Friday, May 26, 2017

Crumpets Nail Tarts: Pink, Gold, and Lilac

Hello Readers!

Sometimes, I do a mani I'm excited about and when it's done, I take a step back and think... "meh". Other times, I am surprised when it turns out better than I'd hoped for. This is one of the latter!

Actually, the latter often happens when I take my inspiration from the talented ladies who create nail art for MoYou London's promotional page/instagram, which is what happened here. I had the rough idea for this mani in my mind, though I wasn't actually looking at the picture when I was planning this mani, just what I kind of remembered about it:

...which was the use of the new Hipster plates, the tiny triangle images, and the dip-dyed look plus gold. I kind of did my own thing with those elements, and ended up with a more feminine and soft version.

So the prompt for this mani was "lilac, pink, and gold." I had to add a little bit of green for the cactus, so hopefully nobody minds. ;)

After painting my nails, the next step was to create the dip-dyed effect, which I did with the aid of this MoYou London plate, "Holy Shapes 05". I used the right triangle image to create the line on my nails, then went over it with my nail polish straight out of the bottle to make it fully opaque.

The next step was to stamp the little triangles.
My tiny triangles came from this MoYou London "Hipster 16" plate, with all the cute cactus images.

Finally, I placed the decal I made from this MoYou London plate, "Hipster 18." So many choices on this plate, but I decided to go with a small potted variety. I used my lint roller to isolate the image so I would have just the one cactus for my decal.

I hope you enjoyed this mani today! Be sure to check out some more pink/lilac/gold manis in the link-up below!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Nail Challenge Collaborative: Green Cacti ft. MoYou London Hipster

Hello Readers!

Today's post is my second entry for the monthly Nail Challenge Collaborative challenge. The prompt this month is "green", and though I seriously considered doing a watermelon-themed mani for this week, in the end cacti won out because I still hadn't tried out one of the MoYou London "Hipster" plates that I got for Mother's Day.

I loosely based this mani off of an art print I saw online when I was looking for inspiration:

Print by Anna Deegan. You can see it for sale here.
I really liked the idea of colorful cacti on a neutral background. I didn't exactly use the same colors as the print, but that was the dawn of my inspiration.

For my base color, I used the JLB "Taupe" color, which is a two-to-three coater. I find the JLB polishes at Ross in sets of six for about six dollars a set, making them a $1 polish, so it really isn't bad for that price.

The decal on my ring finger was from this MoYou London "Hipster 16" plate, which was a recent addition to the Hipster collection that I had to have because.... cacti! The texture image stamped in the lilac color on my pointer/pinky fingers is also from this plate. In retrospect, I kind of wish I had also stamped it before placing the decals on my middle/ring fingers.

My large potted cactus comes from the other new MoYou London Hipster plate. Lots of potted options for all your cactus needs on this plate; yet I can't help feeling like I almost don't really need it since I have all the potted cacti images on the other new Hipster plate. Oh well.

To get the green zizags on my pointer/pinky, I used the stair step image from MoYou London's "Holy Shapes 05" plate. I use this plate for color blocking all the time!

Be sure to check out more "green" themed manis from the Nail Challenge Collaborative group in the link-up below!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Golden Pineapple ft. MoYou London Mexico

Hello Readers!

It's Tuesday again, which means it's time for another #clairestelle8challenge mani, and the prompt this go-round is "coral". I've been wanting to do a look where I paired an image from the new MoYou London Mexico collection with pineapple and the color coral ever since I got these plates, so this was an easy decision for me!

I just think the ring finger image sort of resembles a pineapple, in a very stylized way. I think pineapple images are adorable, so I wanted to take this excuse to make a pineapple themed mani!

So my coral polish here is the Sinful Shine "Mardi Gras", which was one of the first polishes I bought when I was really getting into polish hoarding. I think coral shades are absolutely beautiful, especially in the summertime! This polish is slightly runny, and required two coats- the first was quite streaky. Weirdly, I usually seem to prefer the regular Sinful Colors line to the Sinful Shine line- they typically seem to have better formulas, even though the Sinful Shine is more expensive!

