Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Birthday Nails

Doing a manicure based on my astrological sign wasn't something that ever really occurred to me until I discovered Moyou London and their line of zodiac themed plates. After eagerly awaiting the release of the Sagittarius plate (my sign) I was disappointed because I didn't really like it. So I took it upon myself to do some research on my sign, specifically the symbolism linked to my birth date, and created my own December 21st themed nail art. I don't usually do manicures with different designs on each nail, but after watching the first season of Nail'd It, I felt inspired to do so.

The white arrow on my right index finger is the symbol of the archer, and the symbol on my right ring finger is for Jupiter, my birthday's ruling planet. The colors purple, pink, and red ane supposedly significant to Sagittarians. The teal blue color represents the December birthstone, blue topaz. The rest I did in assorted dots and sparkly designs. Sorry for the weird hand poses! When we move to our new apartment in a couple of months I plan to build a suitable lightbox and get a tripod, but for now I'm having to struggle to take pictures with my phone in the daylight. Overall I enjoyed this manicure and I'd like to do more themed ones like this in the future.

Polishes used (it's a huge list): By Kleancolor - Disco Ball, Vegas Night, Starry Purple, Pinky Moon, Metallic Fuschia; Essie - Play Date, BK Candy color polishes in #8 and #11, Konad special polishes in black and white, and Shine Plus Nail from Organic Farm. If there's a shade name, I don't know what it is because it's in Korean. :)

Stamping plates used are SH14 (arrow) and Moyou Sailor collection 03 (swirly pattern).

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winter Glitter

Here is my festive wintery glitter nail look. This was my first successful attempt at doing a stamping sticker (the snowflake). I used this method, rather than stamping it directly, because my stamper is white. I have asked my husband for a MM rectangular purple stamper for Christmas, though, so hopefully I'll have that one to play with soon. :)
The white glitter polish I used is Etude House Play polish #102. As soon as I saw it in the store, I wanted it. I have a plain white glitter in my collection already, but I'd never seen one like this, with iridescent shimmers in it. It really looks very snowy and it was only ₩3,500 (about $3).

I also recently received the Kleancolor glitter set from amazon. Some of the polishes are awesome, some are just average, but with the price averaging out to around $1.40 per bottle, it's definitely worth getting. The only problem with this one, called Starry Blue, is of course there's not a lot of glitter payoff in it, but  think that's always to be expected with cheaper (American) glitter polishes.

Polishes used: Kleancolor polishes in Metallic Aqua, Metallic White, and Starry Blue, Etude Play polish in #102 and Konad special polish in white with image plate SH17. Also, here is the link for the Kleancolor glitter polish set, if anyone is interested.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Korean polish for everybody!

I just got this lovely glitter polish the other day at Homeplus, which is a big department store here in Korea. It was hard to get a good, focused picture of it, so sorry these kind of suck. It's a mixture of medium sized white hexes, tiny white squares, pastel hexes, larger pink squares that are kind of metallic, and teeny tiny holographic glitter dust. I thought it looked pretty in the bottle, but it's even better when it's on. I've layered two coats over Essie Cocktails & Coconuts.
Then I read something about a group of people who live in Japan and take photos of things in stores, put them online, and mail them to folks in other countries who'd like to buy them. I thought to myself, "I should do that with nail polish!" South Korea is full of little cosmetic stores, and they all carry nail polish. On top of lovely glitters like this one, I've seen textures, glitter crellys, and all sorts of bright and pastel creams.
So I'm proposing the idea of going out and finding nice polishes and mailing them to ladies (or men) in other countries who would like to try some Korean polishes. Most of them are very inexpensive.  If you're interested, please send me an email letting me know what types or colors of polish you'd like, how much you want to spend or how many bottles you want, and whether you'd like to see pictures of what I find first or if you want a mystery bag based on your preferences. Or if you know of brands you like, such as Tony Moly or Modi, I can get the particular ones you want. I'm only asking the buyer to cover the cost of the polish and shipping, plus a small shopping/transport/handling fee of $2 per order. Unfortunately I'll only be here for another 5 weeks or so, so if you want some, act fast! :)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Argyle tips

I was going to do a more Thanksgivingy looking manicure for Thanksgiving, but I couldn't get the dang turkey feather looking stamp to pick up. Then I decided I didn't want to do brownish colors anyway, so I just did what I wanted.
I used two coats of Born Pretty holographic polish in color #7 over China Glaze - Exotic Encounters. I quite like the BP holo polishes and I have three of them, but now that they've raised the prices of them I really don't think it's worthwhile for the tiny little bottles. The design is from Konad plate m60 with Konad special polish in black.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kaleidoscope stamping

Today I finally managed to get a manicure I was happy with after receiving my new stamper and design plates about a week ago. Since I'm on a limited budget, I haven't bought any new stamping polishes so I found this list of regular polishes which are good for stamping and so tried one that I had. In my previous attempts lately, I've had problems with getting the stamps aligned and with the polishes I was using. I think with more practice I can have even better results.
Relatedly, Fast Track is one of my favorite China Glaze polishes. It applies very smoothly and has a lovely, subtle light gold nude look. 

