Tag Archives: nail stamping

Some of my favorite things: Stamping and Glitter!

Happy Monday everyone! I have a pretty manicure for you today, and then also a life update. I’ll put the life update at the end so if you don’t care, no need to read the whole thing (please care! 🙂 )! This manicure combines two of my favorite things: stamping and SPARKLES!

Glitter + stamping = happiness

Glitter + stamping = happiness

Pretty! Actually it’s more than 2 of my favorite things, since there’s a teal base color and a glitter polish inspired by The Little Mermaid! So yeah, FOUR of my favorite things. 🙂

Look at that glitter topper!

Look at that glitter topper!

And a close up of my thumb (excuse how nubby it is – I was just traveling and it broke right off while packing!):

My nubby little thumby :)

My nubby little thumby 🙂

That glitter! So fantastic!

What I used:

  • Base color: Zoya Robyn… a gorgeous bright turquoise creme polish
  • Stamping plate: MoYou London Explorer XL 03
  • Stamping polish: Mundo de Unas 32 Reddish
  • Glitter topper: Ellagee Poor Unfortunate Souls… this topper is just crazy amazeballs. It’s a clear base with red hexes and teal squares/ hexes/ microglitter. AND it’s inspired by Ursula from The Little Mermaid – how can you go wrong?! I bought 3 of Ellagee’s polishes from the new Villainous collection, and I definitely see myself buying a million more!

OK life update time! I am in my very last year of subspecialty training in the Neonatal ICU, and it’s that time to start looking for a job. So I just had my very first two job interviews! They both went really well, and I have a definite front-runner. They will probably let me know the deal by mid October, so keep your fingers crossed for me please!!

Have you tried Ellagee before? If not, you totally need to!

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!

Watermelon stamping: September’s NCC #1

September… it’s September already – that’s just plain crazy! For September, the Nail Challenge Collaborative theme is Geometric Manicures. This should be a fun one! My first manicure is a simple stamping one using a few new polishes I picked up.

barry m watermelon rica pinky promise nail art stamping geometric manicure

I’ve been hearing sooo many amazing things about the Barry M brand that I finally gave in and bought a few from Llarowe. I have to say, I’ve tried 2 already and I get the hype – the formula is great and the colors are so vivid!

barry m watermelon rica pinky promise nail art stamping geometric manicure

Sort of geometric I guess? Overlapping rounded squares = geometry, right? I guess this is a slow intro to the theme. But I have some good ideas for my other manis, so don’t you worry!

What I used:

  • Base color: Barry M Watermelon… a stunning teal-leaning hunter green with a perfect formula and opaque in 2 coats. Doesn’t even stain!
  • Stamping plate: Cheeky CH14
  • Stamping polish: Rica Pinky Promise… a beautiful bright pink! Love this polish on its own, but it didn’t pick up as perfectly as I would have liked for a stamping polish. You can barely tell in the pic, but there are some small patchy bits. Also, it does look a little purple over the Watermelon base in some areas.

A pic in direct lighting for you:

barry m watermelon rica pinky promise nail art stamping geometric manicure

 

Do you have any Barry M? Do you love it as much as I now do? I bought 4 as a starter – any suggestions for other must-haves from their collections?

Time to check out the other NCC geometric manis:

 

Mad Hatter Manicure: August NCC #4

My last NCC manicure for the Tea Party theme is here! I’ve been excited to show you guys this one. I was stumped for this 4th look after doing my lace, flowers, and Lilly designs. But then inspiration hit! I thought about tea parties and a little movie worked its way from deep in my memory… Alice in Wonderland and her crazy tea party with the Mad Hatter!

So here is my Mad Hatter-inspired manicure:

mad hatter manicure stamping nail art

Very busy, but so was my inspiration! Thinking of the Mad Hatter, colorful bold patterns come to mind, so I picked some fun colors and stamps and went to town!

mad hatter manicure stamping nail art

I actually really love this manicure. I wouldn’t wear it to work or anything, but I think coordinating patterns and bold colors looks great!

I taped off half my nail, then painted or stamped the exposed portion, top coated it with a quick dry polish, then taped off the already completed half while stamping the other. Whew, that was wordy!

