Friday, March 31, 2017

Crumpets Nail Tarts: Green Freestyle ft. MoYou London Festive

Hello Readers!

This week's prompt for Crumpet's Nail Tarts  is "green freestyle", so green is what I did! At first I was kind of interpreting "freestyle" as anything you feel like you wanna do (*gosh*) but then somebody posted saying maybe it means techniques such as dry brushing, blobbicure, fan brushing, etc. I had already been planning on doing a Lady Liberty themed mani, and I thought a fan brushed background would actually be perfect for it, so I ran with that.

Besides, it's been a while- ok, like a really long time- since I've done a fan brush mani. And they are fun! I have done dry brushing more recently, but I though fan brushing would give me the kind of distressed look I was going for here.

I basically raided the "green" section of my nail polish shelf to grab several shades that I though would be statuesque, and added in a gold for good measure. I started off with the Sinful Colors "Works Like a Charm" (two coats) and then just placed one green polish at a time onto my silicone mat and then applied it to my fan brush, then brushed it lightly over my nails.

My Statue of Liberty image comes from this MoYou London plate, from the Festive collection. I really liked the idea of having the stamping images be silhouettes against the green background, so I had to scrounge through all my plates to find images to pair with this that were also solid.

...but, while scrounging, I found this plate and the "I <3 NY" image, and I thought it would go perfectly with my theme. Finding a silhouette of a cityscape was a little trickier, however- apparently I just don't have any traditional ones. I almost had to resort to freehand (which may have been scary) but I found this:

A hehe (most likely knock-off) plate from the Harry Potter line, with that image of Hogwarts. Yeah, it's not actually a cityscape, but I figured it'd do.

Thanks for stopping by today! As always, links to the rest of the Crumpet's Nail Tart participants are in the link-up below!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

30 Days of Color: The Rainbow Fish

Hello Readers!

Today's post is for the 30 Days of Color Challenge, where there are weekly prompts and we are encouraged to break out our unused polishes to fulfill the prompt.

This week's prompt is "Rainbows". Since I recently did a rainbow-themed mani, I really wanted to do something different than the classic rainbow look. I ran through a few ideas in my mind (Noah's Ark? The Reading Rainbow?) before settling on a "Rainbow Fish" theme.

The Rainbow Fish is a children's story about a fish with very colorful scales.  Here's a picture for reference:

For this mani, I started out with a base of the Sinful Colors polish "Kommotion." This is a seriously gorgeous polish! I did two coats here; at first it looks like it's going to be a little sheer but after two coats it wasn't a problem at all. 

All of my stamping images for this mani came from the Bundle Monster Blogger collab plate with Twi_star. I simply made decals out of the scale image and filled in some of the scales with jewel tones, which was really fun to do, and then stamped the water and fish patterns on my other nails with silver stamping polish.

Be sure to check out the rest of the "rainbow" themed manis in the link-up below. :)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff- ft. MoYou London Scandi

Hello Readers!

Today's prompt for the #clairestelle8challenge over on instagram is "magic", and while I considered doing a Harry Potter mani for this prompt no particular design was jumping out in my mind, so I had a quick look through my plates and saw the Scandi plate by MoYou London. Remembering the "tardis" image (I'm sure it's supposed to be a regular phone booth, but does it really matter?), I immediately knew what I wanted to do.

This is my interpretation of the Tardis, falling through the space-time continuum.

For the uninitiated, the Tardis (from the British TV series "Dr. Who") is basically a time traveling space ship. It was supposed to have a feature that made it disguise itself by taking on the appearance of an object that would fit the era and location, but it go permanently stuck on looking like a police call box.

Originally, I thought I'd do a gradient background but when I started sponging it on I decided it was going to take me a million spongings to get it to the opacity I wanted because of my sheer-ish polishes, so I just slapped it on there with the nail polish brushes, lol. I figured smooth transitions weren't super important for this mani since I was planning on stamping over it anyway.

I used one of the swirly stamping images from this MoYou London Pro Collection plate. I'm actually kind of surprised by how often I've been reaching for this plate; I've only had it about a month and I've already used it twice- in a Simple Sunday and a more kawaii mani.

