Saturday, July 31, 2010

GOSH Holographic- Beauty and Sadness...

The colors of GOSH Holographic- rainbows weep with envy.

Most polishes are the same. They're pretty enough, they're nice enough, but they're nothing terribly special, and you wouldn't cry if you lost one. How many pink or red cremes are out there, almost alike, almost identical, and nothing exciting. You've had red cremes in the past, you'll have red cremes in the future, and it's one thing that you can always find with no problem at all...

But every now and then, you find a polish that's different. A polish that stands out from the crowd, that excites you and makes you want to own several- one to wear, one to save, and one to put away just in case. For me, GOSH Holographic is my special polish. It's not all that special, I suppose. There are lots of holographic polishes out there, it would seem. But this one is among the best, from what I've read.

When it's on my nails, I can't stop looking at them. Inside, there's a hint of holographic beauty, but in the sun this baby shines like magic. There are rainbows hidden in this polish, and sunlight brings them out to play. It's like having a bit of magic on my fingertips, and it makes even the worst days a little bit brighter.

So where's the sadness come in? Unfortunately, this beast wears horribly. Getting a nice even coat is tricky enough without a base coat. I haven't managed to apply it using a base coat, unfortunately, because it goes all goopy and disgusting. And without a base coat, this polish wears off in no time flat.

Forget tipwear. You can see in the photo that this is full-fledged chipping and wearing away. And the more it wears away, the sadder I get, because I know I'm that much closer to having no more of this gorgeous lacquer for my nails, and that the magic is that much closer to running out.

It's become my special occasion polish, my special pick-me-up. What makes it even more special is that a great friend of mine sent this polish to me as a pick me up. Every time I see it, I'm reminded of how special she is to me, and how lucky I am to have her as a friend. I'm tempted to paint a set of artificial nails just for myself, so that I'll at least be able to look at them once it's all run out. What can I say, I'm a sentimental wuss.

So tell me, what polishes do you find yourself hoarding, buying backup bottles of, and hoping you never run out of? What makes a polish sentimental to you- the color? The person who gave it to you?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More DIY Decals Using the Essence Stampy Set!

I started thinking a few days ago, which isn't necessarily a good thing. But this time I started thinking that hey, if I can stamp onto my nails, why couldn't I stamp onto plastic and make decals.

Well, the main reason I could think of is that there's just so little polish deposited. And yet... This definitely needed experiments.

I pulled out my stuff: a small zipper-top plastic bag, some masking tape, some styrofoam, my Essence Stampy kit and some nail polishes. I figured it would be helpful to stabilize the plastic, so I used the masking tape to adhere the bag to the styrofoam very tightly. That kept it from slipping and sliding, and kept me from cussing and beating my head into the wall.

So, I picked my polish and did some test stamps. They looked fantastic, but when I tried to take pictures about halfway through, I realized that white nail polish on clear  plastic over white styrofoam is really hard to see. I added some red stamps and finally got a somewhat visible photograph.

After filling up my little piece of zipper baggie, I realized I'd done about as much stamping as I could. I was now starting to run into previous stamps, which just will not do!

So give the decals a bit more thickness and stability, I put a layer of clear polish over them, waited until those were thoroughly dry, then added yet another layer of clear topcoat. I hoped this would help them to join together into one layer of polish I could just peel up.

Did it work? Oddly enough, it did! I think I'd be much more careful with both the stamping and the brushing on top coat in the future, but these came out adorable! The best part is that if you screw up a decal, you wipe it away and start again. There's no manicure to worry about messing up!

I noticed that my clear polish seems to have reacted a bit with the white polish, causing a bit of cloudiness to form. I'm hoping that's not a huge deal. Tomorrow I'll be working on doing my nails, so I'll let you know what I find out!

Now, I'm sure some of you are wondering why on Earth I would stamp onto plastic to make decals, rather than just stamping directly onto my nails. Several reasons, actually. First off, and this is a huge part of it: I'm not very good at stamping yet. This way, I'm getting practice in without actually having to redo my nails every time I mess a stamp up. But not only that, there's another benefit to making stamped decals: you can flip them, so that you have a mirror image of your stamp. It gives you more freedom to design, and I think it's a fun idea. You might even be able to trade stamped decals with friends who have different image plates than you do!

