Tag Archives: nail challenge collaborative

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:

Lisa Frank Zebra Mani: February’s NCC #3

Hello my sweeties! Guess what tomorrow is?! It’s my birthday! I’m still such a little kid when it comes to my birthday – it’s like its own holiday for me. I would celebrate it for a whole month if I could. So for my upcoming birthday, I wanted some bright and cheery nails! In keeping with the animal theme for February’s challenge, I decided to do neon zebra print nails.

Lisa Frank Zebra Manicure

Lisa Frank Zebra Manicure

This was my first time painting zebra print on my nails, and I had to go with a neon rainbow to keep it cheery in this cold frigid snowy PA weather. The minute I saw the finished product, I thought LISA FRANK! Please tell me you remember Lisa Frank – the amazing neon cartoon animals were all over folders, notebooks, trapper keepers, pencils, EVERYTHING! I was ALL about the Lisa Frank life!

Classic Lisa Frank :)

Classic Lisa Frank 🙂

Like ^ that! I figured a neon zebra would fit in perfectly with the Lisa Frank world! Don’t you think?

I really like how it turned out. It’s fun and bright and cheerful – exactly what I needed amongst all the dreary cold. I could always use a little work on my freehand lines, but I think they are acceptable for this! 🙂

Another pic of my Lisa Frank zebra mani

Another pic of my Lisa Frank zebra mani

Oh, and I got an early birthday present – an Ott light! I’ve been wanting one forever since I’ve heard it makes your pics look a million times better. And I’m really liking it so far. I feel like my pics are sharper and more crisp, plus the color accuracy is improved! My camera actually picked up on the neon goodness of this mani under the Ott light!

Polishes used:

  • Base: KBShimmer Eyes White Open… this is the new white creme from KBShimmer’s Spring 2015 collection, and I am officially obsessed! It’s opaque and even in 2 coats, and the formula is perfection!! Side note – I keep wanting to say Eggs White Open, not sure why. Maybe I’m hungry 😉
  • Zebra stripes:
    • Essie Strut Your Stuff… a beautiful aqua blue creme
    • Formula X Radioactive… an almost-neon green. This is a bit sheer, even over white. But I love it with multiple coats!
    • Orly Glowstick… a perfect neon highlighter yellow
    • China Glaze Pool Party… one of my favorite neon coral pink/red! My camera didn’t freak out as much under the Ott light! Especially on my ring finger!

So what do you think? Have you done freehand zebra print before? (who am I kidding?! I think I’m the only one who hasn’t!) What do you like to put on your nails when it’s nasty outside?

Check out more animal manis from the Nail Challenge Collaborative:

Sparkly Penguin Manicure featuring Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Terrific Twos: February NCC #2

Hello my sweeties. Last week was a rough one at work, so this weekend was a much needed break! I had a date night with the husband and I went to a concert, which definitely lifted my mood! I also decided I needed to add some sparkle to this next mani to keep this mood up.

Sparkly penguin manicure

Sparkly penguin manicure

Julie from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer sent me Terrific Twos for review, and I knew it would give this penguin manicure a little extra something. Julie made it for the 2nd anniversary of her blog. It’s teal, sky blue, aqua, and turquoise microglitter packed densely in a clear base. This is SUCH a gorgeous color glitter! And it’s fully opaque on its own in 2-3 coats. I could have gotten away with 2 coats, but I dabbed on a third to cover a few patchy areas near the tips.

Here’s a closeup of Terrific Twos:

Closeup of Terrific Twos

Closeup of Terrific Twos

Apparently on the nail I just showed, I didn’t dab enough at the tips. But you can tell the rest of the nail is fully opaque!

Another pic of my sparkly penguin mani

Another pic of my sparkly penguin mani

And I think Terrific Two goes perfectly with the penguins! So let’s talk about these penguins 🙂 This is my first time doing freehand animals of any type, and I love how they came out! I wanted chubby penguins with cute little wings, and I think they more or less came out that way. I think I should have angled the wings down a bit since they could almost make the whole animal look like a duck with a narrow neck. But I see it as a penguin, and I hope you do as well!