And the phone booth image comes from this MoYou London Scandi plate. There's a double decker bus in the same image as it, but it was pretty simple to just apply polish to the phone booth and then scrape away from the bus to isolate it. I did that four times to make four decals to do a flip-book inspired look.

I love geeky manis, and this one makes my inner nerd very happy, ha ha.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Simple Sunday 3/26/17, ft. MoYou London Minimal and Trend Hunter

Hello Readers!

Today's Simple Sunday is inspired by those little tutorial videos the official MoYou London instagram account is always posting. I really loved how they used the corner of an image to make a triangle shape and then added another triangle shape on top, and wanted to try the technique for myself.

I really love the versatility of this technique- you could use almost any retangular or square design to do it and add more mileage to your images.

I started off this mani with 3 coats of the Sinful colors "Peaches and Cream" shade, which is part of the collaboration with Youtuber Kandee Johnson. This polish has a matte finish, which unfortunately means it's kind of a pain in the butt. Matte finish polishes have an extra long drying time as a general rule.  I put on a speed-drying topcoat to speed up the process, but I think I was feeling extra clumsy last night because I smudged my nails so many times and had to re-do several fingers. Sigh.

My lacy images come from the MoYou London "Trend Hunter" plate with all the lovely lace. One of my favorite images on this plate is the one I used on my middle finger. I picked an image that had a good consistent pattern on the corner for my ring finger so that it would look like a single pattern instead of two different ones- I wanted it more simple and straightforward. Then I simply stamped one of the corners onto my nail instead of placing the whole image over it.

Next, I pulled out my trusty Holy Shapes-05 plate, also by MoYou London. I used the equilateral triangle in the lower left-hand corner to stamp over my little lacy triangle with Essie's Leggy Legend. This particular metallic polish doesn't have the best opacity when stamped, so I had to stamp it a couple of times, just lining the images up using my clear stamper. You can still kind of see the white lace through the image, so maybe I should have gone over it with polish free-hand, but it just didn't bother me that much.

Finally, I stamped some of the arrows from this MoYou London "Minimal Collection" plate.

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you enjoyed this look and that you are having a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Clairestelle8 "Mothers" inspired mani

Hello Readers!

Today's nail art is for the #clairestelle8challenge on instagram... the prompt is "mothers", so I decided to go with a "new mom" type of theme. That being said...  I feel like this mani is mediocre and I'm not in love with it. I can't quite put my finger on why I don't like it either, and it's driving me a little bit crazy.

Maybe it's the colors?

I started off with Sinful Colors "Kashmere", which is a color I really do like. I wanted to see how my new-ish purple Orly polish would stamp, so I was playing with that. I chose purple as my base thinking of using it as a "baby color" and an alternative to the more traditional pink, but I wasn't super confident about what colors to pair it with for the balloons. Maybe that's why  I'm not crazy about it?

Most of my images come from this Bundle Monster plate, from the original Holiday collection. I love how the dangly bows curve around in a kind of curtain.

My heart balloons come from this love-themed plate from Bundle Monster's new "Kawaii Emoji" collection. I just made a really simple decal with them.

I decided to add a little bit of lace behind the balloon image, so I used the MoYou London Trend Hunter plate with all the lovely lacy images on it.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Nail Crazies Unite: Sweets

Hello Readers!

Today's post is for the Nail Crazies Unite challenge group, and this weeks' prompt is "sweets". I still have the dessert-themed plate from Bundle Monster's "Kawaii Emoji" collection on my unused plates list, so I decided to center my mani around that.

Cupcakes and cherries!

It occurred to me while preparing my polish photo for the blog that every polish I picked for this mani- excluding the white stamping polish- has a name related to sweet things. Totally on accident, but kind of funny.

I started off with two coats Essie's "Saltwater Happy". Originally I was going to fill in the cherries with a dark red (the "sugar sugar"), but I realized that their cute little faces would get lost against the dark polish so I decided to go with the pink for them.

My cherries and the little cupcake come from the Bundle Monster plate, from the Kawaii Emoji collection. I still want to use the adorable little pancake image on this plate, but I felt like it didn't really fit the "sweets" theme. Another time...

