Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chain nail

This was a quick and fun one. I started with L.A. Colors metallic blue as the base nail polish color. I stamped an accent nail with Urban Outfitters silver (Bundle Monster plate BM12), and topped the other nails with Sally Girl mini glitter polish, which is made up of silver hexagons and small circles.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Patriotic polish

In honor of Veteran's Day, as well as my husband's new U.S. citizenship, I present American flag nails!


The nail polish I used was Santee white as the base color, L.A. color metallic blue (BCC 566?) for the stars, and Maybelline Cherry Rain for the stripes.

I used the stars tips from Mash plate m44 and the diagonal stripes from Bundle Monster plate BM20.

I did the stars first, let it dry a little bit, then covered the stars with blue painter's tape and added the stripes.

This manicure was actually surprisingly quick and easy.  In retrospect I should have used a darker blue such as Ulta Moody Blues to get a truer American flag blue.  Next time!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Faux Peridot

This delightful greenish gold manicure came into existence by surprise.

It actually started out as the blue/gray/taupe/pink oddity from this post, China Glaze In The Mood Pink Shimmer to Purple Shimmer, shown below on the right.

After adding some Ulta Moody Blues, Revlon Orange Flip, and just a touch of Nabi Purple Glitter, it turned into this crazy franken.

The orange flashes are pretty intense indoors and give this polish almost magenta undertones.

But outside it becomes a slightly more subdued purple. Still an unusual color though.

Then I topped it with a sheer no name key lime green, and that's when the magic happened!  It turned into an awesome greenish, goldish, purple-ish duo-chrome.

It looked completely different in every lighting condition.  Dare I say it is Chanel Peridot-"esque"?


I was actually tempted to leave this manicure unstamped because I loved it so much... but I couldn't do it.  The compulsion to stamp is too strong!!  Here it is topped with Wet & Wild black and stamped with Bundle Monster plate BM-208.

And from afar:

I took my nail stamping plates and some polishes to a friend's place for a girls' night.  This was the result:

So much fun!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Nail Perfect review

So I saw Nail Perfect (As Seen on TV) in the clearance bin at Ross and I thought I'd give it a try. Nail Perfect comes with plastic plates with various nail cut out sizes, a travel handle (bizarre), a polish holder, and nail decals.


The basic idea is that you find the nail cut out size that most closely fits your nail bed size, stick your nail in it so that the skin on either side of your nail bed is covered, rest your hand on the base, and apply your nail polish. This is supposed to result in a "perfect" manicure with no clean up required.


It works just okay. I still ended up with some polish on the skin around the tips of my nails. I don't have pics of the result because I was too impatient and wanted to stamp right away! Considering the result was not "perfect," it wasn't worth the extra trouble. I get a similar result on my own, and I don't have the steadiest of hands.

The little chair holder for your nail polish bottle is an interesting idea, but not really that useful. It would have to be a more extreme angle to be of real use.


The decals were cute, but definitely not worth the price. Not even from the clearance bin.


All in all, a big meh.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pretty pretty purple

I'm moderately obsessed with the color purple, especially rich dark purples. For this manicure I used Nabi polish in Purple Glitter. It is highly pigmented and nice and sparkly. I added a gradient of some mystery polishes in blue and green on top with Bundle Monster plate BM21.


To stamp the gradient, I dotted the blue and green on the side of the image, and scraped two or three times, overlapping the colors as I scraped. The difference between blue and green was hardly noticeable on top of the purple, but I'm definitely going to make another attempt at gradient stamping with some more opaque polishes.


Here you can kind of see the green on top and blue on bottom:


And from afar:


Monday, August 22, 2011

Brunch nails

I decided my gray/blue/pink/taupe nails weren't quite right for a Saturday morning brunch on a hot summer day. So I decided to revisit my obsession with pretty blue greens.

I've been loving OPI's Mermaid's Tears from the Pirates of the Caribbean collection. I don't actually own it, but I saw it earlier this summer on the toes of an acquaintance and couldn't get it out of my head. I had recently purchased the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mint Sorbet, and I figured I could franken a rough approximation.

Sally Hansen Xtreme:


I added a few drops of China Glaze Concrete and Ulta Moody Blues.



Not bad eh?


Then I stamped with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mint Sorbet. The plate I used was MASH plate m63.



I enjoy the subtlety.

