Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sterling Scrolls

Design inspired by this post in Nihrida's blog. Where Sasa used decoupaged napkins- I wasn't as creative...these are crafting stickers from Michael's.
I love the way these stickers don't look at all like "stickers on nails", but more like nails wrapped or caged in sterling metal plating. Even better description- these stickers look like they were welded on my nails!
Aside from a couple of extra leaves(nails on rt longer than left) all nails are mirror imaged. This mani has everything I love...purple, silver, high contrast.

Monday, November 23, 2009

VNS ordering ? and ...:( chopped & slopped!...pics at end

I've ordered from VNS before with no problems. Why is it that I'm now being asked to log in to view pricing?
As some of you know, I've been trying out a new nail salon after my old salon switched to inferior products. I'm currently doing walk-ins instead of appointments, so I can try out each of their techs, iso "the one".

This morning's  tech suggested I shorten my nails. I said "no thank you" at first, but then changed my mind. I really know better than to go against a bad feeling, but I thought that taking them down "a hair shorter (is exactly what I told her)" would be ok.
The girl took off 1/3 of my length! After I got home and examined my mani, I noticed that every nail on my left hand is 1/4" shorter than on my right...and...Just *look* at the sloppy paint job she did. Horrible.
The only thing I was happy with was the color I chose, OPI Sapphire In The Snow.

First 2 (lft & rt hands) indoors w/flash

Next 2 (lft & rt hands) indoors, under lamp-light, no flash.

Polka Dot Bikini- in November, Fauxnad P51

Please excuse the very sad state of my hands, especially the cuticles and bits of my make-up. I was in a rush this morning to to take these pics before I had to leave for work. Maybe I'll splurge on some extra tlc for my hands when I go for my fill tomorrow.
It's a bit over day 2 of this mani, and I'm not tired of it yet.

*Base- 2 coats L.A. Girl, Polka Dot Bikini (pinker than pictured & with a gold shimmer)
*Fauxnad plate P51
*Stamped with Color Club, Where's the Soiree?
*Bling- awesome, silver, sparkle-y,  holo stickers found at Michael's. They look like raised gems in gold settings, but they're flat! Finally- A non glitter bling that's almost pick proof!!! No more ruined manis for me. I'm going back to Michael's and stock up.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mother of Pearl inspired fauxnad- click to make bigger

Forget Diamonds, Emeralds and Rubies- Give me Moonstones, Onyx and Mother of Pearl, and I'm a very happy lady!
~Base- LA Girls, Rockstar
~Left sidewall overlay in a crescent moon shape- Nfu-Oh #50
~Fauxnad plates- H14 & H25
~Stamping polishes- Chelly #56 & Piggy Polish, Smootch
~T.C.- 1 coat Seche Vite

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tribal fauxnad- Color Club, Feel the Beat, and...Tiki man!

 setting sun out for a moment

indoor w/flash

(matte-fied w/Essie MAY indoors, w/flash) The metallic attributes of Feel The Beat matte-fied looked exactly like brushed aluminum! Unfortunately, the camera didn't come anywhere near capturing it. :(

All hail the Tiki Man!

Base ~ Color Club, Feel The Beat
Fauxnad plate P51
Random dots of  Color Club , Abracadabra
1 coat Poshe
1 coat Essie Matte About You
Feel The Beat really glows like a flame. Unfortunately, I keep forgetting how early the sun sets these days, and took pics way too late to bring out the glow. I've read descriptions of this color as being red, however, I say it's a Russet, and wow- is it ever gorgeous! Formula was thinner than I like, so I did 3 coats. If I were wearing this sans the fauxnad, I'd do a 4th coat to even out the streaks that only I could see. I 'm not a matte girl, but decided to matte-fy my pinky just to show that variable to my readers. I was really surprised and * loved*   how much it looked like brushed aluminum, I went ahead and matte-fied the rest. Very, very cool.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

un-named olive OPI

This afternoon, I took off to my local Dollar Tree with the dream of a super fabulous haul. A lot of MUA NBers were finding such great polishes at Dollar Trees! I should have been happy with the haul I made several days ago at a Family Dollar close to me...I hauled tons of SH Fire Opals in addition to some of the Salon Lacquers, Diamond Shines, OS Extreme Wears w/the flared caps and No Chips. I had just been to the Dollar Tree on the other side of town a week ago, only to find some little girl press-ons and some waxy looking emery boards. I went anyway, and a week later- nothing changed- pure garbage. My DT sucks.
Since I was on that side of town anyway, I decided to hit every dollar store in the area. Still nothing good. 

