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Stamping?! Oh NO YOU DIDN’T!

Okay- sorry for the late post. I have a respiratory infection that’s kickin’ my A$$. But I love you guys and always feel the need to torture you with my jibber-jabbering.

Let me start by saying that I am really stressed with my present living situation. My Hubby’s a great guy! Unfortunately my MIL ain’t so great. I know what you’re thinking- “OMG! She’s going to find out about this post!” Don’t worry, she doesn’t believe in the interwebs. Apparently, she only believes in harping on me during her drunken frenzies and passing out at unreasonably early hours of the evening. She’s fully aware of my feelings on the subject- so this would come as no surprise to her. It’s incredibly difficult to live with someone who has a drinking problem. I should know, since this isn’t the first time in my life that I’ve had a relative force me and my family to endure this type of behavior. Don’t get me wrong- I understand that this is a disease. I honestly have compassion for her. She didn’t have the greatest childhood. Her Husband left her for a woman she was friends with for years. None of that can be easy to take. We are all only human. What upsets me is the need to hurt the people that love her. I can’t imagine saying cruel things to my children. No matter how much pain I was in. The thought of hurting them in such an intentional way, brings tears to my eyes. But I have to watch her do that, to my ever stoic Husband. Her 1st born. The Father of my child and love of my life. I’m not perfect- but therapy has done wonders. I feel like after 30- it’s time to fix your issues. Hey- you can even wait til 35! Healing can be scary- but at some point you have to decide what’s most important to you. I love my kids- I mean like REALLY love them! I want them to have good memories of me. I don’t want them to resent me or feel like my vices were more important than them. I love my friends and my Mum and siblings. I will continue to love my MIL. Because maybe she’s just doing what she knows. Sadly, she may never see or realize the wonderful gift of a Grand Daughter she has. A Son who loves her, despite her flaws and a DIL that will continue to make her lunch for work every night.  But I will continue to love her as best I can and remind myself –

“There but for the grace of God, go I”

If you’re struggling with living with an Alcoholic/Addict I highly suggest visiting http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/home To find meetings and online support groups.

Okay now let’s lighten up this joint! My Sister-from-another-mister (I have 2 both named Jessica- it’s great- I can buy “Jess” gear in 2’s :D) I kid. They’re both so sweet and they both surprised me with nail mail this week. You’ll defs be seeing some of the stuff that http://instagram.com/jesspaintshernails# at some point. But I just couldn’t get as much done this week as I wanted to because of my “hideous disease” HAHA!

But Jess aka @nibslovesnails on IG http://instagram.com/nibslovesnails# sent me a Julie G motherload! Which was amazing because I was on a “NoBuy” after my vacation. Sidebar: I love this girl! Both of my Jess’ have come to mean so much to me. Jess S. aka Nibs- talks to me everyday, either over the phone or through texts. It’s like a ritual for me now. She genuinely cares about me. As do I her. It means the world to me. And Jess M. (she’s preggers and has a little one, so she’s a tad bit busy) Always finds the time to check in with me, love on my silliness and make me laugh. I’m just so thankful that this community helped this old lady- S.A.H.M. with no life- feel like she matters. Thanks Sissy’s, I love you!

OKAY! so here’s mah swatches:

my first attempt at stamping

my first attempt at stamping

nails 074

I decided to start with the hilarity that is my first attempt at stamping with my VERY long awaited stampers from http://www.aliexpress.com These took almost 2 months to get here. But , I think they’re well worth it. Laugh it up rockers!! 😀 I can assure you the stamping product is totally “operator error”. But I’ll keep practicing. It was only $4.50 for 3 of these super sticky, super squishy stampers. The only downer is that I had to glue the stamping pad into the holder. No worries though, it worked out fine once they dried. I thank http://instagram.com/nailstampfanatic# for hooking me up with this company!

Now wipe your tears of laughter off your face… Okay you good? Look at this gorge “blurple” from Julie G- this is “Cabana Boy”- *drool”- I love this color- this is 1 coat! With my terrible stamping over it- but what evs. You get the point. It’s gorgeous and I will definitely swatch a clean version of it when I feel better.

Up next:

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This is from the Julie G Gumdrop collection “Crushed Candy” . GAH! It’s so pretty! When I swatched it for IG I wasn’t aware it was from that collection and I noted in my post how glittery and textured it was. DERP!  Then @nibslovesnails and I were on the phone and she set me straight. This is 2 coats with 1 coat of Seche Vite. So pretty! And actually removed pretty easily.

