Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Alice in the Garden ft. MoYou London Alice in Wonderland

Hello Readers!

Today's mani revisits a newer plate from the Moyou London collection that I had a go at back in January, where I created a more simple mani inspired by old book pages. I've been wanting to go back and try coloring in the detailed classic illustration images on the plate, so that is what I have done here today:

These images were trickier than your average image to reverse stamp with, because the details are so tiny and the pen-drawn style makes them difficult to see. Keeping the design to just two colors to fill them in made it a little bit more straightforward to do.

I kept my color palette simple, and kind of garden inspired. I've been using this Sinful Colors pink color a lot lately- I guess it's becoming a favorite. I also made sure to use a "real" stamping polish since these images have so many tiny details.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Simple Sunday 2/26/17- Nails inspired by my dress

Hello Readers!

Today is Sunday, which means I have my weekly Simple Sunday post. If you're new here, every Saturday night I do my nails up with something a little more traditional, or formal, that I can feel comfortable wearing to church on Sunday.

For today's Simple Sunday I am trying something a bit different; my nails today were inspired by the dress I wore. I actually had something totally different planned out, but then I realized they were going to clash terribly with the dress I wanted to wear. I decided to take inspiration from the dress so that they would match and ended up with this:

It's based off of the patterns at the bottom of the dress:

Now, they don't match exactly because I didn't have stamping plates that were going to be a "perfect" fit, so it is more inspired by it than a duplication of the patterns. Also, the dress features a lovely mustard yellow color that I just didn't have in my stash, so I decided that this gold color would be the next best thing.

It isn't a great stamper, so I picked an image that had a lot of solid space so I could stamp over it with black instead of trying to stamp with the gold.

Here's a look at me in my dress with my matching nails:
I just really love this dress. I like going thrift shopping because I always find awesome clothes at my local thrift store, and this is one I found yesterday when I was out so I was excited to get to wear it today. The style of it reminds me of Flamenco-style dresses, only toned way down and kind of "modernized". I'm not really a big fashionista, so I don't really know anything about the proper terms for these sorts of things, but I just like it.

My images come from this UR-Beautiful plate, which supposedly is a dupe for Uberchic plates. There were a whole bunch of them on Aliexpress last year, and I think you still might be able to find some there once in a while, but the maker changed around the images after the first batch so they would be less dupe-y, or so the rumors went. In any case, I've found these plates to be etched really well.

Do you ladies ever match your nails to an outfit? It's not something I have ever done before, but lately I've been enjoying taking inspiration from fashion and I did enjoy doing this. I still probably won't ever do it except for Sundays or really special occasions, though- I normally don't plan that far ahead. ;)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Nail Crazies Unite: Red and Black ft. Bundle Monster Mystic Woods

Hello Readers!

Today's post is for the Nail Crazies Unite group on Facebook, where the bi-weekly challenges fill in the gaps between the prompts for the 26 Great Nail Art Ideas challenge group. Today's challenge is "Red and Black". I had some fun and tried a new technique this week that I really enjoyed.

I have been wanting to use these mushrooms for a while now, too, so I was pleased that they were going to work out for the "red and black" challenge. I tried to keep the other colors in the mani pretty neutral to make the red and black stand out as the main colors.

The Sinful Colors "Velvet Ribbon" was from this year's Christmas collection. I put on just one coat of it; Sinful Colors tends to do a really good job with these foil finish/shimmery polishes. I will note, however, that this particular polish chipped faster than your average polish.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

30 Days of Color Challenge: Bright

Hello Readers!

Today's post is for the 30 Days of Color Challenge group, and the theme is "bright." A few days ago, I saw a beautiful gradient look created by Zara at Traces of Polish, and I really wanted to try out the technique that she used for it, so I thought this challenge would be the perfect opportunity to do so.

The basic technique is that you put a bunch of stripes of polish down on a silicone mat, then used a piece of plastic to dab over them and mix the colors a little.

In the 30 Days of Color group, we are encouraged to use polishes from our "untried" pool; actually, all the polishes in this mani were in my untrieds except for the basic black I used for stamping. I found that light orange "Anchors Away" in a clearance bin for 50 cents, and I grabbed it because I figured I didn't have anything like it and I'd use it in nail art. Just out of curiosity I used it as the base color under the decals for this mani... and boy, is it ugly on my skin tone by itself! Ha ha so it's not a polish I would ever use on its own, but I like having a wide range of colors to choose from for nail art.

My stamping image comes from this Bundle Monster plate, from the CYO 2014 collection. I felt like this mani needed something heavy to go over the bright colors, and I saw this design and thought it would be perfect.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out the link-up below for more "bright" manis!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Challenge Your Nail Art: Galaxies

Hello Readers!

