Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Caught In My Web

*Some products were sent to me for testing and review, completely complimentary, from Born Pretty Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Another post already? Yes! I was contacted by the Born Pretty Store and given the chance to review some of their products. I knew immediately what I wanted to do. I sketched out two designs, a dark and a light, and picked out products I could use for them. Here is my dark design. Welcome to my web. :)


It has been forever since I've done a border/frame nail and I struggled like crazy to figure it out again, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I started with a black base and leaving a border around cuticle and sides painted white down my nails. I went over that with China Glaze Adventure Red-y. And then finished by tipping my nails with black.


I used the web looking stamp on Born Pretty Store Stamping Plate BP12 and some white polish. It wasn't a stamping polish (and I'm no stamping genius lol) so I did have some trouble picking up the small details in the middle of the web, but I really love how it turned out anyway. After stamping I went over the border again with some black acrylic paint. The borders are a little wobbly looking in maco but looked amazing to the named eye.


I finished the design with a spider. I created this using a previously purchased Born Pretty Store 3 Size Pearls Wheel (in the largest size) and a diamond gem from the Mixed Multisize Rhinestones I got as part of my sample packet. Then I used black and white acrylic to draw on some legs.


Can I just say how much I adore these mixed rhinestones?? You get a little of everything. There's a variety of colors in small, medium, and large. I will definitely be using these in more manis!!

So, did you get caught in my web? Let me know what you think in the comments.

And don't forget to use SBN10K31 for 10% off your Born Pretty Store order if you decide you can't live without these products! :)

Until next time,
Ashley

*Some products were sent to me for testing and review, completely complimentary, from Born Pretty Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Butterflies and Flowers Mani + Video Tutorial

*Some products were sent to me for testing and review, completely complimentary, from OPI and Preen.Me. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hello lovelies!! I'm really excited to share today's post with you. I received a really nice sampler box of OPI Infinite Shine polishes as part a collaboration between OPI and Preen.Me. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have seen a sneak peek of these polishes in my 15 second unboxing video. I immediately had my eye on the two pinks in my sampler and since it's now Spring (Is it? Is it really??? -_- The snow here says different) I went with what I think is a very Spring themed mani.


Along with the polishes I also received the OPI Infinite Shine base coat and top coat as part of the sampler. These polishes are said to have a hi-def gel like shine that wears up to 10 days without the light or the soak needed for removal!

I used the base coat on all nails but wanted to test the durability of the top coat so I used the OPI Infinite Shine top coat on my pinky and middle nail but my usual Seche Vite top coat on my other fingers.

First thoughts: I love the base coat. It went on smoothly, dried quickly, and didn't bubble or anything like that and my mani held up really well which is surprising because I've only found one (now discontinued) base coat that works well with my body chemistry. It was a light colored mani so I didn't really expect it to stain and it didn't.

However, I'm iffy about the top coat simply because it smeared my stamping long after I allowed it to 'set' for a few minutes. It also took a long time to dry - feeling tacky and not set long after applying. I know Seche Vite spoils me with how quickly it dries but the nails I used the OPI Infinite Shine top coat on still had me worried about bumping them about half an hour later. However, once it dried it had a really nice shine - on par with my Seche Vite so that's saying something! And it held up really well. I'm not easy on my nails but there wasn't much, if any, wear showing on any of my nails after the 2-3 days I wore it. Would I use this again? For a simple one color or gradient mani: yes. For nail art I've spent hours on: NO!



Woohoo!! I had a credit card offer come in the mail today so I have myself a much better scraper than that bit of cardboard from the video. This means I get a better and more complete image lol.

I still don't have the set up for a video, but I rigged up much better lighting for this one at least. :) I also realized I paint over (and over and over) my nails way too much while editing this video given how much painting I had to cut out lol.


I have so many more polishes to try out and a few more manis already done and waiting to be posted to stick around or scroll back to the top, look to the right, and follow me so you don't miss a post!

