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Stamping!

I am bound and determined to master nail stamping. As of now, I’ve done a total of 2 stamped manis, but I feel like I’m getting a little better. This is the mani I did last night, imperfections and all!

I started off with a base of Essence “You Belong To Me”, a fab minty color. Formula on this one was a nightmare! Maybe it’s just my bottle, but it was the thickest jelly I have ever seen, and wouldn’t spread to save its life! I ended up having to use thick coats plus a quick dry top coat to even it all out. I love this color enough to tolerate the bad formula though.  I wasn’t sold on mint colors until I tried this one out, and now I’m thinking I should pick up China Glaze’s For Audrey.

After finally getting the base color to even out (i did have to go back and fill in some spots on the side of my nail since the polish didnt drag well and left me with some streaky, empty spots), I used Orly Liquid Leather to stamp the pattern from Bundle Monster plate #210.  Thank god I used a top coat, that way when I made a stamping mistake I could scrape the stamping off and try again. I only had to use that trick on a couple of nails though, which is better than last time! Once the stamps were place, I felt that my mani looked okay, but was a little flat. I wanted it to pop, so I filled in the little feathery design with LA Colors striping polish in Teal Glitter. It came out looking pretty decent in my book! I need a lot more practice, but I’m getting there!

Here is the full mani, topped off with a coat of Soleil Heat Cured Top Coat:

With Flash (my lighting sucked last night!) to show color

Without Flash – you can see where I forgot to wrap the tips on a couple of nails with the quick dry polish before I stamped :

Not too bad, right? I’m going to be stamping more often in order to master it! I love the way it looks, but I’m just so bad at lining everything up, and using enough pressure to transfer the entire design.  I suppose practice makes perfect, but I’m so OCD about my nails that when they aren’t perfect I will dwell on it, leading me to strip off the entire mani and start over. I’m slowly learning that imperfections are just part of the learning curve, and I’ve only been doing my nails for 3 months, so of course I’m not going to have perfect nails!

I’m also trying out a new top coat – Soleil heat cured top coat. Its awesome so far. Reminds me of a gel top coat, but all you need to cure it is a 60-75 watt light bulb (or hair dryer). You slap it on, expose it to heat for 3-5 minutes and it’s set! So far it’s interesting. It is way shiny and hard – I can’t dent my nails after its cured, however…. Sometimes I slap on hand moisturizer and sleep with my hands covered in a pair of socks (it works great, looks silly!), but with this top coat? No can do. It keeps my hands too warm and kind of “melts” the top coat a bit. So far that’s my only complaint, but we will see how it wears over the next 2 days.

In other news, I am so happy to see that Erika over at Chloe’s Nails is coming back! Her blog was one of the first that I found, and inspired me to try more than just plain old polish on my nails. I havent done a taped mani in a while, but I love how her funky french and other taped manis look.  Chloe’s Nails and  Let Them Have Polish always inspire me (not sure if that’s a compliment since my nails aren’t anywhere near as awesome as theirs!) to try something new.

I’m off to practice on my color wheel for my next mani. I’m actually inspired for Pink Wednesday this week! Going to be trying out some freehand nail art. No good can come from this! 😉

Coming up, Revlon Facets of Fuchsia, Sally Hansen Steely Grey, a New NOPI Glitter, and “The Color that started it all – way back in the early 90’s I was really into my nails, but I only used one color although I re-did my mani every other night. I recently came across a China Glaze color that probably isn’t the original polish (I found the original at Sally’s but can’t remember the name or brand), but is an exact dupe of my 1995 color.

 

Happy Polishing!

-Kimber

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Happy Pink Wednesday!

Wow. I had this whole post ready to go, and my Macbook decided to eat it. Grrr!!! Well, here we go. Take 2!

I had a hard time with this weeks Pink Wednesday. Pink  just was not inspiring me, despite how much I adore pink polish! I have a ton of pinks, although I rarely wear them. Since I have rekindled my love affair with polish, I tend to lean toward darker shades and at the moment I am all about fall colors, blues and glitters.  Last night I sat down and decided to organize my polish drawers by brand, hoping that maybe going through all my polishes would bring about some sort of inspiration. While sorting, I came across my Revlon polishes and voila!  Not blinding inspiration, but some sort of inspiration nonetheless!  I whipped out my Starry Pink from Revlon and set to polishing!

