Saturday, December 18, 2010

All that glitters....

Is not gold.  Today I have for you a hand painted nail design done with glitter polish and strip rites.  I will happily admit I copied this design from a terrific you tube gal.  Her you tube channel is:  LOVE4NAILS.  Her link is here:  .  She does simple yet beautiful designs all by her own hand.  I love watching her videos and I always am excited for Fridays which is when she puts out new ones.  I really liked this design on her gorgeous nails and it sorta sang "Christmasy" to me so I did it on me with a little bit of my own touches and I like it.  Hope you guys do to.  I used a glittery teal strip rite, a silver stripe rite, a clear glitter polish on nail bed and white acrylic paint for dots.  I also think this is a good summertime "ocean waves" sort of design.  Of course, I think I'll try it in future with other colors too to put a different spin on it.  What do you guys think of it?  As always, pictures are clickable for enlargement.

 Until next time.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas kitteh

This is charlie, a rescue my husband found along a road side back in August.  He was about 5 weeks old when found.  He's quite a naughty boy now so try not to be deceived by his "who me" expression.  He wreaks havoc throughout the household...even our great dane is fearful of him.  :o)  However, he does have his cute side and this is it.

Here is Charlie...the official Christmas present inspector

Still inspecting the present...apparently he takes this job very seriously....or....he fell asleep.  :o)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Teeny baby fingers...

Today's post is to showcase the acrylics I did on my daughter's little, teeny baby fingers a few weeks ago.  (She's almost 17 but still my baby).  She has perfect nail beds...a little longer not stubby like her momma's so her acrylics turned out so pretty.  She just wanted a french manicure style.  Pink translucent glitter acrylic (my own custom mix) for the nail bed and soft white acrylic tips.  "Glaze and Go" UV gel sealer as top coat.  Aren't they pretty?  I love her beautiful little hands.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NSI Illusion Soak Off Gel nails system

Hello all.  Today I thought I'd do a post about the new gel system I've recently obtained.  It is NSI Illusion soak off gel nail system.  Now this was my first endeavor with doing my own gels.  Truth be known I had put it off for a couple of reasons: 
1.  I had a set of gels done some years ago and it was a 4 hour fiasco with the nail tech and then they all popped off within a few days. 
2.  It just seemed to be a tedious multi-step process that I wasn't keen on going through 
3.  The expense.  
Well I watched many a video/tutorial on You Tube and kept finding myself drawn back to the idea of doing my own gels if for no other reason then to just be able to say that I had tried them and had some knowledge to draw on.  I found a tutorial on You Tube from NSI that showed the process with their Illusion Soak Off Gels and it seemed simple...simple enough for even I to think I might be able to attempt it.   So I did some online research and happened upon NSI's kit for the illusion soak off gels at Beauty West's online store.  It was inexpensive and included everything I would need save the brush which Beauty West also sold separately and inexpensively so I purchaswed everything and awaited their arrival.  I tried it as soon as I got it and... I love them!  It really is simple and I find them to be pretty durable and a bit thinner in terms of finished product thickness than acrylics thus more natural looking.  Following are the steps I took to create my gel nails.  This time I used glue on tips and cut and filed them but in the very near future I'm going to attempt sculpting them fully with nail forms. 
1.  You simply prep your nails as usual for fake enhancements, including primer. 
2.  Glue on tips
3.  Apply one thinner layer of base gel and cure in UV light for 2-3 minutes
4.  Apply thinner layer of "Dove" white to tips (for french manicure) and cure 2-3 minutes
5.  Apply another layer of base gel just a bit thicker than the first and concentrate a bit on the stress area and cure for 2-3 minutes
6.  Wipe off dispersion layer.
You can buff or file lightly if needed to even out the surface just like you would with acrylics but only light filing or buffing is needed...not heavy filing or e-filing to remove bulk as with acrylics because this gel is self-leveling.  Apply "glaze and go" uv gel sealer (another NSI product) as your topcoat and cure or just apply a ail polish top coat after buffing and filing and voila!  Your done. 
I found I have a visible line of shadow where the nail tip is glued to my own nail that shows on some of my nails but that's not due to the product as I get that with acrylics as well.  I haven't figured out what I'm doing wrong in my applications yet that's causing this.  So you will see this on the enclosed pics but just know that it's not due to the product but the tech.  :o)  Let me say that I've had them on a week now and I have had no that's NO lifting!  Also there is absolutely NO offenive, painful odor during application.  I love that as I have compromised lungs and I also have a small bird in my home so I cannot use acrylics in the winter.  Yes I've tried odorless acrylics and they truly are odorless (at least NSI is) but the odorless liquid makes the acrylic less workable when doing 3d nail art (at least that's been my experience). I wore my gels as created (french mani) and then I painted them...with my new BB Couture polish (check yesterday's post for that).  I simply use a non-acetone remover to remove the polish and they're perfect underneath.  I just couldn't be more pleased.  I even did a gel french overlay on my daughter's toes over the weekend and she's very pleased (I'll post pics of that soon).  So overall, a good buy on the NSI Illusion Soak Off Gel system, simple to do with a great finished look.  I recommend this product.  Please keep in mind that this was my very first attempt at doing gels...and on myself,  so I am very aware they are not even close to perfect but I'm ok with that. I'll get more precise with practice.   I also purposely didn't make them uniform in length because in nails are never all the same length when I grow my own.  So those disclaimers being ya go.

