Monday, April 21, 2014

Jelly Butterfly

It is nice to be back after taking the weekend off.  My mother-in-law came into town this weekend.  My mother usually hosts Easter, but since they are out of town, we celebrated at our house with my sister, sister-in-law and their families.  Not too huge a gathering, just enough to keep the conversation hopping....when we weren't stuffing our face :)

Today's prompt for The Never Ending Pile challenge is drugstore.  When I think of drugstore polish, Sally Hansen immediately comes to mind.  I have a decent amout in my stash...maybe 25-30?  I don't count my polishes because I am in denial about my obsession.  Most of them are Insta-Dris used to stamp with, but recently Sally has come out with some interesting finishes and glitters.  Unfortunately, with my indie love, they tend to be neglected.  Not today!  Just a little side note....most of the pics today will be with flash, since the stamping was not showing up without it.

I started with three thick coats of Sally Hansen Indi-Glow.  This is a beautiful cobalt jelly filled with small irridecent glitters that flash every color in the rainbow.  I discovered I have a love/hate relationship with this polish as a base.  It is undoubtedly beautiful, but for someone who does not like VNL, the formula is a PITA.  It applies easily, but even with Seche Vite, which usually makes polish dry and undentable in 5-15 minutes, my polish was still unset after a full 45 min.  Due to the slow drying, you can see that I had a huge amount of shrinkage, both at my cuticles and tips.  That is okay with me.  I figure I will probably never use this as a base again, but it will get a lot of use in lead lighting stamped manis.

Because of the squishiness of the polish, I waited a to stamp until the next day.  I used BM-424 and Finger Paints Black Expressionism to create iridescent butterfly wings.

The problem with this was that the black was not very distinct against the blue, which is why you get so many flash pics.  One of those "good in theory" manis.

After wearing this for another day, I added some black to the tips to cover the shrinkage and some matte top coat.  I really need to invest in a good matte top coat as I am not wild about the results I am getting from my cheapy NYC.  Matting it took away from the squishy jelly, and I wasn't really wild about it.  

So there you have it....not my favorite mani from the challenge, but not a fail.  Like I said, this is definitely staying in my stash for lead lighting, especially since my only other dark blue cobalt jelly is not quite jelly enough for my liking :)  Thanks for visiting and commenting!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Chirality Kale Swatches and Comparisons

Another Never Ending Pile post, this time indie.  Choosing this was probably the hardest so far.  Why?  I love me some indies!  So I decided to do something a little different.  Art, swatching and a comparison.

Here is the art.  Part of the reason I am doing more than just the art, is because the art ins a bit lack luster.

Artificial Light
With Flash

This started with the gorgeous Chirality Kale.  The moment I saw this swatched over a year ago, I knew I wanted it.  It took awhile to add it too my stash, and then it languished.  In the meantime, I added more green holos....because I am a green holo ho.  I even have worn several of them.  Why oh why did I wait to wear this?

Artificial Light

The thing that makes this different from all my other green holos....maybe even ALL my that it is not a silver holo.  No, this one is gold.  Even in the shade, it has a warm tone to it and still shows the bend.  If the polish fairies (or demons in this case) said I was cursed to only have one linear holo in my in my stash and any others would turn to dust as soon as it reached my hands, this would be the one I would keep.  Can you tell I have been doing a Supernatural marathon with Bria this week?  Thank God there are no polish fairies/demons and I don't have to chose, but the point is that my love for Kale is STRONG.  I haven't done a holo gif in awhile.  This is the perfect polish to remedy that with.


Although these were taken in full sunlight, my camera just could not appropriately capture the gorgeousness of this.  Believe me, although it is not a tight linear bend, it is a strong one!

So now that you have seen the beauty that is Kale, let's compare it to my other dark green holos (yes, I have just as many light green holos and will do a comparison on those soon, hopefully).

