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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Stamping with holo powder and regular polish

     Hello and welcome back to another blog post. I don't know about you but I am excited to share today's look with everyone. For the last year or so I have been watching youtube videos and seeing pictures posted online of all these gorgeous manicures using the holographic pigment powders. But 99% of them were done using gel polish. I have only worn gel polish once in my life and the removal process was the stuff of nightmares. Granted I attempted it myself and probably did it wrong but it was enough to scare me away from using it again. Well, I no longer have to look longingly at these manicures with envy because I was finally able to get the powders to work for me using regular polish! 

     I know there are a ton of tips out there on how to do this and you're probably wondering what took me so long to join the holo powder party. Trust me I was eager to get there long before this, I just struggled with it and took a step back for a bit. I tried using Orly Bonder on my nails with so-so results. I think I let it dry too long before applying the powder so I will be attempting it again. I also tried using my Sally Hansen miracle gel top coat to see if that would work and it failed miserably. However, it did work great with the multi-chrome flakes I received from Beauty Big Bang.  

     So what was the miracle product that helped me finally find success? G-Force X from Super Chic Lacquer.  I was able to get such great result so easily with this product and would recommend it to anyone who wants to use the holo powders with regular polish. Sadly there was no sun the day I did this manicure and I had to take photos in my light box. This resulted in a duller holo flash than what I actually saw on my nails. Thankfully while I was editing photos at my desk I noticed enough natural light coming in the window to get one shot that worked. So I've added it as a bonus shot at the end of the post. 

    Now on to how I created this look. I started out by painting my nails with Hit the Bottle As Black as Night. I know it's a stamping polish but I wanted to make sure that the color I stamped with completely matched my base color.

     Once that dried I added a layer of G-Force X to one nail and let it dry for about  30 seconds. And stamped my design using UR Beautiful plate 11. After this step, you want to make sure you wait long enough for the stamped image to dry before burnishing in your powder. I got a little excited and didn't allow enough time between steps and the faded image on my middle and pinky fingers are the end results.

      The holo powder I used is from Born Pretty Store item #33256. Use code LAUNX31 to get 10% off your order if decide to pick some up. The macro shot above it before adding a top coat. And the next photo is after adding a layer of the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat.

     I still have the holo flash but the power no longer looks smooth. So any recommendations you have for a better top coat to use are greatly appreciated. And now for that bonus shot I mentioned earlier.

     Some of you might be wondering why I did the manicure the way I did. Why didn't I apply the holo powder before stamping? I'm sure that would have been an easier process. But I wanted to see if the powder would stick to my entire nail or only the places without my stamped image. I have an idea in mind that involves stamping and a few colored powders, almost like the lead-light technique. My hope is to test it out this weekend and if it works I'll have it up on the blog soon. Make sure to come back and check it out! Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Orly Velvet Dreams Collection

     For the Velvet Dreams Collection Orly really stepped up their game. This 6 polish collection contains a variety of colors and finishes, just like the Autumnal season they were created for. Now over the last few years, I have strayed away from buying mainstream polishes with the exception of a few Sinful Colors Collections. So I'm not exactly sure how long Orly has been using the new genius brush but I have to say it's a big improvement for them. This brush is similar to the one found in the  Sally Hansen Insta-dri line but with a shorter wand. I found it made the application of these polishes very easy to do.

Silken Quartz

     Color: A pale champagne color with a silvery pink frosty finish.

     Application: Very opaque with almost full coverage on the first coat! The polish flowed nicely off the brush and was very easy to control. Unfortunately, because of the frost finish, it does suffer heavily from brushstrokes. Shown here is 2 coats plus top coat.

   While I love the formula and application of this polish I'm not a huge fan of the color. It makes me feel like I have mannequin hands and the brushstrokes are just too much for my personal tastes.

Just Bitten

     Color: A ruby red jelly polish.

     Application: Extremely pigmented polish with smooth even coverage. I almost expected this one to be on the sheer side and require 3 or 4 coats because of the jelly-like consistency. Shown here is 2 coats plus top coat.

      I really love this red polish. The overly glossy finish reminds me of red patent leather. I have a feeling I will be reaching for this one a lot. For me this is was a true red nail should look like.

Black Cherry

     Color: Dusty mauve pink creme nail polish.

     Application: Very smooth application and an extremely opaque polish. This one was almost a 1 coater for me. Shown 2 coats plus top coat.

     This is another favorite of mine from the collection. The dusty shade for me really screams fall season and is a great transition color for me before breaking out all the dark vampy shade for winter.

Velvet Kaleidoscope

     Color: Clear based polish with multichrome micro glitters that shift from gold to copper to magenta.

      Application: Smooth even coverage but a little on the sheer side as most glitter packed polishes like this are. It does build up nicely reaching full opacity after 2 coats. Shown as 2 coats plus top coat.