 The other plate I used for this mani is one I apparently forgot to take a picture of. It is a dupe of a plate from MoYou London's tourist collection that I bought off of Aliexpress. You can almost always find these plates around on ebay or Aliexpress for a buck and some change if you do a little digging. This dupe preformed pretty well, and I really like the designs on this plate.

Now, these images didn't stamp perfectly and I had to go in with more white polish after I stamped them to fill in the small gaps, but that is really pretty easy to do.

Thanks for stopping by today! Be sure to check out some more "sweet" designs by the other bloggers in the link-up below!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

30 Days of Color: First Day of Spring ft. MoYou London Enchanted

Hello Readers!

Today's post is for this week's prompt at 30 Days of Color Challenge, which is "First Day of Spring!" I thought it would be fun to put a farm animal on my nails for this prompt, since I associate farm animals with spring for sure.

I decided to also try a wood grain background for my nails this time. I have really been loving the wood grain background looks lately!

I wanted to try a different color of wood grain this time, and I was also going for subtlety so I went with a base of "Yo Soy" and stamped over it with just slightly darker brown color.

My "unused" polish for the 30 Days of Color challenge is the purple, "Havana Good Time". This purple is part of the Spring Break collection for Sinful Colors this year.

My wood grain image came from this Bundle Monster plate, from the Secret Garden collection. 

I created a really simple decal from the sheep image off of this MoYou London Enchanted plate.

And finally, I created some smaller decals from the flower images off of this plate, also from Bundle Monster's Secret Garden collection.

Thanks for stopping by today! Be sure to check out some more spring-themed manis in the link-up below!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Pop Art Zombies ft. Bundle Monster House of Horrors, MoYou London Holy Shapes

Hello Readers!

Today's post is an unusual one for March, because the prompt today for the #clairestelle8challenge on instagram is "unseasonal". I had a couple of Halloween plates on my "unused" plates list and I figured this was the perfect opportunity to play with them.

As I was contemplating what exactly I wanted to do, I remembered this pop art ghost mani I did around Halloween time last year, and decided to follow that sort of theme, but with a Zombie twist.

I stated off with a base of Sinful Colors "Snow Me White", and then had some fun with Bundle Monster stamping polishes. I did use an actual stamping polish for my black here. That means I also used a different topcoat than my normal to try to help prevent it from smudging. Black stamping polish is always the worst smudger! I find the Revlon Gel Envy topcoat works well over black stamping. You can see in the pic that it did still smudge in one small spot on the zombie's neck, but it's better than if I had used my normal quick-drying topcoat.

While we are on the subject, I also like to use the "gel" formula topcoats when making decals. Not actual lamp cured gel topcoats, just the kind with a gel-like formula. They tend to work better and crack less when moving the decals around to apply them to my nails.

I started off by stamping the large right triangle image from this MoYou London Holy Shapes plate.

Next, I stamped some polka dots from this other plate from the Holy Shapes collection. I just turned the stamp diagonally and purposely overlapped them onto the purple triangles just a little bit.

Once I had by base down, I stamped on some zombie themed images. My zombie face and the word "zombie" on my middle nail came from this Bundle Monster plate, from the House of Horrors collection. It was a really awesome Halloween collection that came out last year, and I used all the the plates except for this one, because it was a bit more gorey than the others and it's not my usual style. Hence the bright colors on this mani, ha ha.

My eye splat images come from this other Bundle Monster plate, from the original holiday collection.

For my middle nail, I actually lifted an "I <3" image off this plate from MoYou London's Rebel collection, and then stamped the word "zombie" under it. That's one great thing about these types of images- it's pretty easy to switch it up to say whatever you need it to say.

So I think this mani just about wins a "use-a-million-plates" award, ha ha. It was really fun to do though, and I'm happy to return to a pop-art nail art look; I always seem to enjoy them.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Beach Selfies ft. Bundle Monster Kawaii emoji

Hello Readers!

Today I have a very summery mani inspired by the Bundle Monster Kawaii Emoji collection. I was trying to decided what I wanted to do, and flipping through the pin board on Pinterest I made of all my plates (because it's much easier to look through them on pinterest and really see the images than it is to look at them in real life), and I noticed the turtle image on the MoYou London Animal plate. I thought I could do a beachy themed mani with the turtles and the little camera.

