Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Nightmare Before Christmas - Jack and Sally

Hello, Fireflies!

For my last NCC Stripes challenge of the month, I wanted to incorporate stripes and one of the most popular Halloween traditions - watching The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Nightmare Before Christmas - Jack

This mani was inspired by one I saw on Pinterest, but I cheated and used a 3-D charm for Jack's face.

I painted all but my middle finger with Revlon Spirit, and then used a black striper to freehand the black stripes.  The middle finger was painted with Milani Black Swift, and then the charm was applied.

Bottle shot:  Revlon Spirit, Milani Black Swift, and a black striper.

Bottle shot:  Revlon Spirit, Milani Black Swift, and a black striper

What's Jack without his girl?

The Nightmare Before Christmas - Sally

 This was inspired by a mani done by The Nailasaurus, but it reminded me of Sally.

I started off with a white base to make sure that the colors were bright.  Then, I used striping tape to mark off the different sections.  Even thought it would be nice to paint one color at a time, it dries too quickly for that - and dry polish gets pulled off with the striping tape.  So, do one nail at a time.  I painted over the white lines with black polish and made the stitches, too.

Bottle shot:  Revlon Spirit, Nails Inc Bond St., Wet 'n Wild Pleasure Pier, Urban Decay Bang, Finger Paints Go Van Gogh!, and a black striper.

Bottle shot:  Revlon Spirit, Nails Inc Bond St., Wet 'n Wild Pleasure Pier, Urban Decay Bang, Finger Paints Go Van Gogh!, and a black striper

Wouldn't it be neat to have one hand done like Jack, and the other like Sally?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ghosts In The Mist

Robin Moses-inspired pink ghosts design

Hello, Fireflies! 

Today, I have a boo-tiful no-water-marble-turned swirly ghosts mani to show you!  This is straight up a Robin Moses design.  I just did it in polish instead of acrylic, and with much less talent than she has.

Still, this is the first even remotely successful needle drag marble I've ever done, so let's celebrate!

no-water marble with white, pink, black, silver

I painted the nail with OPI Glints of Glinda, and then, while the second coat was still wet, dropped little bits of Revlon Sequin (silver), Sally Hansen Raisin The Bar (metallic pink), and Finger Paints Black Expressionism (black) and Paper Mache (white) on one nail at a time.  I ran a small nail art brush through the drops of polish to create the swirls, then pulled the excess polish off my finger the way Robin Moses taught me to.

Using a little more Paper Mache, thinned a little with polish thinner, I added the ghosties and outlined them with the black striper and added the faces.  Then, I added in some of the pink glitter.

Bottle shot:  OPI Glints of Glinda, Sally Hansen Raisin The Bar, Revlon Sequin, Finger Paints Black Expressionism and Paper Mache, and nail art stripers in pink glitter and black.

Bottle shot:  OPI Glints of Glinda, Sally Hansen Raisin The Bar, Revlon Sequin, Finger Paints Black Expressionism and Paper Mache, and nail art stripers in pink glitter and black.

I think these may be the prettiest ghost nails I've ever done! Brava to Robin Moses for their conception and great tutorial.  Are you more of a fan of the gory Halloween, or the pretty costumes?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Reviva Labs Pomegranate Exfoliant #RevivaLabs

Hello, Fireflies!

Sundays have become my pampering days.  I wash my hair and put on a deep-conditioning masque, and while that is doing its thing, I do a scrub on my body and a masque on my face, too.

When I'm all done, I take a nap.

All things that are good for the body and soul, if you ask me.  This week, instead of a traditional masque, I decided to add in my Reviva Labs Pomegranate/Lactic Acid Peptide and Botanical Exfoliant.  I've used it a few times already, and it's perfect for a shower-time masque, even if you don't have time for a full pampering experience.
As with all of Reviva's products that I'm aware of, the packaging comes with a nice reminder of when you should finish the product.  It's also not made with any animal products or tested on animals, and it's paraben-free.