How I did this/ products used:

  • Index & pinky: BEGL Terrific Twos… SO gorgeous! I used 2 coats of top coat since it is a bit hungry for that.
  • Middle & ring fingers:
    • Base color: BEGL It’s Almost After Midnight… this is a charcoal grey crelly with a strong blue shimmer. It’s difficult to see its beauty in these pics since it’s covered in nail art, but I swear it’s there! I’ll have to swatch it by itself for you sometime – love!
    • Then I used Rica Whiteout to outline the penguin shape.
    • I made the eyes with Rica Blackout and Whiteout using a dotting tool.
    • I drew the beak and feet with Marc Jacobs Snap! using a small nail art brush.
    • Then I drew on the wings with BEGL It’s Almost After Midnight using that same nail art brush.

So what do you think? Have you done animal nail art? If I didn’t say it was a penguin, would you have recognized it? Also, what’s your way to lift your spirits after a bad week/ day/ month? Here’s hoping for a better week this week! 🙂

Check out the other animal manis from the NCC ladies:

Giraffe manicure: February’s NCC #1

Hello sweeties! And happy February to you! I love February because it’s my birthday month, and I still get as excited as a little girl for my birthday. It’s definitely a holiday for me 🙂 February also marks the start of another theme for the Nail Challenge Collaborative; this month, we’re doing animal manicures! For my first look, I decided to try out a new nail art technique – the blobbicure (doesn’t that sound like a horror movie villain or a disease?!).

There are a ton of tutorials floating about on how to do blobbicures, and I came across one from NailzSchmailz on Instagram using white and orange polish. She said it reminded her of giraffe skin, so I figured this would be a great opportunity to try a new technique for this animal look!

Giraffe blobbicure

Giraffe blobbicure

Not bad for my first attempt! I really like how this came out. Each nail is different, but it’s still cohesive. I got the hang of the technique by the time I got to my middle finger, which happens to be my favorite one! Plus, I think this really looks like sparkly giraffe skin. I’d love to see a giraffe like this!

How I did it/ products I used:

  • Base color: OPI My Vampire is Buff… such a great creme vanilla – perfect for nail art! I used 2 coats to get it opaque and then let it dry.
  • Then I painted a 3rd fairly thick coat of that OPI on.
  • While that was still wet, I dabbed on varying sized dots of Different Dimension Bold as Brass. This polish is amazing! It’s a beautiful bronze/ brass holo, and it gave this mani a little extra something. The holo is crazy strong!
  • I used the brush from the bottle to dab on the dots – I’ve seen tutorials where people use a dotting tool and I feel like you get more polish spread with the brush.
  • I let those dots spread, making the blobbicure happen!

What do you think? Have you tried blobbicures yet? Also, did you watch the SuperBowl last night? I sort of watched – it was more of fast forward and watch the commercials! 😉 I thought the commercials leaned more toward the morose/ depressions side… I wish they had more funny ones. I did like the halftime show though – Missy Elliot was awesome!

See more animal manicures from the NCC ladies:

Splattered Wallpaper: January NCC #4

Hello sweeties! I’ve definitely acquired the winter viral crud that’s going around, so my creativity for this last NCC look is a bit lacking. I saw Love Varnish’s recent post in which she did a beautiful splatter manicure, and I wanted to try her technique out. I’ve always had difficulty doing splatter manis, so I was eager to try out some of Deborah’s suggestions.

My splatter manicure

My splatter manicure

Deborah recommended using a shorter straw, so I cut down a straw until it was about 2-3 inches long. And it made such a huge difference! It used to take me multiple attempts to even get the polish to leave the straw, but this was quick and easy.

My favorite result:

Closeup of my favorite nail!

Closeup of my favorite nail!

I think of this as either splatter wallpaper OR a wall that someone has thrown paint over to cover ugly  red wallpaper.

Polishes used:

  • Index, Middle, and Ring Finger base color: Julep Maryam… this polish looked so much nicer in the bottle. It’s a deep burgundy red with golden shimmer throughout, but when it’s on the nail the golden shimmer falls flat and it ends up looking like a muddy brick red. Shame – it could have been so pretty!
  • Splatter colors:
    • Essie Strut Your Stuff… this is a gorgeous bright blue that leans slightly turquoise. It stains like crazy, but it’s so pretty.
    • Essie Good as Gold… a perfect metallic gold.
  • Pinky & Thumb: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Bound to the City Life… this is from the new Spark in the Dark collection, and I am so happy I picked this one up! It’s a beautiful dark teal jelly that has multicolored microglitters throughout, giving it depth. I only had to use two coats for opacity. It does photograph a bit more royal blue, but in real life it’s a mix of royal blue and dark teal. I love it! It’s another winner from BEGL!

