Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Fall Polishes From Essence and Catrice! GORGEOUS!!!

Oh my goodness, lovelies, do I have news for you!! You know how everyone's been pining away for the magnetic polishes that were out once upon a time and are now nowhere to be found? Well, there are gonna be a whole new set of them out this fall! The colors are so delicious... I really, really want these. Seriously, I want them so bad I can TASTE them!

(That's a bad thing, by the way. Nail polish tastes GROSS!! *bleah*)

Anyway, enough blabbing from me. I know what you want. You want to see these beauties! Well, feast your eyes on this...

You can click the image to make it bigger. They look like they'll be gorgeous even without the magnet, but I can't wait to see what they look like with it! The people at Essence had this to say about them:
Check out the new metallic nail polish collection that’s a perfect accessory for your fabulous make-up! The metallics nail polish collection will make you a fashionista from head to toe. A total of five new must-have colors offer ultimate luminance and ideal coverage. What more could you ask for in a polish? Available in 01 iron goddess, 02 copper rulez!, 03 steel me, 04 nothing else metals and 05 metal battle. Around 1.99 €*.
Is that fantastic or what? I'm giddy. As for the magnet, which is sold separately:
This stylish nail polish magnet doesn’t just attract trendsetters. Simply hold the magnet over a nail that has just been polished with the magnetic “metallics nail polish”*, and watch the color particles move. You’ll create totally innovative, exciting and unique nail designs! Around 1.49 €*.

*all essence metallics nail polishes are magnetic except 05 metal battle
They've also got some absolutely gorgeous other items coming out, all metallic. Silver or gold lipstick, anyone? How about eyeshadow quads with metallic gel eyeliner included? I won't lie, I want the whole collection. You folks who get Essence products are lucky!!

But don't think I've forgotten about Catrice! They're coming out with the limited edition Glamourama line and it looks just as hot! Again picking up on the metallics trend, Glamourama features four stunning metallic polishes. Tell me these aren't making you want to shop!

That purple is so intense. I cannot wait to see what it looks like on! The people at Catrice have this to say about the polishes:
Metallic must-haves: the limited Ultimate Nail Laquer colors are perfectly in tune with the Glamourama make-up in futuristic silver with mirror-effects, deep violet with fine glitter particles and velvety shades of red and blue. A multi-faceted finish with great coverage and long-lasting texture. Available in C01 Mirror, Mirror…, C02 En Vogue, C03 Times Square at Midnight and C04 Glamourista.

Also included in this line are individual lashes, a gorgeous metallic silver liquid eyeliner, and some very cute "eye jewels" that just might work as nail jewels as well, among other things. This is definitely something to keep an eye out for. If only I were a jetsetter, able to hop on a plane at the drop of a hat...

Ah well. Back to reality.

While chatting on twitter, @amusedPolish pointed out a little detail on the magnet packaging that I'd missed. Apparently the label of the bottle in the picture has the magnet pattern showing! So exciting! Since it's a tiny detail that doesn't blow up well*, please understand I did the best I could to make this visible. But you get the idea!

*Unfortunately, the image doesn't get any bigger. It even looks that pixelated. While you can always shrink a photo, you just can't add in detail that doesn't exist.

Images provided by Essence PR.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Borghese Has Me Going Dotty!

It's funny... for years I wanted to wear nail polish, but my nails just wouldn't cooperate. I would spend ages trying to polish them, making sure they looked as nice as I could make them. Of course, that generally involved painting on who-knows-how-many layers of polish, fussing while they tried to dry, then complaining because I got them dented or smeared. Also, cleanup was SO high tech- I would dip a cotton swab in nail polish remover and try to clean up the polish I got all over my fingers. Obviously, this would destroy the manicure, and I would generally get so frustrated I'd say something really rude, really loudly, then remove the whole thing in a fit of annoyance.

On the rare occasion I managed to get my nails painted and dried nicely, something strange would happen. Within a few hours, the polish would lift off my nails in a single sheet.  Sometimes a corner or a section in the very center would still be stuck down, but most of the time I would end up with a duplicate of my nail. It absolutely infuriated me, seeing all the women I went to school with who had absolutely amazing nails while mine were so frustrating. I tried everything I knew to get polish to stick, and absolutely nothing helped. I'd go through this cycle every 6 months or so, and so I ended up with quite the collection of partly-used bottles of polish.

