Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ah... spring has sprung

Do you smell spring in the air?  Well, here in Louisiana, you smell the pollen!  My allergies feel like Thor practicing with his hammer on my face.  With this being the first week of spring, I decided to do a bright spring mani.

Lately, I have been in love with Neons/Brights.  Perfect time for me to have a neon mani!

Here is the mani then I will give you the dets afterwards.
Skittles mani First Day of Spring 03/25/2017
I am so in luuuurv with this mani.  I didn't know it's called a skittles mani until I posted a pic in a Sinful Colors FB fan page.  I love the name too!  This is for the 30 Days of Colour Challenge FB group for the First Day of Spring.

I started out by putting a peel away base coat on top of my gel nails.  Easier for me to remove and very minimal staining around the edges.  

The colors I picked out were from several different brands.  I wanted neon and/or bright.  Like blinding.  These are the colors I picked.  I will have a full supply list at the bottom of my post.   I totally forgot to put a white polish on first, but I think they came out bold enough for me.   Jimmi's Purple was applied with 2 coats on the thumb.  D'oh was applied in three coats on the pointer finger.  Powder Green was 3 coats on the middle finger.  It is very sheer so I needed that many coats (because of my faux paux with the white base.)  Sunset Strip was also a 3 coater on the ring finger.  Again, sheer and no white.  Water Proof was 2 coats on the pinky.  

After painting, I applied a clear top coat, just in case I mess up on the stamping.  This would allow me to wipe off the stamping with non-acetone remover and not damage the original mani.  

I used Snow Me White for the stamping, along with Bundle Monster plate BM-XL05 and my Born Pretty Jelly Stamper.

I was a little underwhelmed with the mani at this point.  I guess I always need some kind of sparkle on my nails.  I added Fairy Dust to the top and I was sparkling!!!

So far, this is one of my favorite manis!  Still practicing stamping to make my technique better, but thrilled how this turned out.
Close up

Close Up

Supplies for First Day of Spring Skittles mani 03/25/2017
I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of spring!  Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day!!
Supplies used:
Jimmi's Purple and Powder Green - Broadway Nails Gel Strong (Bought these at Dollar General for $1.85 per bottle)
Water Proof - Broadway Nails (Dollar General for $1)
D'oh - Wet N Wild Wild Shine (Rite Aid for $.99)
Sunset Strip - Orly Color Amp'd (KMart for $9.99)
Snow Me White - Sinful Colors (Big Lots for $1.00)
Fairy Dust - China Glaze (Don't have a clue about this one)
Big Peel Off - Sally Hansen (Walgreens don't have a price)
Quick Dry Top Coat - Out the Door (Sally Beauty for $11.49)
Plate BM-XL05 - Bundle Monster (bought in a destash)
Jelly Stamper - Born Pretty (Amazon for $8.99 for 3 stampers and 2 scrapers)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Put it in reverse

That's right, reverse.  As in reverse stamping.  What the what?  Let's see if I can explain this to where it makes any sense when I put it words.  Reverse stamping is a nail art technique that uses stamping plates, polish and a stamper to make wondrous (it spelled check so I guess that's right) nail art that is not hand drawn.  Right up my alley.  While my husband is the true drawing talent of our marriage, I, on the other hand, cannot draw a stick figure to save my soul.  So, when I discovered stamping, I was all in!

After watching a ton of YouTube vids on stamping, reverse stamping, leadlighting, layered stamping, stamping polishes, stampers (you get the idea), I decided I will try the challenge at Leadlighting & Reverse/Advanced Stamping Nail Art Group on FB for this week.  The theme is St Patrick's Day.

 It actually took me three days to get to where I was happy with the end result.  I tried different colors of green for the background coloring, I tried different golds, until I was happy will the final look.

Reverse stamping St Patrick's Day chall 03/14/2017

Close up of reverse stamping St Patrick's Day Chall 03/14/2017

Supplies used for reverse stamping St Patrick's Day Chal 03/14/2017
I don't think I did too bad.  I had some tears from cutting the decal away around the cuticle, so I covered them up with some gold studs.

I really enjoy challenges in groups because it forces to me to learn something new and exciting.  

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day!
MEL
Supplies used:
Big Peel Away base coat - Sally Hansen
Jelly stamper and scraper - Born Pretty
Stamping Plate BC-06 - (unknown maker, purchased in a destash)
Go for Gold - Sally Hansen Insta Dry (used to stamp)
Queen of Green - Sinful Colors Luck of the Stylish Collection
I'm Sooooo Swamped! - OPI New Orleans Collection
A Heart of Gold - Nicole by OPI
Quick Dry Top Coat - Out the Door
Gold Studs - KISS

Thursday, March 9, 2017

30 Days of Colour Challenge - Gold

This week's challenge at 30 Days of Colour Challenge is GOLD!!!  I love gold because it is so sparkly and anything sparkly is awesuuuuhm!!!  

