Showing posts from 2017

A England Briarwood with Dixie Plates Marbled 01 - super vacation nails!

No posts at all in well over a week!  Well, that's because I was on an absolutely fabulous vacation to Italy, and we were so busy the whole time that I didn't get a chance to use the whole kit full of nail polish that I'd brought along.
Picking polish for a vacation is a whole system for me.  You can't go with anything limited edition or otherwise hard to replace, in case something goes wrong with your luggage.  You can't go with anything too sheer or fussy or difficult to clean up, because the entire mani desk and all the standard supplies aren't along for the ride.  End result:  pick something hard-wearing, easy to work with, and readily replaceable if necessary.
A England is an obvious choice.  I'm wearing Briarwood here, a lovely deep scarlet red with a delightfully autumnal brown tint.  Like most of Adina's magic, this is a one-coater if you paint with medium or thick coats, and adding a second is only needed if you do a very thin first coat.  I di…

KB Shimmer Let's Slang

This week felt like something dark & vampy was called for, so I pulled KB Shimmer Let's Slang on over to the mani desk.

Let's Slang was an exclusive to last year's PolishCon that quickly sold out once people realized that the little glimmers within were the Clarins 230 type red-to-green shifty shimmer.  Thankfully, Christy was able to find more of this shifting pigment, and re-released Let's Slang along with a half a handful of other polishes with it a couple months ago.

This is a very saturated inky sapphire blue jelly, just sheer enough to let the sparkly pigment peek out.  The first coat was streaky and uneven, but much more obviously blue.  The second coat brought the base up to a really pretty sapphire just a touch lighter than the bottle, but was still a little uneven.  Three coats brought the color all the way as deep and dark as the bottle color, and was both completely even and completely opaque.

In bright sunlight (which we have had vanishingly little of …

Cameo Colors Victims Aren't We All?

Though October is done, I'm not quite ready to stop with Halloween (in fact, no less than 3 stamping plates showed up on the 31st that had at least one Halloween design on them!  AAAARGH!!).  A blood red seemed just right to ease me back from bats & skulls without moving on entirely.

Cameo Colors came to my attention for a beautiful turquoise that is of course still in the untried pile (I'm nuts, and I'm ok with that), but one look at her store had this one leaping into my shopping cart to come along for the trip.  Victims Aren't We All? was from the November 2016 Magic 8 Box, with a 90s movie theme.  It's of course a quote from one of my all time fave movies, The Crow.

Victims is a red jelly base that really changes appearance based on what type of lighting you're in - sometimes it was a slightly berry-tinted blue-based red, other times it was definitely blood- or brick-red (all 3 photos here are color accurate to my eyes of the lighting conditions they we…

Multichrome bats - Happy Halloween!

For my last all Halloween all October mani, my inspiration came straight from a fantastic pair of leggings that featured multichrome bats on a black background.

First up, these walmart leggings were both inexpensive and insanely comfortable - I'm hugely grateful to the lady in one of my FB groups that tipped me off to them!
I'm wearing 2 coats of Glitter Gal Serpent Black - it's a crelly, so needs 2 coats for total opacity, but the formula is very easy to work with, dries to a high piano-black shine even sans topcoat, and has a small, thin brush that keeps paint off my cuticles.  Yeah, I have to dip the brush twice per nail, but precision painting means I can skip the headache of scrubbing black out of my nail sidewalls, so I'm cool with that.
I've stamped with bats from 3 different Halloween plates I had with bats on them - the more shapes, the better!  The bats are done in El Corazon Mysterious Mars (red to bronze), El Corazon Himalayan Peaks (blue to purple), an…

ILNP Clever Girl

One good ILNP of course deserves another, so more shifty shimmers for all Halloween all month!

ILNP Clever Girl is a cool, soft grey that's warmed up to a concrete tone due to the masses of bronze-gold chunky shimmer filling the crelly-style base.  I can see some VNL in macro shots here, but that wasn't the case IRL, the shimmer was enough to have this looking opaque at 2 coats.

In low lighting, the scattered holo flake gave Clever Girl a subtly speckled appearance, and the gold shimmer almost completely vanished.  Formula was great on this, and ILNP's brush never gives me any grief - super smooth, dried evenly, wore nicely.

In any kind of regular to bright light, though, the shimmer wasn't at all shy, and was a nearly metallic zing on top of the creamy grey base.  In brighter light, the silver holo flake vanished, leaving only a rainbow sparkle, but no speckling.  Also, the shimmer was a surprise duochrome, tilting distinctly greenish in angled light.

I've stamped…


Since I was off to a conference this week, I kept my Halloween mani just a little more subtle, and based on a color that's just drop-dead gorgeous on its own.

ILNP released Ava as part of this year's Fall collection, and as soon as I opened the box it leapt to the top of the "must try ASAP" list.  It's a gorgeous purple jelly with a rather chameleon personality - the base itself is more violet, while the heavy copper shimmer warms things up to an overall plum shade.  It's also scattered with some holo flake, and ooooh look at that flash of contrasting rainbow around the bottom edge of the bottle!

Oh yes, that sweetness is showing just the suggestion of an rich emerald green flash.  Most all of my pics trying to catch the emeralds ended up unusably blurry, but it's there, peeking through the vines that surround this jack-o-lantern:
I've stamped here using a Halloween pumpkin design from XXL-3, using the dead tree motif next to it to serve as coiling vi…

Glow in the dark Vampire Bites

Today, we have what became my absolute fave design of this month's all Halloween all October on my nails!