Today's post is for the Challenge Your Nail Art group on Facebook, where they have challenges every other month. This week's prompt is "galaxies". The last time I did a galaxy was waaaaayyy back in the 31 Day Challenge, but I really wanted to bring some contrast into my design today so I decided to go geometric and created this:

This was a lot more involved to do than a traditional all-over galaxy design, but I do like how it turned out.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Simple Sunday 2/19/2017, with new Sinful Colors Stoned Crystal Shimmer

Hello Readers!

Today I am very excited to finally be trying out a polish from a new Sinful Colors collection that I have been trying to get my hands on for weeks. I finally spied it at Walgreens, and somehow half of it was already gone but I managed to grab up a few of the colors. This is the "Stoned Crystal Shimmer" collection, which has some pretty unusual shades that all have little shimmery flakies in them:

So here I used the color "Just Deserts", which is kind of the perfect nude color for my skin tone, so I was excited about that. I've been searching for a good nude for me for a while; nothing ever seems to be quite right but  I like this one a lot. I have two coats for the nude base on my pointer and pinky fingers here, though a lot of YouTubers said they needed 3 coats of this polish.

I used a stud on my middle nail and ended up painting over it for a subtle look.... I'm a little on the fence about whether I like how this looks or not.

I also found "Off Tropic" in the clearance bin of my Walgreens a couple of weeks ago. I'm always excited when I find polish in Walgreens' clearance bins because they always have really great clearance prices, unlike some other retailers I know... *cough cough TARGET*  This polish was a true one-coater for me, which is always awesome, and also means it's probably an awesome polish to stamp with.

I did something a little bit different for this mani, because yesterday I didn't have a design in mind or a specific plate I really wanted to use, so to find inspiration I flipped through the pages of a VOUGE copy that I recently received. I thought this picture would be fun to translate to nail art so that is what this mani is based off of. MoYou London has been posting all kinds of fashion-inspired manis this week and it made me want to try it out too! It was really fun to do so I may try basing a mani off of fashion again next time I'm feeling uninspired. 

My lacy patterns that I stamped over the nude base come from this Bundle Monster plate from the first blogger collab that they did. 

My roses also came from a Bundle Monster plate, this time from the Secret Garden collection. The roses on the right side of the plate here are kind of small, but as you can see it is possible to get a full nail image out of them. I used the pretty florals on the left side of the plate as a full nail image in another Simple Sunday mani awhile ago, also on shorter nails.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Seaworthy Nails ft. MoYou London Sailor

Hello Readers!

Today I have a fairly simple Saturday mani for you because I've been itching to get into this lovely plate from MoYou London's Sailor collection and create some classic nautical nails:

I just really love all the detailed, intricate designs on this plate. They are so lovely and so prefect for really simple stamping. I did decided to do a little reverse stamping on the ropes, but I enjoyed stamping the other images right onto my nails for instant satisfaction.

I used a pretty classic color palette for a nautical theme. I wasn't too crazy about the Sally Hansen "Candied Apple" polish- it was a little runny, and if you're familiar with the Sally Hansen big bottles you'll know that the brush is HUGE, so getting it to not flood my cuticles on my dang pinky finger was a gigantic pain. But, I do always love stamping with Sinful Colors "Navy I Do". I've said it before, but it's the perfect Navy stamping polish.

This mani uses just the one plate, from MoYou London's Sailor collection (#16).

I hope everyone is having an awesome weekend! It's pretty wet and dreary over here, but I suppose after the week of sunshine and lovely weather we've been having we were due for a little rain.

Friday, February 17, 2017

26 GNAI: Blue Floral ft. Bundle Monster Blogger Collab

Hello Readers!

Today marks another week of the bi-weekly challenge at Crumpet's Nail Tarts, and this week's prompt is "blue floral". For some reason, I thought I was doing this prompt a couple of weeks ago so I created a different blue floral mani at that time, and here I am doing another one. The fun thing to me about nail art- any kind of art, for that matter- is the world of possibilities and different looks you can get using even the same colors, the same themes- and the same stamps!

I had done a wood grain in the previously mentioned mani, and I was inspired by a different sort of wood grain I saw in a mani at Polish Those Nails. She has a lighter sort of wood grain going on in that mani, and I thought it would be really fun to do.

So I started off with a white base and stamped the woodgrain pattern over it in a Taupe color.

I used the exact same wood grain as last time, because I like it and I also thought it would be fun to create a totally different look with the same stamp. This plate is by Bundle Monster, from the CYO 2014 collection.