So give it a try! You may find you enjoy it lots! If you do try it, let me know in comments, I'd love to see what you can do!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Paint splatters can be FUN!

You know, I admit it. I am totally a child of the 80s. I love neon, I love wild prints, and I love paint splats. This set of nails reminds me of a sweatshirt I had in grade school, only the shirt was white instead of black. But what better color than black to make colors pop?

You can see how vivid the colors are. I can't lie, I want to keep these all for myself! So much fun, but at least I can redo them if I decide to!

This set of nails is made with a custom-mixed rainbow of acrylic paints, so that they have the same level of intensity. I love the black base, and the topcoat makes the colors so intense and glassy!

I won't lie, I can see doing this design with shimmers, metallics, glitters... monochromatic colors, analogous colors... I think it'd be fun no matter HOW I mixed it up! It's just downright FUN! Oooh, imagine white splats on a black background, with the occasional splat of red! There are so many ways to do this, and I don't know if any are better than the others. You'll definitely see this pattern again, if only on Etsy! Speaking of Etsy, these will be going up as soon as I finish this post.

I'm so excited to add that I've got some surprises coming up soon! I'm planning some videos, both of some of those dramatic, color-shifting polishes in the sun as well as some technique videos. If you have anything you'd like to see, feel free to leave requests in the comments!

And oy, I've just looked at the clock to see that once again, I'm catching 7:30am from the wrong side. I think I need to go to sleep. Man... one of these days I'll get my internal clock set right again.

...maybe. :D

Friday, July 23, 2010

Heaven Nail Lacquer is waiting for you...

I got so many questions about where, exactly, I bought my Heaven polish. I felt a little guilty, because I was waiting til I could get there and snap a few pictures to tell. What can I say, I wanted to share all the colors, not just one! So... the big secret is out. If you're looking for lots of fun colors at completely affordable prices, go to . . .
You read that right. Go to the cosmetics department at your local Albertsons grocery store and pharmacy. I bet you didn't know they had an extensive cosmetics department! The only way I knew is because I have a family member who used to manage the cosmetics department in her local Albertsons. She would bring me the most wonderful things all the time.

The interesting thing is that the Albertsons cosmetics department isn't managed by any old grocery store manager. No, they realize that cosmetics are important to women, so their departments actually are staffed by cosmeticians! So you really should stop by and look to see what's there... you might be pleasantly surprised.

Oh wait, I did that for you! Now, let me preface this by saying that just because these were found at my local store doesn't mean they'll be at all stores, but I know that this is a concept Albertsons is proud of across the board, so I bet you might have more luck than you might expect. So, your mileage may vary, keep your seatbelts on, and let's see what I found!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara Made My Tiny Lashes Visible!

Ok, we're getting away from nail stuff today, I hope you guys don't mind. But I simply had to share this. If you hated it, tell me, and I'll try not to do it again. :D

So, some women are born with amazing lashes. You know the ones- long, curled, sexy lashes that frame their eyes beautifully. I always wanted lashes like that. Instead, I have tiny, fine lashes that are hard to see, and I also have a fat face with deep set eyes. This means that my lashes are all but invisible, unfortunately. I dream of the day I could get lash extensions... or just visible lashes!

So I was provided with a sample of CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara from BzzAgent. My first action was to run to the web to check it out. There I found that it's $10 at WalMart! $10, for drugstore mascara... for COVERGIRL drugstore mascara? This better be something special...

Well, I got it. I tried it. It's not perfect... the brush for it is weird. It's thick and stubby, and seems hard to control to get your corner lashes covered. And yet, this stuff really IS special. It's buildable, so you can put on as much or as little as you need. It's amazing, in that it both thickened my lashes and lengthened them, visibly. It even curled them a bit! I mean... look at this comparison!

Pardon my big scary head there, but really... do you see the difference? No smudges to clean away, no clumpy ickiness, and holy crap, you can see my eyelashes!!!

