look, though: this is what my nails looked like immediately after finishing the mani, but just a few hours later the colors on the jars of things have faded severely. I should have known better than to do advanced stamping over this particular polish (Call Me by Sinful Colors) because the same thing happened the last time. I thought if I backed the decal with white it would stand out better, but actually what is happening is the polishes in the decal are somehow blending with the Call Me polish. It's really sad, because I really loved this look. 


Ok, now that I got that out of the way I want to talk a little bit about decals and lettering on stamps. If you look super closely, you might notice that the word "brain" on the jar is backwards. That's because I forgot that if you stamp onto your silicone mat to do decal work, any lettering you do is going to end up being backwards. If you want to make a decal out of a stamp with lettering, it's best to keep it on your stamper head. Then it won't be backwards when you stamp it on. Luckily I remembered to do that when I filled in the "It's Alive" stamp. 

Here is my color palette for this mani:

And the main stamping plate I used, from the new Bundle Monster "House of Horrors" Halloween collection:
This plate has the potential for some macabre manicures. check out the bag of eyeballs, ha ha! Not sure if I will ever go that gory because it might freak out my kids. The bloody hand print is also a really cool image. This is also a cool plate for science inspired manis, with the DNA helix and chemical diagram, and of course the anatomy inspired images. 

I also used this plate from the original Bundle Monster Holiday collection:

I used the hands image to stamp behind the "It's alive" image on my thumb. I've seen a lot of awesome manis done with the images on this plate- it's kind of a classic. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Challenge Your Nail Art: Red

Hello Readers!

I created this mani for the Facebook group "Challenge Your Nail Art" October prompt, "red". When I was coming up with the idea in my head, I pictured the red being more dominant, but hey the mani uses red as a main color so I'm saying it counts!

For this mani, I used these polishes: well as several stamping plates. I was excited to try out a couple of plates from new Bundle Monster "House of Horrors" Halloween collection. I used the "Cabinet of Curiosities" plate for the skeleton image, and the one with phrases on it for my phrase:

I also used this classic MoYou London plate from the Holy Shapes collection to stamp in my background triangles:

I used the triangle image with the triangle cutout from this plate exclusively on this mani. I simply put the polish on the top triangle and scraped up so the only thing in my stamper was a smaller triangle image. I overlapped two of these on my pinky finger for the double-point effect. 

My playing card image comes from the MoYou London "Alice in Wonderland" collection:

And there you have it: A Halloween mani that leans more towards the spooky side of things.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Simple Sunday 10/23/16 with Bundle Monster + Tanya Wish plate

Hello Readers!

Every Sunday, I post a Simple Sunday nail art post where I go back to a more classic, formal nail look rather than the crazy, cutesy, or kitschy stuff I usually like to post. :) I like to have my nails be church appropriate and I also like to do something more "pretty" once a week. This week I am really excited to be using a new Bundle Monster plate from the Blogger Collaboration that was released recently. This plate was designed by Tanya Wish, and features some really lovely floral designs that I thought would be perfect for Sunday nails. I bought this plate during the awesome buy-2-get-1-free deal a couple of weeks back.

Here I've used the rose design and filled it in with just a couple of polishes. I painted a little round stud with the same polish I used on my pointer/thumb/pinky fingers- Sinful Colors "Soul Mate", which is a lovely dusty, rosy pink. On my middle finger is Sinful Colors "Krop Top" from the Kylie Jenner line, and it does have a textured finish to it. 

Here is a look at the beautiful plate I used:

I just love the variety of the flower images on here. The second image on the bottom is the one I used for this mani, and if you look closely you will notice that I only fit a small portion of it onto my nail. These floral images are the XL size, so if you have shorter nails it is possible to vary the look of the flowers on your nails by shifting the placement and part of the image you use. I used the two medium sized roses together, but I could have also used the larger rose image towards the top of the image. You can play around with it a little to get the look you want, which is fun. I love a little bit of flexibility!

Challenge Your Nail Art: Fall Flowers

Hello Readers!

I'm excited to bring you today's entry for the "Challenge Your Nail Art" group on Facebook, which is inspired by fall flowers. I thought the MoYou London Trend Hunter plate would be a perfect jumping off point for this prompt, since it has lots of fall flowers against different backgrounds, including plaid which is a great match for fall themes.