you can see the little white line on my pinky nail in this pic that is the shadow of where the tip is glued to my natural nail

Until next time.

My first BB Coutures

Hi all.  I am very excited.  I received my very first BB Couture polishes yesterday.  :o)  I now have "Dragon's Breath" and "Erotic Night".  Can I just say these are such beautiful colors, especially Dragon's Breath!  I put Erotic Night as my pedi (no pedi pic tho) and Dragon's Breath as my mani.  I like the formula, coverage is good, brush is good.  I used three coats each, one coat of SV as top coat.  I am including pics of my mani but my camera didn't capture the true color I'm sorry to say.  The nails I have are gel nails (I've got an upcoming post of the gel system I'm using now).  Customer service at Overall Beauty was great.  Great communication and pretty fast shipping.  I got them in about a week.  On the whole, I'm very satisfied with my BB Coutures and will be obtaining more in the future.  I have my eye on "Love Bug".  :o)

Dragon's Breath on left, Erotic Night on right

Dragon's Breath.  I love the shimmer in this

Erotic Night

Enjoy and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!  Until next time.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Couple of new acrylic designs

Included in this post is a couple of new designs and a couple of just simple white tipped nails I did today.  I've been practicing Young Nails techniques after watching and re-watching their you tube videos.  I'll tell ya, I love Young Nails' vids.  Sooo educational!   I just want to share that I ordered some products from Sheba Nails and I am pleased with them.  They shipped really fast, no hassle and they even sent me a couple of little baggies of new nail art to try.  The "Mardi Gras" nail I have pictures of below has been made with some of this.  It's like little chunks of rock glitter type of stuff.  I'm sorry I don't know the actual name of what it is but they refer to it on their site as Rainbow Disco Ball.  They also sent me some little flowers I will soon incorporate into some design.  I love Sheba nails!  They are inexpensive and offer loads of different nail art things.  I also ordered from Beautywests site and they shipped within a week.  I bought my nsi liquid and transparent pink powder from them.  I'm pleased with their customer service as well.  So I recommend both of these online stores.  Just click on their names in this post and you will be linked to them. Hope you enjoy.  Till next time.

This angle to show thickness of nails

Red and gold glitter

Red and gold glitter with ring finger in only gold

This is my "Mardi gras" nail

Simple white tip with glitter dots embellishmements

Mardi Gras design

Simple pink and white

Mardi gras design

Friday, October 29, 2010

Christmas Giveaway!!! yay.