The flower images come from this Bundle Monster Blogger Collab plate, from the newest collection released last fall. I used the bluebell type image on the bottom, the second to last image. But to get it into the curvy shape, I used my Bundle Monster stamping guide:

I used the smallest "french tip" guide and placed it over the image. Originally I thought I would use the flowers as kind of a half-moon or french tip look, but I didn't really like how it was looking so I tried turning it sideways and loved it, so it stayed. 

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out some more blue floral manis in the link-up!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

30 DOC/CYNA combo challenge: In Rememberance

Hello Readers!

Today I am doing a combo challenge mani, half accidentally. I started out doing this mani with the 30 Days of Color Challenge prompt in mind, which is "hearts/love", but as I was thinking about it I realized I really wanted to do a gradient background, which fits perfectly in the Challenge Your Nail Art current prompt, which is "gradient". So It's a double post today!

This mani represents a very tender sentiment for me. Right around this time of year is the anniversary of the loss of my sweet tiny baby. I always like to do some form of artwork to commemorate and honor those babies that I lost about 3 years ago. Last year I made a series of pastel paintings:

This was before I was into nail art; I was really into pastels and pastel portraits at the time so it seemed like the perfect medium.

To explain the significance of the images in the paintings and on my nails today, I suppose I need to tell you the story behind them.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Bee Mine ft. MoYou London Animal

Happy Valentines Day, Readers!

I have a little fun mani for you today to celebrate the day of love.

Because I think bees are adorable.

I pulled out my favorite rosy pink and my favorite yellow for this mani. Both these polishes are shown at two coats here. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Simple Sunday 2/12/2017 ft. Bundle Monster Shangri-La

Hello Readers!

This week's Simple Sunday had me reaching for one of the Bundle Monster Shangri-la plates that was on my un-used list. I had a rough time last time I attempted to use one of these, because I was stubbornly trying to make it work with a Sinful Colors black for my stamping polish and these really need a "real" stamping polish to work properly. But I was ready to try again this week, and so I came up with this:

Just one decal on this mani, and the rest of it is simple stamping.

I found that "gold star" Sinful Shine polish in a clearance bin at Walgreens for 50 cents, so even though I have a lot of gold polish I snatched it up. It IS kind of a different gold, as it has more copper in it, so I don't actually have a dupe in my collection.

Here's a look at the Bundle Monster plate, from the Shangri-la collection. They had these on sale on Black Friday for 99 cents each, so I decided to try a few of them out, and I have to say they have been a lot of fun. This particular one does have a lot of more open-space areas, so a good stamping polish is helpful. 

The other plate I used for this look is an Aliexpress dupe of a plate from MoYou London's Artist collection. I used the little flower images in the bottom left hand corner. To stamp just one of these, I found the easiest way is to carefully apply polish to the very top flower and then scrape up. This way I didn't have to use my lint roller to remove any excess polish on my stamper head. After they were stamped onto my nail, I used a toothpick to add a dot of the "Gold Star" polish to the centers. 

A side note about this mani: yesterday afternoon I picked up a bottle of American Classics "Bridge the Ridge" ridge-filling basecoat, and I think am in love. Not only because it gave me a smoother surface to work off of, but also I just loved the way my polish glided over the top of it. I've been trying out some different basecoats, trying to find my Prince Charming, and for now I am really liking this one.

 But I want to know: what is your favorite base coat? Let me know in the comments! 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Nail Crazies Unite: Anti-Valentines

Hello Readers!

Today's post is for Nail Crazies Unite, and the prompt is "Anti-Valentines", which is kind of a funny one and I had to think about it a little bit  before I arrived on what I wanted to do. I was actually browsing the internet for Anti-Valentine's themes when I stumbles across grumpy cat, and remembered that I have a grumpy cat plate (which I have actually used before in a grumpy cat mani last year), and he would be perfect for a little bit of Valentine's Day Bah-humbug spirit.

So although I wasn't feeling this mani when I put it on, it ended up being quite fitting for my mood the next day as I was awoken in the middle of the night by a dreadful "drip...drip....drip" sound and now there's a clean-up crew in my house, sawing giant hole in my bedroom ceiling to repair damage caused by a leaky pipe leading to the upstairs bathroom. So you could say I'm definitely feeling in a "grumpy cat" mood today. Related: I am exhausted.

I started off with Sinful Colors "gogo girl", which is a really lovely crelly-pink polish. I added some light pink with a dry-brush technique before adding some stamping in black and my reverse-stamped grumpy cat. 

The large broken heart image comes from the MoYou London Geek collection plate, one of the ones that features random emojis. I've used this plate quite a bit, so if you want to see the varied looks it can be used for, check out my *mostly* alphabetical plate index

The smaller hearts are from MoYou London Hipster-13. I thought they were such a perfect match for the larger broken heart image. 

