Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Skittles

I'm always jealous of skittle manicures.  I love them when I see them, but my brain goes completely blank if I try to create one of my own.  I can never think of designs that will be cohesive and so I usually scrap the whole idea and do something else.  But I was determined to do skittle nails for St. Patrick's Day this year, and I think I actually pulled it off.

I'm really happy with them, I think they turned out pretty damn cute!  I already had a basic idea in my head for what to put on 2 or 3 of my nails, so I started there and came up with the rest as I went along.

I started with 2 coats of China Glaze White On White on every nail.  On my index finger, I stamped an argyle pattern from Konad plate m60, using Konad Special Polish in pastel orange.  For the Irish flag, I used striping tape to mark off the nail into thirds, then used OPI Don't Mess With OPI for the green stripe, and OPI Where Did Suzi's Man-Go? for the orange stripe.

For the nail on my ring finger, I used Konad Special Polish in green to stamp the larger shamrock from Winstonia plate W105.  Then I used the two tiny shamrocks from the shamrock design on Bundle Monster plate BM03 and randomly stamped them around the rest of the nail.  And on my pinky nail, I used dotting tools to randomly dot Don't Mess With OPI and Where Did Suzi's Man-Go? around the nail in 3 different sizes.

Finally, on my thumb, I double stamped the plaid pattern from Konad plate m60, first using the Konad green Special Polish and then the Konad pastel orange.  The plaid is a little wonky but the Konad full nail patterns are a little small for my thumbnail, so it was a bit hard to stamp it smoothly while trying to make sure I had it lined up on my nail just right.  In retrospect, I probably should have put the plaid on another nail, like my pinky, and dotted my thumb instead.  But by the time I decided on doing the plaid design, all my other nails were already finished.

In real life though, looking at it from a distance, the plaid looks much better.  And I'm not expecting anyone to be grabbing my hand to get in nice and close like how it's zoomed in tight in the above picture, so I'm satisfied with it.  And I absolutely love the overall look of all 5 designs together.  If I had to choose though, I think the dots would be my favorite.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

KBShimmer Spring 2014 collection

Press Sample

The new KBShimmer Spring Collection for 2014 has been announced and is set to go on sale later this week, on March 14th.  There will be two parts to this new Spring collection, The Glitters & Holos, and The Creams.  Christy will be releasing 16 new shades in all and I have 4 of them for you to preview today.  Follow the jump for swatches of all 4.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mantis Shrimp and Zoya Mitzi Glitter Gradient

Here I go with Zoya Mitzi again.  I love green in general, it's my favorite color.  But I really adore obnoxious shades of green like this.  I realized this even more the other day as I looked around the room and realized that my cell phone case, my laptop mouse and even my hair brush are all this exact same color green.   As usual, Mitzi was streaky, so it took 3 coats to get full, even coverage.  The reason for pulling Mitzi out of the stash again, despite her streaky ways, was that I thought it would make a great base for a glitter polish called Mantis Shrimp.

Mantis Shrimp is a glitter combo that a friend in a Facebook group made for herself.  We all went crazy over it, for good reason, and Sarah agreed to make a few more bottles for those in the group who were interested.  If you're not familiar with what a mantis shrimp is, check out the inspiration behind the polish on The Oatmeal.  And while you're at it, check out Sarah's own Facebook page, My Lacquer Family.  The glitter pairings that she comes up with are just brilliant.

I thought a glitter gradient would be a fun way to layer Mantis Shrimp over Mitzi.  I also needed an excuse to practice the technique because my previous attempts at glitter gradients have been just all sorts of fail.  But this one turned out awesome!  I was so happy with the final results.

I have seen many posts by other bloggers on glitter gradients, all explaining generally the same technique.  But the one that seemed to help me the most is a post from just a few weeks back by Lucy's Stash, which includes a video tutorial.  The video is actually an update to another tutorial she posted a little over a year ago.  I highly recommend checking out both videos.  They definitely helped me.


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