I decided to pull out one of those bottles for this manicure- a bottle of Borghese Roma Scarlet C so old that I don't even know where I got it! If I'm not mistaken I picked this up back in 2001 because it matched my car's paint job: deep bright red with golden shimmer. Of course, I could be wrong. It could have been any time, since most of the polishes I have pre-obsession were red with shimmer. What can I say, I like red! Anyway, back to the nail polish...

I had big plans for this manicure. I pulled everything out- base coat, top coat, stickers, etc. I was going to use some  red, black, and silver decals (unfortunately, I have NO IDEA where these came from!), and it was going to be glorious! I painted my nails, spent an absolute agonizing amount of time cleaning up the edges since red is such a difficult color to clean up, then pulled out the decals, pulled one off to lay on top of my fingernail and realized...

It wouldn't show up. The red is so intense that the black and red sort of faded into it, leaving me with nothing that really showed on my nails. GRR! I decided to pull out the nail art pens and doodle, but wound up with a design I couldn't replicate on my right hand, so I cleaned THAT off (thank goodness for water-based paint!!) and then decided to go with a standard mani I've done before.

I went dotty.

I chose my Sally Hansen Nail Art pens in black and silver, wanting to keep it fairly simple. I think I failed on that, since it ended up being a very busy design, but it was still fun and I think it was cute. It also has a different look than the last set of dots I did similar to this. So it's hardly a great work of art, but it was a lot of fun, and I'm happy with it.

Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens were provided by the company's PR firm for evaluation.

Monday, September 27, 2010

OPI- Crepes Suzi-ette Has Stolen My Heart!

I am so excited! I won the giveaway on KittyPolishNBags, and my package finally arrived! Let me tell you, folks, this chick knows how to package things! Each bottle was wrapped in bubble wrap and taped closed. Then, packing peanuts surrounded the whole thing for even more cushion. Happily, it was a bit like Christmas in that I got to open each package individually, and I'd even forgotten what colors were coming! SO much fun!

Once I had them all opened and entered into my nail polish spreadsheet, I realized I needed to swatch the single OPI in the bunch. It's a creme color that screams fall to me, a deep spicy burnt orange that reminds me of nothing so much as pumpkin pie. It makes me think of leaves changing color, the crisp bite in autumn air, of sweaters and boots and scarves.

Also, I decided to experiment with swatching using artificial nails. I love the way longer nails look on me, but I don't like wearing them all the time. This is a fun diversion for me, but let me know what you think in the comments. If you don't like them so much, I'll try sticking to my own nails.

Back to the polish... It's another one of those lovely matte polishes that I probably wouldn't have chosen for myself, and yet now that I have it, I love it! Maybe there's a lesson in there...

Once I took these photos, I realized I wanted to see what this color would look like with the Glimmer Glosses applied. As you can see, the various colors really do change the color of Crepes Suzi-Ette! The first photos show the nails photographed using flash, which shows the shimmer nicely but seriously altered the color of these. As you can see, Grapefruit Glimmer is packed with a lovely cool pink shimmer, almost glittery. The other two have a more subtle shimmer. Blueberry Burst is full of a very subtle, almost hidden shimmer, while Cherry Fizz is almost all gloss, with just a touch of shimmer bits.

This photo, on the other hand, shows the color more accurately. Blueberry Burst turns the pumpkin pie color of Crepes Suzi-Ette to a deep chocolatey brown, very cool toned. I'm absolutely stunned by this, I wasn't expecting it at all. It's a beautiful brown packed with almost-hidden teeny tiny blue shimmer! Grapefruit Glimmer doesn't change the base color much, but adds an amazing amount of pink sparkle. And Strawberry Fizz takes this to an almost brick-red with the occasional tiny red sparkle. They're all absolutely gorgeous, and I'd wear every one of them!

So, that's OPI Crepes Suzi-Ette. They are fantastic! Have you worn this color? Do you like it? Also, what do you think of the nail tips for swatching? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nail Doodling: Playing With Nail Art Designs

I got bored again after wearing Shield for just a day or two. The cute little stencil wasn't enough... I had to find something else fun to do. I ended up taking a cue from my sketchbook and started doodling on my nails.

For my thumb, I first stenciled a leaf. Well, I think it's a leaf. It's the shape I used for the tutorial, and although it sort of looks like a crown I figured that if I put a flower on top of it, it would look like a leaf instead. I should have added some detailing to it, but it's not awful. Then I painted a swirly rose. I had a decent-looking rose after 2 colors (red and orange), but then I kept going with various colors (sheer pink, pink striper, white striper) and ended up with... well, this. It's not horrible, but it sort of looks like a badly-wound ball of variegated yarn. Yea... next?