Finally, this is the kicker:

"Mermaid's Tale"

“Mermaid’s Tale”

This is Julie G’s “Mermaid’s Tale” ! UM- YUMMY!! This is not textured- but it’s this glittery! It’s bananas how shimmery! I have long hair nearly to my bottom- but I wished it was deep red when I painted these on so I could be Ariel! It’s so gorge!

I just want to thank Jess aka @nibslovesnails for supporting me through a “No buy” especially since I’ve been so ill. You made this post happen girly! I loves you to the moon and back!

Every week I try to post up and coming nail artists and bloggers from the IG community. This week I have a lovely “beginner” Casey L. I love this dolly! She’s so very sweet and has been so patient with me! Here’s Casey:

Anne-Marie, thank you for this opportunity!

Hi everyone! My name is Casey; I’m from Missouri, and I LOVE polish! I started painting my nails when I was a little girl (more years ago than I care to admit to) but in the last couple of years I have started really getting into it. A few months ago I decided (after some encouragement from friends) to start a nail account on Instagram to share my love. I am sure my friends in “real life” are relieved that I found so many amazing people online to gush about polish with. Last week I finally started a blog caseylanelovespolish.blogspot.com, and I am so excited to share my love of polish and nail art with the world.

I recently tried the fan brush technique, and I absolutely love it. There are a lot of videos and pictorials online showing how to achieve this effect, and it really is super simple with big payout.

The colors for this mani were inspired by my lovely little sister Mel. For this mani I started with 3 coats of OPI My Vampire is Buff. Once that was mostly dry, I took my fan brush and lightly dipped it in to OPI Do You Lilac It then lightly brushed it from side to side over the nail. Then I mixed OPI Ski Teal We Drop with a little white and repeated the process with it. After that I added a little more My Vampire is Buff with the fan brush, and added more of the other colors as I saw fit. This technique is hard to screw up, because you can always go back and add more of the other colors. It was missing something at that point, so with some help from my color expert friend Ashlea I decided to add gold. I’m not a fan of yellow gold, so this was a big step for me. And I’m so happy I added it! This gold is Wet-n-Wild Gold Album, it’s such a pretty color. After that I cleaned up with a brush and some acetone, and then added a nice coat of Seche Vite to smooth it out and protect the art.

I hope you all try this technique out, it’s so much fun! I plan to do a lot more of it in the future.

caseynails1 caseynails2

Thanks so much Casey! This is gorgeous! Thanks so much for contributing this week and being so patient!

You can follow Casey’s amazing creations on Instagram here:  http://instagram.com/caseylanelovespolish#

If you’re interested in contributing your Swatches or nail art creations drop me a line at plasteredandpolished@gmail.com

I hope you all have an amazing and joy-filled weekend! Thanks so much for reading! Be well! and P.S.- I Love you! ❤

2

Shimmers and Hol-OH-my!

I’m dying! Okay that’s a bit dramatic. But I feel like I’m dying. After returning from vacation, I woke up the next day to a terrible Summer Flu. I hate being sick in the heat. The last thing I want to do when I can’t breathe is suck in the thick, 100 degree,Florida air. Plus, as any Mum knows; kids don’t care if you’re sick. Babies SUPER don’t care. To top all this off, I wake up to “Aunt Flo” making her monthly visit. (TMI? Too BAD! I’m cranky! :P) . That being said, I’m obviously so obsessed with polish, that I had to post, regardless of how crumby I feel. This will be a short post from me, but no worries, I have a few friends to help out!

So let’s just get straight to it, because I can feel my bed calling to me.

I’ve already gushed over my love of glitter crellies. I’m not particularly fond of shimmers and glitters on my skin tone. Honestly, most times I feel like I’m too old to wear them. But recently, I’ve decided to say “screw it” , I’m going to wear what I want. My baby is usually the only person I see most days anyways. Plus,there are so many cute indie holos, glitters and duo-chromes out there and I have to “haz all the polish”! 😀

So today I bring you Etheral Lacquer’s “Mistress of All Evil” which is part of the “Sweet Venom” collection. I purchased this while I was in hot pursuit of “Dragon Queen”. Sadly I never got my paws on DQ, but I was happy to have this beauty just the same.