I really like it when I can recognize so many of the ingredients in my skin care.  Bentonite and Kaolin clay are great for absorbing oils and toxins, pomegranate and lactic acid help mitigate damage to the skin, and you can cook with thyme, bran, pepper, and oregano.  Maybe season a nice tomato sauce...

You can definitely feel the exfoliating pieces in this scrub, but they're not harsh or jagged.  In fact, you can use this scrub 3-4 times a week if you'd like, but I like to alternate with other masques for different outcomes.  I also like to keep my skin guessing.

I love to do clay masques, but I don't always have the time to wait 15-20 minutes for it to dry.  This exfoliant only takes 3-4 minutes.  It doesn't dry hard on me, but rather the texture gets a little crumbly.  The directions call for rubbing it off with a dry towel or your fingers, and then rinsing off the rest.  I lightly scrubbed it with my fingers, and then rinsed off the rest in the shower.

My Sunday Relaxed-Post-Scrub-Post-Nap-No-Makeup Face.  I love that the skincare I use makes me feel better about my own clean 40+ year old skin.

I can't recommend the stable of products from Reviva Labs enough.  Here's my review of their Seaweed Soap, and also their Hypoallergenic Mascara, and also their Vitamin K cream. I also recently reviewed their Elastin Serum and DMAE Cream.  If you'd like more information or to purchase Reviva Labs products, please check out their Facebook page, or their website.

Do you have a pampering day?  What kinds of products do you use?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Stripey Socks Stamping Succ... Fail

 Hello, Fireflies!

The stamping challenge for this week was announced late, and it was a free-stamping day.  So, being that I've been getting into the Halloween spirit, I wanted to do something in that vein.

I started with Milani Enchanted Emerald, one of their new (I think LE) creams.  It was much darker than I thought it would be, but still a gorgeous color.

Milani Enchanted Emerald

I saw these stripey socks stamp and it reminded me of the Wicked Witch of the West's socks - or any witch's socks, really... or Beaker's socks (Beaky! I didn't know you wore stripey socks!) if you're a Muppet fan.

Ok, what is with that 'Natural Milk Product' stamp?  First of all, I can't imagine it fitting on anyone's nails.  Secondly... why? Is it just me?

I used Face Stockholm Thea, a light green holo, to stamp on the socks.  The polish stamped fine, though I messed it up a little by double stamping.

What I don't get is why does it look like socks and feet on the plate, but look like tire tracks on my nails?  I even tried to do a long stamp over my ring and pinky fingers, but it just doesn't come together.

Thea sure is pretty on its own, though.  Really nice mirror finish and rainbow!

Tell me the secrets, o' Fireflies, of making the stamp look like it does on the plate! lol.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Googly Mummies

Hello, Fireflies!

I love Halloween nail art, and I hope you enjoy the bounty of it I have for you over the next couple of weeks. 

This is an easy one, pumped up with a little craft store magic.  I got the idea from Pinterest.  I couldn't figure out who did the original artwork.

I started with a nude polish from Bonita - bought in a collection at Ross, so of course it has no name.  I then took Orly Point Blanche and made these stripes to look like my nail was wrapped loosely.

nude polish from Bonita and Orly Point Blanche

On some of the nails I made large black dots next, and some I didn't.  One could also just paint a black stripe, as well.

Perfect opportunity to use my 2mm googly eyes! Silly mummies.

Eyeballs literally just rolling around in their heads..

Bottle shot:  Bonita nude (unknown name), Orly Point Blanche, and Milani Black Swift.

Bottle shot:  Bonita nude (unknown name), Orly Point Blanche, and Milani Black Swift

Did you ever dress up like a Mummy on the cheap and just wrap yourself in toilet paper?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Salon Edge UV Lamp for Gel Nails #Review

Hello, Fireflies!

I don't post any gel nail art, so you might be wondering what I'm doing with a gel uv lamp.  I've actually been dabbling in gel for a little while now.  I started with a little 9w, then I bought an LED version, and now I have this Salon Edge 36w UV lamp, which I'm glad to add to my collection!