I won't even show a close-up picture of the next one. I stenciled a dragonfly, but it was just... bad. You can see it in the group shot, though, without seeing it magnified to the point it just loses visual coherence. My middle finger was interesting, though.

I used my royal blue glitter striper to paint diagonal stripes onto my nail. Simple, but then I started to think... and I wondered what the water polish would look like over this. Sure enough, it changed the color ever so slightly. It's more visible in person, but since I can't upload my actual fingers, this is as good as y'all are gonna get.

 Finally, there was my pinkie. I pulled out BPAL's Blood Countess and my tiny striping brush and started to doodle swirls and dots. I think I like this one, although I'm not exactly sure. It made a pretty filigree, and the glitter shined through the bloody red in a very delicate fashion.

Of course, now I'm very tempted to do disturbing splatters and drips of blood down my nails with this one. Can't you see it? Ahh, it's so perfect for Halloween! It suits my mood the last couple of days as well! I wonder how well this polish would show on black...

Finally, here's the four nails together. See what I mean about the poor dragonfly? He looked much better in real life.

Ah well, it was a fun experiment! Do you ever doodle on your nails? I'd love to see what you do! Show me, or describe it in the comments!

Some polishes were provided by their companies' PR groups for evaluation.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Using Nail Stencils With Nail Art Pens? Why Not!

Having such a lovely metallic polish on my fingers is fun, but I get bored so easily. As I was looking through my polishes trying to figure out what to do to make things more interesting, I realize that I had some stencils that came with my Kiss Nail Artist Nail Paints that I'd never really used. I wondered if they could be used with nail art pens. I decided to experiment.

I pulled out my nail art box and started to experiment. I find my box lid makes a great surface to test on, and cleans up easily with a bit of tape. I painted a layer of Wet nWild Shield onto the box, let it dry, then pulled out my Sally Hansen Nail Art pens. I tried silver first, but then realized that silver on gold is basically invisible. I decided not to share the photos of that one... you can use your imagination, it'll be more helpful than the pics!

But I had more luck with the black pen. It went quickly, and I made sure I colored from the stencil into the nail, instead of from my nail out onto the stencil. That way, it didn't force any polish under potentially unsecured edges. Once I pulled up the stencil, I was left with a lovely design! It was time to move on to my nails...

I went with a single design on my ring fingers, just for fun. I was actually surprised at just how easy it was, and just how cute it turned out! Seriously, this was simple!! All I needed to do was add a layer of Seche Vite over it and I was done! However, this design would look adorable with rhinestone accents... I just didn't think to add any at the time!

Keep in mind that if you're using the Sally Hansen nail art pens that they're water soluble and definitely need a topcoat. If you leave them without it, they'll wash off or flake off, which isn't what you want!

Also, make sure that your nail art has dried with the pens or they will smear like crazy into your topcoat. Once they're dry they're fine, as long as you use alight touch with the topcoat. Once that's dry, they're all sealed in and ready to go!

So remember, the next time you pick up some Kiss Nail Artist Nail Paints to hold on to the stencils, because you can use them with any polishes you like!

Kiss products and Sally Hansen products were provided by the companies for evaluation.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wet n Wild Craze- Shield

I've whined a good bit about Wet n Wild's basic polishes here. Maybe it's my base coat, maybe it's my application, maybe I got a couple of bad bottles, or maybe it's my chemistry. I have no idea. But I've finally found one that I absolutely adore...

Shield is a desaturated metallic gold that applied like a dream. The brush is very short and squatty, but I found that I had no problem with control, or with reaching the polish in the bottle (like the problem I've had with other bottles). This polish went on smooth and gorgeous and I had almost no need for cleanup, which is odd for me!

I'm also oddly amused by the bottle design. The swirly paisley on the cap makes me smile, and I think the bottle is just adorable. It's not really elegant, but it's cute as can be which also works for me!

I'm not sure why, but I'm often drawn to metallic polishes. It's sad, because they almost never look good on me! Golds are too yellow and make me look sickly, silvers are too cold and just look odd. But this? This is the perfect metallic tone for my skin, in my opinion, and happily I don't cringe when I see it on my fingers!