Finally, good 'ole grumpy cat is from a Bundle Monster plate, from the Fuzzy and Ferocious collection (plate #BM-S162). 

Be sure to check out some more grouchy, anti-valentine manis in the link-up! I can't wait to see what the other ladies come up with!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentine Turtles ft. MoYou London Animal

Hello Readers!

Today's mani was a wish-fulfillment type mani that didn't quite turn out as I hoped it would. When I first laid eyes on this MoYou London Animal plate, I noticed that a lot of the animals on it had tiny hidden hearts or more obvious hearts, so I thought it would be a great one to use for Valentines Day. Unfortunately, I kinda made a rookie mistake with my pattern mixing and I'm not crazy about the mani, but here it is anyway:

So the "rookie mistake" was trying to put together the hearts and the small turtle image. I feel that because they are so close in scale and from a distance, they are kind of a similar image, having them both on there makes the mani a bit too "busy". I wish I had painted my pointer/pinky fingers just the straight dark pink and maybe added a little stud to them or some light pink stamping of just a tiny triangle, or simple stripes. BUUUUUUT  I really wanted to emphasize the hearts because I wanted it to be more valentines-y.

So my base color is another one of those light, shimmery, sheer pinks but this time it's a Revlon Gel Envy, which I always find to have excellent formulas. This was better than most polishes in this color family, and I only had to put on 3 coats. If you squint you can still see the faint outline of my nail line, but I was ok with that.

So my turtle images come from this MoYou London plate, as previously mentioned.

And the texture images I used for the nail with the turtle come from this plate. First I stamped arrows in pink, then placed the turtle decal. Next I added a swipe of dark pink polish to give the turtle something to stand on, and I felt like it looked empty so I added stamping over that in black.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

30 Days of Color: Sparkle (ft. MoYou London Tropical)

Hello Readers!

It's a new week again at the 30 Days of Color Challenge, and this week's prompt is "sparkle!" And who doesn't love a bit of sparkle on their fingertips? For this prompt I decided to go with a peacock theme, since they're such flashy bird and I felt like they would go well with some flashy polish.

Not pictured: the peel-off basecoat I used under that heavy glitter polish.

My un-used polish for this prompt is the Revlon Colorstay in "Showtime". I've used the Salon Perfect "Siren Song" before, and I decided to use it today because I'm never disappointed with it. I have just two coats on my nails here, no sponging required.

My peacock images are from this MoYou London plate from the Tropical collection, which features lots of fun tropical birds. My favorite images here are the toucans, which I did get to use on a different tropical themed-mani earlier this month.

Finally, I decided I wanted to bring a little gold to my sparkle fingers. These glitter polishes can be somewhat tricky to stamp over- I did a test on my Cindy hand and none of the stamping I was doing was showing up enough for me to really like it, so I decided to go with striping tape instead.

To check out some more sparkly manis this week,  be sure to check out the link-up below!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Simple Sunday 2/5/17 ft. MoYou London Valentine's Day plates

Hello Readers!

Today I have a very subtle Sunday mani. It ended up being a bit more subtle than I intended, but hey sometimes you need a look that can fly under the radar, but you still want something a little *extra* going on; this mani is for those kinds of occasions.

My main intention with this mani was to try out this new Sinful Colors polish. It's part of the Kandee Johnson line that's been slowly coming out over the last couple of months. Now, this is a super light pink shimmery polish that preforms exactly how you would expect it to. I put on at least four coats of this, and possibly five coats, to achieve full opacity. But at least it's pretty! Ha ha.

I paired it with a shimmer polish from this year's Valentine's Day release, because I have found that these particular shimmer polishes in this collection stamp super well, which is really useful. (To see one of the purples in stamping action, check out this post.) So I wanted to see how they would preform with a really intricate stamp, and it seems like it did a pretty good job! 

My images come this MoYou London plate, from the Festive collection. I've used this plate once before in a more cutesy mani, but I really wanted to try out the more intricate images and go for a more sophisticated look with this plate. At first I thought it would be fun to fill in some of the images with the large heart in the center surrounded by patterns, but let me warn you: those images in particular are super unforgiving; especially if your stamping polish is on the lighter side like the one I used here. I think the best ones for that technique would be the ones on the left-hand side; their borders have some substance. But the ones in the middle... hard pass, or use a nice opaque black stamping polish. 

Anyway, I hope you are all having an awesome Super Bowl Sunday! I will be spending it *not watching* and painting my nails but we are at least acknowledging it by having loaded nachos for dinner tonight.  What are you all up to this evening? Rooting on your team, having awesome snacks, popping in for commercials only, or ignoring it entirely? Let me know in the comments!