Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Five Little Pumpkins with The Dalai Lama's Nails

Affiliate Links

Five Little Pumpkins Nail Art Collaboration with Hannah from The Dalai Lama's Nails

Hello Loves! I've teamed up with Hannah from The Dalai Lama's Nails for a Halloween nail art collaboration.  If you aren't familiar with Hannah, be sure to swing by The Dalai Lama's Nails and take a look around.  Her nail art is fabulous and her style is quite unique.

When Hannah and I were trying to decide on a theme for our collaboration, my youngest son thrust his favorite book into my lap for the hundredth time in one day.  I'm not exaggerating...I actually hide this book from time to time just so he won't cram it under my nose and scream until I give in and read it over and over and over.  But I digress.  William's favorite book is "Five Little Pumpkins". The illustrations by Dan Yaccarino are simply adorable, and William just can't get enough of them! You can see how beloved this book is by the worn edges.  Would you believe I bought it for him less than a month ago?  Anyway, it struck me as I was reading it to him that I was holding our inspiration in my hands. 
Five Little Pumpkins Book illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
Text copyright (C) 1998 by HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
Illustrations copyright (c) 1998 by Dan Yaccarino

Hannah and I each selected a set of pages from the book to recreate as nail art.  Let's take a closer look, shall we?  These are the pages Hannah picked for her nail art piece.
Hannah's Inspiration Page
Text copyright (C) 1998 by HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
Illustrations copyright (c) 1998 by Dan Yaccarino

Here's a closer look at Hannah's recreation.  She freaking nailed it!  I love how she adapted the illustration to better fit her nails and her style.  Simply genius.
Five Little Pumpkins Recreation by Hannah from The Dalai Lama's Nails

Now for a closer look at mine.  I chose the pages immediately after Hannah's.  Adorable illustrations, right?
Nail art inspiration
Text copyright (C) 1998 by HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
Illustrations copyright (c) 1998 by Dan Yaccarino

For my recreation, I started with a base of Red Carpet Manicure Country Club Chic.  The rest is done in Oumaxi acrylic paint from Bundle Monster.  I'm not sure what I was thinking with this one, to be honest.  After my Crackhead Sally mani last week, I should have known better than to attempt to recreate another scene...but I thought I was safe due to the simplicity of this illustration.  Nope.  It took two tries to even come close.  lol  My kitty is a little fluffy, but fluffy kitties need love too!
Five Little Pumpkins Inspired Nail Art

There you have it - my Halloween Collaboration with Hannah from The Dalai Lama's Nails.  Be sure to check out Hannah's post about our collaboration here.  And a major Thank You to Hannah for teaming up with me on this one.  :)

~Michelle

*This post uses Amazon Affiliate Links.  Purchases through these links generate commissions that help fund this site.

**This version of Five Little Pumpkins was published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc.  Text copyright (C) 1998 by HarperCollins Publishers Inc.  Illustrations copyright (c) 1998 by Dan Yaccarino.
Read more ...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pink Gellac by Chickettes Swatches and Full Review

Press Sample Affiliate Links

Pink Gellac by Chickettes Wear Test and Review

Hello Loves!  I have a full review of Pink Gellac by Chickettes to show you today.  I'm not going to lie, when Andrea asked me to do the wear test and review for her new Holiday Sparkle Collection, I almost told her no.  Andrea is a dear friend and I have learned that we rarely have the same results from the brands we test.  Our nails types are quite different and we tend to like different formulas.  Needless to say, I was a bit nervous about this review, but I bit the bullet and took them for a test drive.  As with all of my reviews, this is my unbiased opinion of the product based on my personal results.

The Pink Gellac by Chickettes Holiday Collection is made up of six holiday themed shades that were hand selected by Andrea from the Pink Gellac line.  Pink Gellac is European gel polish company based in Amsterdam.  The gel polishes are professional quality and were not available in the US before Andrea's brought us six through her collection.  The Chickettes branded collection is only available through the Chickettes Boutique.

Ok, enough about the history.  Let's start with the swatches.  Then I'll talk about general application, wear and removal.