"Mistress of All Evil"

“Mistress of All Evil”

"Mistress of All Evil"

“Mistress of All Evil”

This is a lovely holo/duochrome. It’s been described as grey with a purple shimmer,but I found it to be definitely more on the green side. Either way -It’s gorgeous! I’m not even sure if photos do it justice. It seems like it’s much better in real life. The formula was amazing, I applied 3 very thin coats to achieve this hue as it is very sheer. I could really see this being a nice topcoat over black or a dark purple. You can purchase this and many other lovely shades here http://ethereallacquer.bigcartel.com/  Although, I think Meagan is working on her restock at the moment, so make sure you check back if the site is under maintenance. For swatches and instant updates, you can follow Ethereal Lacquer on Instagram here http://instagram.com/ethereal_lacquer# And if you get to the “Dragon Queen” before me- save me a bottle! 😀

Every week I try to bring you up and coming nail artists. The thing is, I don’t think just painting patterns and pictures makes you a nail artist. Sometimes the perfect swatch can make me swoon! So today I decided to show you a few of my favorite people from the IG community that happen to be obsessed with holos. First up is Jess S. or @nibslovesnails from IG :

“Hi, my name is Jessica. I’m from Alabama. I’m recently engaged, a small business owner, and I love to do my nails as my form of therapy. I find it gives me a way to be creative and also gives me something to focus on and calm my always racing mind. I have always been one to keep my nails painted, because I LOVE color. But I just started getting into nail art and indie polishes the end of January of this year (2013). I as many other would have to blame Instagram for the spiral is has now sent me down, but I do not regret a second of it. I am always somewhat doomed to having nubs compared to most of the ladies out there in IG world, but I make do best I can and firmly believe that just cause I am rocking nibs, doesn’t mean I can’t rock a mean mani. Just have to find what works for you and do what makes you happy.

I would say if you asked many of my followers what my favorite manis are, they would quickly say I am obsessed with doing tape manis, as well as any holo polish I can get my hands on. But for this I am going to stick with my love for holos. I jokingly call myself a holowhore (sorry if that offends, but hey it’s who I am). And I swear non can make them like indie makers can. My first love of all the, is Enchanted Polish. Of my indie polish collection, hers I have the absolute most of. So that’s what I am choosing to share with you today.

 

She just recently came out with a collection based from the band MGMT, which is a band I love and literally one of their songs is my absolute favorite. The collection was called “Time to Pretend” and my absolute favorite from that collection actually is the self title “Time to Pretend”. It’s a gorgeous multi-chrome holographic polish, and it is everything that encompasses what I consider to be her ultimate polish. The color is amazing and the fine holo glitters that set the polish off, make a hard to find polish like this absolutely worth having in a collection.

I hope you have enjoyed what I shared with you, and have a great day. 🙂 ”

jesssult

Thanks Jess! You’re the best! You can find Jess on Instagram here http://instagram.com/nibslovesnails# You can also tune into her radio show “Nibbles at Night” Tuesday nights at 9-11pm CDT at http://theswitchradio.com/

Next up is Wes AKA @polishmemanly from IG :

“Thank you for letting me submit these:

Howdy, from the great state of Texas!  My name is Wes.  Wait a second…. Yes I’m a guy, and I love nail polish and painting my nails.  I’m obsessed with them.  I’ve been painting my nails since September 2012.  I’m 32 and straight.  I was a nail biter my whole life until I decided to start painting my nails and haven’t chewed a nail since.  My stash now exceeds 300 polishes.  You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @polishmemanly is my name.I affectionately call myself a #manwhoreforholos.  ”

“I’m wearing Literary Lacquers If it Pleases you which can be found here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LiteraryLacquer. ”

wesmani wesmani2

Thanks Wes, it was pleasure to have you contribute this week!

 

Last but certainly not least is Amanda AKA @amaree31 from IG

 

“Here it goes!

Hey guys! My name is Amanda! I’ve been polishing for just over a year. I
started because I joined Instagram and saw a watermarble. I just HAD to try
it! It’s been completely down hill since then but it’s been a great,
inspirational, and self-soothing journey! It also brought on my nail polish
buying/hoarding obsession! I’m a social worker by day and a nail polisher
by night!

For this mani I used China Glaze When Stars Collide and topped it with
Enchanted Polish Ice Castle. I loved it! It was so hard to concentrate all day long!”

amandamani

Thanks so much Amanda- this is really pretty! You can check out more from Amanda on Instagram http://instagram.com/amaree31#

Thanks to all 3 of my contributors this week! Remember if you’d like to featured here- drop me a line at plasteredandpolished@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading! Until next week! Have an amazing weekend lovelies!!