One of the ladies in my Facebook stamping group posted a fantastic black & white Halloween mani with stylized graphic designs that I had to immediately put my own spin on.  I've used a base of 2 coats of Pretty Serious Absence, stamped with bat designs in MoYou London Galaxy and fanged vampire lips in Pretty Serious Santa's Sunburn using XXL-3, a huge stamping plate mostly full of sugar skulls.  The Rocky Horror vibe from the lips is adorable, and I was surprised to find so many different bats hidden all over this stamping plate

In between the white base and the graphic stamping, I've sandwiched a layer of green glow from a very, very old bottle of Wet N Wild glow in the dark polish.  Seriously, this stuff is from college in the 90s!  It needed a few drops of thinner to keep the texture flowing nicely and get rid of some minor stringiness, then it was good to g…

CrowsToes Season of the Witch

Continuing all Halloween all month on my nails, my first stamped design was about as witchy as I could go, witches on witches!

CrowsToes Season of the Witch is an old fave of mine;  sometimes in the push to get through this mountain of untried polish, it's really nice to pick up something I loved a few years ago and see if it's still as amazing as I remember.  Spoiler alert - hell yes it is.

Season of the Witch is a smoky off-black jelly filled with duochromatic micro-flakies that shift from a deep emerald-jade when viewed directly to a plummy fuchsia at angles.  It's a touch streaky and patchy at the first coat, evens out very nicely on the second, and comes to the level of opacity you see here at 3 coats.

I've stamped here using Born Pretty silver stamping polish and BundleMonster's BM-S242 witch-themed plate from last year's Halloween collection.  I LOVE that high priestess design with her knowing look and skull headdress, and kinda wish I had nails long eno…

Parrot Polish Apache Princess

Now that October is up and running, it's time for all Halloween all month on my nails!  First up, a subtle nod to the season in black & purple..

Parrot Polish Apache Princess is a black scattered holo base with rich, royal purple magnetic pigment - the end result is bands of witchy purple across a black starfield after you use the magnet, or a blackened purple if left plain and unmagnetized.

As with some purples, my camera didn't play nice in indoor lighting - the above bottle shot is a hair too blue-tinted, while the below pic with flash is more accurate.  All the hand pics sans bottles are correct to my eyes, though the contrast between purple and black was as boldly obvious as in the flash pic, not as subtle as some of these shots show.

For anyone new to magnetic polishes, the trick is to do one thin coat on all your nails first, and then do clean-up for that coat to get the edges nice before moving along.  Next, paint one medium-thick layer on a single nail, and hold t…

Emerald & Ash Period Poops

The now apparently defunct Emerald & Ash started an April Fool's day joke a couple of years ago with a polish called Period Poops.  It got such an enthusiastic thumbs-up that they brought it back once a month for about a week (get it?  hahahahaha), making this the most hilarious polish in my stash.

Period Poops (and hooboy, that name, haha or cringe depending on your personal capacity for embarrassment!) is a rich chocolate to espresso (decidedly not at all fecal) brown with a lightly scattered holo effect and sparse ruby red microglitters.  I could easily see the glitters in the bottle, but not so much on the nail - they were there if I knew to look for them, but at arm's length they were invisible.  The formula was a bit thicker than ideal, but I got completely opaque coverage in 2 coats.

I've stamped here using El Corazon white for the trunks and Pretty Serious Santa's Sunburn & Esmaltes da Kelly Tris for the leaves.  The design is from Clear Jelly Stamper&#…

Tonic Deep Sea-Crets

And now that fall has been started & celebrated, I'm of course right back to colors appropriate to whatever season, because that's how I roll.

Tonic Deep Sea-Crets is a luscious aqua that sits somewhere between teal and cornflower blue - most of the time, it leaned more teal for me, and I have this filed as a teal polish, but in certain lighting it went way over to blue.  The bottle shot below is a bit too blue, but it did look close to this IRL infrequently.

Deep Sea-Crets ends up looking like a crème with a rich contrasty shimmer, but the formula is much more crelly-type sheer to let all that shimmer shine boldly in most all lighting conditions.  Though the color was completely even and smooth at 2 coats, I could see more VNL than I'd like, so 3 coats were needed to get everything fully opaque.  Each coat was just a touch sticky - don't over-manipulate, or it'll pull up the underlying coats.

The shimmer here is a little shifty, going from pink to coppery to g…

First day of fall! Turning leaves mani with Lacquester Song From a Vampire

This week saw the first day of autumn, which is not a huge transition after our mild summer, but I have loads of leafy stamping plates and fall colors that I wanted to jump on.

Lacquester Song From a Vampire is a lovely shade of wine that I'm wearing here in 2 coats.  The formula has good consistency, and flows smoothly, but Lacquester has that wide brush that I do not like, because it created more cleanup than this formula would otherwise need.

In the bottle, you can glimpse a gorgeous array of pretty flakes and a scattering of holo dust, but the flakes were more subtle on the nail in the bright lamp light of my mani cave.  I wanted FFLLLAAAAKKKESSS, so I've added 1 coat Essie Shine of the Times and 1 coat Sinful Colors All About You to create a thick wall of tiny falling leaves on the wine base - all pics shown with this layering combo, none of Vampire alone.

Though the layers of other polish have squashed the holo, this combo was exactly what I wanted - sparkly, foily-flak…