Swatches


Passion Pink is a red leaning dark pink with pink shimmer.  Swatched below is two coats.  In all honesty, I should have gone with three coats as you can see it looks a bit thin at the cuticle.  This is likely an application error on my part since I do tend to use much thinner layers than the average gel user.  Most people would only need two coats.
Pink Gellac by Chickettes Passion Pink Swatch

Pink Gellac by Chickettes Passion Pink Swatch

Magic Pearl is an interesting color.  This is a white base that is loaded with golden shimmer.  The shimmer almost has a frosty appearance and is unlike anything I have in my collection.  It is very subtle from some angles and pops from others.  I did find that this one needed three coats to be opaque.  You might also notice the brush strokes in the second photo - this is where the frosty finish comes in.  A fourth, super thin layer would eliminate the brush strokes.  (As a side note, if you read Andrea's announcement post for the collection, you may remember she said this one reminds her of "freshly fallen, glistening snow".  I can't in good conscious write this review without adding this PSA in response to her description:  please, don't eat the yellow snow!)
Pink Gellac by Chickettes Magic Pearl Swatch

Pink Gellac by Chickettes Magic Pearl Swatch

Velvet Purple is a beautiful blackened purple base with subtle blue and purple shimmer.  This is by far my favorite of the colors in this collection (glitters excluded).  I found this one to be opaque in two coats.
Pink Gellac by Chickettes Velvet Purple Swatch

Pink Gellac by Chickettes Velvet Purple Swatch

Emerald Green is a frosty/metallic teal leaning green.  Andrea mentioned that this one needs a good shake for the best application.  I considered throwing it on my Robart Paint Shaker but decided against it since many of you will be shaking by hand.  After a vigorous shake, I found I needed three coats for full opacity.  I am happy to say that this one doesn't leave as many brush strokes as other metallic finishes I've tried.
Pink Gellac by Chickettes Emerald Green Swatch

Pink Gellac by Chickettes Emerald Green Swatch

These next two are pretty exciting to me.  First up is Luxury Gold.  Luxury Gold is a clear base with gold micro glitter.  I usually have to leave my glitters upside down for a bit after shaking them to get decent coverage.  I did not leave this one upside down or shake it any more than I would shake my other gels by hand.  The coverage is quite impressive.  This is two coats and I felt it covered enough that I didn't need a third.
Pink Gellac by Chickettes Luxury Gold Swatch

Pink Gellac by Chickettes Luxury Gold Swatch

Fabulous Silver is the silver counterpart to Luxury Gold.  Fabulous Silver is a clear base with silver micro glitter.  My prep for this one was the same as with Luxury Gold.  Below is two coats.  Again, I felt coverage was sufficient with two but I could see vnl from some angles (such as the second photo) so three might have been better.
Pink Gellac by Chickettes Fabulous Silver Swatch

Pink Gellac by Chickettes Fabulous Silver Swatch

General Application


I found Pink Gellac to be very similar to Gelish in terms of formula, but they do seem to be a bit more pigmented than Gelish.  The brush is rounded but full and provides adequate coverage for a three stroke application.  The brushes are a bit stiffer than I prefer and I found they left trails in the gel as I applied it.  However, it levels beautifully and the trails disappeared completely by the time I finished polishing the next nail.  I had no issues with shrinking or pooling and they cured perfectly in 30 seconds in both my Harmony Gelish 18G and my Couture Espree Salon LED lamp.

Wear


This is the part of the test that I was most nervous about.  Turns out I had no reason to be nervous at all.  This is one of the few brands that my experience matched Andrea's in terms of wear.  Before I get to the photos and results of my two week wear test, let's talk about the base and top coats that I used for the review.  I wanted this test to match my usual complete system wear tests, so I used the standard Pink Gellac base and top coats.  These are NOT the base and top coats that Andrea will be carrying.

I completed my wear test with Passion Pink and the Pink Gellac base and top coat.  At the 10 day mark, I started to notice a little bit of tip wear on the corners of my nails.  This is pretty standard for me.  By the 14th day, the tip wear had not increased and the tips of my nails remained covered with no chips or lifting.  The shine did dull a little, but as I mentioned this is not the top coat Andrea will be carrying.
Pink Gellac by Chickettes 14 Day Wear Test Results