Polishes used: China Glaze Fast Track and Grape Pop with Moyou plate Kaleidoscope #06

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Get the kids to Japan

This is a fundraiser I set up to help James and I prepare our boys to move and transport them to Okinawa when we move there next year. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

Get the kids to Japan

Friday, November 14, 2014

Terrible stamping

I've never been good at stamping. I bought a cheap set of shany plates and a bundle monster set, along with a mash stamper a couple of years back, but I've never been very successful with it. This led to me not doing a lot of stamping over the years. But now, with all the lovely design plates and big, squishy stampers that have come out in the recent months, I feel inspired to try it again.
Yesterday I spent hours doing this nice gradient and waiting for it to dry, only to ruin it with the crappy looking stamping. Some of my nails only got maybe half of the design transferred onto them. I think this has to do with the small firm stamper I've been using.
But today I was delighted to find my XL stamper and two design plates from MoYou had arrived in the mail! I can't wait to try them. I got one regular and one XL size plate to see which I like better.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Kleancolor Metallic White

I wouldn't call this polish metallic, but it's not bad. It's more like shimmery sheer white snow. This is two coats. Just be aware if you're looking for a metallic white polish, this isn't it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dusky purple with gold beads

I hate striping tape. Like, really hate it. It NEVER works well when I try to leave it on my nail, and when it comes to using it to paint over, it usually comes out messy. It also seems like all the striping tape I have is narrower than other people's. I wish I could find some that was 2mm wide. Wider stripes would look so much better.
That being said, this is the most success I've had with using it. Some parts still got a little smudgy, but top coat helped to cover it. This is also my first time trying caviar beads. While I don't like them as a full coverage nail decoration, as accents they are pretty. Or at least they will be until they fall off, which I'm expecting to happen before tomorrow. But since I got six tiny jars of different colors for only 1,000 won at Daiso, it was worth it just to try them.

Also, after breaking three nails I decided to cut them all, which I hate doing as I believe my nails look better the longer they are. I like the square tips look on other people, but I don't know if it works for me. I think my nails are too narrow, or maybe the curve of my cuticles is too deep. 

Polishes used: Essie Ladylike and Chine Glaze Below Deck.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kleancolor Rainbow Gradient

I recently received the set of 12 Kleancolor metallic polishes from amazon. I wasn't sure how good they would be considering their low price, and the fact that the one Kleancolor polish I already had, a glitter, dried kind of fast for my liking. I was very pleasantly surprised by these. The formula is awesome. They hardly show any brushstrokes. I used the 10 colors from the set (it also came with black and white), two on each nail with the two blended together in the middle. They are, in order from my pinky to my thumb: red, orange, mango, yellow, green, aqua, sapphire, purple, fuschia, and pink.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Reverse glitter gradient

Last night I had this scary dream that I'd cut all of my nails really short. Then, in the dream, I thought to myself "This is a dream. I'm sure if I wake up, my nails will be fine". So then I DREAMED that I woke up, opened my eyes and saw that my nails were indeed all short. I could even feel pain on my right middle finger where I'd cut that one too short. It was so scary that I actually woke up with a start, realized I'd only dreamt I had woken up the first time, then felt my nails and discovered they were all fine. I tell you, man, I have some really weird, vivid dreams. Like the recurring theme of my bottom front teeth falling out. I get this one at least twice a month.
Anyway, I tried for the first time here to do a reverse glitter gradient. It didn't turn out as well as some pictures I've seen, but for my first attempt, I think it's ok. Also, the glitter polish I was using was sort of thick, so that made it harder. I first did a sheer french manicure to enhance the look of my nails then added a few blue and purple crystals over the glitter for extra dimension.

Polishes used: An unnamed shade from Organic Farm Shine Plus nail (cheap Korean polish), Essie limo-scene, China Glaze White Cap and Hard Candy Party Central.

Friday, October 17, 2014

October Clouds

Lovely fall polish colors with simple three-stroke tips.

Polishes used are all by Essie: Shearling Darling, School of Hard Knocks, and Ladylike

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fall colors

Yes, this picture sucks. Unfortunately I couldn't get a good one before going to work the next day and now they're all chipped :/ But this was my first attempt at a ruffian manicure. I was surprised when I looked up tutorials and saw that some people actually freehand paint this style. I painted all my nails green first, then used upside down tip guides near the base.

Polishes used: China Glaze Agro and Tongue & Chic, Essie Wrapped in Rubies

Friday, October 10, 2014

Lime green with feathers

This is my first attempt at a feather manicure. I bought these feathers from bornprettystore.com. When I looked up pictures of other feather manis online I was kind of surprised that nealy all of them had the fibers of the feathers pointing up towards the wearer's hands. To me, it seemed like this would make it hard ot apply a top coat and that the top coat brush would pull the fiber back. So, I decided to try applying the feathers in both directions.
As it turns out, my worries were totally untrue. The feather applied "upside down" to my right middle finger nail looks a lot better and was easier to apply. On my left ring finger, you can see that the fibers got a little bit wobbly plus it was really hard to trim the bottom to match the curve of my cuticle afterwards. Lesson learned.

Polishes used: Essie The More the Merrier and Kleancolor Black Out

Friday, October 3, 2014

Bright rainbow stars

I found this lovely star glitter polish at a store called Tony Moly in a subway station here in Korea. :) The downside is that it took about four coats to get this much coverage.The base color is China Glaze Hook & Line.

Monday, September 29, 2014


Pretty "blurple" polish with a subtle concentric circle stamp. Lately I've been having a bad obsession with collecting these little candy color polishes form bornprettystore.com, and I must say that of this several I have, this shade is my absolute favorite.
Polishes used: BK candy color polish #11, Born Pretty holo polish #9, and stamping plate BM-206.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Galaxy nails with cat decals from bornprettystore.com. I can’t take credit for this idea; see the design by which I was influenced here

BK Candy color polish #33, China Glaze Sexy in the City

For Jack

This is a tribute to my family's cat Jack, who is 14 years old and the smartest, most well behaved cat I have ever met.

Polishes used: Essie Maximillian Strauss-her under Born Pretty Holographic nail polish effect #7 with black cat decals from bornprettystore.com.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pastel Gradient with Bow

Hello internet, this is my new blog. I enjoy painting my nails.

Polishes used: Essie Mint Candy Apple and Eternal Optimist, China Glaze Fade Into Hue and Travel in Colour.