Tag Archives: barry m damson

Koi Stamping Decal Mani: February’s NCC #4

Hello sweeties! For my last February NCC look, I decided to attempt a stamping decal. I tried it once before and it was only a so-so result. I have some larger stamping images that I’ve always thought would be perfect as a decal, so of course it was high time I tried this technique again!

Koi manicure using a stamped decal

Koi manicure using a stamped decal

So the application came out a little crooked and didn’t line up perfectly across all nails and the face of the Koi fish smeared a little, but I’m really happy with the end result!

Odd finger position trying to line up the stamping decal :)

Odd finger position trying to line up the stamping decal 🙂

Painting the decal was easy enough, but transferring from the stamper to my nail was definitely more difficult. I watched YouTube videos like crazy, but that transfer remained hard!

I also took a closeup to show off the sparkle that Zoya Remy & China Glaze Fairy Dust gives:

Closeup showing off the base colors - Barry M Damson, Zoya Remy, and China Glaze Fairy Dust

Closeup showing off the base colors – Barry M Damson, Zoya Remy, and China Glaze Fairy Dust

And now, time for a mini rant… I used a stamping polish from Mundo de Unas. I purchased a bunch from them awhile back when I first got into stamping and heard amazing things about how they perform in stamping. And that’s right – they stamp better than anything I’ve tried so far. BUT they stink SO bad… like give you a headache/ eyes tearing bad. And this one had a lump of congealed polish at the tip of the brush that wouldn’t go away. Also, I’ve heard time and again about the controversy on MDU not releasing their ingredients based on their agreement with their production team. With all of that, I plan on not using them ever again and trying to get rid of the ones I own. If you know of anyone who is obsessed with MDU and has no sense of smell, let me know 🙂

Products used:

  • Base
    • Base color: Barry M Damson… this is a GORGEOUS bright cornflower blue that has an amazing formula!
    • I dabbed Zoya Remy over Damson with a piece of saran wrap… Now I previously have worn Remy on its own, and I didn’t think it was a bad stainer. But when I dabbed it on with saran wrap, it naturally was messy and got all over my skin. AND my skin was tinted blue until I scrubbed it with some toothpaste! So I recommend being careful with Remy since it’ll stain your skin.
    • Topper: China Glaze Fairy Dust… to give the background an almost shimmery/ sparkly water feel.
  • Stamping plate: Messy Mansion MM29
  • Decal
    • Stamping polish: Mundo de Unas Orange (13)… great color and fantastic to stamp with, but see all the above issues!
    • Koi details:
      • Illamasqua Purity… a beautiful almost flesh-toned light peachy orange.
      • Formula X Uber… a darker red-orange polish. This one was a little thin for detailing, but it ended up alright.
      • Rica Whiteout… my go-to white for nail art
    • Top coat: an old drugstore top coat… I think I used NYC’s top coat.
    • I stamped the image onto two stamper heads, cleaned up excess, and then dabbed on the above polishes for the detailing. I let that dry for awhile, then painted the top coat over. Once that was all dry, I peeled it off the stamper head and placed it on the nail (obviously not perfectly) and generously coated it with more top coat.

If you have any suggestions on how to make the stamping decal work easier, let me know!! Have you tried it before? What are your thoughts on Mundo de Unas?

Check out more animal manis from the NCC ladies:

Cat’s Cradle Manicure: November’s NCC #1

Happy November! It feels like it was just summer, and now it’s dangerously close to Christmas – craziness! This month, the Nail Challenge Collaborative theme is “Manicures Inspired by Books.” For my first look, I’ve chosen as inspiration one of my all-time favorite books by my favorite author, Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.

If you aren’t familiar with the book or Vonnegut in general, he writes satirical science fiction as a vessel for social and political criticism of the late 1900s. I adore all his books, and Cat’s Cradle is easily in my top three. It’s loosely about a mad scientist’s creation, “ice-nine,” which is capable of freezing the world and ending it all. But it really is so much more than that, so I highly recommend reading it!