 

Starry Pink is part of Revlon’s Expressionist collection.  A lovely shade of pale pink with silver microglitter and larger hex glitter, this is the only glitter polish that I have ever come across with a creme base.  Interesting concept, but would it translate on my nails? In the bottle, Starry Pink looks very milky yet the glitter still stands out. I was hoping that the glitter would still be visible on the nail, but was not all that pleased with the outcome. The formula is actually very nice, but is very sheer. I used 3 coats to reach opacity .  The glitter, although visible, is somewhat obscured by the creme formula, which makes my polish look rather chunky and uneven. I did use thin coats hoping to coax a little more glittery fabulousness out of it, but my efforts were futile.  To me, it looks as if I were wearing a glitter polish and painted over it with pink.  I’m sure some people could really rock this polish, but I’m not one of them.  Despite being a gorgeous shade of pink, I just do not like this polish on me.

This is 3 coats of Starry Pink with a coat of Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat (Please forgive my poor cuticles. They are still recovering from my horrible allergic reaction to Burt’s Bees and are just a mess ) :

 

Pretty, but I do wish Revlon had used a jelly base instead.  And don’t those cuticles look sad? I am just torn up over how horrible they look after my allergic reaction. I suppose I should have expected it, since my cuticles were very swollen, red and sore for a few days, but I just want to cry! 😦

I hope you guys were more inspired than I was this week! I have some ideas for next week’s Pink Wednesday mani floating around already!

I still have Milani One Coat Glitter to show you guys, as well as a ton of Nicole by OPI polishes that I have yet to use, Milani Holographics, and of course, MORE GLITTER!

Oh! On an upside,  I was gifted one of NOPI’s Holiday Glitters today! I am the happy-go-lucky owner of Snow-Man of My Dreams, and I cannot wait to share it with you! I also spent some time browsing in Target, and Essie’s Cocktail Bling Collection is to die for! I can’t wait to pick those up! I’m trying to hold out until payday (credit cards are bad!), as well as until LuxEffects is out as well.  There are so many holiday collections that I am already fiending for. Lemmings and more Lemmings!

Happy Polishing!

-Kimber

Nfu-Oh 51!

Wow! After I posted my faux-nadicure the other day, I was perusing polish blogs and lo and behold! I guess the blue on blue polish with that particular Bundle Monster pattern is fairly popular! Funny, since I hadn’t seen that combo until AFTER I published my post. Now I feel silly and unoriginal! 😉

On Saturday my long-awaited bottle of Nfu-Oh 51 finally arrived! This polish was a serious lemming for me for months, and I am overjoyed that I finally have it! Words do not do this polish justice at all. Sometimes it’s a gorgeous fiery red, sometimes it’s bronze, gold, green, and even teal. The light plays off this polish in so many ways. It is simply gorgeous.

If you’re not familiar with Nfu-Oh 51, I can only describe it as tons of duochrome (actually I would say multichrome) flakes in a blue/purple jelly base. On its own it is magnificent, but it makes for some really awesome layering. I have yet to wear it alone, choosing to layer it over Nicole by OPI’s Di-Vine is Divine, a beautiful burgundy wine. I spent a good hour testing out combinations on a color wheel, but this one really stood out (and it was my husband’s fave!). Together Di-Vine is Divine and Nfu-Oh 51 look inconspicuous in direct light, but once I turned my hand the duochrome would begin to shine! At one point while driving, I had to pull over and try to capture the teal that was positively GLOWING on my nails.  I can’t wait to layer this polish over a shimmery purple or a shiny blue!

My pictures do not do this polish justice at all. Not only am I not a great photographer, but there is just no way to capture all its colors or vibrance. The pictures of the teal flash are a bit blurry, but that was the only way I could get my camera to focus and capture the color.

Is that not an amazing polish!? I am so in love!

Formula on this one was a bit of a pain. It really wanted to flood my cuticles, and it’s very soft. Dry time is fairly long, so I would recommend a quick dry topcoat on this one. I have no patience for dry time anyway, but this one tried my patience without a quick dry top coat.  The result is certainly worth any application issues on this one though.

Pink Wednesday is not inspiring me this week. I have a ton of polishes I want to try, and none of them are pink! I’m dying to try out my latest Rimmel green, as well as L’oreal’s Amazon Flash. Maybe I’ll find some inspiration tonight.