It also isn't waterproof, which makes me want to cry. Because even though it makes my eyes look this awesome, my eyes are deep-set, and this will wear off between my laughter and sweat in no time. I cannot wear non-waterproof mascara. But still, if you can? This stuff is a dream.

So there. If you're looking for high-end performance from a drugstore mascara, add this one to your list of ones to try. It won me over. It won me over so much that I'm abusing exclamation points. :D

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Heaven Nail Lacquer, Ruby

There are polishes that absolutely everyone knows about- China Glaze, Orly, OPI, Nfu-Oh, the list goes on and on. They're fabulous polishes, don't get me wrong. But sometimes, it can be fun to find something new, something that hasn't been talked to death already. What can I say, if something's been shown on every other blog already, it makes me think maybe I shouldn't bother showing it?

Then there's the stuff no one talks about. I won't lie. I've been googling myself mad, looking for someone, anyone talking about this stuff. I wondered if the company squeezes live kittens into bottles, or tests their polishes on penguin beaks, upsetting their natural feeding cycle and killing millions every day. Because surely, if a polish was this good, someone would have blogged it by now?

Maybe not. Maybe I'm just lucky, and happened to wander into a place no one has thought to look for interesting new inexpensive nail polishes. If so? AWESOME!! I mean, do you see the polish on my thumb, here? And that, my friends, is without the benefit of a topcoat. This polish is something special, and I cannot say enough good things about it.

This polish is from Heaven Nail Lacquer, in the shade Ruby. You're looking at two coats, no topcoat, shot with a flash. I'm stunned, because honestly, this doesn't capture the beauty of the glitter, the depth of it. This stuff sparkles, with a depth that is absolutely insane. Add a topcoat to it and it's absolutely impossible to stop looking at it.

This bottle of polish cost a grant total of $2, give or take. I think it was $1.99, but I can't swear to it. I'm planning a blog fieldtrip soon, in which I take you all with me to the cosmetics department in which this sweet little beauty lived before it came home with me. This one is my precious, and I think it may be my favorite polish, at least for today.

Now, clearly this one isn't big 3 free. No, it's about as fulla 3 as you can get, but for $2, can you really complain? I wish I could compare it in RL to China Glaze's Ruby Pumps. From what I've seen, this could be very similar to it. It's a rich jelly polish with dense silver microglitter that shines up through the jelly for super depth and interest. I'm serious when I say that when I wear this, I can't stop looking at my fingers. Every time they catch the light, I get a wave of giggles inside, and I feel like I'm wearing Dorothy's ruby slippers on my fingertips!

Of course, I'm also a bit sappy, so it doesn't hurt that my husband got this for me for Mother's day. It's a long story, but a sweet one, and so it makes this polish just that much sweeter. Nothing like a bit of romance to make a great polish even greater!

Take care, lovelies. I've been up all night, and I think I need to curl up with my husband for the few minutes I can and appreciate how lucky I am. Give your honey an extra-loving hug this morning while you can, just because you can. :D

♥, Laynie

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A quick picture post...

I took these photos tonight and just had to share them before I crash for the evening. I hope you like them, they're going to be the subject of a post very soon... You know, once they're finished.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mmm, how I love the smell of giveaways in the morning!

If you love giveaways, then you'll like this post. If not, I'm putting it behind a cut, so you don't have to spend too much time on it. Don't worry, I'll have a new post up soon enough.

Now, follow me for giveaways out the wazoo!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fail Nails- or why not every experiment is successful...

The problem with being experimental is that sometimes, despite your best efforts, the experiment is going to turn out AWFUL! Experiments can be great, and lead you to great things, or they can end up being a learning experience. Unfortunately, this experiment was a total failure!

See, I'd found an acrylic paint I was in love with. Still am- this stuff is downright magical. I did a test nail with it that turned out amazingly pretty. The problem is that I didn't actually wear the nail. I left it on its cute little stick and admired it for weeks. Finally, I decided to do a full set like it.

