Showing posts from April, 2017

Femme Fatale The Overlook - Flower & Negative Space Reverse Stamping

I had a conference in Arizona this week, and while it was a professional meeting it was a small group of my colleagues that know I have a thing for fancy nails, so I could toss a little more pizazz on my fingers than you usually would for a meeting.

The accent nail is Femme Fatale's The Overlook, a luscious dark pink holo (scattered + holo glitter) that stops a good few shades shy of red.  The rest is a nude jelly, quite sheer, tinted just enough at 2 coats to do a flawless "my nails but better" base for some negative space stamping.

Thanks to the magic of the internets, I tried a new reverse-stamping technique instead of making decals this time.  The flowers and arcing swirls are from TU-L018 and done in El Corazon white stamping polish.  The accent nail was of course stamped directly, but the rest were done by picking up the white outlines onto the stamper, coloring in the flowers with The Overlook, painting the nail with a "sticky" type base coat, waiting a …

March for Science!

This Earth Day Saturday it was time to storm the National Mall again, this time in support of Science and all it does to safeguard and improve our lives.  This blog is run by a couple of scientists, so the March was near and dear to my heart!

As with last time, I preferred my protest sign small and imminently portable (hey, there's far more clever folks than me making signboards!).  Remember, guys, "alternative fact" is just a multisyllabic way to say "lies."

I'm a biologist at my core, so the science type I picked to compliment a demand for real facts was a twist of DNA on each thumb.

And because russian meddling in things is on everyone's mind, I had to give a whirl to one of the infamously impossible russian blogger hand poses (hat tip to my eternally amused partner for guest photography skills):

Educate yourself, read quality news sources, speak out against cutting funding for the government organizations that protect our health!


OCC Technopagan

The rainy weather lately had me pondering untried duochromes or anything as far from holo as possible, and this vampy beauty popped right up.

Obsessive Compulsive's Technopagan is a royal purple with a phenomenally metallic bright blue contrasting shimmer - the exact combo that all my cameras just refuse to cooperate with.  I have pics from both my cell and my Canon, and both of them pick up the shimmer much more than the base.  This means the colors are accurate (the blue is this vibrant and POW!) but incomplete (dial up the purple at the edges a bit and it's right).

Now I know I said I went hunting for a duochrome, but this one shifts so subtly that I'm not inclined to file it as one at all.  The shimmer overlay does become more metallic lilac than metallic cobalt at angles, but that shift required very specific lighting and was impossible to catch on camera.  I've stamped over it with El Corazon Aurora Borealis (itself a duochrome that much more obviously shifts fro…

Cadillacquer Masterpiece

Today, I have Cadillacquer's luscious jade green crelly, Masterpiece.

Masterpiece is from a 2013 Dexter-themed collection (it's a blood splatter, see?), and in the time it's been hanging out untried in my stash, it's developed the slightest hint of UBS and the glitter has all settled to the bottom.  Fortunately, a vigorous shake corrected both of these issues, but I did have to stop and re-shake every couple of fingers to re-suspend the glitters.

The crelly formula is sheer, but not quite watery, which both really let the glitters show through nicely and also brought out a fantastic shine even before topcoat.  The smaller glitters dispersed very evenly, but the larger ones needed just a dab of placement here and there to even out.  I was worried that the larger hexes would poke out of the thinner crelly base a bit, but nope, only one layer of regular (not "glitter taming" type) topcoat was enough.

2 coats of Masterpiece's easy to work with formula looked…

Hard Candy Blue Lagoon

Who doesn't love a great blue polish?  There's a reason that Revlon Royal, Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, and Nails Inc Baker Street are all perennial faves, despite a lack of holo/glitter/shimmer/everything else that makes a nail polish junkie click "add to cart"... and I'm fascinated by how many of the best blues are drugstore finds.

Once upon a time, I sent my partner off to dreaded walmart to find one or two of the Hard Candy anniversary polishes (his office is literally next door to the den of iniquity), and he came home with a whole handful of these little test tubes beyond what I'd been hunting.  Blue Lagoon is a drop-dead gorgeous deeply saturated cobalt blue crelly that gets to an amazingly even opacity in just 2 coats.  Because some blues have a distinct whiff of sulphur, it's worth mentioning that this one really didn't.

That perfect blue is of course a perfect base for some nail art.  I've stamped here using Sinful's Kameleon and the f…

Tonic Mermaid Scales

After Greenglow was so lovely, I thought it was time to get to the other half of the Color 4 Nails exclusive duo, Mermaid Scales.

Mermaid Scales is a bright fuchsia to green multichrome with a scattered holo sparkle tossed in.  The holo is very similar to what you'd get with a few coats of INM Northern Lights topcoat, a scattering of rainbow refractions that appear as a silver dust in low light, and not a holo flame.

Straight-on and in most lighting, Mermaid Scales is a rich fuchsia-wine color, a little cooler or warmer on one edge.  I've been wearing it as a pedi color, too, and there's much less shiftiness on my toes - what you see here is what I get.

But with just a little tilt of the hands, and this shifts from berry to dusky pink to salmon to warm bronze.

And on over to green, with this shift even more apparent in lower lighting.

It's chrome-y in low light and sparkling in bright light, and was nicely opaque in 2 smooth coats.  No problems at all with the formula…

#PAAManiSwap part 2: Rainbow Faux Spray Marble

Because one Melissa design just wasn't enough, here's round 2, my take on her rainbow-striped spray marble:

The original design can be found on Melissa's instagram @liss_929 here.

I'm actually 3 years old and looooove rainbow nails, but haven't really given rainbow a whirl as nail art.  Once again, I've been inspired to play around with my stash instead of only swatching it.  Melissa's neon original has a vibrant summertime feel that I wanted to keep even though neons aren't my bag, and I think these bright jelly holos fit the bill.

Like with my last effort at recreating one of Melissa's designs, I found a stamping plate that had a similar finished look and feel to her hand-done work.  First, I painted a freehand striped gradient using moderately sheer jelly-style linear holos so they'd blend nicely together at the edges (no sponges needed when you use jellies, just overlap the edges a little bit on each layer).  I used Jade Vermelho Surreal, J…

#PAAManiSwap: Stained Glass Nails

This week, the Polish-Aholics Anonymous facebook group hosted a Mani Swap for members that felt like trading around.  I'm always game for new stuff, so sign a girl up!

My partner for this adventure is Melissa - check out her instagram @liss_929.  I had an absolute blast scrolling through all of Melissa's looks and could NOT pick just one (cutting it down to 2 or 3 was a real challenge!) - she does a whole lot of talented free handing and other techniques that I've never tried, so this was a super opportunity to get out of my usual comfort zone and try something new.

First up, I went with this super fun geometric stained glass look:

Now, since I don't have her kind of freehand skills, my manis are interpretations and riffs on her art rather than a straight copy, with the major difference being that I'm stamping that business.

I found a great staggered/irregular rectangle pattern on STZ-B9 that looked just like an Arts & Crafts type stained glass window, and lai…