Happy Polishing!

-Kimber

 

I’m gonna start with my first faux-nadicure, that I actually wore last week, but haven’t had time to post as of yet. It’s a bit picture heavy, since I also want to show you the base color, since I am in love with it! I plan on wearing it on it’s own at some point, because it’s just too pretty to use as just a base color.

For this mani, I used Ulta’s Faded Blues from their I’ve Got The Denim Blues collection as a base, and Sinful Colors Almighty for the faux-nad.  I used a bundle monster plate, but I am nowhere near them at the moment and cant remember the plate number! I’ll edit this with the number later. 🙂 The rhinestones were an afterthought, just because I wanted a little bling.  They actually held on for a couple days too!

Not too shabby for a very first try, right? I was amazed that this was actually harder than water marbling was! But well worth learning. I love how konad/faux-nad manis look!

Here is Ulta’s Faded Blues. Check out the silvery white tones in this color. It really is a stunner!

I adore this color! The flashes of silvery white just make it for me. Application was a dream as well, no bubbles or streaking, went on smoothly and was opaque in one coat, but I always use two.  My apologies for the pic heavy post, but I just had to show off that color!

And now, Holy Grail talk! Cut, since this post is already so damned long!

So, I have finally found my holy grail base coat and top coat! Since I am just over the moon about them both, I figured a Kimber’s Holy Grail products post is in order! Not that my nails are so well adored and people are just dying to know what I use! 😉

Kimber’s List of Holy Grails!  View full article »

Sad post and a plea for suggestions

I am so sad today. I am apparently allergic to my HG of cuticle creams. I started using Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream about a week ago. I love this product like crazy. My cuticles were soft and supple and looked so much better. They’re still healing from years of cutting, picking, biting, etc. and Burt’s Bees really made them look great. But the morning after I first used it, I noticed that a few of my nails had changed shape. The free edge was curling inward on the side. I couldn’t figure out why. Was it from top coat shrinkage? Maybe? I didn’t know. I kept using the Burt’s Bees at night. My nails would go back to normal after a Mani and after soaking in my whitening concoction, but in the morning they would be back to the curling free edge. WTF? Last night I used the Burt’s Bees earlier than usual. At one point I looked at my nails and my nail beds were swollen and my cuticles and fingertips were red. Not to mention the curling free edge. My hands were tingling, my lips were tingling and my chest was tight. I was having an allergic reaction! This is the only new product I’ve been using and the only common denominator as far as the weird nail shape. I am deathly allergic to bees, however Burt’s Bees does not use bee venom in their products. But they do use bee by products such as beeswax, royal jelly, etc. Since I am allergic to Bees there is a chance I am also allergic to some bee by products. Oh happy day. The one cuticle cream that I love I had to throw away. It’s back to the Sally hansen apricot cuticle cream for me. So I ask….I know people are reading my blog. Does anyone have a suggestion for a bee free cuticle cream that doesn’t suck? Please? Help!!!

Happy polishing!

-Kimber

Look! You can see my nails!

It’s rare that anyone gets to see my natural nails, and although these aren’t bare, they’re still visible. I decided to share this mini-Mani since in person, people think my nails are fake, and most expect my natural nails to be orangy-yellow or peeling and scary looking. I work hard to keep them from yellowing too much and to keep them healthy. I promise I don’t keep them polished because they’re terrifying- I just love polish!

I chose a glitter polish in a clear base because I wanted something light and easy since my Nfu-Oh 51 is arriving tomorrow and I’ll end up removing tonights polish as soon as it gets here. On occasion I really enjoy wearing a simple, sheer polish or a glitter polish as opposed to my usual opaque colors. I really like this glitter – wet n wild party of five glitters. This glitter looks amazing over polish, but is also awesome on it’s own. Mine has the worlds wonkiest brush, but I managed to use just one side of it.

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What a great glitter!

Happy Polishing!

-Kimber

Well, technically it’s the laptop version, since I’m posting from the Macbook tonight. 🙂

Earlier I posted a quick, fun pic of today’s Pink Wednesday Mani. This is the first week I have done Pink Wednesday, and lemme tell ya, I agonized over what to do for this Mani.  I have an entire drawer full of pink! I settled on Rimmel’s Pink Zinfandel since it’s relatively new, and I love that even though it’s a metallic shimmer, it’s not a bright, bubble gum pink. It’s a gorgeous dusky rose color, a perfect pink for fall!