As you may know, the wattage is just indicative of how much power it sucks in, not of how much light it emits.  This unit has 4 bulbs that are 9w each.  What makes this lamp work really well is that the bulbs are placed on both the top and sides of the machine, and that the inside is covered in highly reflective surfaces.  This helps ensure that all of your nails - even your thumb - can get an even distribution of the UV light.

This machine is about twice the size of my 9w lamp, but it's so lightweight, you can easily take it with you.  Its size also means that you can put your whole hand in to cure at one time.  Sure, my LED lamp cures the gel faster, but then I have to do my thumbs separately, which actually makes the amount of time spent doing my manicure about the same.  The slide out drawer makes it simple to remove the bulbs if necessary, and it allows you to cure gel polish pedicures easily.

One thing that neither of my other lamps have is this handy timer.  If you just press the power button, the lamp will go for as long as you want.  If you hit the timer button, it will set the timer for 90, 120, or 180 seconds.  Most gels cure in 2 minutes, so that's a really handy feature!

Obviously, if you want to do home gel manicures that last, you'll want a UV lamp.  But what about someone like me, who changes their polish every day?

I've been giving myself gel manicures every week to 10 days, but only using a topcoat! Having this layer of gel has really helped protect my nails and allowed them to grow longer and stronger than I've ever been able to grow them before.  And, unlike acrylic, gel is flexible, so if I hit my hand.. if, if... WHEN I hit my hand on something, it doesn't automatically break the nail.

I did try to fix a tear on my left hand with nail glue, but it didn't work, so I decided that I'd give a soak-off gel system with tips a chance.  This is my first attempt, so it's not perfect, and this nail is a little wonky anyway, so I put the tip up higher than normal.  It was so easy to use this lamp to cure just that finger for the builder gel, and then add the rest of my hand for the top coat.

For me, the test of a smooth nail is how a holo looks on it.  No ridge filler is going to give you the smoothness of a gel nail!  Face Stockholm Leto is a gorgeous nude holo, that went on like buttah, and I'm loving that rainbow shine. (I didn't cure the holo - that's just polish I applied over the gel.)

And when I'm done with this, I can use either a non-acetone remover - or I even use my regular acetone one - and remove the polish, and the gel will still be shiny and strong underneath.  Of course, the more applications of acetone, the more opportunities for damage to the gel, but I usually get a week or 10 days of constant nail polish changing out of a gel manicure.

If you'd like more information about Salon Edge, you can find them on their webpage, Facebook, and Twitter.  I purchased this unit through, and you can also find it (and lots of other salon stuff) on their website.

If you have questions about the safety of using a UV lamp, I did a post with Karen New, owner of Spa Touch, LLC, where she discusses this hotbed issue.  There's also lots of new information about the safety of UV lamps.  I recommend looking up expert Doug Schoon for more science behind the nails.

Have you ever tried a gel manicure?  What do  you think about using clear gel as a base to protect your nails?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Beauty Blog Coalition Facebook Only Giveaway! $$$

Hello, Fireflies!

Can you believe it? Another giveaway!  I've teamed up with a bunch of lovely bloggers from the Beauty Blog Coalition - and all these bloggers means more money in the prize pots!

Yep, money.  Spend it anywhere that accepts Paypal, because that is the only means of transfer.  How much?

1st Place: $155
2nd Place: $100
3rd Place: $55

The giveaway will run until November 1, midnight central.  Good luck!

Participating bloggers:
Beauty by Krystal
Beyond Beauty Lounge
Blushing Noir
Color Me So Crazy
Confessions of a Sarcastic Mom
Everyday Beauty Blog
Hairspray and Highheels
I Know all the Words
Liesl Loves Pretty Things
Lipgloss Break
Makeup Life and Love
Midnight Manicures - Fabulous Awesomeness
My Highest Self
Nail Polish Anonymous
Peek & Ponder
Pointless Cafe
Polarbelle    Http://
polish insomniac
The Dalai Lama's Nails
The Lacquerologist
The Mercurial Magpie
The Plastic Diaries

a Rafflecopter giveaway