I popped into the beauty store(same side of town) where I found that Fresh Cover Polish I used in my crane mani to pick-up another color. The removal of that polish was bizarre to say the least. It was almost instantaneous! Instead of bleeding all over the cotton rounds I use for removal, the polish stayed dead center no matter where I rubbed. It left a dime size spot of polish on every round I used. This is a real plus in my book, so I bought another color- an orange called Sunbath.

I was in the mood for a haul, and I had but one polish in my bag. I entertained the idea of going 30 miles out of town to a Dollar Tree that's located in a town more affluent than mine. But...I told my husband Jim that I would be back "shortly". It wouldn't be "right" for me to spend time running after nail polish dream hauls when I'm supposed to be spending time with him. We're both on vacation.
Then I remembered that there was another beauty store, Sun Discount, just up the road, downtown, on the major drag, where everyone shopped once upon a time before the Mall came to town.

As luck would have it, I found a parking spot right in front of Sun- a good sign! The first thing I saw upon entering was a brand spanking new display of Ruby Kisses Polishes. I have several, and I think that they're fairly decent for $1 polishes. I also found a brand new display of NK polishes. Never heard of them, but at $1 each, who cares? If they're bad, I can always use them in frankens.
I found 3 bins of dusties that I rooted through and found some Toma Chromes, 1 Nubar Moodie, and another polish from Dada- heard but not tried. On my way to cash out, I found a skimpy OPI display, where I found and purchased an un-named olive polish with asian type writing on the back. I also saw one tagged  Tulsa Tootsie Roll-a, and Ti-tan Your Toga that I passed on. I'm pretty sure Tootsie is mis-marked, because its a medium taupish color with either a scarlet or violet flash. I may just go back for that one.

Above OPI 2 coats- photographed as the sun was setting. 2 hours later- it's *still* slightly tacky to touch and I can ding it with my nail.
Does anyone have a clue as to what this one's called?

Fauxnad fail! Review Op Art image plate H5

Op art image   Chez-delaney 
I spent the better part of last night doing practice stamping with different polishes using plate H5. The very cool Op Art image was a royal pita to work with.  I tried every stampable polish- konad specials included- with the same results. The problem with this image happens during  the "pick-up" process, when the stamp is picking up the image off the plate. Pressure from the stamper forces/squishes the polish down each groove and puddles on all 4 sides of the square.
I seemed to get better results from a thin coat of holo, however, they're so fast drying that by the time I got the stamper to plate, the thinnest lines on the image had already dried!
I finally gave up and went to bed. Before I nodded off to sleep, it came to me why I was getting those puddle results. While I've never had a class in Physics, something tells me this has something to do with the laws of Physics, namely- Inertia.
With that theory, I fell asleep feeling very smart, so all was not lost.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sally Hansen Arabian Night ~click to make bigger

Next pic (out of focus) showing how multi-faceted the gold shimmer really is...pinks, greens, & blues in there!

I *Love* Arabian Night! My only dilemma is what color do I use to stamp my Fauxnad? Like my CG Strawberry Field mani a few weeks ago, the shimmer floats on top of the color, making the stamp color  very hard to see. I am thinking that white is the best option. I'm taking suggestions if anyone has one, as I'm not too fond of stamping with white!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

On vacation! & top coat re-evaluation

I have the next 5 days off! I'm not sure if I can make it...I am a workaholic and control freak. Honestly, I was more excited with the anticipation of having 5 days off than the actual being off.

Yesterday I received a package in the mail for Sally Hansen Arabian Night! I fell in love with it after seeing it on Nihrida's tips, and just had to have it for myself.. I didn't waste any time last night, removing my crane mani to apply AN. While the color did not disappoint, gorgeous, gorgeous,  the formula was quite thin. I applied 3 runny coats and decided that I would forgo Seche until the polish was fully cured.

I've been having a lot of tip and cuticle shrink-back, which I believe to be attributed to applying Seche over uncured polish. (theory brought on by the experiment going on in The Edge of Sanity's blog- Top Coats Undressed).
Unfortunately, I woke up this morning sporting a sheetnadacure on 3 nails, so the time I had before work was filled up trying to salvage them using Orly Smudge Fixer- instead of applying my Seche.
I was terribly annoyed  with this, but as the day wore on, I began to look at this issue differently...I am re-evaluating what I *really* want from a top coat... I went to work without applying one and after 3 hours of my tips being in and out of a cash register (overfilled) with change, they are perfectly fine- no scratches, chips or tip-wear!
I had major scratches on both thumbs within the very *first* hour of my crane mani (topped with Seche).
I love Seche for the quick drying time and for the shine, however, I am not opposed to switching to a top coat that's more durable against scratches.

