Tag Archives: messy mansion

Springy Steampunk Manicure

Hello my sweeties! Happy Friday! Anything exciting going on for you this weekend? I’ve planned a thrilling weekend of binge watching Season 3 of House of Cards. SO excited about that!! Do you watch that show? If not, you NEED to – it’s amazeballs! And sometimes it kind of makes you want to detach from society and live in the woods… in a good way? Anyways, here comes the manicure of the day!

I saw a post from Love Varnish with this amazing manicure combining the fanbrush technique and stamping, and I just adored it! I knew I needed to try it at some point. So when I was brainstorming for my next manicure, I remembered Deborah’s post and decided to do my own version!

My version of the fanbrush stamped manicure

My version of the fanbrush stamped manicure

I decided that I wanted to use a monochromatic base in different shades with a contrasting bright stamping polish. So I chose blues and pinks, and it totally screams spring colors! I had a difficult time picking out the stamping image and I was debating between this, a crosshatch geometric image, and a floral image. I actually wish that I had chosen a floral image with slightly more coverage because the pink is so pretty that I want more of it! But I had yet to use that steampunk plate from Messy Mansion, which is why I chose it.

Springy steampunk manicure

Springy steampunk manicure

And a closeup:

Closeup of my springy steampunk manicure

Closeup of my springy steampunk manicure

Products used:

  • Base color: China Glaze Secret Peri-Winkle… I haven’t worn this much, but I love it every time it goes on my nails! It’s a perfect pastel periwinkle, and the formula is great!
  • Using a fanbrush, I dragged KBShimmer Low & Be Bold across each nail… Low & Be Bold is one of my favorite blue polishes ever. It’s a perfect bright almost neon cobalt blue.
  • Stamping plate: Messy Mansion MM43
  • Stamping polish: Rica Pinky Promise… This is a perfect bright pastel pink that leans toward Barbie pink. I love Rica’s stamping polishes so much! Right now, she has some pastels, black & white, and metallics. I hope she puts out a million more because the formula is perfection! Plus, you can wear it on its own too (which can’t be said for most polishes that are marketed primarily as stamping polishes).

What do you think? What kind of image would you have chosen to put over this fanbrush base? Have you tried Rica’s stamping polishes? You could spend the weekend stamping to your heart’s delight while bingeing on House of Cards!

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:

Narwals Are Unicorns Too!

I’ve recently decided that narwhals are the best. No contest, they’re just awesome. AND they’re the unicorns of the sea (hence the title of this post)! I came across this adorable pic of a cartoon narwhal on the Chaos & Crocodiles page, which made me love narwhals even more. Anyways, long story short I went on a search to find narwhal decals and lo and behold, a great local Pittsburgher makes them! Lacquer by Lissa has such a perfect variety of nail decals, and I can’t wait to try more (she did mention that Doctor Who decals may be coming… let me buy them all!). For now, I just purchased the narwhal ones but she was nice enough to include some freebie samples.

narwal nail decals moyou london suki waves nail stamping art lacquer by lissa essie mundo de unas

I got the decals in turquoise, so I wanted to do a pastel mani featuring the narwhal. I used Essie Fiji, a really pretty baby pink. The formula on Fiji was unfortunately crap – streaky, thin, and flooded my cuticles. I have a very comparable color (Polish My Life Pink Sandals) that has a great formula, so I think I’ll stick with that one!

narwal nail decals moyou london suki waves nail stamping art lacquer by lissa essie mundo de unas

I stamped with Mundo de Unas polish in Aqua because it matches the narwhal so perfectly! I also got the chance to use my new stamper heads from Messy Mansion! MM put out 5 different stampers recently, ranging from almost marshmellow-soft to firm. I wanted them all, but I calmed myself down and only got 3 sets (they come in a light and dark color with each set). Mine did need a bit of priming with my Magic Eraser, but after that they were perfect! I’m so glad I got them!!

narwal nail decals moyou london suki waves nail stamping art lacquer by lissa essie mundo de unas

Just look at that adorable decal! I’m so in love!

And one last pic:

narwal nail decals moyou london suki waves nail stamping art lacquer by lissa essie mundo de unas

The stamping plate I used was MoYou London Suki 01.

By the way, I’ve been playing around with how I take my pics. I have my usual background, which is the stone wall next to my polish station. But I’ve been experimenting using cream white cardstock paper with direct lighting. Which do you prefer? I’m still uncertain which I like. Let me know!

Pastel Leadlighting Skittlette: May NCC #4

Leadlighting: if you haven’t heard of it, it’s a great technique to make beautiful multicolored nail designs with stamping as an alternative to the time-intensive stamping decal. As far as I know, the ladies at Messy Mansion were the first to do this (or name it leadlighting). You stamp over a light polish base, then use jelly polish to color in the negative space.

I actually only have one jelly polish, so I made my own! The lovely Jacqui at CraftyNail suggested this to me after I envied her leadlighting mani using OPI Sheer Tints. I basically mixed my existing creme polishes with a little bit of top coat to make the pastel jelly. I think I probably should’ve added more of the top coat since mine is still fairly opaque, but I think it came out alright!


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Nail Narcissism

I’m feeling very self-congratulatory right now! I did this amazing manicure that I am absolutely obsessed with. I recently got some MoYou London image plates in the mail – I had been lusting after plates from them for quite awhile, so I was very excited to get my first and start using them.

Awhile back, I had pinned a beautiful mani from Copycat Claws (Brush Stroke with Stamping). Such a great idea, using the negative space in a stamp to fill it with a colorful background. I knew I needed to try this out.

Here’s my version of stamping using the negative space to its full advantage:


So pretty right?! There are a few stamping smears (I had “coffee hands,” you know – those shaky over-caffeinated hands), but I don’t think it detracts from the overall beauty of my digits!

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An unfortunate foray back into stamping

I’ve been doing either simple one-color manicures or varieties of gradients, so it’s been awhile since I’ve done any nail stamping. After getting some amazing image plates for the holidays, I decided I needed to get back into it.

I got a few plates from Messy Mansion and am obsessed with them! I really wanted to feature the chevron images, so I decided to do a skittlette manicure.



Not my best work here. Apparently it takes a little bit to get back into the swing of stamping again! So I only kept this manicure on for a day.

  • Base color: Julep Malia (a pretty coral polish from Julep’s recent Resort Collection that I got as an add-on for the January 2014 Maven box). Malia is very nice, but it was pretty thick and gloopy (yes, that’s the technical term for it). Maybe that’s because it was a mini sample size bottle.
  • Stamping color: A England Saint George (an absolutely gorgeous emerald green holographic polish). These pics don’t do it justice)
  • Image plate: Messy Mansion MM12 – I am in love with the image on my thumb and middle finger (too bad I didn’t stamp the middle finger very well).

I almost didn’t post this, but I figured I should share failed attempts too. Plus Messy Mansion deserves high praise!