I also was able to use my Mundo de Unas stamping polishes for the first time! Sylvia makes some really opaque stamping polishes, but unfortunately she’s no longer shipping internationally (she’s in Mexico).

mad hatter manicure stamping nail art

Stuff I used:

  • All nails started with a base of Polish My Life Stripped (amazing white creme)
  • Index finger: Zoya Charisma on the top half (bright purple) stamped with MDU Mexican Pink using Cheeky plate, CH10 (designed after the Cheshire Cat!)
    • Bottom half stamped with Konad Black using Gals plate, GA13
  • Middle finger: bottom half painted with China Glaze In The Lime Light (a goooorgeous neon lime green with a bit of shimmer)
    • Top half stamped with Zoya Charisma using Gals plate, GA15
  • Ring finger: bottom half stamped with KBShimmer Low and Be Bold (an amaaazing jellyish vivid cobalt blue) using Cheeky plate, CH6
    • Top half stamped with Konad Black using Gals plate, GA1
  • Pinky: Top half painted with KBShimmer Low and Be Bold
    • Bottom half stamped with MDU Neon Green using Cheeky plate, CH16

So that’s it for the August Nail Challenge Collaborative! How did you like the tea party theme? I really liked it. Which was your favorite look? I loved my neon stripes & flower and this mad hatter mani.

Check out the other manis:

 

PS: Whovians out there – did you see the premiere? Do you like Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor? I am devastated because I can’t see the premiere tonight (I have a great concert to go to) AND I don’t have BBC America. I plan on fixing that ASAP, so hopefully I’ll be able to watch the premiere just a bit late. No spoilers, please 😉

Matte Tropical Flower Mani

Today I have a gorgeous stamped manicure for you. Rica recently put out a bunch of great polishes that work both for stamping and regular use, so I obviously had to partake. And if you know anything about my nail polish obsession, I definitely had to have the mint shade!

I was originally going to do a white base, but then I got inspired after looking at some of the gorgeous floral manis by Wondrously Polished. Lindsey does these beautiful mattified floral designs, often over a dark or neutral base. So I decided to pair the pretty mint stamping polish over a dark navy, and then I threw a matte top coat over the whole thing.

matte navy mint tropical flower manicure rica stamping moyou london

I really love this! The color combo is great – the mint pops over the darker navy, and it stamped like a dream. I am obsessed with mint, and this Rica is perfect… I can’t wait to wear it on its own too. I think it also looks really good as a matte mani! And I looove the new MoYou London Tropical images too! So much love!

matte navy mint tropical flower manicure rica stamping moyou london

Products used:

  • Base color: Zoya Sailor (a beautiful deep navy polish)
  • Stamping plate: MoYou London Tropical 04
  • Stamping color: Rica Summer Mint

So yeah, I really like this, and I hope you do too!  I can’t wait to try out the other new Rica polishes. That is all for today – have a great weekend!

Simple Nude Lace Mani – August NCC #2

For my second NCC manicure in August’s theme of Tea Party, I decided to go with a simple lace design. You think of tea parties, and doilies or lace gloves come to mind right?

So here is my lace mani:

nude lace nail art stamping manicure

I love this! So simple, but it looks so pretty and classy. I could see this being a good mani for a wedding, either for a guest or the bride herself.

And here’s another pic:

nude lace nail art stamping manicure

Colors used:

  • Base: OPI Mimosas for Mr & Mrs, my favorite nude polish! This was actually the very first non-drugstore polish I ever bought (and as a result, definitely needed some thinner!)
  • Stamping Plate: MoYou London Pro XL 06
  • Stamping color: Rica Whiteout – yes, in addition to being probably the best almost one-coater white creme, it also stamps perfectly!

What’s your favorite nude polish? What was the first “high-end” polish you bought?

And here are some more lovely tea party-inspired manis from the NCC girls:

 

Plaid Double Stamping Manicure

Here comes a manicure that I really was excited about… until it actually was on my nails. Despite playing around with nail stamping for awhile, I’ve actually never done double stamping. Every time I saw it on others, it was like a double rainbow of nail polish!

So I finally decided to try it out, and I picked some colors that look great together and a plaid image that I figured would look great. Sounds great in theory right? In actuality, it didn’t turn out as nice as I had hoped. I don’t hate it, but it’s certainly no double plaid stamping rainbow like it was in my imagination!

See for yourself:

Plaid double nail stamping manicure purple green white

See? Not awful, but not great… just meh. I think the image I chose was maybe too busy. The other double stamping manicures I’ve seen and loved have had less busy images. I think the white and green kind of overpower my pretty Zoya Charisma. Plus, I accidentally stamped the ring finger off-kilter for the base stamp.