What do you think? Do you have any other suggestions to make splatter manis easier?

Check out the other NCC wallpaper manis:

Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Newly Impassioned Soul in a Girly Wallpaper design: January NCC #3

Hello sweeties!! Today I have two things to share with you – another gorgeous Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer polish, and my third wallpaper look for January’s Nail Challenge Collaborative. Julie from BEGL sent me this beautiful pink polish from her My Indecisive Valentine collection for review, and it’s called Newly Impassioned Soul. I put this baby on and immediately thought it’d be the perfect base for a girly wallpaper design!

NIS is this baby pink yet still almost neon crelly with loads of iridescent microflakies. It almost leans a bit more jelly than crelly – I used three coats and still had some visible nail line. If I was wearing this alone I would throw a 4th coat on for opacity, but I was planning on stamping over it so I left it at three.

Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Newly Impassioned Soul

Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Newly Impassioned Soul

Isn’t it beautiful? So girly and feminine with a little bit of modern edge from the flakies! My camera freaked out at how pretty it is too.

Closeup of BEGL Newly Impassioned Soul

Closeup of BEGL Newly Impassioned Soul

See those flakies? Love! This is the kind of color that could be all over a little girls’ bedroom decor, so I decided it would be perfect for my Girly Wallpaper Mani!

Girly Wallpaper Manicure

Girly Wallpaper Manicure

What better to adorn a little girls’ walls than flowers/ roses? I really like how this came out! I was originally going to use a lace image to stamp with, but it covered the pink way too much. And flowers are quintessentially girly!

Growing up I would have died if this was in my room – I was far from a girly girl. But I could totally see this in some chic and girly girl’s room!

Products used:

  • Base color: BEGL Newly Impassioned Soul
  • Stamping plates:
    • Pinky & Ring finger: Konad m65
    • Middle & Index fingers: Shany SH208
  • Stamping polish: Rica Whiteout… amazing opaque white creme!

What do you think? Does this look like wallpaper you’d have in your room growing up? Do you like this BEGL?

Oh! Before I forget – Newly Impassioned Soul is on sale on BEGL’s site! So if you like it, go pick it up!

And go check out the other Wallpaper Manis from the NCC ladies:

Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Instagram

Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Facebook

Jungle wallpaper manicure: January NCC #2

When I was trying to brainstorm manicures based on wallpaper, the first thing that came to mind was the guest bathroom in a relative’s home in Staten Island. Whenever I’d visit as I was growing up, I was impressed with the 80s/90s-era chic jungle wallpaper in that little bathroom – slightly tacky, but a fun and playful choice for a bathroom lol. And what better place to recreate that than on my nails?!

My Jungle-Chic Wallpaper Manicure

My Jungle-Chic Wallpaper Manicure

I actually think my manicure looks very similar to the wallpaper I remember! It was a dark green background with different shades of green leaves and flowers all over. So my manicure was designed to represent that.

Another pic of my manicure

Another pic of my manicure

I double stamped different tropical images, which ended up being my first successful double stamped mani! I previously did one (see it here) that was double stamped with plaid images, and it just looked too busy. But I really like this version – I think stamping in different shades of the same color really makes it blend better!

It is a little difficult to see the bottom stamped image because it’s a bit darker, but it does peek through the tips of the nails a bit.

Anyways, I really like how this came out! It certainly looks better on my nails than it did as a wallpaper! Oh and can I say that I’m still loving the crap out of using liquid latex as a cleaning product?! It makes the end clean-up SO much easier after stamping!!

Here’s what I used:

  • Base color: Zoya Hunter
  • Stamping plates: MoYou London Tropical collection 03 and 04
  • Bottom stamping polish: Barry M Kiwi
  • Top stamping polish: Rica Summer Mint

Check out what the other NCC ladies are doing for wallpaper-themed nails:

First Attempt at a Quatrefoil Mani: January NCC #1

Happy Monday sweeties! I’ve gotten so used to vacation, I’m not ready to go back to work! But girl’s gotta make a living right? Anyways, on to the nail art! This month’s Nail Challenge Collaborative theme is wallpaper. This was initially super intimidating to me because all I could think about was tons of intricate detail work, and I’m definitely still working on my detail work. But hey, it’s a new year and I’d love to improve my freehand skills!