Top is with flash, bottom in artificial light.  Here's what is what, left to right with the number of coats:.
  • Index - I Love Nail Polish (INLP) A Fresh Evergreen (AFE) - 2 coats
  • Middle - LynBDesigns The Credible Hulk(TCH) - 4 coats
  • Ring - Pahlish Olea Europaea (OE) - 3 coats
  • Pinkie - Chirality Kale (Kale) - 2 coats

Let's break this down:

Opaqueness - The most opaque are A Fresh Evergreen (AFE) and Kale.  You could not get away with one coat of AFE as the first coat is streaky, but you could get away with one coat of Kale.  The Credible Hulk (TCH) is the least opaque as it has more of a jellie base and I would recommend undies for this one.  It is totally worth it though.  If you want to see it fully opaque, check the nail art HERE, where I used thicker coats over a milky base coat.  Olea Europaea (OE) is moderately opaque.

Holo details - Don't know that I need to go into this too much as it is pretty obvious.  They are all linear, with OE having the strongest bend.  OE bends olive green to blue to gold.  Kale is the second strongest with a bend olive green to gold to blue.  The other two have weaker blue bends.  The strong blue bend in OE tends to obscure the olive a bit, making it appear more of a gray green, where as the warm olive color shows much better in Kale.  In indirect lighting, the bend is almost unnoticeable on both AFE and TCH, whereas it can still be seen in Kale and OE.

Ease of application -   Kale was the easiest to apply with the best formula.  No streakiness on the first coat and no cuticle flooding.  AFE had the second easiest.  It was streaky on the first coat, but no cuticle flooding.  OE was thinner and therefore had some cuticle flooding.  TCH had the worst formula, mostly because it is so thin.  It was very patchy until the third coat and should be allowed to mostly dry between coats or you get dragging.

Change of holo with top coat - There was no dulling with topcoat for TCH and OE.  There was slight dulling for Kale and significant dulling with AFE.  AFE is shinny enough on its own to not need top coat.  Kale also would not need top coat, although it is not as shinny as AFE.  OE you can use either with or without top coat.  TCH is also shiny (as you would expect with a jellie), but because there is no dulling with top coat, you might as well use it for an increase in staying power.

Wear - Having worn all of these two or more days with different manis, here is my observations.  All of these are with top coat.  AFE had significant tip wear after 3 days, but no chipping.  TCH also had tip wear, but not as much as AFE.  OE had tip wear and chipping after 4 days.  Kale had little tip wear after 3 days and no chipping.

There you have it.  There are definitely no dupes here!  I have been doing a lot of comparisons recently with the goal to reduce my stash.  After this comparison, I have no desire to purge any of these green holos, they are all so different!  If you aren't a green ho, like me, I would suggest Kale and A Fresh Evergreen are must haves for a warm and cool green holo.

Oh, and maybe I should tell you about the art.  I stamped with SH225 (a snake skin pattern) and Ozotic 910 Scatter.  The gold looked good until I added top coat and then it kind of faded into the green so that you could BARELY see it.  I usually like subtle stamping, but this is just TOO subtle :)

What are your thoughts?  Do you like this kind of comparison?  Did I go into too much detail?  Or not enough?  Let me know if you would like to see more comparison posts in the future!

Flocking Good Nail Art

The inspiration for this weeks Llama Nails technique challenge is flocking.  I only have one color of flocking powder, black, and have only used it once (just a few dots vertically on my tips) so I was looking forward to this.  Here is what I came up with.

I draw inspiration for manicures from everywhere.  Fashion is one of my favorites and I have even been known ask coworkers if I could snap a pic of their shirt/skirt/outfit.  The other day, however, I found a gold mine of inspiration.  I stopped by Bed Bath and Beyond to see if they had nail polish in their beauty section, as I have heard that those do exist.  Unfortunately, this is not true at my local BB&B.  Since I was there and had a little time to kill, I figured I would look around.  Did you know that there are some GREAT pattern inspirations to be found in bedding, curtains and pillows?  Yep, snapped a bunch of pics, and this mani was inspired by this pillow.