Unfortunately, I forgot one of the main things I've been testing when I use a new polish- I forgot the stample! I feel so silly, but there's no doubt in my mind that this would stamp beautifully, especially over black. Can't you just see it now...?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Making Faces With My Husband

Let me start by saying my husband rarely shows any interest in my nails. He thinks nail art is kind of silly, but he loves how much fun I have with my nail art and my blog. But recently he happened to be looking over my shoulder while I was cropping some pictures. Things got interesting then...

I was working on these photos of the stamped Bordello nails with a coat of Maybelline's Matte Maker. The matte topcoat did something interesting to Bordello- the satin finish somehow highlighted the shimmer in it, causing it to have a sheen almost like fabric. It's almost magical, really, seeing the change it made. I think I'll be using this Matte Maker again, perhaps to highlight areas on a nail design instead of over the entire nail.

Whew, that was long-winded! Anyway, so I'm working on a closeup of my thumbnail to show the pattern when my husband said, "That looks like a face!"

I turned to him, raised an eyebrow and said, "... wait, what?"

"A face," he continued. "You know, the eyes would go there, and the mouth..." He gestured with his hands, pointing in the general direction of my thumbnail photo.

I didn't know what to say, really. "I love you baby, but you're kinda weird," I said to him, giggling.

For some reason, he wouldn't take no for an answer. "No, really! Do it! Draw a face!"

So I did. He sat with me and told me where to put what, what colors to choose, even where to put the highlight in the eyes. It was cute, and I had to share. I had to tell him that it wasn't exactly what i would have drawn, though. Then he told me fine, to draw my own...

And so I did.

Mine was girlier. I think she could use some hair, too, but overall I think you get the idea. He liked my drawing too, and said she was cuter than his.

Then he dared me to post it to my blog. How could I say no? Besides, I thought it might make someone giggle...



Please tell me I haven't lost my mind. Please? :D

Manicure is done with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's Claw Polish in Bordello, Maybelline  Matte Gold stamped using Konad image plate m79, topped with a coat of Seche Vite, then a coat of Maybelline's Matte Maker top coat. BPAL's Bordello was provided by the company for evaluation.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Stamping the BPAL Bordello...

Once I got that luscious bunch of BPAL Claw Polish, I couldn't stop at swatching. I had to wear at least one as a manicure, and Bordello totally stole my heart. Something about the shimmery sparkly depth of it called to me, and I won't lie- I didn't fight it. I wore it plain for a couple of days, then decided to stamp it using one of the polishes from my recent Dollar Store haul- Maybelline Matte Gold.

It was really pretty, if I do say so myself. I went with a pattern I've used before, simply because I like it. For some reason, of all the image plates I have (hee, not that many), I tend to gravitate toward m79. I love the netted pattern, and although I keep wanting to use others, this one draws me in often.

This time, I found that the pattern stamped in gold played well with the shimmer in Bordello, really capturing the essence of the description of the polish. Black Phoenix Trading Post describes Bordello as "the bright raspberry of Dance Hall flocked wallpaper," and the subtle repeating print mixed with the shimmer really brought to mind aged dance hall patterns.

Because I had a coat of Seche Vite between the base polish and the stamp, there was a subtle depth to the finished look that I loved. The interplay between the shimmers was interesting, and although I finished with another coat of Seche Vite, they almost looked as if they should feel velvety, as if you could reach out and pet them and feel them soft and fuzzy under your fingertips. It was fascinating, and I couldn't stop looking at my nails, shifting them in the light, loving the look of it all.

Of course, the next step would be to paint a matte topcoat over this look, but that's tomorrow's blog. :D

I tried to capture this in a photograph and failed miserably. I wish I could take video of this, show you just how downright magical it looked, the silver shimmer in the Bordello shining up through the raspberry polish, and dancing with the gold stamp. Unfortunately, I failed as a photographer, and am left with only this single image. Sad, isn't it?

But you can imagine with me the sound of the dance hall piano, the laughter of the people inside...

BPAL's Bordello was provided by the company for evaluation.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

BPAL has NAILPOLISH now!! Really!

For years, I've watched my friends geek out over BPAL. They get to into it, and it's almost like they've joined a cult with its own language, its own practices. They organize everything into spreadsheets, imps and wish lists, things to keep and things to trade, and elaborate discussions of dry down and top notes and things that I just don't understand. It's smelly stuff, how could it be that awesome?

I stayed away from the mania contently, without feeling the pull. It was easy, because I knew I didn't have the money to get involved, so I'd just watch amusedly from afar, never getting too close lest I be sucked in. That is, I stayed away easily until last week.