I kind of imagine a beach goer stumbling upon a flock of freshly hatched turtles stumbling to the water and quickly pulling out her camera to get a shot of the amazing sight.

For this mani, I started off by painting all my nails with Sinful Colors "Mint2Bcool". I did a lot of my stamping today with Sinful Colors "Navy I Do", but also used an actual Bundle Monster stamping polish for the red stamping.

The adorable little camera image comes from the vacation themed Bundle Monster Kawaii Emoji plate. I think this is my favorite in the collection, though the fruit-and-veggie plate is a close second. I also used the little strips of tiny images along the bottom to decorate my french tipped pinky/pointer fingers... more on that later.

The turtles come from this MoYou London Animal plate. Some really cute images on here, but this is the first time I've featured it here because when I used it before it was on my right hand, thumb, and a couple of nail fails that I never published. ;)

The typography images on the pointer/pinky come from this Bundle Monster plate from the "Hangloose" collection. 

I pulled out my trusty MoYou London Frenchy 09 plate to help with the french tips. I decided to do these as decals and then place them over my nail rather than attempting to stamp the direct-to-nail, because I was concerned about messing up the placement and having to re-do it a million times.
So I stamping them once- then stamped over that a second time to get a better opacity. Next, I stamped the little images from the Kawaii emoji plate over it in white and finished it off with a nice thick layer of topcoat. When it was dry, it was really easy to peel that up and place it perfectly on my nails.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Simple Sunday 3/19/17 ft. MoYou London Africa

Hello Readers!

Today I have a Simple Sunday post for you, where I show you what I put on my nails to wear to church each Sunday. Today's post is pretty straightforward. I was excited to play a bit with a plate from MoYou London's Africa collection and use some of the lovely, detailed floral designs on it.

I decided to fill in the flowers on just my ring finger for a simple accent nail.

I started off the mani with a few coats of the Sinful Colors polish "The Full Monte". This is one of the new colors for their core line for 2017, and it is a bit similar to the "Just Deserts" polish from the Stoned Crystal Shimmer line, but this polish does have more pink to it.

My image comes from this beautiful MoYou London plate from the Africa collection. I love all the intricate line work on this plate!

Friday, March 17, 2017

St. Patrick's Day Nails ft. Bundle Monster Holiday

Hello Readers!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all who celebrate it! Today's post is, of course, inspired by the holiday over here in America and is also my fill for the #clairestelle8challenge on instagram.

I decided to break out my classic Bundle Monster holiday plates and use the St. Patrick's Day images on them for this mani. Although I have other plates that have shamrocks on them, I haven't actually used these plates yet and the images on them are pretty cute.

I used the Sinful Colors St. Patrick's Day color "Works Like a Charm" for my base on my pointer/pinky fingers, and decided to stamp over that with the Essie "Off Tropic" polish, because it is a deeply saturated green and all those dark polishes normally work great for stamping. Just be aware when using regular polish to stamp that it will normally show up a few shades lighter with stamping than with regular polishing. Actually, I often find the same to be true with actual stamping polishes, to a lesser extent.

The original Bundle Monster holiday collection, with the old school round plates, has two St. Patrick's Day plates, and I used both here. From the above plate, I only used the shamrock image on the right hand side. 

But on this plate, I made a decal with the coin image and use the top shamrock image. I just took advantage of the straight line at the top of the image and stamped it about 1/3 from the top of my nails.

Next, I used this MoYou London plate from the Frenchy collection to create the bands at the top of the pattern. I used the skinniest band at the very top to do this. I find that to place these bands correctly, you have to be very careful when lifting the stamper. I like to hold it to my nail for a few seconds to give it a chance to dry on my nail before lifting, and when I lift I do it very slowly, checking to make sure the band hasn't come up over the nail and folded over.

Finally, I finished off my pointer/pinky fingers with a little square stud, because we know any St. Patrick's Day look benefits from a little bit of Leprechaun treasure!

Will you be celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year?   Personally, I think the only festive part of my day will be my fingernails, but we did have a green pudding pie earlier this week in a kind of pi day/St. Patrick's day combo celebration. The kids have been making St. Patrick's Day crafts at the library and doing other small activities throughout the week. But I'm not really planning on doing anything elaborate this year.