Yup, think I nailed it!  This was actually very easy, but a little time consuming and VERY messy.

I started with a base of two coats Cult Nails Tempest.  Next I stamped with moYou London Pro 14 and Finger Paints Black Expressionism.  I could have free handed the flowers, but I am not very good at randomness and was afraid that my flowers would end up lined up all neatly (tee hee).  The nice thing about this image is that it is outlined flowers, so you can fill them each individually with whatever color you want.  I, of course, wanted them all black.

Next, one by one, I filled the flowers, using various sizes of dotting tools, with more Black Expressionism and sprinkled with the flocking powder.  I found the way to do this, with the least amount of mess, is work across the nails, one flower at a time.  I started with the largest flower, dot, pile the flocking powder only on that one flower, then move on to the next tip and do the same.  Once I had the large flowers on each tip done, I would go back and pat down the flocking powder gently, just to secure it a little, then tap my nails against a piece of paper to collect the extra powder and pour it back into the jar.  I don't press down right after applying the flocking powder, because the polish is still wet and has a tendency to "squish" out of the shape you dotted it in.  Letting it set while you do the other fingers allows it to set a bit and hold its shape better.  Then I worked across the nails with the next smallest flower, etc. until I had all of them done.  I found this made clean up soooo much easier than having to cover your whole nail in flocking powder.  However, I still had had little bits of powder all over my nail/fingers.  When everything was dry, I washed my hands and then gave them a little dry with a blow dryer to fluff them back up.  Finally I dotted the centers with China Glaze Loves A Beach.  Some of them I had to dot a couple of times because the polish just soaked into the flocking, leaving black showing

It might sound difficult, but it was really easy and I totally LOVE the end result (as indicated by my mood stone).

I don't know why I am crushin' on this so hard.  This has to be my favorite mani since my moonrise mani.  Makes me want to get flocking powder in every color of the rainbow!  Just one more pic.

Tell me what you think?  Fuzzy nails for you?  Would you spend the extra time and clean up for this result?  Want the pillow for your bed now?  As always, thanks for looking and commenting!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Abstract Daisy Nail Art

I seem to have fallen a bit behind in my challenges.  With six of them, it doesn't surprise me and I am not going to worry about it.  This means skipping  Golden Oldie Thursday.  Didn't like that mani much anyways (tee hee).  Instead you are seeing The never ending Pile prompt, jelly.

I am, once again, a bit ambiguous about this mani.  Seems I need to purchase or franken some.  Before discovering the lead lighting technique (using jellies OVER stamping), I hated jellies and avoided them like the plague.  Why?  I have messy visible nail lines and don't like them showing.  This is my version of a abstract painting of a field of daisies.

It is the blue I am not happy with here.  Too dark, not jelly enough.

I started with two coats of NOPI Yoga then Yogurt (my new favorite off white).

I stamped with MoYou UK 82.....

then filled the lines with the tiniest dotting tool I have and the following colors:
  • LynBDesigns Sacre Blurple
  • Ellagee Cadmium Glass(yellow)
  • Ellagee Chromium Glass (green)  This was not quite grassy green enough for me, so I mixed in just a touch of Sacre Blurple.

This is NOT a "Tina" mani at all, but that is what challenges are all about, right?  Stepping out of your comfort zone?  Yeah, big leap here.  Despite not liking it personally, I don't think it is a fail at all....just not my cup of tea.  Just wait though.  Tomorrow you will see something that is totally me and I can't wait to show you!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nail Art for the Beach

This is for the Popular summer challenge.  The prompt is "day at the beach".  I had plan...water washing up on a sandy shore.  Every day I would think about how best to accomplish it, without ever doing it.  The day came to post and I still had not done anything.  Creative block or something.  I had just woken up from a nap and thinking about it again....thinking about the beach and how you get sand everywhere and ...BOOM.  Knew what I was going to do.  