6

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Greetings! What a hectic week it’s been! Zoë has been weening from the bottle, so I’ve been at the mercy of a crying, whining, angry little princess all week! Luckily she seems to be getting the hang of it, so things should be settling down soon. Or, at least that’s what I keep telling myself. 😀

I’m going to Orlando on Sunday for an overnight trip to Universal Island of Adventures. I haven’t been out of town overnight, since my honeymoon in 2009! We’re taking the baby- so I’m sure it’ll be interesting, to say the least! I had to buy some clothes to be presentable in the Florida sun. EEK! I don’t know about you guys, but I personally HATE buying clothes. I mean I love fashion. But let’s face it- I’m a 40 year old mother of 2. I’m not exactly a fashion model! So I expect to run into issues when I’m trying on clothes. But I’m not a plus size- I know this because all the “plus size” clothes are too big for me. But wouldn’t you know it- all the “average” size clothes are either too small or too short! Am I a mythical creature that has never been seen by man?!?!- No. These companies just don’t get women. I don’t know about you, but I spent enough of my youth thinking I was too tall, too pale, too fat, too ugly etc. I’m done with that noise. I spent so much of my youth self-loathing and beating myself up- I never saw how pretty I was. I look back on pictures of my self when I was in my 20’s and think, “You were so cute! Why the hell didn’t you know that then?!”. Honestly, If I had a time machine,  I would take a trip to 1998 – slap myself in the face, and show “me” the currently empty “baby hotel”-belly burden I’m carrying around now! Then I’d say “Look moron, just wear the 2 piece you always wanted, because it doesn’t get better from here. You’re gorgeous! Now stop ripping yourself apart and go enjoy being young!”. Ladies, if you”re doing this to yourself-STOP! Life’s too short to rake yourself over the coals for not being “perfect”. Newsflash: no one is perfect. You can only be perfectly you. Which is certainly good enough! Every time you pick yourself apart- I hope you’ll remember how beautiful your friends and family think you are. If you’re a mom- just look at the way your kids gaze at that perfect lady-mug of yours. See that look in their eyes? That’s love! They’re in love with the most beautiful girl they ever met! I don’t think it gets any better than that! I hope this helps some of you that are doing what I’ve done to myself forever. And remember- I think you’re GORGE! No matter how messy your hair is today- how many donuts you ate this morning or even if you never made it to the shower today! 😀

Now let’s talk polish dollfaces! I am OBSESSED with crellies. I know most girls in the polish community will slap their Mama for a sweet holo or duo-chrome. Not this bird- I’d slap my Mama for a crelly any day. Matte glitters? Oh YEAH! (F.Y.I. Mum if you’re reading this- I have no intentions of slapping you- I know better.) I recently stumbled upon Polish Addict Nail Color on Instagram. As a matter of fact- Laura was one of the ladies who gave me the guts to start this blog. So of course, I had to try out a couple of crellys from her “Nudes and Neons” collection. First up is “Sand and Surf”:

"Sand and Surf"

“Sand and Surf”

This is 3 thin coats. As you can see the base is a sheer white crelly. I don’t know if it’s because of the neon lavender micro-glitters and hexagons, but this almost looks lavender in the bottle and on your digits. I love this- I put a watercolor heart on my accent nail be cause I wasn’t too “trembly” that day and wanted to take advantage of it. I couldn’t stop looking at these. Even my daughter kept grabbing my finger nails to stare at this really pretty polish! (I think I may have a future polish addict on my hands!) The formula was amazing – I didn’t even have to shake it too much- I wasn’t fishing for glitter either. I bought a mini bottle But I’m definitely picking up the full size version of this polish very soon.

Next up- also from Polish Addict Nail Color, is “Oceanside”:

"Oceanside"

“Oceanside”

Now this is described as “peachy” by some. But this 3 thin coats and it looks more of a creamy nudish yellow. And that’s how it kept photographing for me. Either way- I’m in love with this polish. The only downer- I had to fish for the glitter. Before I go on, let me just remind everyone. Indie polishes are hand made. They’re like the snowflakes of the polish world. No 2 are ever exactly alike. And that’s what makes them so lovely and unique.

Now as I was saying, I had to fish for the glitter, but it was totally worth it! The glitter settled for me- so I highly recommend storing this upside down. I store all my glitter polishes this way, it makes for less shaking, which makes for less bubbles in the polish.

I love this line- I plan on purchasing all four in full size versions. The shipping was fast! I think Laura should be very proud of her products. They are really are gorgeous. If you haven’t tried anything from Polish Addict GO GET SOME NOW! 😀 You can order them here http://www.shoppolishaddict.bigcartel.com/products

You can also check out the Polish Addict’s Instagram for swatches and restock notifications and updates and new releases and sales here http://instagram.com/polishaddictnailcolor#

Every week I feature up and coming nail artists from the IG community. I love introducing you guys to the lovely ladies I’ve met on Instagram. It’s honestly one of my favorite things about this blog. I don’t place any limits on what they create. It’s all up to them. They edit their own photos and write their own intro’s and descriptions .

