Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Candy Japan

So this post is completely not nail related... in fact, I have nude nails at the moment because I have to do some major repair work to fix some splits.

However, I had to tell you about the funnest thing ever!  Candy Japan.

My husband is fascinated with Japanese culture and loves the idea of the weird (at least to us anyway) flavors of  things like candy and chips.

A few weeks ago I read an article about Candy Japan on GeekMom and I knew I needed to get it for my husband.  The idea is simple, for a small fee ($25USD) you receive 2 shipments of novelty candy straight from Japan.  It's a subscription, though it doesn't require you continue after the first shipment.  This is also not going to be something we've all seen like Pocky either.  The shipments are supposed to be candy that is not sold outside of Japan.  Each shipment will be sent with an email to the subscriber explaining what the candy is, and any information about preparation it may need.

Yes, I said 'preparation'.  For Candy.

Today we got this...

 Um, yes, that's a toilet you see there....

So I had read from my email...

Moko Moko Mokoretto

This is possibly the strangest candy we have sent so far. It's a kit for putting together a toilet seat, with powder that starts to expand when put into the tank, mixed with water.

How-to-make instructions on YouTube:

How funny is that?  

So we put it all together and mixed the blue powder.

All the instructions were in Japanese - thank goodness there was a video

It looks like the package is suggesting to use it to grow a cactus afterward.  I plan to use it for my blythe doll.

This looks like it comes in 4 different colors, white, pink, blue, and green.

We got the white one with green face stickers and shamrocks.

We made a happy little toilet.

So this is after we put the blue powder in the tank.  The tank connects through the bottom and back up into the bowl.

Here it is after we poured in water and gave it a little stir.  Bubbly.  

Our son was guinea pig #1 to taste it.  His "yum" face gave a seal of approval and my husband and I both tried it.  Funky is the best word I have to describe it.  It's fizzy like it's full of baking soda and citric acid for sourness.  No idea if it was supposed to be blueberry or not.

All in all, it was fun to put together and to speculate what it might taste like.  My 9 year old son was very excited.  From what I gather most months you receive 2-3 different kinds of candies but because everything has to fit in a standard letter size envelope in Japan this large candy was the entirety of our shipment this time.  We'll get another in a few weeks and I'll probably share that with you too.

Monday, June 24, 2013

My poor nails!

I know it's been awhile since I have had a full blog post and here's why:  My nails are SUPER split!

I've never had splits like this before, ever.  I think the last time I had acrylics done they just wrecked my nails.  I'm nearly grown out, but it will probably be another couple months before all the damage has had time to grow.  So I've still been doing them often just not photographing them.

That was until I did this pretty little mani....

Dragon Scales

It was really late when I finished them, and this pic doesn't do them justice, but I'm really happy about the results.  When I move my fingers little reflective hexagons shimmer at me.  

I used Illamasqua Baptiste for the base then stuck on little hexagon glequins that I recently got from Amazon.  

You can see on my middle finger a dip in my nail... well it's split way down into the quick.... so is my thumb...  this makes me a sad panda.  

Anyone have suggestions for how to prevent / treat this?  I switched to a glass file but it hasn't stopped it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Day 15 - Untried Polish Challenge

Ugh so I am so late on this one - sad because I did the manicures days before they were "due" anyway.

So to try and make up for it, today is a two-fer...

Creme and Was a gift.

This was my first attempt at a half-moon mani, or a Dita Von Teese.  I've always managed to mess them up terribly.  This time it worked out and I even wore it for a couple days.

 I used Essie Licorice for undies and Zoya Neely for thet tips.  I chipped my index fingernail and didn't notice until after the pics were taken.  Oh well.

As for the gift polish I created a gradient using OPI French Quarter for your Thoughts and China Glaze Budding Romance which was the gift polish.  Thanks Cynthia :).  I used Zoya Codie as a stamp polish using Pueen #04 plate.

And that's it folks - totally done with this challenge.  It's been awesome.  Make sure you check out the other ladies who've done the challenge with me and follow their blogs.

Masha at Lost In Lacquer
Raine at Lacquer Lily
Amy at Fancy Side
Amanda at Designer Nail Accents
Sam at Polished Art
Lizajane at Organic Neglect
Blueberry Pie at Blueberry Nails
Missy at Gnarly Gnails
Uni at Acetone FIles
Isabel at Little Fairy
Raux at Raux Polish
Alison at UKNailRunner

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day 14 - Untried Polish Challenge

So it's Day 14 of the challenge and it's time for a little GLITTER!