Super awesome Christmas China Glaze giveaway at
Check it out and enter!  I'm soooo excited.  16 new China Glaze Christmas colors. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Few more Halloween looks

Just a couple more Halloween design ideas I did.  Hope they're enjoyed.  
Until next time.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Halloween designs and miscellaneous stuff

Ok so today I was inspired by some you tube gals who do great nail tutorials and I broke down and started to try my hand at some Halloween designs.  I have sort of a mish-mash of a post today because it encompasses some of the designs I've attempted so far and also a sort-of review on China Glaze Awakening collection as well as a few words about the online nail supply store EZ Nails. 
Let me start with the EZ Nails thing.  Now I have ordered one or two other times from them and received ok service.  I ordered a lot of my acrylic nail supplies from them and was very satisfied.  This time....sadly, is not the same.  About two and a half weeks ago I ordered the three China Glaze Awakening colors from them and after two weeks I emailed them (last weekend) with an inquiry as to where my order might I hadn't received it nor any word from them.  In their behalf, I received a quick response reply from them this past Monday telling me that these colors were popular and they'd just received another shipment and my order was being shipped.  I was happy. Well this morning they finally arrived (Fed Ex) and when I opened it I immediately saw they didn't send me "Zombie Zest"...I was sent some nameless CG clear/gold glitter polish.  I was not happy.  So I've sent off a stern email to poor Stephanie (who emailed me on Monday) of EZ Nails stating my disappointment.  I thought of sending it back but don't want to have to pay for more shipping.  I'm hoping they do the right thing and send me the correct color. 
Now the CG Awakening colors I did receive:  Mummy May I and Ick-a-bod-y were true to color as far as I can tell as compared to other bloggers' pics.  I've swatched them on some fake nail tips as my own nails are under repair as you may know from a previous post.   I like these two colors.  My teen daughter will love them.  Out of the two I received I like Mummy May I the best.  I just prefer purple right now.

The other pics I am going to post are of a couple nail designs I did today.  Some are on acrylic and some are just over polish.  I hope you enjoy.

Mummy May I and Ick-a-bod-y.  1 coat SV topcoat taken outdoors and overcast

black holo glitter acrylic mix on nail tip as base with black widow spider made of black acrylic w/ red swarovski crystal

orange glitter acrylic on nail as base w/ painted black web

Mummy May I with web painted on top

This is a purple glitter acrylic mix (I know, in sun it looks pinky) w/Jack Skellington character (my daughter loves that movie)

CG Mummy may I and Ick-a-bod-y and the "bogus" polish I got instead of Zombie Zest   

Until next time.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Every 15 seconds in America a woman is beaten or injured in some way by a partner or ex-partner.  That is a staggering statistic.  In the United States there are 1,500 emergency shelters for domestic violence victims...there are 3,800 shelters for animals. 

October is "awareness month" for several important issues, as we all know.  I'm not sure many people realize that October is also Domestic Violence awareness month.  This subject is one that many are uncomfortable talking openly about (understandably) but for me it is close to my heart as I worked in  my local domestic violence shelter for 5 years as a woman's advocate and I have witnessed both professionally and personally the effects of this horrible, insidious crime.  I worked daily with women and their children who fled their homes to escape further harm and injury or the threat of it by a man who claimed he "loved" them.  Many times they would come to our emergency shelter in the middle of the night with only the clothes on their backs.  Children, babies, women (young and old) would show up on the shelter's doorstep.  I've seen women as young as 17 w/ a baby in their arms to a 75 year old woman w/ her frozen Thanksgiving turkey in tow who decided they couldn't take it not one more second.  I've known women who have been killed (some in front of their children) by their spouse, ex-spouse or intimate partner.  If you have been hurt or threatened in any way by a partner or ex-partner or by a family member then please know my sisters, there is help out there for you!  You don't have to be afraid in your own home anymore.  Here is the number for the National domestic violence hotline.  1.800.799.SAFE (7233).  There is someone there to answer your call 24/7.  They can give you the number for your local shelter who also is there for callers 24/7.  They will listen to you and believe you!  They will also support and comfort you. 
Please let's not forget or overlook the women and their children in our communities who are terribly affected by this crime.  It's real, it's valid, it's prevalent and it's devastating.
I am including a couple of links just in case anyone is interested in reading up on what constitutes abuse and for more statistics.

Purple is the designated color for Domestic Violence awareness month.
For those who have indulged me, I thank you.  
Until next time.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October is depression awareness month

By this point in time, most of us are aware that October is breast cancer awareness month and rightly so.  However, October is also depression awareness month and I support this because I am one of millions who is a victim of this dark, dismal,lonely and little understood disorder.  No one specific thing causes depression, it is a combination of things.  Genetics, biochemical, environmental and psychological factors.  Depression affects almost 10% of the population that equates to 19 million people!  34% of women are diagnosed with depression!  Imagine how many more go undiagnosed!  There is help out there.  Don't suffer alone not one more day!  Many family doctors can help diagnose and treat depression.  There are community mental health centers in most communities that have "sliding-fee" scales so anyone can be seen no matter your financial circumstances.  Please seek help if you have suffered with what you think is depression.  I am posting links to two great sites on this subject that give more information and directions for assistance.

FYI:  Green is the designated color to represent depression awareness month. 

Until next time

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I'm so new to this...

that I just realized that I didn't mention in my last post about the Nailene glue on nails about how to remove them.  I'm so sorry.  So here it is.  What I did was soak my finger tips in pure 100% acetone for at most 10 minutes.  No need to remove polish before hand if you have painted them.  Just fill a small container (I use a small glass bowl dedicated to this activity) with the acetone.  While they soaked I used a metal cuticle pusher to scrape the melting nails off and then I used a cotton pad soaked in the acetone to wipe them clean and I kid you not it took 10 minutes from start to finish (for each hand).  The Nailene nails are very thin plastic so melt off easily and quickly.  But they are strong and durable while wearing them.  I like that.  Anyway, afterwards I washed my hands well, put cuticle oil all over them and then a good hand lotion and that was it.  Simple, simple, simple.  Compared to soaking of acrylics, soaking off these glue on nails was a piece of cake only because with acrylics you have to let them soak for a very long time and each finger is wrapped individually with acetone soaked cotton pad and then wrapped in foil.  That method works great but it just takes about 45-60 minutes for the whole process and even though I have done it many times....I find it difficult to sit that long with my fingers rendered useless.  :o)  I can't knit or ipod-inate or surf or anything really while I have foil covered fingers.  If anyone out there knows of a more effective less hindering process for removing acrylics please let me know in comments or email.  I would love to hear about it. 
I'm planning for upcoming posts to review different fast dry top coats I've tried and also to post pics of my nails with the nailene glue on nails that I did have on a few weeks ago.  At the moment my daughter and I are anxiously and excitedly awaiting our three China Glaze Halloween colors for the Awakening Collection to arrive from EZ Nails.  So I will do a post on that in the upcoming week or so as well. 
To those who read this.....Thanks you so much!  I'm so grateful. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

nail stuff

Hi everyone (by everyone I mean the three people that sometimes follow me),  :o) 
I haven't done a post of my own nails lately because I've removed the acrylics and for a few weeks I was wearing glue on Nailene fake nails.  I wanted to try them out and see how they held up.  I was happily surprised.  I wore them a total of three weeks, not the same set.  I changed the sets out once a week but that was mainly because I was sooooo bored with whatever color I had painted them not because the actual Nailene nails gave me any problems.  Not one popped off at any time and I have to say that I do not baby my nails.  I do common every day household chores and just live my life and that involves doing a lot of things with my hands that can be rough.  The only thing I don't like is that they don't come in longer lengths.  At least I can't find any in my locale.  So if anyone who reads this is contemplating glue-on-nails then try Nailene nails.  Sorry I didn't take any pics of the box nor the nails while I had them on.  Right now I'm taking a bit of a break from any false nails just to get my own nails in shape.  I've started taking Biotin 5000mcg daily.  Will keep you updated on how that works.  I've read other blogs and you tube vids that recommend Biotin so I thought I'd give it a try.  It is a really inexpensive supplement to invest in.  I paid like less then $2 for a bottle of 100.  I don't know how long I can go with no nails though....I usually give in and put something back on.  I hate my fingers nekked.  :o) 
My teen daughter has gorgeous hands and nails and she loves nail art and with Halloween fast approaching she is taking pics of her NOTD's so I will be posting them soon.
Until next time...