Last week, BPAL reached out and grabbed my heart in a sudden, unexpected gesture, and my life will never be the same again. After seeing Magic Maid's post all about the new BPAL Claw Polish, I found myself drawn in against my control. They looked so lush, so beautiful. I found myself at the Black Phoenix Trading Post looking at each polish and its description, swooning. I sent an email to them, congratulating them on their new line, expressing my pleasure at seeing them have such a lovely, expressive line of colors for their first nail polishes, and a request to be aded to their PR list for future information.

I was surprised to hear back from an absolutely wonderful person named Puddin. We had a fun email exchange, but most of all he told me to expect a little package from them. I was ecstatic! But when it got here, I was absolutely dumbfounded! That lovely man had sent me 9 polishes from the line that seemed absolutely perfectly chosen for me. I'm not sure how he did it, just that he did, and I couldn't wait to swatch them all... I interrupted the post I was making just to swatch and photo. Finally, I'm ready to post the results!

First I painted them onto my nails in a sort of blood-related skittles mani. It actually worked well, showing the relation of the colors and how they're subtly different from each other. Photographing these was almost impossible, because flash severely altered the colors, but shooting manual made the colors have an incredibly orange cast to them. However, with a bit of photoshop I was able to rescue the manual shots into something that's almost accurate.

These polishes are decadent. I mean that... they go on silky smooth, creamy as ... the creamiest thing imaginable. I struggle for words. The colors are divinely pigmented, ranging from the deep dark blood-colored Blood Countess, to the dried-blood shade of Lady Macbeth, and ending with the color of fresh arterial spray in Mme Moriarty. These shots aren't 100% accurate- Mme Moriarty truly is the color of fresh blood, deep red and thick and absolutely beautiful on the skin. Sed Non Satiata is a more pink shade, described by BPAL as being "Lust captured: pulsating deep burgundy." They're all absolutely gorgeous creme polishes that I am thrilled to have.

Moving on, there is the other four, which are less blood oriented: Maiden is a very sheer, pale pink that would probably be good for french manicures or for people who want a touch a color, but not a lot. Opium poppy is a vivid  pink for those who love color, a bright hot pink that commands attention. Bordello is my favorite- a silver shimmer in this deep pink that is simply stunning on the nail. One coat of this is sufficient, but I chose to do two coats for every polish. The last polish on this hand is Midnight on the Midway, a plum frost that is my least favorite of the bunch. It's not bad, by any stretch of the imagination, it simply appears slightly dated compared to the other shades. However, it's still lush and beautiful, covering generously with one coat.

The final polish in the bunch is Embalming Fluid, a gorgeous lime green in the bottle that applies sheer and glittery over any polish you put it over. Unfortunately, I seem to have neglected to get any photos of it!! I'll hopefully remedy that soon, and do an update on it.

Of course, by this point, there was only one thing to do:  I had to test the stampability of these polishes! I used my new method of stamping onto a white sticker that I then apply onto the bottle, so that I know just how well it stamps without having to jump into my spreadsheet to check it! My husband and I came up with the perfect word for these- STAMPLES! As you can see, they're all extremely good for stamping except for Maiden and Embalming Fluid, which left the page basically blank and are simply too sheer to stamp with.

I highly recommend enlarging this one to see the stample details!

And so we reach the conclusion of my epic swatchathon. These polishes are available at the BPAL Trading Post for $9 each, are big 3 free, and in my opinion are at least equal in quality with my Deborah Lippman polishes. Add in the amazing customer service and you cannot go wrong with any of these polishes. I think they are absolutely amazing, and I ended up wearing Bordello as my nail of the day for a full week! It stayed on until I took a very leisurely hour-long bath, which soaked the polish off several of my nails. But any polish would have done the same, so I'm not complaining about that at all!

So- if you're at all interested in these shades (and I do so hope that you are), when you head over to the Trading Post, be sure to tell Puddin you read about them here!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Would You "Marry Me?" Giveaway at Tuli's Nails!