Here’s another quick pic:

Plaid double nail stamping manicure purple white green

 

Manicure:

  • Base Color: my beloved Zoya Charisma, the stunning bright purple
  • Stamping Plate: Shany Cosmetics SH212
  • First stamp: Konad White using plaid image
  • 2nd stamp: Sally Hansen Mint Sprint using same plaid image
  • Topped off with the always great HK Girl, my favorite top coat for stamping!

I definitely want to try this technique again, but I think for the future I’ll use an image that doesn’t cover as much of the nail.

I also just received my very first semi-squishy stamper and a ton of great stamping polishes from Mundo de Unas, so I’ll be playing around more!

What do you think? Have you done double stamping before? If so, any suggestions to make it look amazing?

Recreating my first gradient manicure: July NCC #3

One of my favorite first posts was my first attempt at a gradient manicure. I called it an ombre mani, but I was almost a year younger and nail naive at that time. I’m older and wiser and know more in the world of nails at this point 🙂

This time, I switched up the colors and made it super bright and neon for summer:

1-IMG_0411

Mmm I love neon! I could wear it year-round; it just makes me stare at my nails all the time! Plus, when you wear neon polish in the NICU, it GLOWS near phototherapy! Phototherapy is a treatment we do for jaundice where we put blue lights around the baby to make the jaundice go away, and it acts similar to UV lights so the neons GLOW.

1-IMG_0406

I used 3 colors in this gradient: China Glaze Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Models Own Flip Flop, and Formula X Radioactive (Oh, and I also used Rica Whiteout for my white undies). I then decided I need to spice things up since the last 2 recreations i’ve done were basically identical to the previous manis.

1-IMG_0416

Spice it up – put a bird on it! (Any Portandia fans out there?!) I used one of my favorite MoYou London image plates, Suki 08, and stamped the bird design using Zoya Sailor (a nice navy blue creme).

Another pic:

1-IMG_0414

And here’s a comparison to my old mani:

1-Neon Yellow & Green Gradient, Bird Stamp

I really liked my old mani, but I think my gradients have gotten so much smoother and better-blended. And I really like the stamping over it too! What do you think? How else do you spice up a gradient mani?

And check out some other recreations:

 

Recreating my first stamped manicure: July NCC #2

Stamping was one of my first (and favorite) techniques when it came to nail art. I did a lot of stamping, and my second ever blog post showed 2 manicures where I was still getting the hang of things. For July’s NCC theme of recreating your first few manicures, I decided to stay pretty close to my original stamped manicure.

1-IMG_0402

After doing many stamped manis, I certainly don’t always get it right. But I think I’ve learned many valuable lessons. One of which is finding the right type of polish for stamping. If you want to use the polishes already found in your personal stash, look for ones that are nice and opaque – this will allow the thin layer from the stamp to really show up. Also, quick dry polishes are both great and a curse. They are usually good formula-wise and opaque, but you have to work quickly in order to get the full image on your stamper and then transferring to your nail.

1-IMG_0398

My first blog post showing a stamped manicure had a few issues. I used Zoya Valerie, which is gorgeous but not a great polish for stamping. It’s a bit too sheer to really show up well. I also was a bit slower in stamping, so I ended up with some patches. I tried to fix this by brushing on more polish, but this just resulted in really dark spots.

This time around, I used a different stamping color that was tried and true. But I used the same base color and stamp. Oh and obviously I got nubbinized again. I went canoeing and camping for the July 4th weekend, and it wreaked havoc on my nails. I came home with breaks all over. But I don’t mind nubbins 🙂 

  • Base color: Essie Tart Deco
  • Stamping color: Zoya Charisma
  • Stamp: GALS plate GA19

1-Purple and Peach Stamped

I think there’s a big improvement! Better stamping polish, a prettier color combination (in my opinion), better cleanup, etc. And geez does lighting make a difference! The recreation pic really shows the true color of Tart Deco.

Check out the other ladies’ recreations:

 

 

Born Pretty Stamping Plate Review

Another item I recently received for review (say that 3 times fast!) from Born Pretty is a really pretty stamping plate with floral designs. As you can see below, there are 4 full nail stamps with 5 smaller leaf/ floral images.

Image

Pretty designs, right? To test it out, I used one of my favorite polishes for stamping – Essie Good As Gold over OPI Koala Bear-y.

 

1-IMG_0366

 

1-IMG_0364

 

The images were etched into the plate very well, and it was incredibly easy to get a good stamp. I love all the patterns on the plate, and it was surprisingly great quality for such a low price ($2.99)! The image on my ring finger would be great for leadlighting. I will definitely be using this one again!

To shop Born Pretty nail art, remember you can use my code, CXB10, to get a 10% discount!

CXB10