Until next time,
Ashley

*Some products were sent to me for testing and review, completely complimentary, from OPI and Preen.Me. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A-Z Weekly Challenge - Q is for Quirky

*Some products were sent to me for testing and review, completely complimentary, from Born Pretty Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hello, hello lovelies!!! Another Thursday A-Z Challenge post. Today's post is Q for Quirky. Quirky being something odd, peculiar, and strange. I know some of the ladies had trouble finding quirky inspiration but even from the start my mind went immediately to the Mad Hatter and then expanded to all of Alice in Wonderland. What's quirkier than that??


It's such a bizarre mismatched mani, and I used a little of everything to create these nails. It's a lot of handpainting with acrylic paints with a little help from stamping and a vinyl.


We're All Mad Here on my thumb was created with the help of a vinyl. I removed the letters from the vinyl, leaving a stencil behind, that I painted over with white. I think the small amount of smudging adds to the overall effect. :)

The index and pinky nail both use a base of Spellbound Nails Upelkuchen (from my Eat, Drink, and Be Alice Duo - can be purchased separately as well). Both the tipping, spilling tea cups and the 'Eat Me' tag were handpainted. 

I used the jumbled clock stamp (BP-39) that I received for review from the Born Pretty Store on my middle finger. If you read last week's post you'll remember that I said it would work perfectly for an Alice in Wonderland mani! ;)

And last but not least I used let's paint Moscow and her much better 'painting the roses red' mani as inspiration for my ring nail. I started with a base of Spellbound Nails Buckingham Gardens (this looks a good deal darker in my pictures than in person) and painted the roses with white, red, and black acryic, adding the leaves with various shades of green.


I think this is my most favorite mani in a long, long, LONG time! I could not be happier!!

What do you think? Is this mani quirky enough to fit the challenge? Let me know in the comments and don't forget to check out the manis from the other lovely artists in this challenge below. :)

Until next time,
Ashley

*Some products were sent to me for testing and review, completely complimentary, from Born Pretty Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, February 27, 2015

A-Z Weekly Challenge - P is for Pale

*Some products were sent to me for testing and review, completely complimentary, from Born Pretty Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hello lovelies! This week's A-Z challenge was P for Pale. I took a little leeway ... okay a lot of leeway with this week's challenge. Instead of going with pale or pastel polishes I went deep and dark and used 'pale as death' as my inspiration.



I've been calling this mani Your Number's Up in my head since I couldn't resist using the jumbled number stamp that was on the stamping plate too.



Being honest I almost didn't want to stamp over this. I started with a two coat base of Vintage Gray [Petites Color Fever] and then used some saran wrap to smudge on acrylic paint in White, Black, Pewter Gray, and Khaki. I topped it with a coat of my very own Fairy Dust like holographic topper, Spellbound Nails Holo Back Girl.



I received this stamping plate (BP-39) from the Born Pretty Store as a nice addition to a review package (review coming soon) and it couldn't have come at a better time! This skull stamp was seriously the hardest thing to stamp EVER! And it had nothing to do with the stamp itself and everything to do with having such a dark base. The stamp was really great with such clean lines that are deep enough to give you a perfect stamp! My problem came with not having anything opaque enough to stamp over the dark base. I wanted neon green but surprise surprise that didn't work. I went through nearly my entire polish collection trying to find a polish that would show up - one that wasn't white because I always use white!! I finally used an undiluted metallic that I sometimes use to mix polish, but it worked perfectly!



This mani was so sparkly and shiny in person! And I'm already dreaming of an Alice in Wonderland mani with that jumbled number stamp. If you'd like to try the stamp for yourself you can find it on the Born Pretty Store website here. As of today (2/27) it is on sale for $0.99! If you do decide to place an order you can use my promo code SBN10K31 for 10% off. This code is good on full price items only though so if you're just picking up this stamping plate while it's on sale it will tell you the code is invalid ... but can you really shop at BPS and not fill your cart with goodies? Seriously, don't even try to tell me I'm the only one who does this because I won't believe it!!

Be sure to check out the other Pale manis below, and have a good weekend!