Sorry for the cheesy title, but I couldn't resist. Tuli (over at Tuli's Nails) is hosting a giveaway to celebrate being chosen part of the 50 top nail blogs! She's giving away a bottle of Lanvin Marry Me Eau De Parfum! This scent has such an interesting description:

The composition is based on luminous tonic mixed of bitter Tunisian orange and sensual essences of Sambac jasmine. This surprising combination is wrapped in sweet zest of peach and sophisticated jasmine tea aromas. A sensual heart is painted with jasmine enhanced with magnolia blossom and romantic, non-chalant rose petals. Union of white flowers and fruit zest melts in juiciness and warmth of powerful hot amber and musky trail.
-Lanvin press release

If you're the lucky winner, you will receive your very own bottle of this scent! Even if it's not a scent you'd particularly like to wear, the bottle would look absolutely lovely on your vanity. I like the clean lines of the bottle, and the pink ribbon gives it a cute kick! So what do you have to do to win this?

It's easy as can be: simply head over to Tuli's and fill out her entry form- that's it! The winner will be chosen at random on  September 24, so you don't have a lot of time. What are you waiting for- scoot on over and sign up! Tell her Laynie sent you! ;)

Image court of Tuli's Nails and Lanvin Press Release

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Discoveries- Candy Foil Nails

I have a problem, I think- I'm always looking at things and thinking, "I could use this for something." I have several boxes of craft goodies that I'm holding on to, knowing that I'll use them for something one of these days. Sure, some people call it hoarding- I call it recycling! ;)

Seriously, though, I've had three Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Minis wrappers in my nail art box for several months now. At the time I saved them, my family thought I had totally lost my mind! I wasn't sure what I would use them for, I just knew that I would use them. Then a couple of weeks ago I got an invitation to be part of the BzzCampaign for Elmer's CraftBond adhesives and X-ACTO cutting tools.

I cannot even begin to tell you how quickly I hopped over to sign up. I was giddy, and couldn't wait to see what they would send. Well, I wound up receiving my package yesterday, and boy, was it fun! Included were two pairs of decorative edged scissors, a corner rounder, and various adhesives. But the scissors are what excited me. As I opened the package, I was hit by a moment of inspiration. Suddenly, I knew what I would be doing with those candy wrappers... they were going to become foil strips for my nails!

The first thing I did was smooth out the foil wrapper as smooth as I could. That worked nicely, and I was left with a slightly-crinkled foil that was really pretty. Then I tried to cut the wrapper with the scissors- it didn't do well. It sort of shredded the foil into things that wouldn't be very useful. However...

I remembered that in sewing, sometimes you have to reinforce a delicate fabric with a sturdy paper backing to stitch on it. I figured why not try it for cutting? I got a piece of plain typing paper, cut it slightly larger than the piece of  wrapper I was working with, and tried again to cut. SUCCESS! I had perfect cuts, making small slivers of foil I could then apply to my nails! I was excited and cut a lot of strips from half of a wrapper.

I also cut a few wider ones with one straight edge and one wavy edge. I applied one to a false nail with a thin thin coat of base coat, then used a small piece of plastic bag to smooth it down. This way I didn't get polish on my fingertips! The foil tended to slip a lot, so it might be better to wait for the base coat to get tacky.

Once it was tacked down nicely, I used an emery board to remove the edges of the foil by gently filing downward, cutting through the foil and leaving a smooth edge. I don't know how you could achieve the same look on natural nails, unfortunately.

Finally, I put a single coat of Seche Vite over it, and within 10 minutes or so I had a beautifully smooth nail with a gold foil applique. If you attempt this, be sure to wrap the tips, so that your foil won't try and peel up. I didn't have that problem, but better safe than sorry, right?

So there you have it- Candy Nails! I love the look, and will be putting some foil strips on my own nails soon enough. Currently, the strips are stored in small ziplock bags, with scraps in a separate bag. I think it could be fun to patch together tiny pieces of foil to make a fully-foil-covered nail! Besides, how many nail art techniques let you eat chocolate as part of it? Remember, if you try this, send me a picture, I wanna see it!

     ♥ Laynie

Elmer's CraftBond adhesives and X-ACTO cutting tools image provided by

Saturday, September 18, 2010

YAY! I Received a Sunshine Award!

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you'll find a spot of brightness just when you need it most? I've been having a very difficult week, thanks to a knee that's out of whack, a house that's frustratingly messy, and a pile-up of RL suckitude. Then, as I was going through comments today, I saw that Anita at A Splash of Serendipity has sent me a Sunshine Award!

I can't even explain how happy it made me! So hopefully I can pass that happy on a bit, and let it grow. Did you know happiness is one of the odd things that actually gives you more when you give it away? :D

1. Save the image above and post it on your blog.
2. Pass the award on to any fellow bloggers needing a bit of sunshine in their day.
3. Link the nominees.
4. Let the nominees know they have won this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person you received this award from!