My ring finger image, as mentioned previously, comes from this MoYou London "Mexico 01" plate. I actually used this very same image in a much more vibrant mani just a week ago, but I couldn't resist using it again for this very different look.

For my middle finger, I used the chevron pattern on this Born Pretty plate. This was actually the very first plate I bought when I started stamping, because of the variety of basic, staple images it has. I've used this plate quite a bit; if you'd like to see a full list of manis that show this plate in action, check out this page, under the "BP-L008- Basic Prints" heading.

Finally, the pineapple image on my pointer/pinky fingers comes from this Bundle Monster plate from the "Hangloose" collection (plate # BM-S408). This is one of my all-time favorites, but as it is also one of my first purchases, It's been a long time since I've used it so I was itching to pull it out again.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Simple Sunday with MoYou London Trend Hunter 13

Hello Readers!

It's time for another Simple Sunday mani, and today's is really quite simple as it uses nothing but simple stamping techniques and only two colors of polish!

This week, I decided to try out the MoYou London Trend Hunter 13 plate.

This plate has a lot of crazy geometric patterns with lots of detail on them, so it's a perfect example of a plate that lends itself well to basic stamping. It kind of looks like a lot of work, but the images are pre-designed to make it really easy. All you really need is a good clear stamper to make it easy to see where you are placing the design on your nail. 

As far as polish goes, I started off with two coats of Sinful Colors "The Royal Me", and stamped over it with the Bundle Monster stamping polish "Red Hot". I've noticed that unlike most dark colors, burgundy polishes that aren't intended for stamping turn out more pink than burgundy on the nail, so it's a useful color to have in a "real" stamping polish. 

I hope everyone is having a great Sunday! I'm really looking forward to this week because it's my oldest child's last week of school, and then we're headed into summer. He's super excited for the break, and I'm scrambling to work out a schedule to keep him busy enough so we all don't loose our sanity, but I think it's going to be a great summer! Do you have anything exciting coming up this summer? Let me know in the comments! 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Sugar Skulls ft. MoYou London Mexico

Hello Readers!

I am super pumped about today's #clairestelle8challenge prompt, which is "Halloween in May", because it means I get to play with the MoYou London "Mexico" collection plates to do a look I have always wanted to do, but haven't had the chance to yet: sugar skulls!

This look is totally inspired by the promotional manis MoYou London has done for these plates. They've come up with some really pretty stuff, and they did some manis using these same images.

I've always admired the beautiful bright colors of sugar skulls; and I know they're technically not for Halloween, but for El Dia de los Muertos, but recently many people have also been using them for Halloween looks, so I'm going with it. ;)

So for my colors, I tried to kind of stick to traditional Halloween colors but with a bright and bold flair to make it lean more Halloween-y. I started with two coats of the Essie "Go Ginza", which really I probably could have just done one coat, it's a super awesome polish!

All of the images come from the "Mexico 01" plate, which is my favorite from the collection. So many beautiful images, and lots of variety for lots of different looks! This was the first plate I reached for from the collection, to create this vibrant Simple Sunday mani.

This time, I created four decals. I decided to try the two different sugar skull halves to see what they look like together, and also because I wasn't paying too close attention when I started stamping them out on my silicone mat to make the decals, so I didn't actually realize they were different until I had them on my mat already. At that point I decided to just go with it.

If you did want to make them match, however, an easy way to do that would be to leave one of the images on your stamper head to make the decal and make the other decal on your silicone mat. That way you would have mirror images of the same skull.

Friday, May 19, 2017

NCU: Delicate Print ft. MoYou London Mexico

Hello Readers!

Today is another post for the Nail Crazies Unite challenge, which runs every other week opposite to 26 Great Nail Art ideas. Interestingly, to me anyway, this prompt is one that is also included in the 31-Day Challenge, where every September people try to post a nail art every single day. I did this last year when I was still pretty new to stamping, and I actually still like what I came up with for this prompt.

Excuse the water drops... lol... I had to dip my hand in ice water to get a proper gradient effect.