Until next time,
Ashley

*Some products were sent to me for testing and review, completely complimentary, from Born Pretty Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
An InLinkz Link-up

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A-Z Weekly Challenge - O is for Old

Hello again lovelies! You saw New yesterday and what's New without Old? You may recognize this from a long ago post. Seriously, the design I'm redoing today is such an old, old design. I did it the year I started my blog so my nails and my style of art have really changed since then.



Not only is it an old design redone ... it's a vintage design!!! Double the old!



I think the matte mani has a more victorian feel to it but it's really pretty shiny!


Between 2012 and now I seem to have forgotten how to draw roses. I struggled like crazy to get them to look even this nice. And I've discovered a terrible horror with my polish collection - I don't have a minty mint!!! I actually had to custom mix the color I used and it's far too blue for my minty tastes. But overall I'm actually very happy with this design.


Oh how very far I've come in 3 years. Here is the original design and my new ... and improved design? I don't know. Which is your favorite?

Until next time,
Ashley


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A-Z Weekly Challenge - N is for New

Hello lovelies and welcome to another A-Z Weekly Challenge post ... yep it's really, really late. New was supposed to be posted last Thursday. I did the design, got pictures but never actually found time to go through them and get them ready for posting so you'll have two A-Z posts this week - today's and tomorrow's. :)



Today's post is for N which is for New. This isn't technically a new technique for me as I've done a watermarble before and attempted it another time or two but what is new about it is that it actually worked this time!



I started with two coats of a basic white on my nails, taped around my fingers, and then started making my designs with Wet n Wild [Candy-licious], Wet n Wild [On a Trip], and the basic white again. I had originally intented to use pink, purple, and blue but the blue refused to spread out once it touched the water so I defaulted to white and I think it's perfect! So glad the blue didn't work!!



My first few fingers took the brunt of my learning curve. I didn't do enough designs, I couldn't gauge correctly where to stick my fingers to pick up the best design and ended up getting the tail-end of them. It was a comedy act ... right up until I spilled the whole bowl of water plus already made marble right into my lap, all over the chair, and the floor while trying to do my right hand. Thankfully I'd already gotten these pictures because the designs were slightly ruined by polish splatters during cleanup. So yeah, that was a new experience too. :( But long after the memories and panic fade I shall forever have the pictures of my first successful watermarble and that's something to treasure.

Until next time have a peek at what everyone else came up with for this challenge,
Ashley


Thursday, February 5, 2015

A-Z Weekly Challenge - M is for Multi-Coloured

Hello lovelies! Another week and another challenge post. This week is M for Multi-Coloured. I'm sorry Charlie (Pocket Money Polishes) but you Brits kill me every time you put U's in words where they don't belong lol. <3


This week I tried something new for me. I used acrylic paint. It's much different sponging on acrylic paint than it is sponging on nail polish.



I apologize for the quality but I snapped this with my phone. This is my new work station. It's just one of those collapsible dinner trays/stands you can pick up at Walmart. I even picked up a brand new file since I started doing my nails more often; it's a Revlon Shape 'N' Buff. From base coat to top coat I used: Revlon Colorstay (the original, not the new gel base), a plain white polish, Apple Barrel acrylic in Purple Iris, Lime Tree, Jack-O-Lantern, and Bright Magenta, and then finished with Seche Vite top coat. Also shown is the eyeshadow applicators I use as sponges for manis like this.



Like I said, sponging acrylic paint is much different than sponging nail polish. My eyeshadow applicator usually leaves a nice dimply textured pattern behind but the texture of acrylic seems to be wetter and thinner and left these really cool almost brush strokes instead. I'm oddly reminded of a child's crayon scribblings.



I used a plain white polish under it all to really make the bright colors I picked pop. I'm actually really loving this mani ... though I almost wish I had kept this on a little longer and stamped something childish over it to really complete the kid's scribbles idea.

Check out the other great Multi-Coloured manis done for this challenge below.


Until next time,
Ashley