You know, I think I'd send this to every blogger I know right now, but I'm gonna focus on just a couple. So... this is me passing it on!

Magic Maid, you cheer me up so much, and you make me giggle. I hope this makes you smile as much as it did me!

Daily Nail, you inspire me, you make me smile, you give me so much creative energy. You totally deserve some sunshine!

Have a great day, everyone! I've got some fun stuff coming up!

Friday, September 17, 2010

With Monsters On Her Fingers, Why Should She Be Afraid?

I have just finished the silliest set of nail tips that I think have ever existed. Rhinestones? Heck no, that's too elegant! Roses? BORING. (Not really, but go with me on this!) I wanted something different, something that really expressed my inner self. I wanted monsters! But not just any monsters. No... I wanted monsters with WIGGLY EYES!

That's right. These nail tips have monsters on them, and those monsters have 3D wiggly eyes that actually move! Some of them look excited, some of them look menacing, but most of them look kind of confused, and I really like that! They're silly, and they're weird, and they're in halloween colors to boot! Purple, green, and orange combine on a stark black background to make these monsters really pop.

Now, I started these ages ago. I got the test one finished way back on August 6, believe it or not! They clearly didn't take that much time to complete. But I got the bases painted and then had a huge moment of fear: could I finish them? Could I make them as cute as I hoped they would be? And those nails sat, and waited, taunting me simply by being unfinished. It was almost depressing!

Then one night I realized that hey, it doesn't matter if they're perfect. They don't have to be perfect because they're monsters! That moment freed me from the fear I was fighting with, and I was able to dive in and get back to work on them. The more I worked, the happier I got, until finally I was giggling as I painted on the goofy details, the pink hair bow, or the goofy teeth on the orange guy with eye stalks. They're not perfect, but they're cute, and that's enough for me. Anyone who wants perfect monsters can paint their own!

By the way, I think you should enlarge the image above, even if you don't click any other images on this blog. It's silly, and you can see all the little guys in their full glory. They're pretty nutty, really, and I love them all! I may have to make my own set of these, especially if someone buys them.

Wait, buy them? That's right, this set of nails is also up on Etsy for $24.95. They'll come nicely and safely packaged so that you don't have to worry about them being squished by the post office, and then you'll get to love the little guys while I miss them.

It's ok. I can make more. Already, my mind is filled with googly-eyed critters, and I'm wondering what to make next...

So, what do you think? Any other critters you'd like to see?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Aiee, Poor Caribbean...

Oh dear. You ever do something pretty, and then just keep on going and destroy it? Yea, that's what I did here. The Caribbean Frost was pretty, but I got bored. Really bored. This is what happens.

See, first I grabbed my stamping kit. I have it all in a cute little bag that Kellie G. sent me. (If it wasn't for her, I'd still be stuck with the same single plate I had.) I dug through all the plates and decided to go with M78. It's a really cute pattern that I've wanted to use more than once, but never got around to using. Since I just got those gorgeous Maybelline Aluminum polishes, I decided to see how they'd stamp on this lovely shade of teal.

It was... pretty. It was fairly sheer, though. I wanted more! I then decided to fill in the cheetah spots with black and white. That was AWFUL!! Thankfully, the Sally Hansen Nail Art pens are water-based, and I could remove them without any damage to the stamp. It was really not something worth saving,unfortunately.

Then I decided to try the silver and gold. They were... better? I don't know. I'm not fond of this look, but I decided to keep it on for whatever reason. A coat of Seche Vite made it durable and shiny, and dried quickly as usual.

Oh, you may be wondering about the naproxen sodium in the photo. I've managed to damage my knee somehow, so I'm taking these around the clock to help with inflammation. I was amused at that bottle being closest to hand. I know, I have a weird sense of humor.

All in all, I don't think this is a horrible look. I just don't have long enough nails to make the best use of the pattern, and it ended up looking sort of disorganized. But it was the first time I used a whole-nail stamp and it turned out nicely. Also, I learned a lot about stamping and design. So overall, it was a great learning experience, right? :D

What would you consider one of your more educational nail polish experiences? Have you done a nail art design that just made you want to take it off and start over? Tell me about it in the comments! And coming up tomorrow, I got a special surprise in the mail that I get to share with you! See you then!

Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens were provided by their PR company for evaluation.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I always wanted to go to the Caribbean...