I love Rimmel’s polishes, and Pink Zinfandel did not disappoint. As with many metallic polishes, it was a bit streaky on the first coat, but quickly evened out on the second. Since I was working with a Ruffian design, and used Pink Zinfandel as my top color, I did have to use pretty heavy coats to get the color even and completely opaque.  It wasn’t opaque enough to cover the tips, so I didnt wrap them well (had a little shrinkage this morning as you can see in the first 2 pics) but I had wrapped them in my other color choice anyway, which gave it an interesting effect.  Almost as if the pink was just laying on the grey. This polish also has a ton of shimmer! I’ll be using this color again!

I paired the Pink Zinfandel with China Glaze Black Diamond, a dark grey with what appears to be silver shimmer, but if you look very closely it has some green and red in there as well. This is one of my go to colors for fall this year, being one of those greys that seems to go with almost anything.  Formula was a little on the thin side, but thickened up a bit on the second coat. It does take 2 coats to reach opacity, but I use 2 coats of color as a general rule anyway.

I added some chunky glitter mixed with Sally Hansen Strobe Light at the pink/grey border to give it some flair and added sparkle, using the glitter in a gradient style to about halfway up the nail.  I really like the way this came out, save for the streaking from glitter polish. My son woke up mid mani and my glitter dried before I could manage to blend it with my top coat. Oops! Still wearable though!

Here are a few more pics of Pink Zinfandel over Black Diamond:

 

Blurred a bit to show sparklies!

Happy Polishing!

-Kimber

 

 

 

Just wanted to show you guys today’s Mani real quick. This is done with Rimmel Pink Zinfandel over China Glaze Black Diamond with some chunky glitter in a kind of gradient pattern at the pink/grey border. I love the Mani, but the pink refused to cover at the tips despite being opaque on the nail plate, and the chunky pieces of glitter left some streaking that even my top coat (Essie Good to Go) couldn’t smooth out. Thankfully you can only see the flaws really really close up!

Here’s a fun effect pic for ya! I’ll write a proper post this afternoon, along with my very long HG post and my first Faux-nadicure!

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Go check out this blog!

Hi all! In case you haven’t seen, Valentine Kisses (link above may not show since WP is being insane so I listed the URL below) is having a FANTASTIC giveaway over on her blog at:

http://xoxovalentinekissesxoxo.blogspot.com/2011/09/500-follower-giveaway-prize-includes-60.html

 

You’ll have to cut and paste since my links arent working for some reason!

Anyway, I love her blog anyway, but I’m also new to it and just now came across the giveaway. It’s incredible, folks! Over 60 awesome items. Go show her some love, check out her posts and enter the giveaway!!

Happy Polishing!

-Kimber

Last week I came across Confetti’s Masquerade Ball, a beautiful sparkly deep red shimmer in a black base.  This is one of those colors that I just could not wait to get on my nails!  (Pardon the horrible pics of this one, somehow my HD setting on my camera ended up turned off)

I wish my settings had been correct before I removed this color!

The formula was wonderful, my only complaint is that confetti polishes are known to have wonky brushes, and this was no exception.  I added a rhinestone sticker on my ring finger, but this was my last Seche Vite mani, and the shrinkage caused the sticker to shrink up! I ended up removing this polish after only a day. But I really love this color and wanted to wear it again ASAP. I even went to pick up a spare bottle! Luck was not on my side, though. CVS had sold out of Masquerade Ball.

On a seperate trip to Wally World, while perusing the Rimmel colors, I noticed a color called Red Lava. It looked suspiciously like Masquerade Ball. Same gorgeous red shimmer in a black base. So I picked it up, and brought it home. This one had an almost perfect formula, as well as the wide “pro” brush.

 

Now, both in sunlight. Masquerade Ball is first:

 

 

Now Red Lava:

 

and side by side on a color wheel: Masquerade Ball is on the left, Red Lava on the right (forgive my practice striping)

 

 

See it? Pretty much the same color!  What a fun find! They dont look exact in these pics since the lighting was different and my settings were off, but I assure you in person? An exact dupe!

Happy Polishing!

 

-Kimber