Actually, I'll be honest, I'm both a lover and hater of glitter.  I love a little bling on my nails but hate having to remove it.

I've heard that you can use Elmer's School Glue as a base coat and within a day or so it will basically just peel off.  I tried it a few nights ago with a cream polish and it gunked up and ruined the manicure.  I think the trick is to let it really really really dry before you paint over it.  I'll have to try it again and let you know.

Okay for this challenge I used Deborah Lippmann's Lady Sings the Blues.  I know I said before that I am not a big fan of blue, but this really falls in the indigo range.  It has a purple'ish tint like new jeans.

This is one of those that I love in the bottle more than I love on my nails.  The glitter is nice, but not my favorite.

It's a deep blue crelly with micro and med silver glitter.

Remember to check out the other ladies doing the challenge...

Masha at Lost In Lacquer
Raine at Lacquer Lily
Amy at Fancy Side
Amanda at Designer Nail Accents
Sam at Polished Art
Lizajane at Organic Neglect
Blueberry Pie at Blueberry Nails
Missy at Gnarly Gnails
Uni at Acetone FIles
Isabel at Little Fairy
Raux at Raux Polish
Alison at UKNailRunner

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 13 - Untried Polish Challenge

Being a true child of the 80's I am absolutely in love with the Neon trend. So for my in season challenge I had to go bright orange as it's my favorite color. 

I used CG's Japanese Koi with a coat of Fairy Dust over for a little sparkle. 
The stamp is BM-221 with Konad Black.

I actually have worn this manicure for 3 days (until it started chipping) because I loved it so much.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 12 - Untried Polish Challenge

Today's challenge is prettiest polish.  It's weird because I thought this would be an easy challenge but I honestly struggled with it.  My most prettiest polishes get used right away so while none of them are ugly (see previous challenge post) the ones I'm less excited about might sit for a little longer.

That being said, I'm very pleased with the polish I used today.  It's much prettier on than it is in the bottle.

Liquid Sky Lacquer - Fuchsia Illusion

This is an awesome thermal holo polish.  Two coats for opacity, but I did a third just because.  It changes from a dark violet when cool to a lighter fuchsia when warm. 

For this picture I ran my middle nails under warm water because my house was cold and not showing the transition well.  This makes for a neat French manicure on longer nails since the tips are normally cooler not touching the skin.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Vintage "French" Manicure

Yesterday I wrote about a YouTube video I'd found by ProfessionalDQ that showed a neat tutorial for some spooky nails.

I took the basic idea, and made it my own going with vintage French designs for a "French" manicure.  (I'm so punny, aren't I?)

On pinky - vintage roses
Ring - Hot air balloon
Middle - Fluer De Lis & Paris
Index - Vintage Roses
Thumb - (not pictured) Eiffel Tower

I started with a base coat of Sephora's Dance Till Fawn.
Using a make-up sponge I sponged Sephora's Don't Feed the Hand Models three coats in the center of my nail only leaving a "frame" of the darker color.
After a quick dunk in rubbing alcohol I pressed newspaper to my nails when they were approx. 75% dry to transfer the text.

The images were created using rub-on transfer paper.  I like Graphix Rub-Onz which I purchased from Amazon.


(I didn't and had to scrap my first 10 images and that paper isn't exactly cheap)

I Googled for images I liked and pasted them into Microsoft Word.  I sized them down until they were small enough to fit on my nails.  I always test print on regular paper first to make sure they are the right size.

*tip - make sure to squeeze them all in together so you use less paper*

After creating the transfers, I cut them out very closely to the image and applied them to the nail.

I added a single very thin coat of OPI's Glints of Glinda.

Finally, I capped the whole thing off with a matte top coat.

After a few hours I added a coat of Gelous to see them glossy.  I think I like the matte look here much better - it feels more "vintage".

What do you think?  Matte or glossy?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A few random things

First off, I need to apologize for the wonky appearance of my nails.  I've been wearing acrylics for months and decided that I wanted to go back to natural nails. I'm slowly soaking and buffing it off a little at a time, but it's making for weird tips right now.  I was hoping that doing it this way would allow my nails time to strengthen since they are normally ravaged after acrylic removal.

I'm also not really happy with my limited options on Blogger.  So, if you see things moving around, disappearing, or appearing on my blog just ignore it and know I'm messing around with it trying to make things better... hopefully.  I'm honestly thinking about moving it entirely, but I'll make sure to let everyone know when and where.

Nail art is sort of new to me.  I've been using glitter in various forms for years.  However, stamping, freehand, dotting, etc., are all recent discoveries.  I didn't even know there was such a huge amount of nail artists on the internet until a few months (okay maybe 9 months...) ago when my husband sent me a link to Lost In Lacquer's Zelda Nails.  I thought that I could absolutely do that and then, immediately, I fell down the rabbit hole.  Hopefully, as I am finding all these new ideas I'm getting better and better at  doing them too.

So, to nails.

I'm kind of ahead on the untried polish challenge and have manicures completed and photographed for the next few so I've had time to play around.  I was watching some Youtube videos yesterday and found a really artistic freehand spooky manicure by ProfessionalDQ.  She's got great tutorials and some pretty wicked nails.  I wanted to try my hand at a replica manicure.

Here are my Something Wicked nails...

You'll notice this is actually my right hand.  I honestly think it came out better than my left oddly enough, but I'll post pics of both.  (Does it look weird to anyone else?)

I used China Glaze Liquid Leather for black base coat
I mixed China Glaze Sea Spray with the holo top coat from Liquid Sky Lacquers.
I sponged it on, then when it was about 80% dry, I used newspaper transfer to add a little interest to the background.
Using Konad Special Polish in black, white, and silver I stamped some bats, ghosts, cats, and even a spooky house (on my thumb though not pictured) from 2013 Bundle Monster Plate pack.  I'm terrible about remembering which plates though...

I topped the whole thing off with a matte top coat.

My preference was for the matte look, but my husband saw my nails after I put some cuticle oil on them and said he preferred the glossy look.

This is after a coat of Seche Vite.

Now my left hand matte, then glossy.

I realized that I need to invest in some real nail art brushes.

So it's not too bad for a first try.  I've actually been inspired to create my own vintage look which I'll be doing later today.

Day 11 - Untried Polish Challenge

Day 11 - Untried Polish Challenge

Almost done!  Wow there are only 5 more manicures to this challenge.  I'm going to have to start looking for a new challenge to join when this one is up.  If anyone knows of a good one, please leave me a comment and let me know.

Today's challenge was ugliest.  Seriously how could anyone own ugly polish?  If it's ugly, I just don't buy it lol.  All my polishes are pretty. ;)

So when I went looking for an ugly polish I hadn't tried yet my pickin's were pretty slim.  I found the one polish I owned that I bought simply because of the name.

My Squishy by Liquid Sky Lacquers.

See I call my 8 year old son, "My Squishy".  I had to buy understand right?

I have to say first of all that this is really not a bad polish at all, I just hate the color blue.  It has to be just the perfect shade for me to even consider wearing it. This however, is not that perfect shade.  That's just my opinion though.

The polish itself is a dark blue jelly with medium blue hex glitter as well as large square white glitter.  As you can see from the pic of the bottle, there is not a massive amount of glitter in this polish, but overall I kind of liked that.  The picture from the website when I purchased it looked like it had more glitter in it.  Only a slight disappointment.  I personally hate removing polish with tons of glitter in it.  I know you can cover your nail in glue (Elmer's) first and it just peels off, but I never think about it in time.  This polish should be really easy to remove, though I am a little worried about staining.  I did have to fish for squares, even after holding the bottle upside down for over an hour before using.

This is four coats plus a thick coat of Seche Vite to dry them quick.  I immediately took these pictures because I knew I would smudge them and sure enough right after taking them I did.

So, this polish, IF you like the color blue, is really great if you like a deep jelly polish.  If you are looking for a true glitter bomb, this isn't it, but is still a very nice polish... even if it is blue.  My nails really do look "squishy".

I added a coat of Spoiled's Shaken Snow Globe to my ring finger for a little extra sparkle.

Take a look at all the other "ugly" manicures from these ladies.