First up is Amy McG. Believe it or not, this lovely lady actually lives in the same city as me and we haven’t met in person yet! I hope to change that soon because we have more than our love of polish in common! Here’s Amy:

“Hey, I’m Amy aka McPolish!  I started painting my nails in October 2012.  It all started with a magnetic polish that I was so intrigued with. I went online to see if there were other polishes like this and fell upon a nail blog.  That was it!  I was hooked. I have had lacquer on my nails everyday since.  I started my Instagram account in March 2013 to have a place to share my nail polish obsession. I saw so many cool nail art designs and indie polishes, I was even more hooked!  If you check out my IG account ( http://instagram.com/mcpolish ) you can see my entire nail art adventure. I have posted all of my first time tries there.  Today I am sharing a feather mani with you. I used real feathers and a lovely polish from Different Dimension ( http://www.etsy.com/shop/DIFFERENTdimension )called Doppelgänger.  The grey base color is from Tillie ( http://www.tilliepolish.com/called Hot Stone Massage.  Hope you like them :)”
AmyMcG

Thanks Amy! I am loving this use of real feathers! It looks amazing. What a creative idea!

Next up is Amy H. (I swear I didn’t plan this! It was a complete coincidence we’ll call this post the “Amy squared” :P) AmyH aka @amylovesnewwave on IG is a really talented funny lady! She’s always cracking me up with her wit and commentary! Here’s Amy H.:

” I’m Amy. I’m 30. I’m kind of ambivalent about it. Being 30, that is. I definitely like being Amy.

I’ve been into nails for a long time, but it never occurred to me that nail art went beyond the realm of a rhinestone and a cheesy, 1987 flower until November 2012. I was on Instagram when I stumbled across a photo from Hannah Rox Nails of YouTube fame, of a fall leaves design. I fell head over heels and began stalking her social media pages, getting ideas, instructions, and inspiration. I took the plunge in December of that year with the worst attempt at a falling snow design. I think it’s safe to say I’ve made huge strides since then.

For this design, knowing that your angle is all about beginner nail art, I wanted to showcase something that beginners can do well on their first try, with products that are all readily available in the mass market. For this mani I used all China Glaze polishes: White on White for undies (two coats on every nail), Celtic Sun (the yellow), I’m With the Lifeguard (the green), and Turned Up Turquoise. I also used a makeup wedge sponge and some scotch tape.

On my index finger and pinky, I have a gradient. A lot of people are scared of gradients, but there’s really no great secret to them, other than patience! I paint my colors in overlapping stripes directly onto the sponge. I roll the sponge over my nail from side to side first to make sure I get full coverage, then let that dry for a couple of minutes. Next I paint the sponge again, then dab the nail with the sponge, moving it up and down slightly to blend. Sometimes this step needs to be repeated. The key is to do it lightly, so that the polish doesn’t become too bulky on the nail. Once it’s opaque and the colors are vibrant, I clean up using q-tips dipped in acetone for broad cleanup, then an angled brush dipped in acetone for around my cuticles and to create a nice, neat line. (Ok, I lied. My great secret? I use a Crayola art brush to clean my cuticles. It’s stiff enough to get into the crevices between my nail and skin, but soft enough to create a nice sweeping line on my nail. And it comes in a package with four or five other brushes for about $3. Win!)

On my middle and ring fingers, I created a sort of asymmetrical chevron pattern using tape. I started with two coats of white, then a coat of yellow, all over the nail. I added a quick-dry top coat over that to help speed things up (my favorite is Orly Sec ‘n’ Dry). I then waited about 15 minutes to make sure everything was completely dry. Starting about halfway down the nail, I taped off my nail at an angle, leaving a triangle-shaped area exposed at the tip. I made sure to smooth the tape out at the edge I’ll be painting to make sure it’s sealed. I brushed on two thin coats of the turquoise, overlapping the tape slightly, waiting about a minute between coats to dry. Once the second coat was done, I immediately pulled the tape off from bottom to top slowly. If the line looks ragged, you can very lightly clean it up using your brush and acetone. (Acetone is strong, so there’s no need to press down with the brush. You run the risk of wiping off your base color.) Next I waited about 15 minutes for the turquoise to dry. Once dry, I taped off a section of my nail in the opposite direction as the first, starting from the top corner and angled to the opposite bottom corner. I then painted two thin coats of the green, waiting about a minute between coats to dry. After the second coat was painted, I immediately pulled the tape off from bottom to top slowly. Once that was done I did a final swipe with my brush and acetone to clean up my cuticles (in case you can’t tell, I’m a bit fanatical about my cuticles being clean). Then I added two coats of quick-dry top coat, and I’m done!