But anyways you’re here to see manicures not hear me geek out over my favorite author, so here it is:

My Cat's Cradle-inspired manicure

My Cat’s Cradle-inspired manicure

My ring finger was inspired by the book cover, and the other nails are modeled after the frozen look of ice-nine.

Here’s what the book cover looks like:

Book cover

Book cover

How I did this manicure:

  • Ring finger:
    • Base color: Polish My Life Pink Sandals… a perfect pastel baby pink creme
    • Taped off the V and used A England Saint George… an amazing almost forest green holo
    • Freehanded the horizontal stripes with Julep Cleopatra… a matte/satin black (PS – it’s difficult using matte polishes in nail art. If it’s not perfect on the first swipe, going over it looks messy!)
  • Other nails:
    • Base color: Sephora Formula X White Matter… a decent white polish but far from my favorite. I feel like I need to keep all my white polishes in rotation though, so I used it 🙂
    • Used saran wrap to dab on:
      • Barry M Damson… a goooorgeous cornflower blue creme
      • Barry M Blueberry… a pretty pastel blue creme that’s very similar in color to Essie Bikini So Teeny without the shimmer but with a formula that’s a million times better!
    • A light layer of China Glaze Fairy Dust

So what do you think of this mani? I actually really like the geometric look of my ring finger. Maybe I’ll do that using different colors sometime! Have you read Cat’s Cradle or other Vonnegut books?

Check out more manis inspired by books by the NCC ladies:

Blue Mosaic Color Blocking: September NCC #2

For my second geometric manicure for the September NCC, I played with striping tape and ended up with what looks like an abstract R2D2. I find striping tape so annoying to work with sometimes – this manicure was certainly one of those times!

blue mosaic nail art striping tape manicure barry m damson chaos and crocodiles sleeper cell opi my vampire is buff colors by llarowe blonde ambition

My abstract R2D2 mani

I really do love the end product though. This took foreeeever (does anyone else get flashbacks to The Sandlot here? Fooor-ev-eeer… loved that movie as a kid!). All that hassle with striping tape resulted in a really pretty manicure! I used a bunch of new polishes I recently picked up, including my very first Chaos & Crocodiles polish!

blue mosaic nail art striping tape manicure barry m damson chaos and crocodiles sleeper cell opi my vampire is buff colors by llarowe blonde ambition

Sparkly striping tape mani

Ugh, that C&C holo is digustingly beautiful! C&C put out a Secret Agent collection, filled with a rainbow of gorgeous holos. I picked up 3 – the blue you see in this manicure (Sleeper Cell), a lavender called Decoy, and a red called Security Breach. They are all just soooo stunning. Oh! And I saw that people who bought the whole collection got a really amazing package with Secret Agent-themed items. I kind of wish I bought the whole collection now… Hey, there are always restocks right?!

blue mosaic nail art striping tape manicure barry m damson chaos and crocodiles sleeper cell opi my vampire is buff colors by llarowe blonde ambition

Look at that Blonde Ambition in my hands! So pretty!

Anyways, I just love this manicure!

Colors used:

  • Base: OPI My Vampire Is Buff… I can’t believe I didn’t own this before now! I love this super-smooth creamy nude!
  • Barry M Damson… a stuuuunning cornflower vibrant blue! Love this so much!
  • Chaos & Crocodiles Sleeper Cell… very strong blue holo with some hues of teal. Love love love!
  • Colors by Llarowe Blonde Ambition… a gorgeous golden nude with a very strong linear holo. Someone posted in a polish-themed facebook group that this is almost identical to Color Club Cherubic, so you need to own one of them! I haven’t swatched them next to one another yet, so I can’t say for sure if they’re dupes (& which one you need). BUT the color and holo is to die for, so you have to have one!

So yeah, I love it! Do you see what I mean about an abstract R2D2 though? Do you have Chaos & Crocodiles polish – if so, what others are must-buys? Also, any suggestions on making striping tape less annoying?

Check out more geometric manicures: