Monday, March 31, 2014

Review and swatches of Dance Legend Boo

This is one gorgeous polish! Multichrome amazing! Reminds me of fall and sunset, two of my favorite things. I'm always looking for nails that remind me of sunset, it's one of my favorite nail colors!

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This polish went on in three thin coats and applied and wore like a dream! Multichromes look best in cloudy weather.

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Under direct light indoors it looks more like a pink chrome, as it looks like above.

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In softer light, above, the multichome comes out to play.

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And in the cloudy weather, outdoors, the polish looks absolutely amazing!

Application: The photos above are three coats with a top coat of HK Girl Glisten and Glow (which I find does not dry super fast and does not work well with my nails). The polish lasted a fair while, and I found myself not wanting to take it off. In the future I'd like to stamp some tree silhouette of a tree or something, to bring out the sunset color.

Where to purchase: Dance Legend polishes hail from Russia, so they can definitely be tricky to get a hold of. You can order directly off their website, but then you are at the mercy of the Russian mail carriers, and they can take forever from what I've heard. You can take your chance at a Llarowe restock, but those are cut throat my friend, and all about timing. Fortunately, if you love this polish it is in stock now at Color4Nails! Go my friend, grab this polish while you can and you'll get it sooner than you would if you ordered via Russia! And that link shows all the Chameleon collection colors which feature all their multichrome collection, there is something in there for everyone!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

a-england Ascalon review, swatches and stamping

a-england, one of my favorite brands, has some amazing polishes with scattered holo finishes. This week I decided to try on a-england Ascalon, which has that amazing subtle holo and has a bit of a duochrome feature.

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I hope you'll bear with me, I had to get a lot of shots of this amazing polish. I figure when I stare at my nails a lot, it means I need to show you all what I find special in the polish.

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The polish is a dark grey with scattered holo and a beautiful pinky-purple color shift poking its head out at various times!

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In the sun the holo finish likes to sparkle and say hello, above, and when in indirect light the pinky-purple comes out to enhance the polish!

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I also wanted to stamp this manicure, but I was at a loss as to what color to put on top. This isn't my best stamping job, but wanted to add something to it anyway. I have to say I was a bit distracted when I did this because my packages which were stuck in USPS purgatory for weeks finally showed up unexpectedly!

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To stamp this I used Zoya Keiko, after trying some lighter lilac colors didn't really show up well. I used Bundle Monster plate BM406. It's not the greatest combination, but it works.

Application: I find that all a-england polishes are almost one-coaters, and probably could be, if I wasn't such a perfectionist. I used two thin coats for this application and tested out HK Girl Fast Drying and Super Shiny Top Coat for the first time. More on that top coat in a later post when I get to use it more!

Where to purchase: Most a-england polishes retail for about $10 and you can order them on Llarowe or Color4Nails, I have purchased them from both sites. I think Llarowe has a lot of their amazing colors in stock right now. a-england is a polish maker from the UK, so Llarowe and Color4Nails is one of a few US retailers of their polish.

Coming up: My polishes which took the scenic route (i.e. they went from Northern to Southern California three times over) made a surprise appearance in my mail box yesterday! I was so excited to see them! Below is a preview of the pretties, I'm sure I'll be wearing these soon (and I may even be wearing one now, check out my Instagram for the preview!) I'm only missing one more package and I think that one is on its way to me now!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review of Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Rainy Day Nails!

It's finally time for the Bay Area to get some much needed rain and I was having a bad case of the Mondays yesterday so I thought rainy nails matched my grumpy mood and the expected inclement weather this week!

I started out by putting on two coats of Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

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This was a very difficult polish to photograph because I can't quite show you the great micro sparkle this polish has. It's subtle, but it's there. Supposedly this is somewhat of a dupe of Essie's Starry Starry Night, but I've never seen that polish in real life. Apparently Starry Starry Night is so sought after it goes on Ebay for like $125 a bottle, which is a little ridiculous.

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Above is my manicure out in the sun, I think it shows the sparkle a little better. I also uploaded a quick 8-second video of the sparkle to my Instagram account if you want to check that out (haven't quite figured out how to upload videos to my blog yet). Also, if you aren't following me yet on Instagram, you should! I sometimes post extra photos there!

I love Instagram, especially when I'm feeling lazy about blogging, like I was this week a bit.

Anyway, I get home yesterday, and all I wanted to do was have a glass of wine or a margarita and just let the stress of the day float away. However I had a school board meeting to attend for work, so I had time to do a quick stamping job, shove some food in my mouth before having to leave to go be a reporter.