Here are my polishes and plates for this manicure:

I did a double-stamping technique for the plaid look, using two of the different plaid images from the Born Pretty Store plate.  I stamped the first in the gold polish, and the overlapped it with a coordinating image from the plate in black polish. For the sunflower image, I simply made a decal with the MoYou London Trend Hunter plate using the sunflower and plaid image.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Challenge Your Nail Art: Witches

Hello Readers!

Guess what I got in the mail today? Bundle Monster's new Halloween collection, which is super creepy and awesome and perfect for Halloween manis! I bought a bunch of the new blogger collaboration plates a week or so ago when they were having an awesome buy 2 get 1 free sale and I decided to pick up the "House of Horrors" collection as well. Today's prompt for the Challenge Your Nail Art group on Facebook is "Witches".

I loved this witch plate from the collection, so I decided to try to pull a bunch of the images together in a kind of muted color palette. I think the crystal b all and the crystals are my favorites! So much fun. Here is my nail polish spread:

I used the Pure Ice "Shore Bet" for the background color and filled in with the other polishes, stamping with the black. I have found that this particular LA colors black works great for stamping, but not so much for actually painting on your nails. It goes on fine and is nice and opaque, but it is a terrible chipper. 

Here's a look at the nail plate:

I've considered doing a review on the full collection, but with it being so close to Halloween I thought maybe people wouldn't really be interested because if you wanted to buy it, it would be almost too late in the season now.  I did notice a lot of awesome images for Harry Potter manis in this collection, including the phrase "I solemnly swear I am up to no good" on the phrases plate, so if you are into Harry Potter you may want to check it out. 

ABC Challenge: T is for Trick or Treat

Hello Readers!

For the letter "T" of the ABC Nail Art Challenge, I decided to go with the seasonal "Trick or Treat" theme. For one, I am taking the kids to a Halloween Carnival thingy tomorrow and I thought my nails should be appropriate. For two, I am loving making Halloween manicures and want to squeeze in as many as possible before the season runs out. So today's is definitely on the cutesy side:

I am just loving the little chocolate bar. It is just a really cute stamping image, and I love the little fold in the wrapper. 
He comes from the appropriately named "scary cute" plate from last year's Bundle Monster fall plate set:
 I used this hehe plate to add texture to my middle two nails:
And those candies came from this new Bundle Monster blogger collab plate, which is super cute:

It has doughnuts. Cupcakes. Macaroons. And I love it.

Be sure to check out more manis brought to you by the letter "T" in the link-up! Happy Halloween! 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Challenge Your Nail Art: Orange

Hello Readers!

For the 'orange' prompt for the October Challenge Your Nail art prompts, I decided to go in the direction of a Halloween classic: candy corn. I ran into a few technical issues along the way, and while I'm not crazy about the end result, I thought the idea was fun so here it is:

My main frustration with this mani was my stamping polish. I was hoping for a vibrant orange when I stamped it over the black, but it ended up kind of muddy. I used  "Teepee Tipping" which is a Bundle Monster polish intended for stamping. I also used it to stamp the candy corn, and the "eat me" star, and in those cases I was able to get a better saturation of it because I was doing a decal and I backed it with white polish. However, it wasn't really possible to do that on those faces. I could have painted those nails orange and stamped over it in black, but I was hoping for a pumpkin look. In the end I decided to keep it, if only to show you guys what it looks like so you don't go stamping this orange over black hoping for a deeply saturated look. 

Here are my supplies for this mani:

Those faces are from a MoYou London plate (top), from the Alice in Wonderland collection. They are intended to be the Cheshire Cat's grin, but I thought they would be fun for a Halloween theme. The "eat me" stamp also is from MoYou London "Alice in Wonderland". My candy corn nail was painstakingly pieced together from those two little candy corn images on the gingerbread house plate, which is a MoYou Dupe. 

I placed the rhinestones in hopes of pulling a deeper saturated orange tone; I wish they were a darker orange to match the candy corn but this was the best I had in my stash.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Simple Sunday with MoYou London Trend Hunter

Hello Readers!

It's time for another Simple Sunday today, once again featuring MoYou London's new plate, which is part of the new "Trend Hunter" collection. I used this plate last week as well, but with a very different color scheme.

At this point I kind of feel like I should say that all my opinions are my own- I have never received any kind of free products from any companies and I buy everything myself.

