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Showing posts from October, 2015

A little Halloween stamping nail art!

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I've been away at a conference all this week, so there's no real swatch pics of my nail goings-on, but I did get some fun stamped accents worked in there.


For most of my work week, I was sporting a England's Avalon, a perfect royal purple pearl (it's not quite as blue as pictured here).  My thumbs and ring fingers were accented with silvery spiderwebs from Bundle Monster plate BM-013.  The reddish smudge there was my attempt to double-stamp a spider from the same plate, but a England's Perceval wasn't opaque enough to cover the other colors.


My halloween costume this year was Medusa, which necessitated snake EVERYTHING.  This is Zoya Logan topped with Bundle Monster BM-418, which has an awesome reptile scale print that starts small and gets bigger by the end - very organic and real looking.


Hope your holiday was a blast, too!

~Michelle

Emily de Molly Ariel's Realm

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I really like a lot of the fun things makers are creating with ultra chrome flakies.  Sure, they're gorgeous toppers, but they can be pretty spectacular as design elements in a complex polish.  Emily de Molly came out with a handful about a year ago, of which Ariel's Realm was easily my must-have.

Ariel apparently lives in a very deep part of the ocean, because this is a rich, almost blackened aqua. rather than a carribean blue.  The jelly base is translucent enough to let all the bright golden green and blue flakes shimmer through, but saturated enough to get totally opaque coverage in 2 smooth coats.

Like most jellies, it dries to a very nice shine that's only made even more glassy with a layer of topcoat.

The flakies are all the colors of the ocean:  the yellowed green of a kelp forest, light blue of sunlight on the waves.  And of course, the flakies lie flat so as to not disrupt that jelly glass shine, and they're NBD to take off.

In full sunlight, there's tin…

Ya Qin An stamping plate Y015 - Dragon!

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I was in no way ready to take off Pahlish's Ace of Fours II, and it also reminded me very much of the classic "blue willow" style ceramic tableware...  Add to that the fact that there was a new stamping plate that just happened to have a Chinese dragon that would be right at home on some blue willow...


This is the Ya Qin An plate Y015, which I got for way less than $5 on the Born Pretty store. I'd heard some iffy thoughts about these inexpensive plates, but as a newbie stamper, they were absolutely no trouble in the least.


The plate is deeply etched (better, actually, than my BP store brand plates), and in addition to the gorgeously detailed dragon snaking down the center, includes a chain of flowering vines down the right side and the same image in reverse down the left (both of which worked great though I didn't get pics of them).


I stamped with CBL Addicts Blue Me Away, a sapphire blue linear holo, and had zero problems getting the images to come up nice and c…

Pahlish Ace of Fours II

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Pahlish releases a couple of bespoke batches about twice monthly.  These one-pour-and-done batches of polish usually have something to catch my eye.  The soft flecked robin's egg of Ace of Fours II was a must-buy the moment I saw it.

Pahlish originally released Ace of Fours as part of a Portal collection a few years ago, and then released v.2.0 this past September (luckily, I far prefer this version).  It's an incredibly soft, aaaaalmost white blue, flecked with tiny silvery-white and cobalt-blue microflakies.

AoF2 is very much a crelly-type polish, with the glass-like shine of a jelly, but opacity a little closer to a crème.  It shone even before topcoat, but TC goes on everything around here.  The crelly formula meant that 3 coats were necessary to even things out (it's close enough to white polish to be just a little patchy on the first coat), but it's quick drying and easy to work with.

NB: I didn't color-correct anything here, because this is utterly accurate…

OPI Changing of the Garnet + some ren faire stamping

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The cooling fall weather had me reaching for a deep vampy shade, and I came up with an old OPI from the 2002 European collection, Changing of the Garnet.

CotG is a luscious dark red that borders on wine.  It's got a touch of brown in there, just enough to make it very wearable by a whole lot more skin tones than would be the case with a more "true" red.  It's classic and classy and totally office appropriate, especially if you're wearing rich, deep fall colors.  And in the sun... SWOON!

The very finely milled shimmer in here is just fantastic without being in-your-face flashy in bright lighting, and gives a whole lot of dimension.  The light bounces off in a subtle, almost golden sparkle.  The formula was trouble-free and no big deal on the clean-up; 2 easy coats and a layer of topcoat, and good to go.

Since my weekend plans involved a trip to the ren faire, I stamped some tapestry- and heraldry-type designs using Born Pretty's BP-27 plate.