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I used Winstonia plate W113 for the clouds and I stamped with Zoya Blu. It probably would have looked better with some rain drops, but I was pressed for time and not sure I had a stamp plate with rain drops.

Application: Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was a two coater, but finished a little bumpy (not textured, just glitter bumps), some fingers required two layers of top coat for a smoother finish. I'm a little sad its so hard to photograph the sparkle, because I really enjoy it. It's not really a spring color though, so I think I need to shift my next mani to something more happy.

Where to buy: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is available on at Llarowe's site for $12. It's currently out of stock, but she restocks her line at least once a month. So sign up for her restock information and get tempted!

Speaking of Llarowe, I have a few packages from her that somehow got the wrong zip code put on them and now I have three packages that are in US Post Office purgatory. Because they have the zip code of my old address in Irvine, but the rest of the address is my actual address in Sunnyvale, I have had the packages bounce back and forth between San Francisco and Anaheim sorting facilities three times over! I was supposed to receive these packages more than a week ago. They are currently all in Southern California at the moment. But every time they make it to the San Francisco facility they get shipped back to Southern California, never making it to Sunnyvale. Ugh, frustrated to say the least. I've been working with someone in the Anaheim facility hoping to get them relabeled, but somehow (I'm guessing original bar codes) still have them bouncing back and fourth. I'm really hoping to get the polishes though, three of them are Dance Legend polishes and by the time I finally get my hands on them I might as well of just ordered from the Russian site and waited it out.

Just to note: Leah Ann from Llarowe has been great and has offered to reship, but is most likely out of the polishes I ordered. We'll see what happens eventually, but I'm still waiting it out and am at the mercy of the Post Office.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Giveaway opportunity

So as I've been getting into this whole blogging adventure, I've been making connections through various nail polish Facebook groups, etc.

That is how I became connected with Shanna at Let's Get Polished Away. She was asking bloggers if they wanted to be a part of her giveaway (which requires people follow certain people for entries, etc.). Wanting to reach more nail polish junkies such as myself, I jumped at the chance.

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Through her collaboration with other bloggers, she has prizes for four different people including a nail art/polish package from Shanna, a nail polish package from Midnight Manicures, and indie polish package and a nail polish package from Shelly's Sassy Nails.

So I know I don't have many readers, but if you want a chance to win some free polish from these ladies, have at it! Rafflecopter information entry form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy First Day of Spring Nails!

Happy Spring everyone! Also Happy International Day of Happiness! I've had a strange morning, but the sun, the warmth, my nails,  happy people and friendly storefronts have brought me out of my funk!

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These are my Happy Spring nails I worked on last night and the light periwinkle blue with the combo of the bright neon peach shade, a combo made in heaven!

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To begin I started with two coats of Essie Bikini So Teeny! And since I saw someone on Instagram or one of the various Facebook nail groups I frequent posted this with a layer or Colors by Llarowe Leather and Lace (her holo top coat). The result was stunning!

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Then, since I recently purchased some beautiful neons in preparation of warmer days ahead, I decided to put my China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy to good use and decided to stamp with it over this soft periwinkle manicure. I used Bundle Monster BM204 for the stamping image. It isn't real clear, but I thought it looked somewhat plant-like or floral, and since that reminds me of spring, I went with it.

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The color pops and is a bright wow in your face, especially in the shade, as shown above. I absolutely love this manicure and I want to wear it for multiple days, which is really saying something!

Application: Ok I'll get this out first since it's been said all over the web before, Essie's Bikini So Teeny's formula is the pits. It is watery mess that wants to flood the cuticles. Bleh. But the color payoff is so amazing, I can't help but continue to use it. If you've found a dupe out there with a better formula, by all means use it! I'll continue to use my Bikini So Teeny because it's all I have. I'll deal with it's terribleness, because I just love that it is the perfect periwinkle blue!

As for Colors by Llarowe Leather and Lace, it was a surprisingly thick polish. Trying to get one thin coat proved a challenge, but I think the end result was amazing and I have no complaints. I still need to swatch this polish over an array of colors. I think a lot of gray might show up in the darker color swatches, but the holo presentation is amazing. More on that at a later post!

China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy is a bright neon coral and I absolutely love it. Yesterday was my first time using it and I can't wait to throw it on my toes, it is such a great color. And it stamps, which is incredible! Worked well for stamping!

Where to purchase: I purchased Colors by Llarowe Leather and Lace on the Llarowe website for $12. It is currently out of stock, but she restocks her collection pretty regularly. Sign up for her restock announcements via email. Or don't, and save yourself the temptation! Bundle Monster plates are available on their website and retail for about $2 a plate. I think I'll conclude saying where to get China Glaze and Essie (and OPIs for the future), since they are available all over the web and at various beauty supply shops.

What nail polish colors shout spring to you? Have you found a dupe for Essie's Bikini so Teeny with a better formula?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Coral nail polish comparison swatches

Coral is definitely one of my favorite colors to polish my nails. It's a bright warm color that looks good on many skin tones and always reminds me of warm weather and sunsets. So before doing my most recent manicure, I decided to pull several colors from my collection and put them to the side by side test.

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My most recent purchase was OPI Live.Love.Carnival from the OPI Brazil Collection and I wanted to see if I had any dupes in my collection. Turns out, I don't! The closest OPI Live.Love.Carnival comes to a dupe is with Essie Sunday Funday, but they have different finishes. Sunday Funday has some ultra fine silver glass-fleck shimmer in it.

Essie Come Here, which I have as a mini bottle, is a brighter deeper coral than Live.Love.Carnival and Zoya Heidi has is more of an orange leaning coral. I think Come Here and Heidi are brighter than Live.Love.Carnival, but all the corals look good to me!

Since I had all my corals out, there were two more shades I had always wanted a side by side comparison of because they look very similar in the bottle.

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OPI Red Lights Ahead Where, from the Holland Collection has to be one of my absolute favorite nail polish colors of all time. It is a bright coral leaning take on a great red nail polish. Essie's Hip Anema, which I admit I had in my untrieds still, looked so similar. But when you compare them side by side, it is clear that Red Lights is more red and coral leaning, while I feel Hip Anema is more of an orange red and is definitely a darker color. Red Lights feels more bright.

So which coral is your favorite? I really like Essie's Come Here, but the formula in my mini bottle left something to be desired, maybe it needs some polish thinner. I like the oranger leaning coral of Zoya Heidi too, but it was not bright enough. Knowing me, I will be buying colors like this forever! Do you have any perfect corals you can recommend I check out?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Swatch and Review of Love, Angeline Deep Magic and OPI Live.Love.Carnival

Today I have a two polish review for you guys, some awesome aqua blue holographic sparkle and OPI's pinky-coral polish from their Brazil collection.

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I'll start off with the Love, Angeline Deep Magic. This is a blue holographic topper and it was fairly easy to work with. I like how unique this blue holo is. I have Deborah Lippmann's Va Va Voom and it is more of a navy blue holo topper. I also have KBShimmer's I Got a Crush on Blue polish, and that is more of a cerulean blue in a blue jelly polish. Deep Magic is more aqua in color and reminds me of my birthstone, the aquamarine. In addition to the holo pieces of various hexagon sizes, there are also some iridescent pieces in there that might make more of a splash over a darker color.  I am loving it!

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OPI Live.Love.Carnival is hard to capture on camera, it is coral, but a more pink toned coral. I'll have more comparisons of it for a later post. I like the combination of blue and coral, my nails feel bright and match the sunny weather we've been having in Northern California as of late! The above photo is under my kitchen lights, below in full sunshine!

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Application: Love, Angeline's Deep Magic was applied using the dabbing method to ensure an even application of the sparkles. The sparkle pieces are suspended in quite a bit of clear polish, so that made application a little tricky, but the payoff is definitely worth it! OPI Live.Love.Carnival applied like a dream. I used two coats of Essie Good to Go top coat to smooth out my dabs of sparkles!

Where to purchase: Love, Angeline polishes can be purchased on her website. You can order her polishes in full size for $8 or mini for $4.25, which is convenient if you just want to try out her polishes. She also sells these cool nail vinyls, I might check out in the future! OPI can be purchased all over internet and at various beauty supply stores and retails for $9. 

Looking ahead: Before completing this manicure I did some comparisons of my coral collection and will have those comp swathes on the blog soon!

Have you tried Love, Angeline polishes? What did you think?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Finally St. Patrick's Day Nails

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Green is my favorite color and I have Irish ancsestry on both my mother and father's side heralding from County Cork and County Armagh! Needless to say, I never need an excuse to wear green!

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 I hemmed and hawed over what to wear for St. Patrick's Day. I had so many great and festive stamps I could have put to good use, but after the weekend I had (I was stranded overnight in Santa Cruz Saturday night and had very little sleep) I decided to keep it pretty simple for the most part.

The sparkle wow portion of the manicure (the index, middle and pinky finger) is KBShimmer Get Clover It. This is a mix of shades of green and gold circle glitter suspended in a green jelly polish. The shades of deep green and gold make this the perfect St. Patrick's Day nail polish!

Because I am getting into stamping, I couldn't simply just wear glitter, so for an accent I used a base of Zoya Holly, which is a really beautiful bright green shimmer polish. I stamped two different size clovers from Winstonia plate W105 with Essie Penny Talk. To add a bit more gold glitter to the whole accent, I did one coat of Essie Gold as it Gets.

Application: KBShimmer Get Clover It is a tricky devil because you want to make sure you get even dispersal of those great circle glitter. There was some dabbing involved to perfect glitter placement, so I'd say this is about three coats. Zoya Holly applies like a dream and could almost be a one coater, I used two just to be safe. Essie Penny Talk is the greatest stamping polish, WOW. I haven't tried it to stamp before, and it made the whole process so much easier than it has been! Maybe the fact that I was just doing a single image at a time, but Penny Talk transferred so well! Essie as Gold as it Gets was just a last minute add, and I'm not sure I'm super thrilled with it in this manicure, but I guess it adds something special.

Where to purchase: KBShimmer sells Get Clover It for $8.75. I purchased Zoya Holly from their website and their polishes retail for $9. Essie polishes, including Penny Talk and As Gold As It Gets are available as many retail locations such as Walgreens, Kohl's, Ulta and all over the internet. They retail for $8-9.

Looking ahead: With no holiday hanging over my head, I have a slew of ideas for upcoming posts including comparison swatches, new stamping plates, going to finally try an ombré with a makeup sponge, spring colors and so much more. Anything you want to see? Connect with me via email, Facebook or anyone of my various social media connections!

What are you sporting on your nails today?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Stamping Success

If at first you don't succeed, try try again. And so that is what I did, last night with different stamping polish and it worked much better!

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Using Bundle Monster plate 406, celtic heart knots, and some Wet n' Wild Fast Dry Ebony Hates Chris I was able to successfully stamp. Well it isn't exactly perfect, but it still looks pretty good to me.

On a personal note, I've had a sorta off last 24-hour hours. Taking criticism too seriously, being too sensitive and I just need to get over it. And also, those who shoot the messenger are weak and can't see their own short comings. And in the words of Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that."

Looking ahead: No more promises, my next manicure WILL be a St. Patrick's Day manicure. Haven't decided if I'll try stamping or just go with colors or sparkles or what. But I will have green and gold on my nails come Monday, don't you fret!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Swatches and Review of Colors By Llarowe Lucy, I'm Home

I think the search for the perfect coral holo can finally come to an end for me. Every time I thought I had found something, it was a little too red, or a little too light pink. With the release of Colors By Llarowe's Lucy, I'm Home, I have finally found it.

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A stunner in the sun, I can't believe how vibrant this linear holo finish is. It's so bright and perfect for the warmer weather we've been having this week.

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Inside it looks like a bright pink. This color is a little more on the pink holo side (I really like it when there is a bit more orange) but it is so bright and flashy, that I definitely can't complain.

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Overall, I am extremely pleased with this polish. I put it on last night after attempting to nail stamp again (a somewhat St. Patty's Day theme) and failed miserably after trying many many times. My fail is below. I think it may have been the old old Konad stamping polish I was using, might retry this soon over my current mani, using a different black to stamp with.

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And one final shot of Lucy, I'm Home in all it's gorgeous beauty!

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Application: The formula on this was a dream and was almost a one-coater. A lot came out on the brush, so making sure you control that is important to make sure your cuticles don't get flooded. All these shots are two coats with Essie On the Go top coat.

Where to purchase: Llarowe is an amazing indie polish retail and supplies all sorts of amazing polish from around the world. Colors by Llarowe are from her personal brand and while I think Lucy, I'm Home is currently out of stock, she restocks her line pretty regularly. I purchased Lucy I'm Home for $12. She has some other vibrant linear holos in her collection that are just as beautiful, so check them out!

Looking ahead: I know I promised St. Patrick's Day nails, but my stamping nail fail has me a bit discouraged I can get something cute done. If not, I have a back up in a beautiful KBShimmer polish which I will definitely wear, so I'll definitely have something festive. For now though, I'm loving the color I have on!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Swatches and Review of ILNP Cygnus Loop Holo

I had a quick 20 minutes to do my nails before leaving for the San Jose Sharks game yesterday, so I slapped on two quick coats of ILNP Cygnus Loop Holo I recently got with my first ILNP (I Love Nail Polish Brand) purchase. The results were stunning.