I guess the moral of my story is that you shouldn’t be scared of DIY nail art. I had absolutely no artistic talent when I first started. I just saw pretty nails and wanted to try for myself. I’ve astounded everyone I know (and even myself!) with what I’ve accomplished since then. The key is to just give it a try and see what comes of it. You’ll surprise yourself with what you’re capable of doing!”

AmyH

Thanks Amy H. ! Beautifully done!

If you want to see more of Amy H.’s designs you can find her on Instagram here http://instagram.com/amylovesnewwave#

Thanks so much for being this week’s features ladies! You did a great job!

If you’re interested in being featured here feel free to contact me @ plasteredandpolished@gmail.com

Thanks for reading! And have a great weekend! ❤

4

Empower Nail Art ..I’m stuck on you!

Hello! I hope everyone had an amazing 4th of July. Being that I’m a Mum to a 15 month old and a wife to a man who works every holiday- mine was low key, to say the least. Luckily, I live in an area that is about 10 blocks away from the ocean, which means plenty of foot traffic and foolery supplied by the locals. So it’s practically like having a college “rager” happening in your front yard! Sounds fun, right? Yeah..

SO, this week I have the pleasure of bringing you something completely different. First, let me start by saying a HUGE thanks to Lucien Henderson from Empower Nail Art, without his generosity and support, I may not have been able to bring you this amazing product. I had the pleasure of talking to Lucien by phone about a week ago, after attempting to purchase a sheet of nail fabric from his website. I say “attempting” because after choosing the item and proceeding to check out- I kept getting bounced off the site. It was making me nervous because I just HAD to try this out and it just wasn’t working. Luckily, I am connected to him on IG. I commented to him that I was having difficulty on his website and hoped he would get it fixed so that I could purchase some product from him for review. He immediately responded, telling me I could email or call him. “Call him”?! “This can’t be true!”, I thought. What are the chances you could actually get a person from a company, let alone the owner, to attend to your issues. Well, it was true and we had a great conversation about his beautiful product. He’s really passionate about it and to me that makes it even more exciting!

On top of his amazing customer service,when I offered my credit information to make my purchase- he quickly informed me that he wasn’t going to need that. He sent me 4 more sheets than I actually planned on trying at NO CHARGE. Also, he included the Nail Template and a really cute bumper sticker! I’m just floored! So now, enough of my blathering! Let’s get to the good stuff!

I have NO experience in professional nail design. So anything that may not look 100% perfect has nothing to do with this product. This is really designed for the pro’s, but I think there’s room for it in the D.I.Y. market with a little practice. Especially for those of us who like to use cut outs and mixed media in our work.

This is what I received from Lucien at http://www.empowernailart.com

nails 005

I originally had some much better photos of these beauties, but babies and smart phones aren’t a good combo and unfortunately I suffered photo casualties.

Here is the first attempt with the gorgeous Holographic nail fabric from the “Metal” Style set:

nails 2412

As you can see it’s just amazing! I had to use an Exacto knife and a small pair of detailing scissors to clean up,but Lucien recommends using a swivel knife. Fiskars makes a nice one which you can purchase for about $8.00. Unfortunately, due to the holiday, I didn’t receive mine and had to go “old school”. These sheets are really easy to use. The backing is a bit tough when you first go at it, but trust me- just practice. Once you get the hang of it, you start to imagine all the possiblities.

Here are a couple more that I played around with

From the "Metal" Style Set

From the “Metal” Style Set

"Lines" from the Clear and Abstract set.

“Lines” from the Clear and Abstract set.

I tried these out as full coverage, but I can see creating lovely chevrons, hearts and other accents. Lucien encourages this as you can see by the back of the sheets.

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Nice little stencils, already built in to help create your favorite designs in different colors! And since these aren’t “pre-cut” you can virtually create any look you want since you aren’t limited by size or pre-fab strips. I see tons of possibilities!

I feel as if this post really doesn’t begin to show you how beautiful and innovative this product is. Certainly the photos could be better! But , I do hope it has encouraged you to visit http://www.empowernailart.com to see more of the nail fabric designs available. Each sheet sells for 9.50 and also I will add, that there is no need for topcoat or base coat. You can use a base coat (I didn’t and removal was fine). I really didn’t see the need for a topcoat since they really are incredibly durable and shiny. Aslo feel free to check out the videos on the site to further explore this innovative line. You can check out Lucien’s designs in action on his instagram  page. http://instagram.com/empowernailart#

Thanks again Lucien!

