Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year!!

Gung Hay Fat Choy!!

I haven't had a mani be a monkey's butt in a while but this is one that I almost threw my hands up in the air and said, oh well, it wasn't meant to be!  It's not exactly as I wanted but I thought I was share none the less because they can't all be good ones and my blog has always been about me keeping track of my mani's...the good, the bad and the ugly!

Started with a base of two coats of Duri Taming of the Shrew and top coated, and one coat of OPI Love. Music. Angel. Baby., no top coat.

I knew I wanted a specific horse image for Year of the Horse, but couldn't remember what plate it was on. After going through my plate stash for about 45 minutes, finally found it...of course, it was around the last 30 plates I had to check.  (It took me longer to find the plate than it did to do the removal, prep and paint my base for the stamping!).  But I eventually found it...only to have a terrible time stamping it.  Not the image plates fault, but my fault....after three attempts of stamping and two removals, I finally got it placed somewhat where I wanted on the middle finger.  Then placing the individual numbers for the year at the bottom under the not get me started.....

The image plates used were fauxnad m94 (horse on middle), Handy 57 (numbers on middle), Handy N6 (thumb) and BM-H15 (index, ring and pinky), stamped using black Konad special polish.   

I had a terrible time with the thumb image too; not the plates fault but mine.  The image is pretty large and it's a tight fit on my thumb nail and I had to removal and stamp three times before I got it right so that all the words fit.  I wasn't as light handed as I should have been so I rubbed away a little of the base on one of the removals.  Then, somewhere along the line, I nicked the ring finger, but I touched it up with polish and top coated, but that is why there is no view of the sand finish without topcoat.  I really wanted to add other images I had set aside to go along with this, but I was fed up at this point and just top coated and called it a day.  

All in all, considering the frustration I had, I suppose it didn't turn out half bad but it just wasn't what I had in mind nor the end result that I was wanting. The more I look at it too, I wish I had have jazzed it up a bit as I intended with symbol characters or dots or something because it needs something more to me.  But as I've said many times, it's just polish and a bit of remover and tomorrow is another nail day!  

Have a fantastic weekend....and the giveaway winner didn't respond within the 48 hours so I'll be sending out another email to an alternate winner soon!  

Thanks for looking! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Valentine's Day Mani

Quickly before I forget, a winner has been chosen for the CNF giveaway posted here!  The email has gone out and the winner has 48 hours to if you entered, please check your email!  Thanks! 

Is it too early for a Valentine's Day mani?  I hope not because I have quite a few to share already and with World Cancer Day, Groundhog Day, Olympics, Chinese New Year and the Super Bowl all happening between now and February 14th, I'll be doing well to get the ones I already have posted before February 14.....not to mention any new ones I put on my nails between now and then! So this is the first of a few that will be shown over the next few weeks!

Started with a base of two coats of Kiko Sugar Mat 452 on all fingers except accent which is WingDust Collections Muskoka Sunset, which I think accents the hot pink Kiko nicely with the hot pink glitter in it!  I have to thank a very generous nail friend overseas for this awesome Kiko polish which was received as part of a group Christmas Secret Santa exchange.

Closer look at Kiko Sugar Mat 452.  There is golden shimmer in there too but it wasn't that obvious until the polish was top coated but you can somewhat see the sparkle in the bottle.

Stamped with an assortment of plates using white Konad special polish; BM-317 (index), DRK-A (thumb and middle), and MJ (no number; one of the original MJ plates; pinky).

Topped with SV to finish (the golden shimmer in the Kiko is more obvious once top coated as you can see below).

While I was liking how this turned out, I thought the ring finger needed some stamping, so added an image from Chez Divers 001 on accent and topped with SV to finish....really this time!

Hope you are having a great week...and thanks for looking!

Monday, January 27, 2014

First Time Using Thermal Polish and Infinity Plates!

Yesterday's Adventures in Stamping Sunday challenge was doing a mani with three purples.  This is the mani I came up with using one of the newly arrived Infinity plates from Daschica Beauty and my first time trying out a thermal polish.  Here's what I came up with.....and fair warning that this post has lots of pictures as I tried to capture the various looks of the thermal polish!

Started with a base of two coats of Liquid Sky Fuchsia Illusion, no topcoat.

Different lighting.

The dark purple colour is the cold colour; I waited quite a while for my nails to change colour on their own but I must be very cold blooded (!) and I couldn't get them to change to the light pink for the warm.  (I'm guessing it's more so because the temperature in my house was very low at the time I did my nails as well as the fact that the acetone for cleanup removal is very cool ).  So I stuck my hands under my nail dryer and put it to warm and and was able to get them to change.

Different lighting.

I went to bed shortly after this because I wanted to get some better pix before stamping.  This pix was taken the next morning as I was still laying in bed.

My right hand, I had only did one coat of Liquid Sky Fuchsia Illusion on it and found a couple things...first of all, the warm colour was much lighter than the the other hand that I had applied two coats and it turned colour much faster and more often than the hand that had two coats on it.  I will keep this in mind next time and only do one coat the next time I use these thermal polishes.  I also think it would be better to wear them during slightly warmer weather when there's probably more chance for them to turn colour at the tips versus now in our cold weather alert weather.

After I showered, had coffee, etc. I set out to do some stamping on Sunday morning.  Stamped using Mundo de Unas stamping polish in Colour #14 using Infinity 07.

A closer look at Infinity 07**.

It was taking too long for my hands to warm up naturally, so I decided to move out of my nail station into the kitchen where I had access to warm and cold water to get some pix of the polish activated.  These pix are taken at my patio door on a fairly overcast day so the lighting is natural but not the best.  There may be some water droplets in the pix as I was trying to grab pix fast as they kept on wanting to change to the darker purple colour!