So keeping that in mind, my first wallpaper pattern is a modern design and something I’ve seen in the nail art world as well – quatrefoil. I was inspired by this amazing video on YouTube by ChristabellNails. This definitely didn’t come out perfectly, but if you cross your eyes and look at it from afar, it’s super pretty! 😉

My quatrefoil manicure

My quatrefoil manicure

I figured I should show the mani fails along with the great ones. You can’t improve if you don’t try and fail every now and again!

Another pic of this attempt

Another pic of this attempt

I really wanted to use a new polish I picked up from Target, Essie’s Coat Couture. It’s from the new Cashmere Matte collection, and it’s just gorgeous. But it’s a satin-matte, and I should have known better than to try to do nail art with that texture again! It’s always so much more difficult since it dries super quick. But the polish itself is fantastic. It’s this beautiful mauve/ dusty purple/ brownish-grey with blue shimmer – LOVE!

And I used Rica’s Whiteout as the accent. This is my go-to white for any nail art since it’s the most opaque white polish I own. I’m starting to get low on my bottle, so it’s almost time for a repurchase!

Anyways, even though this is far from my best work, I’m happy I tried the design. I think if I use a different (non-matte) polish and work on my dotting and striping skills, this could look much better!

What do you think? Do you have any nail-related resolutions? Have you tried this quatrefoil design before?

Check out more wallpaper-inspired manicures from my NCC ladies:

Textured Bling Spirals: December’s NCC #4

Hello there sweeties! I hope the post-Christmas blues have avoided everyone. I’m on vacation until after New Years, and I’m about to take a trip to see some friends and family so I’m just plain excited! I’m trying to think of possible manis for New Years, and the main thing that comes to mind was BLING. Bling always is appropriate for a New Years mani! So this is my dotted version of a blingy New Years mani!

My textured blingy dotticure

My textured blingy dotticure

So I intended to have dotted spirals on my index & middle fingers, but it doesn’t quite look that way at first glance. I think it’s because the dots are too far apart – maybe they’d actually look like spirals if the dots of one color were closer to each other. But I think it still came out alright!

Another pic of my blinged out mani!

Another pic of my blinged out mani!

I knew I wanted to use more of my new PixieDusts for this mani because they’re so pretty and blingy too! And I like how it gives the dots a bit more dimension on top of the gold.

Polishes used:

  • Index and middle fingers:
    • Base color – Orly Luxe… this is a super sparkly gold that is so perfect for a NYE mani! On its own, it’s a bit brush stroke-y… but I love it as a base for other things or for nail art.
    • Dots: Zoya Liberty (gorgeous cobalt blue PixieDust) and Julep Cleopatra (matte/ satin finish black)
  • Ring finger: Zoya Liberty… LOVE this PixieDust! The color is amazing, the texture is perfect, and the formula is perfect! I could see this being perfect for an ocean mani.
  • Pinky: Zoya Dahlia… this is the black PixieDust. So gorgeous! It comes out looking a little more charcoal grey because of the silver sparkle, but I still love this 🙂

What’s going to be on your nails for New Years? Are you going to go bling-tastic like me? What are your plans for NYE?

Check out more dotticures by my NCC ladies:

Nighttime Snowman Manicure: December’s NCC #3

Hello sweeties! I’m so pleased with today’s mani – I hope you like it as much as I do! I’ve been slow in getting into the holiday spirit this year, but since company is arriving today I figured it was high time to decorate the house. And I’ve decorated my nails festively as well!

My little snowman against a night sky!

My little snowman against a night sky!

And I thought this was perfect as my third look for the dotticure NCC theme! I wanted to do a sparkly snowy scene, and a snowman was a perfect addition to the scene! Isn’t that blue a perfect polish for a nighttime sky look?! I just love it 🙂

Polishes used:

  • Base color: Zoya Dream… this is one of my all-time favorite Zoyas! It’s a perfect scattered holo blue that just has so much depth! Love!
  • Snow: Rica Whiteout… my favorite opaque white polish!
  • Snowman buttons: Rica Blackout… my favorite opaque black polish 🙂
  • Snowman nose: Orly Tropical Pop… a neon tangerine orange polish
  • Snow topping: China Glaze Fairy Dust… how can you not love a sparkly topper to snow?!

I’m loving this festive mani! What do you think? How are you preparing for the holidays? Have you procrastinated as much as I have? I hope I’m not the only lazy butt out here!

Check out more dotticures from the NCC ladies: