Friday, November 25, 2016

26 GNAI: Winter Warmth

Hello Readers!

I'm so excited to be getting into the holiday season, as I plan to do lots of Christmas themed manis after Thanksgiving is over! Today's post is for 26 Great Nail Art Ideas, and the prompt is "winter warmth".

This prompt definitely made me think! I was thinking about things that warm you up in winter, things that give you that cozy, comforted feeling, and also about Thanksgiving since this mani falls on the week of that holiday. When I think about warmth and Thanksgiving, I think about warm pies just out of the oven next to a Thanksgiving table set with a festive lacy tablecloth. Apple pie, cherry pie, pumpkin pie... yum! So I decided to play off of that theme for this mani:

I loved getting to play with this Christmas Sinful Colors polish- the red "Satin Ribbon". It has some lovely gold shimmer to it.

I had some trouble getting the sinful colors "black on black" to stamp last time I tried it, so I left the cap off for a while to thicken it up and I was able to get it to work this time. I also used the sinful colors for my white stamping.

My pies and apple stamp comes an older Bundle Monster holiday collection plate:

And I took my cherry image from a plate that I found on aliexpress, but the exact plate is no longer being made. The lace images come from this lacy plate I also found on aliexpress:

After I had all my stamping done, I felt like there was too much doily on my middle finger and I needed to add something to it to offset that. So I found a little bow to put on top. I actually tried several different bows before settling on this one because nothing seemed to be looking quite right.

I can't wait to see how everyone else interprets this prompt! Check it out in the links below:

ABC Nail Art Challenge: Y is for Yesteryear

Hello Readers!

For the penultimate challenge in the ABC Nail Art group, I decided to go with "Yesteryear" and do a 20's inspired mani. My original catchphrase was going to be "years of yore", but then I thought "yesteryear" made a little more sense.

I was excited to try out this polish from the Kyle Jenner collection that I found at the Dollar Tree a little bit ago. It is so lovely and shimmery and a perfect winter shade, since we are getting into the winter months now.

My 20s plate is a dupe of a  MoYou London plate from the time traveler collection:

One thing I was kind of surprised by was how difficult it was to get the darn beads straight on my nail! It's also such an intricate design and the dots are really, really small so this design really does need a good stamping polish or it won't want to show up. I added a small rhinestone to my flapper girl's headband because I felt like it was begging for some bling right there.

I was excited to play with this plate from aliexpress also, which I used for the background images stamped in gold:

This plate is *kind of* a dupe for uberhcic, and I say kind of because the images are the same as images found on uberchic plates, but they are all mixed from different plates so it isn't a dupe of any particular plate. The seller on aliexpress originally came out with uberchic dupes but there was drama so they decided to change the layout, mix things around, and re-release the plates. I had fallen in love with the doughnut images on this plate the first time around so I grabbed it when it came back on, but I'm pretty sure they are all gone now.

Be sure to check out some more "y"- themed manicures in the link-up! Just one more letter until this challenge comes to a close! 


Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Hello Readers!

Today I have a mani that is purely for fun using a couple of Aliexpress plates. I actually fell in love with these plates because of the adorable doughnut images so I had to squeeze this mani in before Christmas season starts and I'm overwhelmed with doing holiday nails!

I started off with a base of Revlon Parfumarie "Powder Puff", which took 3 coats. The polish still is slightly sheer at 3 coats but I felt like it was good enough for me. It does have a nice cotton candy like scent which I thought was fun for a sweet-themed manicure. 

Because I didn't jump on the bandwagon the first time these plates were available on aliexpress, I had to use two different plates to make it work. They switched the images on the plates around and mixed them up, so the sprinkles were on a different plates than the doughnuts.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Simple Sunday 11/20

Hello Readers!

Today's simple Sunday is a purple and turquoise number using some lovely stamping plates from Aliexpress and Kylie Jenner polishes.

Pretty straightforward, mostly inspired by my desire to use these plates and these polishes- almost all of which I found at the Dollar Tree.

The only ones that didn't come from there are the JLB (found it at Ross) and the Revlon Parfumarie "Wild Violets" (found it at big lots). I was really excited to try out the LA Colors "Treasure Chest" (on my pinky/pointer)- it is so lovely and fun! I did need two coats of this polish, but for a $1 glitter polish that's pretty awesome in my book!

Here's the aliexpress plate (dupe for a MoYou London explorer plate) I used on my ring finger:
And the one I used on my middle finger:

So when I was stamping my middle finger, I thought I'd try out a different black polish for stamping since my no name LA colors bottle is sadly running out. I tried the sinful colors "black on black" and it was not working for me at all. :( I ordered some real black stamping polish, but it will be a while before it arrives. Anyone out there have a favorite drugstore black for stamping? I have tried the wet n wild and it works, it's just not as opaque as I would like. I guess I'll have to pick some up if  I can't get the Sinful Colors to work by letting it "air out" with the cap off.