This would be where the problem showed up. I used a different application method for this, and unfortunately it just didn't work. Once I'd built the paint up to an opaque level, it was thicker than I realized. Adding two coats of topcoat to smooth out the surface didn't help, either. I left them up on their sticks for three days to dry, and then took them down, sanded their edges, and dropped them into a small ziplock bag for jewelry. I figured I'd photo them when it was time to put them on Etsy, if I ever did that.

When I pulled them out of the bag much later, I was absolutely horrified. What had gone in smooth as glass came out lumpy and gouged to the bare nail in places. The "polish" wasn't sticky. No, it was worse.

It was stretchy.

I couldn't do anything to save this one. My gorgeous turquoise glitter nails ended up being a giant fail.

My Nail Tips Are On Etsy!

I've spent the last week arguing with myself as to whether I should do this or not, and I finally decided to just go for it. I've put my nail tips on Etsy! Ok, I only have 4 sets up, but I love them, and I hope that someone else will, too! So, this is a quick post to show you what's up, and how to get to it. Just click the pic, and you'll go to that particular listing!

So, if you're interested, definitely click the links. There are more pictures at the listings. If you don't wanna buy but you like them, click the "heart" link. It'll make my day!

Tomorrow you can see my fail nails. They would have been so beautiful... but I took pics anyway!

Happy Friday, everyone!
<3 Laynie

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Making the Most of Your Stamping Plates

I'm going to begin this entry with an apology for the images that accompany it. I had visions of much better pictures being taken, or perhaps of video being taken. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. No, with the crud that's hit my house, I did well to manage to sleep, eat, and visit the restroom when I need to. Still, I managed to attempt to take some photos of what I do differently. In the process, I learned something.

You may be wondering what I learned. It's very simple- it is incredibly difficult to take pictures of your own hands when they're doing something that takes two hands to do. I know, it seems logical, but for some reason I was convinced I'd be able to take photos of my own hands placing the polish and applying it to my own fingertips. I know, I know... there's laughter for those of you who've tried anything like this.

But, pictures were taken, a diagram was made, and tonight, I share my process with you. Please be patient, and forgive my if my diagrams are slightly less awesome than I'd hoped for. So, let's get started, shall we?

Stamping- it's all the rage. Thankfully, my version doesn't use anything crazy. I do have a scraper that came with my set, but I don't like it. It scratches the plates like crazy and I just prefer using a plastic card. This one happens to be a benefits card from a grocery store.

If you  happen to use a card you plan to keep (like your driver's license), be sure to keep the paint away from the magnetic stripe. Nail polish and nail polish remover will eat the magnetic stripe right off your card!

So, what now? Gather your items together.  I find it helps to have a cotton round saturated with nail polish remover next to my plate, so that I can wipe the stamper on it and wipe the plate between stamps. Also, it helps to have a folded paper towel or something similar nearby to wipe off the card onto. Stamping is messy stuff!

Now, this is where things get a bit different. Instead of putting your polish onto the stamping plate, I dabbed a bit of polish onto my scraper card. Try and keep the polish a bit wider than the design you're going to use.  You don't need a huge amount of polish here, just a dollop.
See? This is my actual scraper card with the polish I was using on it. It's not a huge amount of polish, it's just a little blob that's a tiny bit wider than the image I want to use.

Now, putting it onto the image plate is important too. It we scrape this across at 90° angle, the polish isn't really going to get into the grooves of the design very well. I use somewhere around a 45° angle, so that the scraper can push the polish into the grooves as well as scraping away the extra. It takes practice, but you'll get the hang of it.

There- you can see the butterfly image has been flooded with polish, but the rest has been scraped away. All that remains is to pick it up with the stamper and apply it to your nail! As easy as that sounds, I must admit I need more practice. I stamp pretty well, but I'm not so good at lining up where the stamp should go. But hey, that should improve with practice, right?

You can look at the chart on the left to see the difference it's made in admittedly-newbie stamping. But the color richness in the Sally Hansen Teflon Tuff color is just astonishing to me. applying the color to the image plate left me with a very pale, weak stamp. Applying the color to the scraper gave me a rich, true-color stamp that was much prettier to look at.