Removal


Removal is where my experience differed from Andrea's the most.  As usual, I buffed the shine from the nail before soaking with pure acetone.  I used my Nail Mate removal caps on two nails and a foil wrap on the other two (just to see if there was a difference - there wasn't).  When I checked the nails at the 10 minute mark, it was just starting to lift around the cuticle.  After 15 minutes, I felt the gel pop free from the nail.  The bottom left photo shows what the gel looked like when I removed the caps/wrap at this point.  The bottom sections of the gel were completely ready to remove.  The tips were not.  Strange, right?  Not really.  I'm growing out some damage on my wear test hand (you can see it in the bottom right photo, so it makes sense that the gel would bond a little better to those spots.  I put the caps/wrap back on for another 5 minutes and the tips also pushed off clean.  So total soak off time was 20 minutes.  Not bad at all.
Pink Gellac by Chickettes Removal

Final Thoughts


Overall, I would say that Pink Gellac passed my tests with flying colors.  I would definitely purchase more gel polishes from this brand and am looking forward to future collaborations between Chickettes and Pink Gellac.  While I found the brush trails a little odd in the application, they did level out for a perfectly smooth finish.  And while it didn't blow my socks off from the removal standpoint, 15-20 minutes is a fair enough soak off time.  What does blow my socks off are those glitters!  I have been looking for a silver just like Fabulous Silver for quite a while now so I'm happy to finally have it in my collection.

What do you think of the Pink Gellac by Chickettes Holiday Sparkle Collection?  Do you need any of these colors in your collection?  If so, you can get your very own through the Chickettes Boutique for $12.95 each (plus shipping) or you can purchase the Full Holiday Sparkle Collection for $74.95 with free shipping within the continental US. 

~Michelle

*The polishes featured in this post were provided by Chickettes for my honest review.  All commentary within this post is completely unbiased and based on my personal experience with the product.  This post uses Amazon affiliate links.  Purchases through these links generate commissions that help fund this site.  All other links are not affiliate links and are provided for your convenience.

Read more ...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Glitter Packed Jellies from Delush Polish

Press Sample
Glitter Packed Jellies from Delush Polish

Hello Loves.  I have a new-to-me indie brand to show you today.  Delush Polish is 3 free, cruelty free, and each batch is mixed and poured by hand.  I have three glitter packed jellies to show you today.  Wanna see them?  Of course you do!

The first polish I have to show you is an older release from The Slice of Life Collection called Dark Passenger.  Dark passenger is a dark blue jelly base with micro shimmer and iridescent glitter.  On the first coat, it applies patchy and streaky.  But the second coat builds beautifully to an opaque finish.  I did have to move some of the glitters into position with the brush, but that is common with these glitter loaded jellies.
Delush Polish Dark Passenger Swatch

Delush Polish Dark Passenger Swatch

This next polish is from the most recent Delush Collection - The Scream Supreme Collection.  This collection is inspired by American Horror Story.  This little beauty is called Freak Show Spectacle and is simply stunning.  The deep plum jelly base is packed with multicolored micro glitters that completely freaked out my camera.  The sparkle is so alive that I couldn't get the camera to focus past the bling with a regular top coat.  Like Dark Passenger, the first coat is patchy but it builds beautifully with the second coat.  It also needed minimal glitter arrangement.
Delush Polish Freak Show Spectacle Swatch

Delush Polish Freak Show Spectacle Swatch

Since my camera wouldn't behave, I added a matte top coat so you can see the individual glitters.  Plus it looks really fun matte.  ;)
Delush Polish Freak Show Spectacle Swatch with Matte Top Coat

The last polish I have to show you is also from The Scream Supreme CollectionThe Supreme is a deep red jelly base with holographic red and iridescent glitters.  This one is my favorite of the three.  It's simply fabulous!  Like the others, the first coat is patchy but it builds well with the second coat.  This one did need a little bit of glitter arrangement due to the larger pieces, but the final result is well worth it.
Delush Polish The Supreme Swatch

Delush Polish The Supreme Swatch

Are you a fan of glitter packed jellies like these?  If so, you can check out some of Delush Polish's other offerings on their Facebook page and Instagram.  Be sure to follow on Twitter too for updates about new collections.  :)  Of course, all of the polishes are also swatched on the Delush Polish website for your viewing pleasure. 

~Michelle

*The polishes featured in this post were provided by Delush Polish for my honest review.
Read more ...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Great Pumkin - Then and Now



Hello Loves!  There are few things more humbling than a nail art fail.  Today's nail art is certainly a fail.  Last year, I created a mani based on It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.  Ah, such a great Halloween special and one that we watch non stop during October. We're pretty big Peanuts fans around here.  So...I decided to try it again this year.  First, let's take a look at the mani from October 2013.  Not bad for my first real attempt with acrylic paints.  Pose is a little awkward, but the art is solid.