I have a problem. It's a great one, but it's a problem, regardless. I'm indecisive, and now I have a box full of untried polishes that is just almost impossible to choose from. Seriously, I'm sitting here looking and just totally overwhelmed. For this mani, I decided to ask a friend to choose my color.

"Pick a color. Any color, I'm bound to be able to come close to it..."

She laughed at me, then said, "Well, I'm wearing this sort of teal-blue-green color on my toes... how about that?"

And that's how I decided on today's color, Wet n Wild's Caribbean Frost.  I like it, I think, but I don't think it likes me. I can't quite decide if I like it on me or's so green! But it's an absolutely lovely color, with just enough shimmer to make me smile.

Unfortunately, I had the same problem with this one as I did with Wet n Wild Eggplant Frost. I'm going to have to try it over a bare nail, maybe it's my base coat causing the problems? Whatever, these two polishes were horrible to work with. The polish didn't want to go where I wanted it! I'll try it without a base coat first, and then maybe try thinning it out a bit with my polish thinner. It's frustrating, because these are absolutely beautiful polishes!!

I finally managed to get the polish mostly where I wanted it, though, with only a few curse words. (I have a bit of a potty mouth when I'm frustrated... or, well, when I'm breathing. :D) A coat of Seche Vite made things look even nicer, and I managed to get this cleaned up better than ever before, I think. I'm finally getting the hang of using acetone and a brush to clean up. It only took me what... 3 months?

One good thing about how Caribbean Frost is how well it stamps. I've gotten a bit OCD lately, so whenever I get a new polish, I put it into my spreadsheet, then I do a sample stamp with it onto a small sticker. That way, I have a reference of how well it stamps without having to remember details on all of my polishes! I've managed to go back and do sample stickers on about 1/3 of my polishes... the ones I think would stamp well. It's so much easier than having to dig through the spreadsheet!

Clearly, this one stamps like a dream. I want to see what it looks like over black. Ooooh, that's an interesting idea for the future! *rushes over to make a note in her spreadsheet* Sure, that might be geeky, but it helps me remember what I wanna do!

So yea, this is what I've worn for the past day or two. I have to admit, it's growing on me. I think I'm going to have to stamp on it to see what it looks like then...

Then again, knowing me, I'll destroy it totally. I'm good at that! Oh well... stay tuned for tomorrow's exciting conclusion to Wet n Wild Caribbean Frost! Will it be stamped on? Will it be a masterpiece, or will it be ugly! Wait and see!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

WHEW!! They're finally finished- my non-bumpy, non-scratchy lace-embedded nails!

I am so excited to share this that I am almost speechless. I have finally finished the lace-embedded nails to a point that I would wear them happily. My lace nails are FINISHED! They're hard to photograph, but they're so cute! Yes, these babies have actual lace embedded into the finish, and yet there are no sharp pointy bits sticking off the edges, and no scratchy bits on top. They have all the beauty of lace, yet none of the irritating texture!

There are a few patterns in, because I didn't have enough lace to make them all identical. It's something to consider for next time if they sell. Also, I was unsure on the price. Do you think they're priced too low? Too high?

This was a serious learning curve. When I first attempted it, I was left with a nail that had lace bits poking out at the sides. Each bit would then soak up topcoat, becoming a tiny sharp barb that would make wearing these pretty much impossible, in my opinion. Add to that the texture of the actual lace on top and these were pretty, but unwearable for me. The solution?

Elbow grease. I wish I had a better answer for you, one that's fancy and high tech. But no... it came down to finding each little pokey part, trimming it as closely as I could, then filing it smooth with an emery board. Then I would take my buffing block and work through each step, until it was buffed to a glass-like shine. Tedious?

You have NO idea.

And yet, I wasn't finished. No... there was still that pesky lace texture to deal with. I bought a bottle of Seche Vite, hoping it would self-level all my problems away. It didn't. So... once again, I sanded those lumps and bumps away until I was left with a smooth surface, then buffed and polished them til they shined. What can I say, I'm determined. And look at them shine...

So yea... that's the big secret I've been holding on to. It's not something particularly special... it's just an amazing amount of work... mind-numbing, fingertip-erasing work. I've sanded my brains away, and for now, they're available for $24.95 through my Etsy shop. Here's hoping someone jumps on them, because I'd really love to make some more in other color combinations (black and red, anyone?), but I need the money from sales to buy more supplies! So go, look, and if you know someone who might be interested, maybe you could toss them a link? Thanks!!