Friday, November 13, 2009

tagged (days ago)

Tagged by Nihrida
List 10 ambitions and tag 3 blogs.

1. To attend WGT
2. Go to India
3. Go to Brazil
4. Smoke less cigarettes!
5. Learn how to pace myself
6. Find better servers. I need an A team!
7. Spend less money
8. Finish some "open" home improvements
9. Find time to get married
10. Work on better sleeping habits
Tagging all who have yet to do this one!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fauxnad cherry blossom and crane, Freshcover Black Gold


So sorry about the indoor flash photos. Here on the East coast, it's been heavy rain and cloudy skies for days. We are experiencing the remnants of hurricane what's-it's-name.
I've had a couple of fauxnad manis before this one, but they were aweful- not very post worthy. Part of my problem is the need to be original. When I saw someone on my blog-roll use the stamp I had been prepared to use, I went ahead and did something else.
For the base of this mani, I used a brand of polish I never heard of before. Doing a search on it brought up a few posts, but no swatches or reviews. It's called Freshcover and is big 3 free.Bloggers have posted that they found this brand at Costco. I found mine at a beauty supply store for $6.99. The color is Black Gold, however, there is nothing gold about it! It's a neutral black cherry- go figure! The formula was a bit sticky. Because I tend to "push" color around before I start my stroking, it worked fine for me.
Base- Freshcover Black Gold
Fauxnad plates H23 & H30
Cherry blossom stamped with Sally Hansen Chrome Burmese Ruby
Crane stamped with Sally Hansen Copper Chrome
I added pink holo hex-es from Love My Nails Pretty in Pink to the blossom tree (I wished these were a bit smaller)
1 coat Seche

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Anyone know German? I want these nail stamping plates!

I want the entire 32, T-series nail stamping plates from here;

Do they sell all the T plates as a set,  moreover- do they ship to the US? If so, how would I go about ordering them?

Update-repaired nails & Orly Ruby Passion


           My cat Brillo- he eats everything. Nom, nom Ruby Passion.

 My cat Steph was not impressed!
I want to thank all my readers who commented on my last post. It really does mean the world to me!
Yesterday, I tried a new salon, one that was recommended by one of my ex-employees. I am extremely happy with the results! Not only did they repair the breaks, they repaired the other 7, which by the way, *all* had cracks, and were ready to go the way of my other 3. The nail tech took her time and ground away all the off-color fills, which included last week's, and the many "spots" of old nail polish embedded in acrylic. When she was done, my nails were all one color. They looked so clean, fresh and new, for a hot second I almost opted for a sheer frenchy instead of the Color Club OOOOOO La La I brought with me.
3 new tips, a new fill and the many repairs cost me only $20- YAY!

I have learned a valuable lesson that I'd like to pass on to my readers. Please do not go to *any* salon that is not busy! There are many reasons why some salons are busy and others are not. Moreover, apply this advice to any and all "office" situations. Don't go to a doctor, dentist, dermatologist, tanning salon...etc- if they are not busy! Busy is good. It means the office/salon is doing something right!

The salon I had been going to is 2 years old. When they first opened, they were packed all the time. It was very hard to get an appointment-  and forget about a "walk-in"! Over time, the patrons thinned out. I liked being able to just "walk-in and get my fill whenever I had the time.
I'm sure the reason why they lost all those patrons was because they used sub-par products to save money. The salon is huge and in a beautiful building. The overhead must be astronomical.

By comparison, the salon I went to yesterday was really, really busy! For each patron that walked in after me, (I was the first of the day), a tech came out from the back. An hour later all 8 nail stations and half of the 12 pedi chairs were occupied! Judging by the conversations going on, all these patrons were repeat customers that the techs were very familiar with. The salon had a happy air about it with all the chatter going on..."why didn't you bring the baby?", "how was the wedding?", "kids doing well in school?"...etc.
I felt very comfortable there, so I *will* be going back.

Bonus that the salon is right next to my Sally's! I popped in to see if they had anything new. They didn't, but I walked out with a color I never wear on my nails- red. Orly Ruby Passion called out to me from the rack, so I bought, went home, removed CC OOOOOO La La, and applied 2 coats of Ruby Passion- and I love it!