I did something totally different this time around, however. I really am still wanting to test out the MoYou London Mexico plates, and I still hadn't used the one with all the delicate, intricate patterns. To tell you the truth, it seemed like such a good idea when I was ordering it but when I  got it home in my hands I wasn't feeling so sure about it. But I'm so glad I tried it out, because I actually am loving these delicate images on my nails!

This is the polish in "warm" mode

This is what they look like after a plunge in some ice water- I had a hard time getting them all the way cool, so I had to resort to extreme measures.

Also, it helps that I got to play with something new to me- probably not to everyone else, ha ha, I'm a little late to this party. BUT, when I was at Wal-Mart yesterday I happened upon a whole end cap display of Color Club THERMAL POLISH!!!! I limited myself to just buying one, but there were seriously so many awesome colors there!

So I started with a base of that gorgeous thermal polish. I put two coats on, and I noticed that while the first coat was permanently on the "warm" color, the second coat immediately had more variety in the color and settled with a kind of gradient. The polish changes to bright, neon green when it hits 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so depending on the climate where you live it will rest at different colors. I just am loving how fun this is to wear!

All my images for this mani come from the MoYou London "Mexico 03" plate. I decided to go with the sun and the mood to kind of get a celestial theme going.

So, have you beat me to it and already tried the thermal polishes? What was your impression of them? Also, be sure to check out the link-up below for more delicate manis!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Vintage Tiles and Type, ft. MoYou London Mexico

Hello Readers!

Today is another #clairestelle8challenge on instagram, and the inspiration is "antique". Since I just acquired the new MoYou London "Mexico" plates, I wanted to incorporate them into this mani. I decided to use the plate with all the beautiful tile work and base it off of antique tile work. When I was googling this, I saw a lot of blue tones with neutrals and yellows.

So I tried to use colors that reflected those traditional tile work colors.

I started off with alternating my nails with a base of "taupe" (which doesn't have a fantastic formula, required 3 coats, but is an awesome color), and "Saltwater Happy" (which is a very nice formula, and required 2 coats tops).

Here's a peek at the Mexico 07 plate, by MoYou London, which I used to make tile work decals. I know there are other tile work style plates out there, but I didn't have one, and I've always admired the looks I've seen created with this style of image. Plus, this plate has some really gorgeous ones!

The typewriter keys on my middle/pinky fingers come from MoYou London's "Typography 01" plate. It kind of looks like I did some simple stamping on these nails, but be forewarned: the typewriter keys on this plate are too spaced out to get a satisfactory full-nail look using the plate as it is. I had to isolate the keys and stamp them on individually to get them close enough together. I just used keys that were on the outside edge to make this process easier.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Simple Sunday: Vibrant Mexico ft. MoYou London Mexico Collection

Hello Readers, and Happy Mother's Day!

Today I am excited to be playing with the new MoYou London "Mexico" collection, which I got as my Mother's Day present this year. (You see, my husband knows not to buy me flowers. Instead he sends me to buy polish and plates, ha ha.)

This mani is a bit more out of the "traditional" and more vibrant than I usually like to do for my Simple Sunday posts, but I just couldn't help it. The Mexico collection inspiration I've been seeing from MoYou London is all so vibrant and beautiful, I was dying to use some bright, saturated hues.

I love this collection so much I just cannot even handle it. I have to let out a *squeeee*!

So I was trying to stick to the more traditional "feminine" colors to make this appropriate for a Simple Sunday, which is why I went for pink and purple. Also, this pink is the exact color of the lipstick my Abuelita used to wear.

Here's a peek at the "Mexico 01" plate that I used for this mani. I made a decal for my ring finger to get that fun, vibrant look and then just used the companion image for my other nails. To get the cuticle triangle on my middle finger, I simple used the corner of the same image.

I hope everyone out there who celebrates it is having a lovely Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother's Day Mani for Clairestelle8

Hello Readers!

Today's prompt for #clairestelle8challenge over on instagram is the seasonally-appropriate "Mother's Day". After a bit of debate about what direction I wanted to go in for this mani, I decided to base it around honoring my own mother.