My first time doing stamping and came out ok.  I think I need to look into a different top coat that what I have - Out the Door QDTP.  It smeared my little crown.  :(

I used two coats of A Heart of Gold.  Stamped a crown using Black to Black.  Full list of supplies are listed after pictures.




30 Days of Colour - Gold 03/09/17




A Heart of Gold - Nicole by OPI 03/09/17


30 Days of Colour - Gold - 03/09/17

Supplies 03/09/17
Supplies used:
A Heart of Gold Polish - Nicole by OPI
Black to Black polish - Sally Hansen Insta-Dry
2mm Acrylic stones - Blank Slate by Traditions
Stamping Plate (not sure)
Clear Jelly Stamper - Born Pretty
Quick Dry Top Coat - Out the Door

I like the way this turned out looking.  Just not sure if I did the stamp upside down or not??

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day!
Mel
FOLLOW ME ON IG - @1000littlesparkles

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Soaking off gel or acrylic

Ok, now you have those beautiful nails done with gel (or acrylic) and you are ready to take them off.  What to do now?  FIRST, NEVER EVER EVER EVER, PEEL OR PRY OFF YOUR GEL/ACRYLIC.  Doing this will damage your nail, and can even completely peel off your nail tips.

The only way to take them off is soaking with pure acetone.  This is the one I use from Sally's, but any pure acetone is fine.  There are many ways to do this and I am going to tell you about the one's that I have tried and how they work.

First, I tried soaking my finger in a little dish of acetone.  Having to leave it soak for 10 - 20 minutes, really irritated my skin.  Didn't like this method.

Next, I tried soaking a cotton ball in acetone then hold it on my finger.  Eeh.  Same results as before.  Skin irritation.

This time I did a little research.  Mind you, I'm trying to do this with things on hand.  Didn't want to buy those special wrap things that are made for soak off gel.  I saw some videos on YouTube and tried the foil method.  I cut some strips of aluminum foil ($1.00 at the Dollar Tree or most dollar stores).  Soak a cotton ball in acetone.  Make sure it is very wet!  Put the cotton ball on your finger (nail side) and wrap foil around finger and cotton ball to make a cap.  Leave soak for 15 minutes.  Some fingers needed a little longer.  Kind of twist the cap and pull off.  It takes off 90% of the gel. Positives - Effective, cheap and easy.  Can't beat that.  Only negative - had to make sure foil was wrapped tightly or foil cap would fall off.
Image from Google Images

I went on my weekly browse session at my local Sally's store and found these ASP brand Soak Off Gel Polish Caps and Foam.   I picked up a pack and headed home to try them out.  Soak the foam pieces, that came with the package, in acetone.  Same method as above,  Place foam over fingernail and slide on the caps.  Leave on anywhere from 15-30 minutes.  Take off caps and remove foam.  My foam stuck to every nail.  I had to do the foil method to now get the foam and gel off. When working on my other hand, I used soaked pieces of paper towels.  This worked so much better.  But using the caps again, the rubber loosens up and doesn't keep them very secure. Positives - Fits better than aluminum foil method.  Negatives - caps looses tightness, don't like the foam pads recommended for them.
Image from Sally website

While searching on Amazon, I happen by these plastic soak off caps.  They were a great price and were plastic.   So I decided to give these a whirl.  I read the reviews and most suggested to use a piece of paper towel soaked in acetone to put on the nail, under the cap.  I used the paper towels and I couldn't have been more happy.  The caps stayed put.  It still took the same amount of time to soak off but it came off easily and the caps held tight.  Positives - Fits like a dream.  No negatives.
Image from Amazon listing
So, there are my methods of removing my gel.  You can also see my pros and cons to each method.  Hope this helps you or pass the info to someone that might need it.

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day!
Don't forget to follow me on IG - @1000littlesparkles

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Aphrodite's Fish - March Polish of the Month - Pretty Beautiful Unlimited

My first indie polish intro was to Pretty Beautiful Unlimited that I found thru their FaceBook fan page, Pretty Beautiful Pawlish.  All of the polishes at Pretty Beautiful are Hand-mixed, 5-free (no Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), FormaldehydeFormaldehyde Resin or Camphor), Cruelty Free and made in the USA. 