     This is the polish I was referring to when I said Orly has stepped up their game. It reminds me of an indie polish with the color shift and flakie appearance. It also reminds me of the changing leaves which just happens to be my favorite part of the fall season. 

Blue Suede

     Color: Dusty dark blue creme nail polish reminiscent of a navy blue but not quite as dark.

     Application: The formula on this one was the worst for me in the entire collection. I had some slight streaking and the first coat. Everything evens out with the application of a second coat for a smooth finish with a deep rich tone. Shown 2 coats plus top coat.

     This color just isn't for me. I'm not a huge dark blue polish fan and this one is just too dark for my personal tastes. I can see myself using it as a base for a glitter topper or sparkly stamping so I'm not writing it off completely just yet. The application issues I did have were a bit frustrating considering how easily the rest of the collection applied but not to the point where I won't use this polish again.

November Fog

     Color: Grey creme nail polish with a lilac undertone.

     Application: Smooth even application but the formula was a bit sheer on the first coat. Full opacity can be reached after 2 coats. Shown here as 2 coats plus top coat.

     To me, this color feels a bit on the pastel side and doesn't really seem to fit with the rest of the collection. That being said I really like this color. It has just the right amount of that lilac undertone for me and even though it's very light I can see myself wearing it year round. 

   It's hard for me to pick a favorite from this collection as I liked the formula and color of most of them. Just Bitten and Black Cherry are at the top of my list though. Do you have a favorite? I currently have the Darlings of Defiance collection sitting here waiting to be swatched so be on the lookout for that one soon. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Nails I wore to Polishcon Chicago

    Well, Polishcon Chicago was a little over a month ago and I am just getting around to blogging about my nails now. I had a good and only ok time at Polishcon. I was so excited to go and see everyone, meet some makers that I have been supporting over the years and try to make some new connections. Sadly my optimistic attitude disappeared as soon as I walked in the door. I've never thought of myself as socially awkward but boy was I ever. I found myself unable to make random chitchat with people, I just didn't know what to say and have a feeling I came off as stuck-up instead of nervous. And I just couldn't find the right way to work in handing out my business cards. So if I saw you at the con and our exchange was painful please don't take it personally. It was all me feeling awkward and shy. I promise to work on it for the next convention. But you're not here to hear about my insecurities, you're here for the nails right. So let's get to it.

      I went with a manicure inspired by Yagala that I fell in love with the very first time I saw them. She makes everything look so easy, doesn't she? I should know better than to try and recreate one of her looks though. Especially since I wanted to get them just right and my skill level is nowhere near hers. Well, 3 attempts and about 5 hours later this is what I ended up with.

     I started out with a base of China Glaze Heaven. This is my go-to polish when I want to create the illusion of bare nails for a negative space manicure.  As you polishaholics know it's not always possible to have nice looking naked nails and mine were looking particularly yellow that week. 

     To create my V's I used some tip guides that I picked up awhile back from Sally Beauty Supply. I liked the idea of an angled take on the half-moon mani with the accent nail looking more like a funky french. It's a subtle difference but still, creates the accent.  This step I had to repeat a few times because I was anxious and didn't allow enough time for my base color to dry. Boy what a mess that was! I actually had an issue with being anxious throughout this entire manicure and ended up getting sheet marks in it before I could photograph it. My advice to you: Make sure you have enough time for your manicure to dry completely before heading to bed. Especially if it's a look that's a bit on the complicated side for your skill level. 

     For my red and black, I used Zoya Black Swan and Orly Just Bitten. Just Bitten is from the Velvet Dreams collection Orly released for the fall of this year and I'll have a review up of that collection next week. 

     To avoid getting my stamped image onto the negative space part of my manicure I used liquid Latex to carefully cover the angle and around my cuticles. I wasn't taking any chances since I'd already had to redo the red and black portions a few times and was frustrated at this point. But I really wanted this mani to work so I gathered up all my patience and pushed through. 

     The image I used is from the Abstractos 04 plate by Z nail. You can order these through the MDU site. I've used this plate a few times and found it to be etched well and very easy to use.  In fact, I used this exact same plate to create some decals earlier this year. Plus you can't really beat the price point. Especially if you can get it on sale for $3.50 but the regular price of $5 is pretty good too.  The polish I used to stamp with is Hit the Bottle Snowed In. I finished the look by edging the angles with a silver striping polish from China Glaze and a generous layer of Girl on the Run from Pure Ice. I should mention that normally Snowed In doesn't smear quite as badly and that it was my impatience that caused it. 

