Tag Archives: illamasqua

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:

Neon stripes and roses: August NCC #3

Here comes manicure #3 for August’s NCC theme of Tea Party! For this one, I decided to basically recreate a recent favorite of mine – stripes and flowers. I imagine an outside tea party in a garden with a trellis of vines and flowers. Since I’m obsessed with neon, I also used my recent Models Own purchase.

neon green white roses stripes flowers manicure

Gorgeous right?? I love this type of manicure. Paulina’s Passions does it perfectly, and I just plain strive to make my flower nails like hers!

This manicure was actually from awhile ago… I had it on my nails when the August theme was announced, and I knew it’d be perfect for the tea party theme!

neon green white roses stripes flowers manicure

Polishes used:

  • Pinky, thumb, and neon stripes: Models Own Flip Flop
  • Base color: Rica Whiteout
  • Roses: Orly Frolic (bright orchid purple), OPI Vant to Bite my Neck? (dark purple accent), Illamasqua Collide (sheer neon pink to brighten the roses up)
  • Leaves: Revlon Posh

What do you think? Do you wear neons year-round or just in the warmer months? I think I want to wear neons forever 🙂

Check out the other tea party-themed nails by the NCC:

 

Skittlette #1 for May Nail Challenge Collaborative

I’m sorry for my recent lapse in posts! I was lacking in inspiration and feeling blah about any manicures I tried. And then I went on a lovely vacation, but now I’m back! I sat down last night and had a little nail party while binge watching all the shows I recorded on vacation.

First up is to catch up on May’s NCC, which is Skittles. This one is probably my least favorite, but no worries – I will spam your feed with a few more that I like a whole lot better!

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And to show off the glitter better:

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Index finger: Illamasqua Purity, dotted with China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint

Middle & Ring: China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint dotted with Illamasqua Purity

Pinky (and thumb, but not pictured): OPI DS Classic. I bought this a long time ago but never wore it. I thought it would really wash me out, but it’s actually a stunning nude scattered holo!

And here’s a gorgeous macro of my pinky:

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Again, not my favorite mani. I think it washed me out a little bit. The Re-Fresh Mint looks a lot nicer in person at least!

Anyways, get prepared for more posts from me! Oh, and check out the other skittle/skittlette manis:

The Nail Challenge Collaborative: Untrieds Week 1

I joined my first challenge! I was so excited to be invited to join The Nail Challenge Collaborative (which will henceforth be named the NCC for brevity’s sake!) by Stephanie from A Little Polish. She’s a fellow Pittsburgher and a talented lover of nail art as well! So if you haven’t seen any posts from the NCC, it’s a group of nail art bloggers who do 4 manis/month in a previously chosen theme. And I’m now one of them! Woo hoo!

The theme for March is “Untrieds,” which got me really excited because I have a huge pile of untried polishes and a whole file of untried manicure ideas and techniques. So this is a great excuse to get off my lazy butt and actually accomplish some of them!

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This is a whole lot of untried goodness for me – all untried polishes and leopard print, which I’ve never done before! Shocking, right? I feel like everyone and their mom has done leopard print, but not me… until now. I had read that it was super easy to do, but it always intimidated me. This challenge has made me put my big girl pants on and finally do it! I think it came out awesome too 🙂 It truly was easy to do – messy is actually a bonus here, which totally worked for me haha.

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The Tin Man got a heart for Valentine’s Day!

Happy belated Valentine’s Day everyone! I’m not the biggest fan of this “holiday” because of all the commercialism, but I do enjoy any reason to celebrate love! Plus my birthday is Monday, so I’d much rather celebrate my birthday than VDay. The husband and I used it as another good excuse for a fun date night – had some yummy seafood and then went to go see Frozen (super cute movie if you haven’t seen it!).

And of course I had to have something VDay-related on my nails. I’ve been seeing a lot of cutout gradient designs, so I figured I’d try it with hearts!

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You see why I titled my post like that now? The silver reminds me of tinfoil… tinfoil, tin, tin man, hearts for the Tin Man! Free association people!

More pictures:

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Peekaboo holo

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before (haha), but I loooove holographic polishes. Especially the Color Club ones – they have the most jam-packed holo for good prices. As I recently said, I love it so much I’d pour it all over my body as body paint… if only there was enough in the bottle for that and for my nails!

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Gorgeous, right?! I call it my peekaboo manicure because it reminds me of a curtain drape drawing back and revealing the polish underneath. Peekaboo, I seeee you orange polish!

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Here’s what I did:

  • Base color: Illamasqua Purity, a beautiful pastel peach color that applies so easily. It looks more orangey in the pictures, but it really is more of a cantaloupe peach.
  • Taped using an angled sticker (See the next picture)
  • Top color: Color Club Eternal Beauty, a beautiful grape purple holo. I only used 1 coat… 1 coat! And it still looks that amazing.

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Silly me – I wanted to show the sticker I used, and I showed it flipped around. See how pretty this linear holo is?! Gorgeous!

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And more pics – ignore the red lobster hands please!

And I wanted to show another polish I had on recently, Julep Blakely. It’s a really pretty grey shimmer with shifts to purple and green. From what I’ve seen, it’s an exact dupe of Peace & Love & OPI and Essie For the Twill of It. I got it for super cheap during one of Julep’s big sales.

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I did a really impatient manicure with this one and ended up with a lot of bubbles. I also used my favorite topper – ILNP (I Love Nail Polish) My Private Rainbow, a holographic topcoat. This topcoat comes in 3 versions: linear, scattered, or a combo. I bought the linear version, and I love it! I mean, the ability to make any polish holographic?! That’s a superpower I never dreamed of! 🙂 It looked really good over Julep Blakely, but the above pic doesn’t do it justice.

Theme of this post – Nicole loves holos!