Friday, November 18, 2016

ABC Nail Art Challenge: X is for eXotic

Hello Readers!

For the letter "x", I decided to follow the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law (pun not intended). So my mani doesn't technically start with "X", but it does start with the "x" sound, and I say that's close enough!

As a throwback to summer, I have created an manicure themed around an exotic location- Hawaii. I actually ended up throwing the exotic flowers on at the last minute because when I had finished my original plan I felt that it was too plain and there wasn't enough color.

To fill in the flowers, I started with a base of Devil's Stare and the added "hottie" underneath that and a touch of "Sleigh Me" to the flower's center. It's hard to really see those colors under Devil's Stare, but it does add a slight highlight/shadow effect.

I used a few Bundle Monster plates from the Secret Garden Collection:

...and finally a MoYou London plate from the tropical collection for the pineapple and pineapple leaves:

My original idea for this mani was to use the kind of fruit salad image from this plate on my pinky/pointer fingers, but honestly when I sat down to do it I got a little bit intimidated because of the style of the image. I puzzled over whether I should stamp it in black and try to color the images in, because some of the fruits would be almost entirely black and I wondered if that would be ok. I considered trying to do the trick where you add different colors to different areas of the image, but in the end I decided to go a different direction. I still wanted to try out the image though, so I tested it out over different colors on my Cindy hand for a simple skittle mani and I liked the way it turned out:

Excuse the nails on this hand, ha ha... it takes a lot of abuse.

Well, I hope you weren't outraged by my cheating for this letter- I can't wait to see what great things the other ladies come up with for X! Check them out for yourself in the link-up below!

Nail Crazies Unite: Fall Foliage

Hello Readers!

Today's post is for the facebook group, "Nail Crazies Unite", for the second prompt: Fall Foliage. I feel like I have been doing a LOT of fall foliage manicures, (like this owl one, this pumpkin one, this sunflower one) but I had at least one more idea for it so here we go.

I decided to recycle the technique I used in the owl and pumpkin manicures I did earlier this fall and place leaf decals over a stamped pattern, but this time I was thinking about curling up on the couch with a good book in the fall, so I went with an "old book pages" look. 

For the script and beetle pattern, I used a plate from the Bundle Monster "House of Horrors" collection that features Edgar Allen Poe:

And my leaves, once again, come from this handy plate:

My polish palette was pretty limited this time:

I have to say I am loving the Wet N Wild "Yo Soy" as a neutral. It did need two coats, but for some reason I have a hard time finding very many neutral colors for a decent price, and the wet n wild line is always a decent price. ;) I stamped with the OPI "Love is Hot and Coal", and I like the way it turned out. 

To check out more fall foliage manis, be sure to follow the links in the link-up below! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Your Princess is in Another Castle: Featuring MoYou London Time Traveler

Hello Readers!

Today I have a just-for-fun mani not connected to any particular challenge, but just something I've been wanting to do. I used a bucketload of different polishes and plates in this mani, ha ha, but man it was fun to do!

One thing that was slightly frustrating in this mani was the size of Luigi vs. Princess Peach. The images came from different plates, hence the discrepancy. I decided to run with it anyway though.

First, a look at the polishes:

So I started with a base of LA Colors "Fresh", which is one of my favorite blues, and stamped a star pattern from the recent Bundle Monster Blogger Collab plate by blogger Kelli Marissa in a very similar shade of aqua blue stamping polish. I wanted a subtle background image.

My Luigi comes from MoYou London Time Traveler:

And Princess Peach is from this really cool plate from Mundo De Unas, which features many different- but mostly Disney- Princesses. 

So I added dirt and castle walls, stamped a stone pattern (from hehe's harry potter collection) over the gray and added a stripe of green to represent grass. I felt like the dirt needed some texture, so I stamped one of the star patterns from the Bundle Monster blogger collab plate I mentioned earlier over the brown. 

My little square blocks originated as the squares from this useful MoYou London plate:

I mostly stamped them out to use as a guide. They weren't opaque enough with stamping alone, so I went over them with a toothpick and more polish, but stamping them out first is helpful for getting them *about* the same size. I added black borders and white highlights with a toothpick as well. 

Because I don't usually do complicated stuff on my right hand, I just kept it simple for Cindy. Sorry this hand isn't very pretty, ha ha, I don't normally show my right hand because it gets pretty beat up for some reason, but I kind of liked the simplicity of it this time. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Simple Sunday 11/13: Mona Lisa Smile

Hello Readers!

It's Sunday again, and today I have a mani born from my quest to try every stamping plate in my collection at least once. I've had this plate on my list for a while, but with being sidetracked by halloween last month and challenges this month, I am finally getting around to trying it out.

This plate is actually a dupe for a MoYou London plate that I found on aliexpress. Unfortunately my light bulb in my lamp died last night just as I was about to take a picture, and for the life of me I couldn't get it to photograph with all its fine lines. So I don't have a pic of the actual plate this time, but here is a look at the MoYou London plate that it based off of:

The biggest difference between the two plates is that the pattern I used on my nails is the reverse image of the pattern on the real MoYou London plate. All of the images on the dupe stamped really well, although you can notice a few bald spots in the fluer de lis images, it doesn't really bother me. 

I also used another plate from aliexpress that is similar to a MoYou London plate from the artist collection:

I used the bottom right image and then felt like it needed some black, so I added black rhinestones to the design. I like to use an eyeliner pencil to do this; the wax in the pencil makes it easy to pick up the tiny pieces and place them. If you don't want to risk getting eyeliner on the gems, they do sell wax pick-up pencils for this purpose.

So when I was on my weekly dollar tree run yesterday, I found a whole tub full of Sinful Colors Kylie Jenner polishes. I was so excited! They had six different colors from the Trend Matters line, so I picked up one of each. The "Mauve On" featured in this mani was from that small haul. :) It has a subtle shimmer to it that is really pretty. I stamped with the LA Colors "perfect plum" on every finger but my ring finger, and it turns out to be a pretty good stamping polish that is also available at the dollar tree right now. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

ABC Nail Art Challenge: W is for Woman

Hello Readers!

Wow, it's quickly coming to the end of the ABC Nail Art Challenge, with this week's letter being "W". Crazy! My original idea for this manicure was "washer", for the nuts-and-bolts pattern, which is a bit of a stretch since they are nuts, not washers. I went with it anyway though and when I was done I realized that "woman" is a better fit because there is actually a woman stamped onto my nails here.

This manicure uses a pretty fun plate that I've been looking forward to playing with for a while, from the Bundle Monser "Time Machine" collection:

I still need to play some more with this plate- especially the train image. Love that! I have a son who is really into trains so I know that would be exciting for him- maybe for a Christmas-y theme?

Here are my polishes:

Pretty straightforward mani today. Can't wait to see some more w-themed manis! Check them out in the link-up below!

26 Great Nail Art Ideas: Black Base

Hello Readers!

Today's prompt for the 26 Great Nail art ideas challenge is to start with a black base. This is an idea that could go a lot of different directions, but the idea that popped into my mind was to do a Pac-Man manicure, since the background for that game is black and I have been dying to use these cute Pac-Man images on a MoYou London plate.

So I started with a shimmery black polish (Sinful Colors "Nice Guise", stamped a maze pattern over it, and added these cute little pac-man creatures. I used stamping polish in hopes that it would be opaque enough, but I did have to stamp Pac-Man himself twice and I went over the orange ghost completely after I stamped him because he didn't seem vibrant enough. 

The ghosts, pac-man, and little dots came from this nostalgic MoYou London Plate from the Time Traveler collection:

This really has a lot of fun images on it; Pac-Man just barely scratches the surface of possibilities for this plate.

The maze background comes from a Bundle Monster CYO 2014 plate:

Follow the links below to some more manicures with a black base:

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Geeky Manicure with Bundle Monster

Hello Readers!

For the first time in a while, today I have a manicure that is not part of any challenge, except perhaps for a personal challenge of mine to try to use all of my stamping plates at least one time, ha ha. I had these geeky themed plates on my untried list, so I decided to pair them up together to do a technology themed manicure.

Pretty simple here today- just some basic black stamping over my polishes. I did try to stamp the binary code pattern in the green and pink polishes, but it didn't show up very well over the silver polish so black it is!  I also did a little bit of glitter placement by placing a chunky glitter piece in the middle of each heart.

Here's a look at my polishes:

So this was the first time I used "Loopy Lime" by Salon Perfect, and I have to say that sadly, I do not recommend it. It seems like this is a tricky color of nail polish to do- either it's streaky and takes a million coats or... this. I only needed 2 coats, but it started just peeling off in one big piece the very next day. Very disappointing. 

And, of course, my stamping plates:

As  I was doing this mani I also realized that that little game boy image would be so fun for a Pokemon themed mani, so someday I'll have to make time to go there.