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Cygnus Loop Holo is a multichrome polish with linear holo shimmer throughout. It looks different in any light. Sometimes the holo shines, other times it's the multichrome shift!

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Above in direct sunlight, below in my car in the shade.

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And indoors:

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And outdoors again, in indirect sunlight:

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Application: I did two thin coats, but a third would probably make the multichrome/holo effects shine more, I just did not have time during its application. The polish itself was similar to their other multichrome I've tried Siréne, patchy on the first coat but hits full opacity in the second. Normally I would just add a third for good measure. I can't stop looking at these nails, from the duochrome to the holo effects, they are beautiful in any setting. The most dominant color is the darker purple, with the pink and gold shifts more visible in shadier settings.

Where to purchase: You can purchase ILNP polishes at their website. I purchased Cygnus Loop Holo for $12.50. I have been wowed by all the ILNP I have purchased so far, I have one more to try!

Looking ahead: I know I promised St. Patrick's Day nails, but I haven't had a moment yet. Will hopefully be getting to that tomorrow after work!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Life gets in the way = naked nails

So I've just spent four days out of town in the Seattle area celebrating the lives of my grandparents. I showed you those nails in my last post. While at my aunt's, after the memorial service Saturday, I did my nails in a green sparkle jelly – KBShimmer Green Hex and Glam.

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Application: This polish is on the thick side, with a jelly consistency. I had no trouble getting glitter of all sizes on the brush, but you might have to dab a little if you want placement in a particular part of your nail. This photo is two coats over a cheap Big Lots base coat. Strangely enough, that cheap base coat worked pretty similarly to my Nail Pattern Boldness Glitter A Peel base coat – because this polish peeled off yesterday while I was killing time at the airport.

Where to purchase: This is not my only KBShimmer and if you like jelly glitter bomb polishes, they are a great go-to (I absolutely love every polish I have gotten from them). They are an indie polish maker and are on the more affordable side, with polishes that average at about $8.75 a bottle. Their spring collection, which I mentioned in my last post, launches on Friday. If you a planning a good haul, that will be a spectacular day for it. I'm on a low-buy, so I'm trying to resist. You can find their polishes at

So due to travel and a busy life, I now have naked nails. I've been wearing them for almost 24 hours now and I can't work on my nails tonight because I am off to a San Jose Sharks game. This is the first time in more than two years I think that I have sported naked nails for more than a day.

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I had all these grand plans to be doing St. Patrick's Day nails for the next several days. I think I'll be lucky if I get two manis in before next Monday. One will definitely feature another KBShimmer, as it was designed specifically for St. Patty's Day!

Nail Mail: While I was out of town I got a slew of nail mail! I received a sampling of Bundle Monster plates to build out my nail stamping options (I promise you'll see more of that soon) and I received a Llarowe order of Colors By Llarowe Lucy, I'm Home (hopefully this will end my search for the perfect coral holo), AEngland Princess Sabra (a gentle gold scattered holo) and Colors by Llarowe Leather and Lace (a holo top coat).

Thank you for bearing with me and I'm sorry for my absence for a few days. I was honoring my grandparents and visiting with family. It was an emotional couple of days, but it was so amazing to see my grandparents changed so many people's lives – I had no idea the impact of their work.

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

In memory of nails

This weekend I am headed to Seattle to celebrate my grandparents lives at a joint memorial service. I'm quite looking forward to seeing my mom's side of the family and learning even more about the wonderful people my grandparents were.

I wanted to pay tribute in some way via my nails. So here is what I did:

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I painted a coat of Butter London All Hail the Queen and stamped Zoya Belinda with a rose image from Winstonia 104 plate (the Earth Day plate).

The purple rose is in honor of my Grammy, as she loved purple and I always remember her liking African Violets. My Granddad and Grammy were really big in Navigators, a Christian ministry group, and I can't wait to hear about all the lives they touched this weekend.

Here is the mani in the sunlight this morning.

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Application: Butter London All Hail the Queen is a great nude holo that is understated and appropriate for many occasions, but also has that tiny rainbow bling that I love. This is two coats. Zoya Belinda is a little watery, but for stamping the color is so vibrant it ended up working rather well. I started out trying to stamp with AEngland Lady of the Lake, but it just wasn't popping enough. I think the final result works well.