You may try this and find it doesn't work for you. You may try it and find it's amazing. Whatever you do, if you do try it, please come comment and let me know how it worked for you? I would feel so wonderful if I found out I made someone's stamp application more satisfying!

Have a great day/night/afternoon/morning/whatever you're having when you read this!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I have teh deth, so here...have a cookie!

I know, I'm late posting about this method I figured out for getting better stamps from your nail stamping systems. Unfortunately, I tried to photograph it and ended up with some very awkward, unusable photographs. So, I tried to draw some illustrations about the method, and quickly found that it's hard to draw when you're feeling ill, having problems swallowing anything, and am falling asleep at random with no warning. I've come back to the computer several times to find that I've moved files, I've cut bits off the image that I want, etc.
It's just bad.

So, to spare you from the rambles, here- enjoy something from a few days (weeks) back. Instead of stamping, you get decals!! TADAAAAA,,,

 That's exactly what I did here! It's a simple process. I used a tiny ziploc bag, my normal dotters and brushes, and my nail polishes to paint little 5 petal flowers and more intricate roses onto the plastic bags. The roses I picked up from iheartpjab's youtube video called rose nails --updatedz. Everything else was just me playing around. Granted, they could all stand to improve, but for a first attempt I'm pretty happy.

After the roses, I put some little five petal flowers onto another little ziplock bag. I'd picked these bags up when I was making jewelry. I didn't get very far into that because all of a sudden, out of the blue, I was showing signs of carpal tunnel. Hmmph. But that's then, and this is now, and now we're talking about these little flowers!

These were an experiment. I put two colors of polish side by side, a silver and a deep pink. I used a dotting tool to make a dot, then drag the edge to the center. I didn't think much beyond that, and I think it shows. But hey, maybe I could put a little rhinestone on the inside of the flowers? Whatever, they're still cute!

Then I put them into my little Altoids case I'm keeping them all in. I'd planned to keep them on the bag until time to use them, but they weren't going for that. No, they started sliding off the plastic as soon as I started  handling them. So, here's the collection of what I've got so far in homemade nail decals. In the tin already were some skulls and some red glitter bows.

The skulls are mostly WAY too big. I need to work on this size thing, but overall I'm starting to like how they're coming out. This is one of the biggest roses on my thumb, and while it's big, it's not quite too big. I think I kind of like it.

You can pick up one of the decals, place it onto a bot of top coat, and then seal over it with a full coat of clear polish. That way you're good to go!

Also, you could place one of these on the edge of your nail, secure 1/2 the rose onto your nail with polish or glue, then use your nail file to file straight down at the edge of the nail, gently removing what's left. One more coat of top coat so seal it all in and you'd be good to go!

So, what kind of nail decals do you think I should try making next? Do you think you'd try to make nail decals? What do you think about nail decals in general?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Again with the giving away of things? Already?

I'm in the strangest of moods today, so bear with me while I try and get out the fabbo news I have. This post is HUGE, so I'm going to put a jump in it,just to spare your brain, and my looking at it on my front page. But please, keep reading- I've made a heck of a discovery on how to make Konad & Essence stamps come out more nicely, more consistently, and darker than before! All that's after the jump, though.

First off, the uber-wonderful KellieGonzo of Also Known As is having a giveaway! Whee!! She's giving away a sweet little collection of goodies that I think anyone would love to receive. Just look!

Seriously, just look how cute this stuff is! Honestly, I can't imagine people not wanting to get this stuff. It's not like you have to go out to the mall, find a parking place out by the road and then schlep all the way inside the mall where now it's too cold, what with the air conditioning, then have to walk all the way down to the Sephora store just to pick up the items you see here, that is if they're even still in stock!

No, Kellie has saved you the effort of all of this. Instead, all you have to do is fill out her cute pink little form. (And yes, it really is pink, with really cute little paler pink flowers all over the background.) She asks three little questions, and then gives you extra chances to win!!

Now really, could it be any easier than that? I mean, sure, she could just decide out of the blue to send things to your house, hire a private investigator to get your address and then send it to you, so that you answer the door one morning to find your mail delivery person standing there with a package for you!