Masha at Lost In Lacquer
Raine at Lacquer Lily
Amy at Fancy Side
Amanda at Designer Nail Accents
Sam at Polished Art
Lizajane at Organic Neglect
Blueberry Pie at Blueberry Nails
Missy at Gnarly Gnails
Uni at Acetone FIles
Isabel at Little Fairy
Raux at Raux Polish
Alison at UKNailRunner

Saturday, May 18, 2013

New Light Box - no more potato pictures!!

I've wanted a light box for a long time, but spending $100 or more on a set always seemed like so much for something so basic.  Today I found a great tutorial on Youtube that showed how to make one out of a cardboard box, some white fabric, and poster board.  I already had the box and the fabric so I ran up to my local office supply store and picked up poster board along with 2 clamping lights.

 So here are a few shots of some of my polishes.  I really just grabbed a few that were handy and started taking pictures.  My goal is going to be to catalog all my polishes, but that might take awhile...  not a bad problem to have though.

Liquid Sky Lacquer - My Squishy
Dark Blue Jelly with small blue hex and medium white square glitter

Deborah Lippmann - Lady Sings the Blues

Zoya Pixie Dust - (from left) Beatrix, Solange, Destiny

Illamasqua - Scorch
White Cream
Dry time is FOREVER

All in all I'm pleased with the outcome.  I'll have to work on the placement of the lights and maybe adding a third overhead.  I'm excited about being able to take nice pics of my manicures at midnight if I want to.

Day 10 - Untried Polish Challenge

Day 10 - Untried Polish Challenge

Most expensive

For the most part $8 per full size bottle is my price limit.  I have a few exceptions, but in general, I'm much pickier if I have to pay over that.  This means that my most expensive, that I've paid full price for, is a Deborah Lipmann P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing).  I picked it up during my Jelly fishing trip to Ulta.

I have to say that when I saw this I ooo'd and awww'd over the pink in the bottle, but on my fingers...not so much.  It's just a little too cool, I look better in warm shades.

I attempted a different kind of jelly sandwhich and used a random white polish to create polka dots in between the layers.  P.Y.T. is a very sheer jelly that layers nicely needing at least three coats to be mostly opaque.  This manicure has about 8 layers total.  That's so crazy to say!  Of course I used SV to help dry it quickly.

Check out the layers!!  I was really excited by this one and can't wait to try it with different shades!

Make sure to head to these other ladies blogs...

Jonochi at Just Add Polish
Masha at Lost In Lacquer
Raine at Lacquer Lily
Amy at Fancy Side
Sam at Polished Art
Lizajane at Organic Neglect
Blueberry Pie at Blueberry Nails
Missy at Gnarly Gnails
Uni at Acetone FIles
Erica at Coat of Mani Colors 

Friday, May 17, 2013


I saw some pretty manicures that attempted to mimic the look of turquoise.   I'm not a big fan of blue, but I like the look.
This was just a quick nail job before I had company over.  It's China Glaze Custom Kicks with CG Liquid Leather and Tarnished Gold applied using plastic wrap.

**Edit - I didn't realize until later how terribly blurry these pictures were - looks like I took them with a potato.**

Day 9 - Untried Polish Challenge

Day 9 - Untried Polish Challenge

Cheapest Polish

Okay, so I'm not sure what the intent was being cheapest, either which is normally priced the lowest or which I paid the least for.  I chose which I paid the least for.  I am also a couponer and with a great Revlon coupon and a gift card I had this one was free.

I was able to get a gorgeous dark blue chrome polish called Cobalt from the Chroma Chameleon collection.  I haven't seen these anywhere else but they are all really nice.  I used two coats but a single thick coat probably would have done just fine.  Coverage was smooth but a little streaky, though not nearly as bad as most other chromes I've tried.

The depth of color on this is amazing.  I'm not really a fan of blue but this was a must have when I saw it.

I put a matte top coat on, then covered the center in a holographic top coat from Liquid Sky Lacquers (one of my fav!)  OMG the holo on this is amazing!  (Photos taken with flash)

I kind of like the outlined look.  I might wear it again and be a little more careful to keep it really nice and even.

Make sure to check out all the amazing ladies doing this Untried polish challenge.

Jonochi at Just Add Polish
Masha at Lost In Lacquer
Raine at Lacquer Lily
Amy at Fancy Side
Sam at Polished Art
Lizajane at Organic Neglect
Blueberry Pie at Blueberry Nails
Missy at Gnarly Gnails
Uni at Acetone FIles
Erica at Coat of Mani Colors