Rating:  Garnet is…

Digital Nails Obliviate

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It's getting to that time of the year where I'd better get one last hurrah out of my holos before driving to and from work only happens in the dark...

Obliviate was originally from Digital Nails' 2013 Harry Potter spells collection, and like Nox, from the same batch,, this one is a big winner.

Obliviate is the sort of holo that's in a rather sheer jelly-type base, the better to let the holo sparkle shimmer out of.  For some reasons, this sort of finish rarely looks greyed out by the holo particles, and like others of this type I've tried before, it's very easy to work with and flawlessly self-leveling, so the 3 coats to opacity aren't a problem at all.

As a fun added bonus, this is also a duochrome along a similar color shift as ILNP's Green Goblin, or Cover Girl's Emerald Blaze.  For the most part, Obliviate iis a more mossy green than bright emerald and a woody bronze rather than chocolate brown, though it does hint at these extremes in the right …

Femme Fatale The Secret of Secrets

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I thought I'd already scooped up my picks from this year's Femme Fatale White Witch/Narnia collection, but swatches of The Secret of Secrets convinced me I wasn't quite done...

Secret is packed with enough warm, fiery glitters that I filed it as "gold/bronze" when looking solely at the bottle.  On the nail, though, it's instead a cooler taupe or nude, studded richly with a rainbow of chrome flakes and bronze & pink/red microglitters.

In some lighting, this actually looked like a shade or two darker than a "mannequin hands" color for me, other than the sparkling flakies.  I picked this color to match a gold and turquoise dress with big peacock feathers printed on it, so I stamped the accent nail with the large single peacock feather image from Born Pretty plate BP-75, using the perfectly pigmented a England Saint George.

After being warned to not expect much with the bargain option, I'm totally loving these BP plates - check out the fine det…

LynB Designs Time And Relative Dimension In Space

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Way back in 2008-ish, Essie released a glittery navy blue that plenty of polish people lemming after, Starry Starry Night.  Lately, plenty of indie makers have tried their hand at an "homage" or two, and though the original is still crazy expensive, I really think there's plenty of lovely "close enoughs" to be had.

LynB's Time And Relative Dimension In Space (TARDIS, obvs, with the cute little Who police box on the label to boot) isn't suggested anywhere to be an intentional approximation of SSN, but it sure does push the same buttons.  It's a deeply pigmented blue jelly, in a shade that starts somewhere around sapphire and shades toward navy, packed with small silver and blue/aqua glitters.

It's a bit thicker than ideal, but not at all in a way that requires thinning, and the thickness holds the glitter perfectly suspended.  I have 2 brushed coats here, no dabbing required for the even glitter spread.

The formula was shockingly easy to work w…

Elevation Polish Fireflies in a Dark Meadow

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To quote Suzy, "flakies are the new holo."  I'm absolutely loving what a lot of polish artists are doing with the multicolored ultrachrome flakies that ILNP blew up the place with last year!

Elevation Polish's Fireflies in a Dark Meadow is a rich black crelly packed with bronze, pink, and greenish ultrachrome flakies.  The formula went on way thicker than I like, and I needed to thin it down for my 2nd coat, but it was nicely opaque in almost one coat.  One layer of topcoat was fine when I painted, but apparently Fireflies are hungry at night and had gobbled that layer up by morning.  A 2nd layer restored the shine.

In bright lighting, the shine actually mutes the reflectiveness of the flakies somewhat.  They're much more firefly-like in shaded or lower light.

I loved the concept, and this is way prettier than flat black, but I did wish the flakies were a little more visible.  I debated adding another flakie layer on top, while simultaneously preferring the look …

Lilypad Lacquer Aqueous Realms

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You know you're off the polish uncharted deep end when you belong to not one but seeeevvveral facebook polish groups.  And now, all of them have begun offering group exclusives - one pour and done, never to be heard from again, grab 'em while they're hot.

Aqueous Realms was an exclusive duo for the Color4Nailistas group last month.  We all had just one swatch photo of each of the pics to make a decision, with only 50 sets available.  The swatch photo for AR was a glorious cobalt blue with a saturated emerald flash - not having a true blue-to-green duochrome, obviously, MUST BUY NOW.

I was totally unable to recreate that blue & green look in any lighting situation, so honestly, I originally was extremely disappointed in this polish.  The formula was very nice, though, and I got tons of compliments on it - turns out it's really pretty just where it is, even though it's not what I thought it'd be.  Aqueous Realms is a bright royal blue with an aqua to purple …