My mother comes from a very musical family, and music was always very important in our home growing up. She played the piano (her own mother was an actual child prodigy on the piano), and taught us how to play as well when we were young. Most of us went on to choose other instruments to play during high school, and she was always very supportive and encouraging of those pursuits. She helped me learn violin, and then was supportive of the giant pain-in-the-butt instrument I chose next, the upright bass. Imagine the shortest, tiniest girl hauling around the biggest instrument possible, and you've got a pretty good mental picture. Orchestra directors loved me, though- bass players are hard to find.

After a performance,  it is traditional to give red roses to soloists. So I decided to pair the floral staple with piano keys to represent my mother's passion.

I started out with two layers of white... again... I feel like I keep using white as a base in my manis, but I genuinely tried to get around it this time. Those piano keys just had to be white.

The piano keys image itself comes from this MoYou London "Rockstar 13" plate. I used my clear stamper to get a good placement on the keys so they would (hopefully) resemble keys and not just stripes.

The roses on my middle finger are decals made from this MoYou London "Doodles 11" plate. This is a newer plate in the doodles collection- I love it for all the rows of flowers- it's really a different take on florals.

The "I love Mom" image is from an older Born Pretty Store plate, and the rose detail above it is from this cheap no-name pate off of Aliexpress. Some really fun designs on this plate!

I got the roses on my pointer and pinky fingers from this Bundle Monster plate from the "Time Machine" collection (BM-XL133). I have used this plate so many times just for that little rose image, it's getting a little ridiculous. (Ok, so it was once... and twice... three times counting this one. Still a lot for a single small image!)

So yeah, I used a crazy number of plates for this look. Actually, I pulled out even more plates than this when I started because I wasn't 100% sure what would work. But, there you go! My Mother's Day mani. I hope you enjoyed it! If you'd like to see more, check out the #clairestelle8may hastag on instagram.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Crumpets Nail Tarts: Yellow/Bold Colors

Hello Readers!

Today's post for Crumpets Nail Tarts was a tricky one for me. The prompt was to use "yellow and one bold color". I kind of wanted to use a new plate I bought from the Born Pretty Store that has a kind of school theme, as my kids are approaching the end of the school year and it seemed like a good time for some school-themed nails.

Since I was limited to a couple of colors, I decided to keep this mani super simple. I figured it was fine to add white. ;)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Nail Challenge Collaborative: Farmer's Market (ft. Bundle Monster Kawaii Emoji)

Hello Readers!

Today I am excited to be participating in the nail challenge collaborative for the first time! I've had my eye on this group for a while, but I kind of felt like I had enough challenges going on. But, I decided to scale back just a little bit on my challenges and trade a weekly challenge for this twice-a-month challenge. The idea is that you create at least 2 nail art looks per month for a single prompt. This month's prompt is "green".

So for green, I decided to be inspired by the summertime farmer's markets and all the lovely green things they have for sale there.

I thought it would be fun to do a burlap sack inspired background, just because it felt very rustic and like the type of bag a very hip farmers market booth might decide to provide its customers.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Changing Scales, Ft. MoYou London Animal

Hello Readers!

Today's post is another #clairestelle8challenge post for instagram, and the prompt this go-round is "scales". I thought about being cheeky and doing a music-themed mani with "do re me fa" stamped across my nails, but in the end I really wanted to play with some of my new neon polishes for summer, so I came up with this:

My idea is that the little chameleon is changing colors, but he's still a little chameleon and hasn't quite figured out how to get his tail to change. He's practicing his technique here.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Simple Sunday 5/7/2017, ft. MoYou London Trend Hunter

Hello Readers!

It's that time of week again, where I show you what I wore on my nails to church this week. I like to try to do something simpler, and more classic, for my Sunday mani, though sometimes it ends up being a little more complicated than my original plan!

I was in the mood to play with the Trend Hunter collection this week, and to try out some mini Essie bottles that my Mom gave to me when she visited last month. The were from a Christmas collection, but I liked the lovely purples and decided to give them a go.