An odd one

So I got this polish, China Glaze in the Mood Pink Shimmer to Purple Shimmer, from Rachel Marie's blog sale. It looked like an intriguing purple-y gray. But in real life, it is just a very odd color. I'm guessing it's oddness has to do with the fact that it is an old color change polish and its color changing days are long over.

Inside in artificial light it looks like a pinky taupe.:


Inside with flash the pink shimmer really comes out:


I stamped with Ulta Moody Blues and the MASH plate m78. Top coat is Nicole by OPI.

Outside it's a blue gray.



And from afar:


I decided to franken that sucker (results in a later post)!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


As a child of the '80s, I was all about Thundercats and Cheetara in particular because she was such a freakin' badass.

I mean c'mon!

So when I was invited to a Thundercats premiere watching party, I thought I should have a manicure that reflected my affinity for the fastest Thundercat of them all (who's also pretty good with a bo staff).

I used Urban Outfitters in yellow, Revlon Orange Flip, and L.A. Colors in gold. Base coat by L'Oreal and top coat by Nicole by OPI. The stamping plate I used was Bundle Monster BM-221.


I must admit, it was a bit of a rush job and it shows. And in retrospect, it probably would have looked better if I'd incorporated black. But oh well!


And from afar:

Cheetara from afar-a

A Jem t-shirt completed the look. :) After watching the premiere (good, but not as good as the original), we watched the She-Ra/He-man movie. All in all, a very fun '80s cartoon night.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Floral filigree

After the craziness of my last rainbow dots manicure, I was in the mood for something a little more delicate.

I layered two coats of City Color mint green and stamped it with Urban Outfitters silver. The plate I used was Bundle Monster BM-221.

Floral filigree

I'm not usually a girly girl, but I love how feminine it is.

Floral filigree

And from further away:


After a few days I decided to top it with OPI shatter. Instead of brushing from the bottom up, I brushed in from the outside edges. I think the resulting look was an interesting pewter/brushed metal effect. I liked the matte finish too, so I didn't put a top coat on.


Saturday, August 13, 2011


After watching this Youtube video:

I was inspired to try out a comic strip manicure.

I used L'Oreal base coat, Santee white as my base color, and newspaper comics as my transfer image. Unfortunately, the image just did not transfer at all. All I got was a gray smudge. I later discovered that my lack of success was probably due to the fact that newsprint cartoon dyes aren't as intense as actual comic book dyes. I'll give it another try with a Betty and Veronica comic book sometime.

I was left with white nails and wanted to try something different.  So I got out my dotting tools and some of my old and new bright colors (Sally Hansen and Urban Outfitters).

Dotting equipment

Check out the results:

Rainbow dots

I loved how it turned out. Everywhere I went people were asking about my nails and asking if they were stickers. I also must say my baby nephew was completely hypnotized by my nails.  He wanted to eat them up!

From further away:

Rainbow dots

And from even further away:


With pinky jewels (and sequins, and microbeads):

Rainbow dots and jewels

And finally, with OPI shatter:

Crackled dots

Crazy right? It kind of reminded me of the drawings you make when you're a kid where you color with crayons, color over it all with black crayon, and then scrape the black crayon away. Know what I'm talking about?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blue redux

Even after my franken fiasco, I still couldn't give up on creating some sort of glittery greenish blueness.  So I tried layering instead.  I started out with Urban Outfitters blue as a base coat, layered the shimmery City Color mint green over it, and then sprinkled some fine loose glitter on top.

Here was the result:

Blue glitter

As much as I enjoyed it, I still wanted to increase the oomph factor, so I added some OPI black shatter from the Katy Perry collection (purchased online from with an extra discount through and Nicole by OPI top coat.

Check it out: 

Black and blue

Very cool.  (Sorry for the lack of cuticle cleanup in the above pic, there's top coat everywhere!)

But I wasn't done yet!  I went on to add a few rhinestones to my pinky fingernail.  This was my first experience using nail jewels.  I wouldn't say it was a total success, but I thought it was fun.  Since the jewels were the same color as the polish, they were not actually very noticeable.

Black and blue

Obviously this manicure looks a little loco, especially from up close.  But how does it look from afar?  I never see people posting far away pics.  And I think it's a good frame of reference, especially for the crazier designs.  So here's how this manicure looked from afar.

Black and blue from afar

Not quite so crazy... maybe?