But that's not going to happen. This giveaway is, though, so go on, go enter! I can wait til you get back to share my news.

*waits patiently for you to return, organizing her polish box. Man, it's messy, I needed this!!*
*ponders organizing by color or by brand. Then again, my collection is so small, I can just organize by polish. "This is a polish. This is not a polish. Ohhh, this goes with the polishes... those don't, those go with the paints..."*

Oh, you're back! That was FAST! I told you! Ok, are you sitting down? This could be exciting for you.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Eclipse Giveaway at Tiana's Place!

Oooh, this looks fun! Are you totally into the Twilight madness? Well, Tiana of Tiana's Place is giving away a sweet collection of goodies- five polishes, four lip glosses, and an eyeliner pencil all branded with the lovely Eclipse logo. I can't lie, the colors look absolutely delicious!

This giveaway is open until July 31, 11:59pm. You've got a bit of time, but I wouldn't waste too much time waiting to join. She's also said that she's adding to the prize package as the time progresses, so this is a giveaway I'm looking forward to! Someone has to win, why couldn't it be you? I'll save you a spot! ;)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wanna See My Uber-High-Tech Setup?

First off, let me say hello to all the new people following and visiting the blog. It makes me so happy to see new followers! I feel like I'm not talking to myself here, which is always a good thing!

So, I was talking to KellieGonzo about my setup for painting nail tips over Twitter. (I'm not all that interesting, but yes, you too can follow me- I'm MsLaynie on there.) I realized earlier tonight that my setup may be slightly different than most people. She wanted pictures, and that started me thinking it might be good to share with you folks.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More Essence Stampy Plates!!

Ok, you'll find this out sooner or later. I have more free time on my hands than I'd like. I have fibromyalgia, so I don't work. Sucks, but it gives me time to surf the web, I guess. When I'm interested in something, I tend to research and research and research, til I've exhausted the resources on the subject.

So, nail stamping. Sure, it started with Konad, then the BundleMonster plates, and finally there was the Essence Stampy Kit. But everyone was wondering... was there only one Essence plate? Would there be more? So of course, I've been digging around, looking to see if there are more, or would be more.

I hit pay dirt today. Don't ask me how, I've even forgotten the trail that let me here. I actually found an Italian(? maybe German?) shopping site that looked like it had more Essence plates. That triggered quite the google search, but I found them.

There are at least four more plates in production, and they're cute as can be. I really like the little skull image, and the cherries are pretty cute too. I found them at the Essence webpage, somehow. Again, I think it was the German version? You can follow the link on the image, and it'll get you there.

So for those of you who want to try more, all you have to do is figure out how to get someone in Germany to get you the set! They're inexpensive, from what I can tell. You know, not counting shipping. :D

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Busy busy busy!

Oh my goodness, I am a crazy busy little bee! I've been finishing up sets of acrylic tips, simply because I adore them!! I can't do my own nails and be happy with it, no. That's not enough to satisfy my OCDness. No, I have to work on three sets at once...

But they are sweet. I don't even have the energy to write much right now, after dealing with the twenty-some odd photos I took of these. I forgot to take photos of the sets all together, so I have even more photos to take. I am a GOOBER, y'all! But just look... I has pictures!! Remember, you can click them and make them bigger!

This is all silver holographic glitter goodness! No polish to name, it's just glitter I had mixed in with clear topcoat. It was a beast to work with, but omg, I love it!

Gradient nails, from blazing red to hot pink. Then, kissed with a holographic topcoat. Does it get better than this?

Mmmm, rainbow nails. I wasn't sure about these, because they looked REALLY bad until I got the topcoat on. But once I added the holographic top coat, they came together and now I absolutely ADORE them!! This is serious rainbow love for your fingertips, and it's total magic!

Wow! Feels good to get that out and over with! Now, tomorrow I photo all the sets out and together, 20 nails per set. Yes, that's 60 nails I've finished up today, which feels AWESOME!! (Of course, I've been working on them for several days, but who's counting?)