    In the end, I had mixed feelings about this manicure, mainly because it didn;t turn out quite like I had pictured but also I was proud of myself for not giving up and going with something that was easy for me. I think the next time I try a look similar to this I'll go with a more pointed V shape. Hopefully, that will help make my nails look longer and thinner. Have you ever had a manicure give you as much trouble as this one gave me? Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Gold Nail Polish Stamping Comparison

     Even though I haven't been blogging lately doesn't mean I haven't been painting my nails and trying new things. I still don't have a lot of time to devote to blogging but I'm trying to work it back into my schedule and share some things I've been working on. For right now my plan is to get 2 posts up a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays until things settle down on my end and I can devote more of my energy to the blog. I thought a comparison post was a great way to start things off and let people know that my blog is still here.

    We all know that stamping plays a big part in nail art and people are always on the lookout for regular polishes that work for stamping. Helping people find those rare drugstore brands that stamp well was the idea behind my stamping comparison series. Sadly, I drifted away from it while trying to work on my swatching and polish reviews. Now it's time to get back to the fun stuff, comparisons and nail art!

     The polishes I'll be comparing for you today are Finger Paints She's a Beaut, Essie Good as Gold, Hit the Bottle To Have and To Gold and Maybelline Bold Gold.  I decided this time around to show each color over black and white using an image from Uber Chic Plate UC 10-02

    As you can see each of the polishes I picked worked well for stamping. Yay! But there are subtle differences to each one. For example To Have and to Gold from Hit the Bottle is more of a yellow gold and She's a Beaut from Finger Paints is the lightest.

     I have to say out of the 4 polishes used I like Essie's Good as Gold the best because of the color and vibrancy.  It looks the most like gold in my personal opinion and works the best over both black and white. Although the Maybelline Bold Gold is a close second. 

     Which one is your favorite? Do you have a gold polish in your collection that works great for stamping? Let me know in the comments. And don't forget to check out my previous stamping comparison posts of Black, White, and Silver. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Cupcake Polish Holiday Trio Sneak Peak

     Cupcake Polish has just released a sneak peak of their holiday trio and it is gorgeous! Check it out in the video below and let me know what you think.

Here is your SNEAK PEAK of our NEW Holiday Trio!

We are SOOOOO excited for this trio to launch!

This trio launches 11/4/17
at 12pm CST! 

We'll see you there!

<3 Cupcake Polish

     As Always thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Literary Lacquer - Faulkner Duo

      Due to a large mismanagement of time and a huge lack of motivation on my part I'm finally back to blogging after almost 2 months off. To be completely honest I've missed it some but not as much as I thought I would. The longer I went the harder it was to get back to it and its actually hard to sit down and write this post. It's not so easy to come up with interesting ways to describe a polish finish or the application process. So please bear with me while I get back into the swing of things and review the newly released Faulkner Duo from Literary Lacquers.

     This Faulkner duo originally released on October 19th and is currently still available for purchase in the shop. Yes, I know this review is long overdue and I feel horrible about it. But maybe there are a few of you out there who haven't read a review post on it yet. At least that's what I'm hoping anyway.

      The Faulkner duo consists of a lovely muted creme called A Rose For Emily and a fun glitter topper called The Best You Have. Inspired by the William Faulkner tale "A Rose for Emily" Now I'm not familiar with this tale but I have to say the colors it inspired are amazing and the little snippets of the tale I've read have peaked my interest.
"When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old man-servant--a combined gardener and cook--had seen in at least ten years."

     First up is A Rose For Emily. A dusty rose polish with a creme finish. My photos are shown as 2 coats plus topcoat and the photos are taken in my lightbox using daylight bulbs.

     The application was very good for the most part. I did have a slight issue around the cuticle area on the first coat. On random brush strokes, it left a bald spot where I placed my brush. As you can see everything evened out with the application of a second coat for a smooth finish.

     The Best You Have is based on what Emily asked the shopkeeper for when she was shopping for a poison. This clear base with holo sparkle is packed with medium sized glitters is grey, holographic black, Holographic orange and a metallic navy blue.  I've opted to show it as 1 coat over A Rose for Emily plus top coat.

     Application for The Best You Have was a pleasant surprise. I'm used to sporadic glitter coverage from glitter toppers, but not this time. I will admit that because there was so much glitter on the brush I had to do a little daubbing to keep the glitters from gathering at the tip of my nail. As you can see this technique resulted in even coverage with a nice mix of each color.

    As I mentioned earlier the Faulkner Duo is still available in the shop and retails for $10 each. Along with the release of this duo a few old favorites have been brought back as well.
Sweet Lenore
Soul Within Me Burning
And This Mystery Explore
Mirror of Galadriel 
Attic Mice
Sensible Rabbit

      This is not a restock situation, the shop will remain open and stocked. Holos/Multichromes will be $12 and Shimmers/Cremes and glitters will be $10. 

     Be sure to follow Literary Lacquers so you never miss an update. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!


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