This week's color scheme was inspired by 3 polishes I picked up out of the clearance section at Walgreen's for $1.50 a pop this week. When I took them home and got a good look at them, I thought they would be a fun color combo. Here are the supplies I used to create this mani:

 I always start off my mani by letting my nails soak in some cuticle oil. My nails are on the weaker side, which is one of the reasons I keep them a little bit shorter. Because of this, I find it very important to always be sure to moisturize and keep up with that oil! I am almost out of my Essie Millionails, and that is because I love this nail treatment. Without it, my nails are always chipping and peeling.

Also, I like to use those little ring nail swatches to keep on my colored polish bottles for quick reference when I'm trying to pull colors together for a manicure. It makes it easier to really see what the polish will look like on the nail with a simple glance.

This manicure was pretty straightforward to create- I made a decal for my ring finger with the Trend Hunter plate, and used "Kustom Fit" to add a pop of color to one of the flowers.

One thing I will say about the Kylie Jenner "Magik Touch" polish- it takes FOREVER to dry. I really, really love this color and I don't have anything like it in my collection so I guess it is worth it, but really. This kind of goes for all the polishes in the "Trend Matters" collection- they are the soft, pastel, demi-mattes and they all have a really long dry time and require a couple to a few coats, depending on how thickly you slather it on there.

Have you had the same experience with the Trend Matters polishes, and if so do you think they are worth it, or do you tend to avoid troublesome polishes? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Challenge Your Nail Art: Ghosts

Hello Readers!

For the "ghosts" prompt of the Challenge Your Nail Art October challenge, I decided to revisit a concept I used in the 31-Day challenge and do a pop-art inspired theme. I'm not sure that it turned out very pop-arty, but I still really like it. :) Also, they glow in the dark because glow in the dark polish is fun, especially for Halloween themes.

Sorry about the bad quality for the glow-in-the-dark picture, but dang it, it's hard to take pictures in the pitch black! 

I've kind of been getting into a habit lately of using ALL THE NAIL PLATES to create my manis, but hey, that's why I've amassed a large collection of them, right, so I can do whatever I want? Right?

So here are the steps I took to make this:

1. Start with Sinful Colors "Snow Me White" for a base, 2 coats.
2. Stamp solid shapes over that with Revlon Parfumarie's "Orange Blossom" using this MoYou London plate:

3. Go over all your nails with glow-in-the dark polish (before the stamping so when they glow the stamping will still show)
4. Add decal to ring finger made with the awesome frame images at the bottom of this MoYou London Typography plate:

5. Add ghost decal over the frame decal, from MoYou London Emoji plate from the Geek Collection:

6. Stamp middle finger with the eyes from MoYou London Hipster Collection plate:

I picked the eyes because eyes are a classic Halloween theme, and since this mani is more cute than creepy I liked the stylized ones on this plate.

7. Stamp thumb, pointer, pinky with this dupe plate, which matches a plate from the MoYou London Fairytale collection:

I used the swirly part in the upper left-hand corner because it reminded me of whispy ghosty smoke. 

Now, I want to take a moment here to appreciate the difference in opacity between the black stamping on my ring vs the other fingers. My ring stamping is done using the classic wet 'n wild Black Creme, but the other fingers were stamped with an LA Colors black polish, but it was in a rectangular instead of a round bottle. I'm kind of amazed at the difference between them, and I think I have found my new favorite stamping black. I'm just not sure if I'll be able to find any more of that polish, because I found it as a one-off close-out item at the dollar tree and I've never seen it anywhere else. The bottles look like this, though:

So if anyone has seen LA Colors bottles that look like this out in the wild, I'd love to know where you found them! 

Friday, October 14, 2016

ABC Nail Art Challenge: S is for Squirrel

Hello Readers!

For this weeks letter of the ABC Nail Art Challenge I decided to go with Squirrel, mostly because I thought it was a perfect theme for a fall mani! When I think of the forest in the fall, I think of warm, cozy flannels. My inspiration was kind of the forest at sunset so I could stick to the warmer fall colors to go along with my red flannel.

So my red polish is is Revlon Parfumerie "China Flower", and my yellow is Sinful Colors "Yolo Yellow". I sponged over the yellow with Essie's "Taj Ma Haul" to add a bit of texture to the background. 

My squirrel comes from the Bundle Monster "Fuzzy and Ferocious" collection, from a very cute forest-themed plate:

And my acorns come from the Bundle Monster "Time Machine" collection:

That leaves the plaid pattern, which is from this handy plate by Born Pretty:
Be sure to check out the other "S" manicures in the link-up!