To make it theme appropriate by ensuring there are three purples, decided to add some light purple dots.  I used this set of Sally Hansen tools** that included a dotter and two brushes that had been sent for review.

Here's a look at the brushes and dotter.  I like the compact size of this set; would be perfect for travelling as they don't take up as much space!  The dotter had two sizes; I used the smaller for the dots on this mani. I've seen these nail art kits at Shoppers Drug Mart locally which is great for any nail enthusiast as you can pick up a set and have them now versus having to order on line and waiting for them to arrive in the mail!

Used Mundo de Unas #16 stamping polish for the light purple dots.

A few pix of the thermal in action.

Added more dots in Mundo de Unas #20.

Topped with SV to finish.

It was good to see that the polishes still changed thermally when topped with SV.

Loving how the holo shines through in this pix!

My final thoughts?  If you are going to buy thermal polish, make sure you love both the warm and cold I type and edit this post for a couple of hours, my nails have pretty much remained the dark purple (cold) view of the polish...I googled and found others nails remained mainly the light pink (warm) view of the polish.  I will try using this polish when the weather is a little warmer and hopefully, the gradient look will be more constant versus just the one shade. I will also try to get away with doing just the one coat too as it seemed to have more thermal action on the hand I only did the one coat on.  I love the theory behind the thermal nails, but it's so cold out (or due to my cold bloodedness!), just am not seeing a lot of thermal action without some manual water intervention. I do want to get more of these thermal polishes; however, I read on a FB thread that they only have a year of thermal activity in them.  I'm not sure how accurate this is and one would have to love the base colour if the thermal doesn't work....I'll have to try to remember to use this polish in a year's time too to see if it's still thermal!

Infinity plates are just new from Dashica Beauty.  There are a total of 50 new plates and you can see them here!  They are the same great quality as the previously released Dash and Sdp and XL Sdp plates by Dashica.  Dashica Beauty ships internationally and is offering free shipping on orders of 75 Euros until the end of January!

Liquid Sky polishes are sold via llarowe, Harlow & Co. and Mei Mei Signatures as well as the Liquid Sky Big Cartel shop!  I got my bottle at Mei Mei Signatures as it was either sold out or not offered at the other locations (and it's still in stock there!)!

Thanks for looking!

**products provided for review; please see disclosure policy for more information.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ugly Sweater Nails

How about some ugly sweater days on a cold January morn?  Brrr, it is cold here!  I think today is the coldest day we've had this year....even if not THE coldest, still cold!  Here's a mani I did in back in early December but haven't posted yet.

For my take on ugly sweater nails, I wanted to do something a little different than what I've seen out there in the blogesphere, so did skittles in bright holo's!  Polishes used starting at the thumb and going clockwise are Jade Uau!, Jade Mirage, Jade Vermelho Surreal, Jade Hypnose, and Smitten Sunny Side Up; all two coats, no topcoat. 

Different lighting.

Stamped using assortment of image plates; MoYou Festive Collection-06 (pinky, ring and middle), HD-F (index) and HD-E (thumb) using white Konad special polish.

Different lighting.

Here's a closer look at HD-E.

MoYou Festive Collection-06

Topped with SV to finish; unfortunately had reaction on a couple of the fingers turning the white stamping polish to pink, but it wasn't so noticeable in real life!

Thanks for looking....and try to stay warm if you are in the deep freeze like me!

P.S.  I haven't forgotten about announcing a winner for the giveaway; I'll try to do by the end of the week...thanks for your patience!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Digit-al Dozen Does Monochrome; Day 5

I'm a little behind in posting DD's Day 5 challenge because I decided to do an unplanned cross border trip to USA yesterday afternoon when it seemed like there was a break of good weather, so a day late in getting the post up. I hope this mani is challenge appropriate but my thought was that brown, gold and copper are in the same family making this theme appropriate!  If not, I apologize to the ladies in the group for breaking the rules, but this is what I'm going with for the Day 5 post.  (While I posted 5 monochrome mani's, I probably have another 5 that did that didn't get posted but may show up some day!) Anyway, here's what I came up with....I love it a lot which is very odd for me because brown is not one of my favourite colours!

Started with a base of one coat of Revlon Brilliant Radiance Dominate; no topcoat.

Added one fairly liberal coat of Shimmer Crystal; the pix below is without top coat. Shimmer Crystal** is loaded with an assortment of brown and copper glitters; I see a few other colours like teal too. I've used a few of these Shimmer Polishes now and what I'm loving about them is how easy they cover and their versatility!  You can layer them over a complimentary base (or a contrasting base too!) and use a thin coat for some glitter interest, or a fairly liberal coat like I have, yet the base polish shows through.  The glitter is also dense enough that with two coats, there is sufficient glitter coverage that no base coat is needed if you are wanting to do a glitter bomb.  Regardless how you wear them, you can't go wrong!

Added one coat of Nail Pattern Boldness Glitter Food, then topped with SV.

It's always a challenge coming up with an image to stamp on top of glitters; one that is interesting enough on the nails, but let's the beauty of the base polish and glitter shine through.  I ultimately decided upon using an image from Lily Anna 10, stamped with CND Gold Chrome.

Topped with SV to finish.

I took this pix outside shortly after finishing my this pix!

The next day, I decided to matte the mani, so added two layers of OPI Matte top coat.

This concludes monochrome week! As always, it was a challenge, but I think the ladies nailed it! Here's the other ladies fabulous Day 5 mani's!

Hope you are having a fantastic weekend....thanks for looking!

**item received for review; please see disclosure policy for more information