Every week I try and introduce two beginner nail artists on the blog. I enjoy being able to promote my fellow newbie’s creations to you. I hope the ladies like it too! First up on the list is Jess M. I love this lady! She’s a stay at home mom like me at the moment. She’s also a really smart Science-type lady. She has a son named Henry, who’s just about as silly as his mama! I consider her to be one of favorite ladies from the IG communtiy! I let everyone write their own descriptions and intro’s so this is what Jess sent me!

jess mani

“I used Forever Polished in WaterMelon Punch as a base. I used striping tape on the pinky and ring finger. I made a little heart on the middle finger using a dotting tool, because who doesn’t love hearts?!? I used regular tape for the designs on my index finger and thumb. I love doing tape manis because while they are simple, they can also be very fun and creative. 🙂 The pink I used is Hottub from Urban Outfitters, and the green is London Calling from Color Club. Thanks for letting me share a manicure on your awesome blog!”

Thanks Jess! It was my pleasure! I love tape mani’s and this looks very 80’s in a GOOD way!

You can check out more of Jess’ work on IG @jesspaintshernails http://instagram.com/jesspaintshernails#

Second up is the lovely Jillian T. I just recently met this young lady, bonding over our love of nail art!

jilly nails

“My name is Jillian and I am a 19 year old college student. I have painted my nails since I was young, but I did not take nail painting seriously or really dabble into nail art until about July of 2012 (I joined IG about March-April of the same year). Growing up, I had a problem with nail biting. The problem persisted and was so bad, in fact, I did not stop gnawing away at my poor nails until the end of my junior year in High School (June of 2011) and I only stopped because I had braces put on at the time (who knew that little metal brackets and wires glued to my teeth would end a problem I had a difficult time stopping my whole life up until that point? Who would have thunk?) During the year and half of my time as a “brace face” was when I really toiled with the crazy, out-of-this-world (haha, get it?) idea of attempting to grow my nails out and paint them! I was ” one of those people” who would paint their nails (cuticles included, of course!) and have the audacity to post it online thinking, “Wow! These look SO great!” Little did I know about clean up, clarity of pictures, and, well, not painting my cuticles! LOL But here I am, about a year later, writing this blurb for this awesomesauce blog, and getting amazing feedback from amazing people in the nail community I was so fortunate enough to come across and discover! Reflecting back on this wonderful talent I have picked up over time, I have learned so many new things about myself and have overcome a lot of the insecurities and problems I have had from childhood (not to mention, killed a lot time I would sit at home bored! & time, well, that should’ve been spent on homework or studying too haha. But hey, I still passed my classes!). I would have never thought in a million years (or 19, but who’s counting?!) that this newly surfacing form of an art medium would become such an important and huge passion in my life?!
And for my first ever attempt (had to do somethin’ somethin’ for this joyous occasion!) at galaxy nails!! Hope you all love them just as much as I do! 🙂 The whole whopping 2.5 hours (I promise, it only took that long because I made nachos halfway through my “art” time) and a lot of convincing from a dear friend to not take it off as many times as I wanted to! For this design, I used a rainbow of polishes (yes, the whole design is using nail polish and nail polish only!): for my base, I used “Stay the Night” from the OPI Mariah Carey Liquid Sand collection; for the “galaxy” colors, I used “Rise and Shine” by Sinful Colors, “Why Not” by Sinful Colors, “Shelby” by Zoya, “Arizona” by Zoya, and “Henna-Thing Is Possible” by Sephora by OPI; for the stars and dots I used “Pineapple Plantation” by Island Girl; I topped this whole mani off with “Invisible” by Sally Hansen. As long as this design may have taken me, with practice, this design will go by quicker for not only myself but for others who want to try it out on their own nails! (It is not as difficult as it seems either, and what is great about it is there is no precise way to do it! So even if it is not “perfect” it will still ultimately look like a galaxy!)”

You can see more of Jillian’s work on IG @itsjillian_ http://instagram.com/itsjillian_#

Again thanks ladies for stepping up to the plate with such great work!

(just a reminder to my contributors, I DO NOT edit your pictures, so keep that in mind when sizing them for this format. I want your work to look as good as you planned!)

Thanks again for reading. I’m working diligently to get a proper light box to present better photos. I’m also still learning my way around this wordpress thingy! 😛

I hope you tune in again next week! Also I’ll be looking for 2-3 ladies (or gents) to feature every week- so kik me or email me if you’re interested.

Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Love, Anne-Marie

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It’s my first time!!