breast cancer awareness giveaway at Magic-maid :o)

Nicole of the blog magic-maid is hosting a giveaway with Overall Beauty and BB Couture in honor of October being breast cancer awareness month.  How cool is that?!  I adore pink and being a part of raising awareness of such a crucially important issue is an honor.  Please click on the links and check out this giveaway and the Magic-maid blog.  You will not be disappointed.  Below is a picture from Nicole's Magic-maid blog of the beautifully pink BB Couture colors. 


Oh how I covet thee!  :o)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Halloween Nail Products Give-a-way !!!

Hello everyone! 
I am so excited!  Diana from the wonderful blog Painted Lady Fingers is having a fantastic nail products give-a-way that includes wonderful nail stamping plates from Chez-Delaney as well as a really cool Halloween picture painted by Sarada of Etsy!  You can enter to win 5 BB Couture polishes of your choice from the Lovers Collection along with 4 nail stamping plates and a really cool painting entitled "Nail Polish Tree" by Sarada.   Here's a link to Painted Lady Fingers if you would like to take steps to enter or to begin following this wonderful blogger. .  Her pictures of nature rival her nail art designs.  It is definitely worth checking her out.  She's my fave.   Below is a picture of featured give-a-way items. 

Here is a picture of the featured give-a-away items.  Oooooooh

Until next time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Today's post

First let me start with a disclaimer...the following picture, nails and design is not mine.  I do not claim it.  I just fell in love with it and wanted to share it here.  I fell in love with the colors used and this person's obvious artistic talent because this design is hand painted.  I do not recall where online I found this picture and I regret that because this person deserves recognition for their art.  I wish I could paint on such small canvases and have it turn out so perfectly.  I aspire to be this good some day.  The acrylics themselves are perfect....the shape and thickness...then that great design is added and to me it is...perfection.  Thanks for stopping by to look.  Hope everyone has a great day.  :o)  
tropical painted acrylic design

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Nails, Inc. colors....................

Today I have some swatches of Nails, Inc. shade Jermyn Street.  My British mother-in-law (God Bless Her and the Queen) sent me a wonderful collection of Nails, Inc. polishes for my birthday in July and I just can't thank her enough!  I know how expensive they are and had planned on buying a couple at a time and had asked her if she'd be willing to get them for me and ship them if I sent her the money....and the next thing you know I had a huge box of gorgeous, creamy Nails, Inc. polishes delivered to my door just in time for my birthday!  It truly was sooooo thoughtful of her.   So I will be swatching them and posting the pics here as I wear them.  Sometimes the swatches may be of my daughter's nails, as she loves all things nails too.  :o)  "The apple doesn't fall from the tree"

So today's Nails,Inc color is Jermyn Street.  I love this creamy. mocha, sorts mauvey, purpley (is mauvey and purpley real words?) color.  Of course it is swatched on my acrylics.  It looks very chocolatey like a cake batter in the shade pics to me, but when I looked at in the sun there was a purpley, mauvey look to it.   It covered well, only two coats were needed.  And let me just say that my acrylics underneath are not just plain clear.  I have a holo glitter/mylar encapsulated on them so for Jermyn Street to cover that in two coats is impressive to me.   My top coat on these pics is actually nail tek II, a product to build and strengthen one's natural nails, but I use it sometimes as a top coat because it dries pretty quickly and stays shiny.  I prefer Seche Vite though, but I'm out of it at the mo.  I took pics outside in sun and shade.  I will say right now as an FYI that I do not know all the tricks of the trade when it comes to picture taking of nails like other more experienced bloggers so please keep your expectations low.  :o)  I hope they are enjoyed. (Oh yeah, I will apologize now for my dry, ratty cuticles....forgot to oil them)

Jermyn Street in shade     
Jermyn Street in shade
Jermyn Street full sun