Where to purchase: Butter London's are available on their website and retail for $15, but you can also find their polishes at various other retailers and beauty outlets such as Ulta and they are often on sale. Zoya's retail for $9 and are available on their website as well.

Looking ahead: It's time for St. Patty's Day manicures, from here until the 17th, that is what I will be working on. This weekend while I'm away in Seattle that might be a little difficult, but I'll bring something green and blingy and work on my nails if I have a moment.

I'm really going to try and quit buying new colors and just try to shop my own collection and play with stamps in the upcoming month or two. I have so many untrieds and new plates coming my way I can't wait to play and just appreciate the colors I have.

I also want to do a couple of comparison posts - I have quite the coral and teal collection, I thought it might be helpful to see some of those colors side by side in some quick and dirty comparison posts, because those are my favorite type of posts to read on other blogs.

KBShimmer, an indie retailer I love, announced their spring collection yesterday, read all about it on one of my favorite blogs The Mercurial Magpie. She's also had some killer nail art lately, you should check her out! I like some of the spring collection, particularly Belle of the Mall (coral sparkle) and Make my Gray (coral and aqua combo) but have convinced myself I don't need them now. Those new polishes go on sale March 14 at KBShimmer's website. You'll be hearing more of my KBShimmers coming in the next few days, as they are perfect for St. Patrick's Day.

That's all for now, thanks for reading. Let me know what you are interested in seeing and I'll see what I can do!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

My misadventures in stamping my birthday mani

Oh my goodness you guys, stamping is really rough. I know the more I do it the better I will be for it, but man is it trying in the meantime. First I show you the final result:

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But man was it a chore getting there. First I set up my station, all clean and organized. Not realizing how long and just how messy this project would be.

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I had plans for a teal skittle manicure featuring (from thumb to pinkie) OPI AmazON AmazOFF, China Glaze Atlantis, AEngland St. George, jelly sandwich stamp featuring Zoya Frida and finally Zoya Giovanna.

First I messed up twice on my jelly stamp on my ring finger – TWICE. It wasn't necessarily the stamping that messed up, but working with wet nails and stamping and all these different colors.

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Unfortunately I was wearing OPI AmazON AmazOFF as undies for the jelly sandwich and I found out, boy does this puppy stain. Ugh. So to mess this nail up twice, it was stain city! I don't think it is too bad though. Maybe some time in the scrubby tub would remove it completely.

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And the sad time I messed up the nail for a second time. :(

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In addition to messing up, I could not for the life of me get the Happy Birthday stamp on my thumb to work. It would not transfer to save my life. That was what made such a mess and probably attributed to my mess ups.

After an hour (I know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results) I realized the problem was the terrible scrapers I was using – they were the ones that came with my Winstonia stamper (the stamper is amazing by the way!). Word of advice, if you buy this stamper throw away the scrapers immediately and just use an old credit card. I will save you so much time and stress.

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The culprits above, and the mess below.

One more tip also, cleaning the Winstonia scraper is also easily done with a piece of painters tape. Takes away cleaning mess with acetone and works like a charm.

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I was very happy when it was all done, still not as perfect as I wanted it, but good enough for my birthday I suppose!

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So for the review part:

Application: Stamping works well once you get your groove and discover what works and doesn't work for you. My advice, watch a lot of YouTube tutorials and see how other people make it work. That is how you learn some tricks (like the tape clean up). All the polishes were smooth with application. China Glaze Atlantis, which was a wonderful Random Act of Kindness gift I received from an Instagram friend, took three coats for that opacity as it is sparkles in a jelly base. It also required two top coats for a smother finish. OPI AmazON AmazOFF will stain, so be aware, but the color is took good for that to be a deterrent for me. It is a crelly consistency, took two coats for full opacity. AEngland St. George was almost a one coater and is just an amazing polish, one of my favorites. Zoya Frida is the jelly I layered over my cupcake stamp and I used two coats. Zoya Giovanna is also almost a one coater.

Where to buy: You can buy OPI and China Glaze at most beauty supplies and online retailers. Zoya is available at their website. These polishes retail from $7-9. The Winstonia stamper is available on Amazon for about $6, please throw away those scrapers though!

Looking ahead: I'm thinking of trying to do a manicure in honor of my grandparents as we are celebrating their lives at a joint memorial in Seattle this weekend. Or I might just take it easy and give myself a tiny break on the art side of things.

What do you think? Which finger did you like best? What shade/finish of teal is your favorite?