Yep, sand down the cleavage of the yellow polka dot bikinis (tee hee).

I started with two coats of Barielle Cream 'N Sugar.  On the tips I used the following:
  • Thumb - LVX Cliquot
  • Index - Essie Parka Perfect
  • Middle - LVX Legendaire
  • Ring - Orly Coachella Dweller
  • Pinkie - NOPI Ladies In the Spotlight

Next I dotted with Zoya Piaf for the polka dots and added Zoya Godiva for the sand.

What can I say?  This one just makes me tee hee.  Will have to save the sandy beach for another day :)  Thanks for stopping by!

A Sherlock Revisit

When I saw that the theme this month of The Nail Challenge Collaborative was music/movies/TV, I knew I was going to revisit a mani I did previously and wasn't happy with.  Well, I was happy with it, just not my execution and photos.  So, here again, is Sherlock at Buckingham Palace.

If you want to see the original, you can see it HERE.  In case you don't want to, here is the inspiration for this mani.

Don't recognize this?  Then you need to run to Netflix and watch one of the best TV shows ever made, Sherlock.  Smart, funny and brilliant.

Index represents John's jacket with it's leather shoulder patch.  Middle is the pillow.  Index is Sherlock's sheet.  Thumb and pinkie is the couch.

I still love this, and although I wasn't quite sure if I should revisit it so soon, I am happy I did.  I am ambivalent about not creating something new for Sherlock, but I have two other chances for new ideas this month.  Just a one more pic because....well, I love it!

Do you have some love for Sherlock?  Understand why I redid it?  Want to check out the other inspired manis?  Thanks for looking (even though you may have already seen the original).

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ginger + Liz I'll Toast to That Frosty Goodness?

Another untried for The Never Ending Pile challenge.  Actually, three untrieds!  The prompt for today is frost.  I really thought about doing frost nail art, but decided against it :)

I have heard a lot of complaints in the polish world about frosts.  I will admit it, there are some frosts that are just not worth the trouble.  I like brush strokes just as little as the next person.  However, most peoples complaints are that they give a "grandma" vibe.  Well, maybe I am not old enough to be a grandma, but I know a good frost when I see one.  I consider this one of those.

With Flash
Artificial Ligh

This is two coats of Ginger + Liz I'll Toast to That.  There is a couple things I like about this frost.  First, it is one of my favorite colors....copper.  I have a huge weakness for anything copper colored.  In addition, it has silver micro glitter that detracts from the frost aspect of this polish, making the brush strokes not quite as noticeable. 

I wanted something that wouldn't take away from this lovely copper, so I added hearts using Julep Love.  This is another frost, this time white filled with red glitter.  I just wasn't happy with the hearts because they hardly showed up, so I added Julep Goldie (pictured above), a yellow gold foil.

Although I like this polish, it may just be that it is showing my age.  What do you think?  Is it a "grandma" polish, or is it worth keeping in my stash.  Let me know in the comments!  Don't forget to check out what everyone else chose for their frosts.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

AIS Nail Stamping Over Green

Hoping onto Adventures in Stamping today with stamping over green.  Please forgive my short post, but I have tons to do!

Not my best stamping.  I should have done decals for the french tips.  Oh well.

With Flash
Artificial Light

I started with four coats of LynBDesigns The Credible Hulk.  Yes, four coats.  Such a pretty grass green holo, but it is a jelly holo, which means it is thin and needs a lot for full coverage.  I would suggest undies and a couple coats of The Credible Hulk for depth.  I love this green though, so I think it is well worth the extra coats.

Next I stamped with PUEEN 15 on ring and thumb and some french tips with Messy Mansion MM19.  Here comes the spam!

Despite my sloppy stamping, I ended up really liking this.  It surprises me how often I am doing accent nails recently.  They go against my "orderly and balanced" preferences, but this really does go together well...I think?  Let me know what you think!  Do you like accent nails?  Speak to me people!  See you soon!.