First, I want to say thank you for visiting my Blog! This is my first post- hopefully we can all look back at this and laugh someday! HAHA! That being said,let’s get down to business! I’ll start by saying I LOVE indie polishes. I just started doing nail art in January. NYE to be exact. I was struggling to get my “self” back after a really high-risk pregnancy. My incision opened up 3 weeks after my baby’s birth. I had to be attended to by home nurses for 6 weeks and was bedridden. Strangers were coming and going through my house. It was a nightmare! THEN my baby girl was colic-ee (I make up words sometimes 😀 ) I don’t think I slept longer than 1 hour at a time until she turned one. I needed to feel pretty again. Which is hard to do as a Stay-at-home-Mum. I was dabbling and THEN I found Instagram. OH MY! The ladies I’ve met have been AMAZING! I learn so much from all of them. So much kindness and support, it’s crazy! My IG girls keep me going. If it wasn’t for all the love and support I’ve received from them, I would have never pursued this passion. Thanks for keeping creativity in my life ladies. Thank you for believing in me as I believe in you!

OKAY! On to the review! (*wipes sappy tears*)

This is one of my FAVORITE Indie polishes! blog 190

This is Lush Lacquer’s “haywire” ! blog 192blog 193

Look at those gorgeous opaque neon glitters swimming in that pale “pinkish white” crelly! And the little mini-bars! AHH! It’s a party on your fingertips! Also, on a side note- the application brush is amazing! It’s wide, but not too much. So, every time you dip, you get plenty of glitter and bits. This is just 2 VERY thin coats, with nothing but a clear base. Just look at that glitter bomb!

 

Second on my list – But I should really say “number one” in my heart is blog 186

Lush Lacquer’s “princess poodle” ! I adore anything, pink, white and black. But this goes over the top! It truly reminds me of a poodle-skirt! It’s like a jawbreaker. Trust me! You know that feeling, when you paint a new polish on your digits, so incredibly appealing, it reminds you of food? Yep that’s this one! I will warn you though, this is a super packed “glitter bomb” so Shake Well! Also, store it someplace cool. Gotta take care of the babies, right? blog 185

blog 184

 

 

You can purchase these polishes from Lush Lacquer’s Etsy shop here http://www.etsy.com/shop/lushlacquer

I love Lush Lacquer! I wish I was a millionaire, so I could purchase all the Indie polishes I Iove!

 

note: (these are not press samples, I purchased these with my own money and in no way affiliated with “Lush Lacquer”) HECK! they probably don’t even know I exist!

NOW! Let’s get to my FAVORITE part!

 

 

I asked for beginner nail artists to step up and present their creations. I’m so excited to share these lovely ladies work with you! They decided to preview their 4th of July Mani’s here! I’m ecstatic! First up, is Leslie from  http://instagram.com/triracialbeauty2#  She’s a really funny lady and an amazing Mum!

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“I used Sinful Colors “Snow Me White” and “Endless Blue.” China Glaze “Phat Santa”, Zoya “Trixie” and Pop Culture Cosmetics “I Love the USA.” The stars were individually placed from the PCC polish.
I’ve been doing nail art less than 6 months.”
This is a direct quote from my lovely’s e-mail to me. I will insert, that she’s just really talented AND sweet. It’s amazing to me how many great girls are involved in our nail art community. PLUS she has gorgeous babies and loves being a Mum as much as I do! Thanks Leslie! I love you for doing this with me!
Last, but certainly NOT least!
My favorite fellow “specs”-tacu-lar (we both wear glasses)  Melissa Margaret from  http://instagram.com/honeybee_nails#   @HONEYBEE_NAILS
honeyhoney
My name is Melissa Margaret, of the Instagram account @honeybee_nails. I’ve been dabbling with nail art for about two years, but it’s really been in the last year or so that I began focusing on trying new techniques and improving my skill! I have the lovely ladies of the IG nail community to thank for much of my improvement. 

For this mani I used Julie G Frosted Gumdrops in Hot Cinnamon, OPI Liquid Sand in Solitaire, and Zoya Pixie Dust in Liberty for the textured sponge gradient on my middle and ring fingers. On my pinky and pointer I started with a base coat of Sinful Shine Wisp. I taped off the triangle section using striping tape and filled it in with Julep Jackie on my pinky and Julep Char on my pointer. The top part of both nails is a limited edition polish from Blue Eyed Girl Lacquer, made by Julie of the blog Wishes of a Blue Eyed Girl (@blueeyedlawyer on IG) called Team Zissou. My thumb also showcases Team Zissou (inspired by the amazing Wes Anderson film The Life Aquatic!)
Hope you all enjoy this Patriotic mani!
Thanks to Mel and Leslie for being my first features! I seriously consider you ladies pals for life!
And thanks to you, dear readers!