Now let's talk about this year's attempt.  Ok, I admit it...I was feeling pretty confident.  My skills have surely improved over the past year, right?  So instead of replicating the design from last year, I decided I would try and improve it.  Oh yeah, I'll do the entire scene this time.  All in acrylic paints over a black gel polish base.  It's going to be epic.  *Sigh*  It certainly is epic...an epic fail.  I know, it doesn't look too bad in the collage above.  Let me show it to you a little larger.


Ok, so I was off to a pretty good start.  The base looks good.  Moon is nice and round-ish.  Pumpkins and grass were shaping up ok.  Even the general shape of Linus and Sally are pretty close.  Then things turned south.  Poor Snoopy.  Someone clearly stepped on his nose, turning his pretty round head into a football.

But it fell apart even worse from there.  How?  Fine detailing.  Yep.  That pumpkin patch went from being the "most sincere" to rotting.  And Linus...apparently he has gout in his left arm.  But the real kicker is Sally.  Poor little Sally.  She clearly picked up a heavy drug habit somewhere along the way.  Don't believe me?  Let's take an even closer look.


See, sweet little Sally turned into Crackhead Sally with the stroke of a brush.  Charles Schulz would surely turn over in his if he saw how bad I butchered his beloved characters.  lol

So, there you have it.  The Great Pumpkin Mani for 2014.  To be forever known as the Crackhead Sally mani.  ;)

~Michelle

Read more ...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Girly Bits Cosmetics - Select Swatches

Press Sample

Girly Bits Select Swatches

Hello Loves.  I have a few more Girly Bits Cosmetics swatches to show you today.  There's not much rhyme or reason to the selection.  They just jumped out at me.  :)

This first polish is from the recent What Really Happened In Vegas CollectionAccidental PPV is described as a silver holographic polish, accented with glowy blue shimmer and a subtle turquoise flash.  None of which I managed to capture in my photos.  The holographic effect is subtle and I see more of the blue shimmer in person.  This polish applies nicely, but you definitely want to allow each coat to dry completely before applying another to avoid drag.  I swatched three coats below.
Girly Bits Accidental PPV Swatch

Girly Bits Accidental PPV Swatch

Too Hot For Pants is also from the What Really Happened In Vegas Collection.  This one is described as a fuchsia-red jelly, loaded with red and fuchsia shimmer and holo micro glitter.  It is certainly loaded!  This is a perfect, two coat polish with amazing depth.
Girly Bits Too Hot For Pants Swatch

Girly Bits Too Hot For Pants Swatch

Seriously Sassy is a blogger collaboration shade with Sassy Shelly that is simply amazing!  This purple jelly base is loaded with a blue to purple shifting glitter.  The result is an incredible, blurple polish that simply must be seen in person.  I swatched three coats below.  If you decide you need this beauty, don't let the first coat fool you.  That first coat is blotchy and crazy uneven, but it builds for perfect coverage.
Girly Bits Seriously Sassy Swatch

Girly Bits Seriously Sassy Swatch

This next polish is part of the Fall 2013 Collection, and is quite gorgeous.  Bird Is The Word is a magenta purple holo shimmer.  I found the holographic effect to be subtle in this one but the color is gorgeous.  The formula is excellent.  I swatched three coats below.
Girly Bits Bird Is The Word Swatch

Girly Bits Bird Is The Word Swatch

Finally, What The Deuce? is also part of the Fall 2013 Collection.  This one is described as a kelly green holo shimmer.  The holographic effect is subtle in this polish as well.  The color, however, is a beautiful bright green.  Formula is also perfect.  I swatched two coats below.
Girly Bits What The Deuce Swatch

Girly Bits What The Deuce Swatch

What do you think of these shades?  I think Seriously Sassy might be my favorite with What The Deuce? coming in second.  :)

~Michelle

*The polishes featured in this post were provided by Girly Bits Cosmetics for my honest review.
Read more ...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Artist Interview with Nailpolis Magazine

Hello Loves!  Just a quick announcement: Today's Nailpolis Magazine Nail Artist Interview is all about me!  Go check it out if you want to get to know me a little better.  :)

http://magazine.nailpolis.com/nail-artist-interviews-michelle-a-k-a-manictalons/

~Michelle

Read more ...