At the time, it was February and Mardi Gras was fast approaching.  I saw swatches of the Mardi Gras Madness Collection and knew that I must have these polishes!  I will have a different post on that collection at a later date.  I know, I am so behind.

In the Facebook fan page, the creator - owner - resident awesome person, Virginia Shaw had a little contest to help name the March polish of the month inspired by the sign Pisces.  There were a lot of great names, but mine was picked!  I was so shocked!  And for my winning choice, I received a free complimentary bottle of the beautiful polish named APHRODITE'S FISH! (Click on the link to go straight to the polish.)

Without further adieu, here is the gorgeous polish:

Closeup of bottle 

Closeup of polish on brush

Mani

Swatch stick with 3 coats

Swatch stick with 2 coats
 As you can see this is a amaze-balls blue polish with a bazillion sparkles!  Here is the description - "Aphrodite's Fish - a gorgeous royal blue holo jellyish base with red-violet-blue duo chrome shifting pigment, baby blue micro shreds and violet to red to orange UCC flakies."  Formula is so smooth.  As you can see, two coats are pretty much all you need, but three makes it super opaque.  I couldn't stop looking at all the pretties in there when I wore it.  And, hubby even liked it!

I know my photos don't do this polish justice!  

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day!
Mel

Follow me on IG:  @1000littlesparkles



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery......

Or in this case "recreation."  Latest challenge was do a recreation of a mani, nail art, etc.  Hiya Pinterest!!  Being a lover of all things 80, I knew I just had to do a splatter mani.  This is the one I decided to try and recreate.  
Taken from Pinterest
Totally 80s right?  Cool beans!  I made one change from the Pinterest pin that was the inspiration - I made a decal instead of doing it right on my nails.  I find this really messy and don't have some liquid latex barrier, yet.  

Decals, you say.  WTH is that?  Basically its your nail art that is applied to some kind of surface first, then transferred to your nails.  This is how I did mine.  I applied white polish as my base.  I painted a rectangle of the white polish on a silicone baking mat that I took over for my nails.  After the white was put down, I dipped a straw into the teal polish and blew it onto the white polish to create a splatter.  Then I used the lime green color in same fashion.  After that, I needed a little sparkle so I splattered on some teal glitter polish.  Looooove.  This is what it looks like before I put on my nails.
Makin' decals Feb 2 2017
Next step, peel the decal from the silicone mat.   Cut to size of your nails.  Put a clear coat on your nails, then put the decal you cut for that finger on.  Position as closely as you can.  Trim any excess and clean up around edges.  Add a top coat and you are done!!!

I admit, that this was a little more difficult to look crisp and clean on my nails.  But with any nail art, practice, practice, practice.  Here is my final product:
Recreation splatter nails Feb 2 2017
I can't wait to try this one again!  It reminds me of my younger days in the 80s.  

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day!  Like totally!

Mel
Products used:
Energy Source (white) by LA Colors, Paradise Water and Waterproof by Broadway, Innocent by Sinful Colors and Broadway clear coat.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

GLITTER, GLITTER, GLITTER.... AND MORE GLITTER!

My love of all things sparkly is really an addiction.  I used to scrapbook and paper craft and just about anything I made had a touch of bling, sparkle, glitter.   You get the jist.  So when I started doing my nails, of course, glitter/sparkle/bling was a must!!!  Thank the glitter gods for making me not sell or get rid of all my glitter.  I just knew I was going to use them one day.  TODAY IS THAT DAY!!!

Ok, Mel.  Chill out, it's just glitter.  Noooooo! Its more than that.



For my next mani, I did a glitter gel mani.  Used my usual Gelish system, (click here for my post on Gelish system), with a little sparkle.  I added some glitter (glitter powder, raw glitter) to my Gelish structure gel, then used this between the foundation and top coat.  The glitter was in my craft box.  I remember purchasing at Christmas time about 5 years ago from Hobby Lobby for 50% off.    

Before you pull out any old glitter, know that some glitters will turn fade.  I tested this glitter with a drop of gel before mixing any more.  No fade.  When I was getting my nails professionally done, this was my regular mani.  

Here is my glitter mani:
Glitter add on gel mani 02/02/2017
The picture does it noooo justice.  I can't stop looking at it.  In the sunlight, it sparkles like crazy.  

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day.  
Mel

PS. I will be posting these pics on InstaGram.  Follow me @1000littlesparkles!  
PSS.  Leave me a comment.  Let me know how I am doing on my blog.  Anything you want to see, let me know.