Sunday, March 31, 2013

Does it Stamp? (R,O,Y)

Hello Dahlings!

Da question comes up from time to time: do I have to buy Konad or other 'stamping' polish to stamp on my nails? Nope! Each Sunday, from now until I'm done, I will feature regular polishes in my collection that can be used for stamping & hopefully give you ideas for polishes you already own that might work.

I've noticed 2 factors that are key to determining if a polish has da potential to be stamped:

Opacity: is it a one coater?
Da more opaque a polish is, the better da chance it has of working for stamping. Stamping uses a thin layer of polish that is shaped by da image on da plate that is then transfered to da nail. Color Theory 101 applies here in that if you stamp on a yellow polish using a sheer blue polish da blue polish may look green. (So you can stamp with sheer polishes, like jellies, that are thick enuf, tho you'll get dif colors) Certain types of polish tend to lend themselves towards stampability: cremes, metallics (inc foils & chromes), holos & frosts/pearls. If it's a one coater (or nearly so) it's worth testing. Polishes that you probably shouldn't bother testing: GLITTER! Most glitters just won't work. If you can easily see da bits (this includes flakies) it's not going to transfer from da plate to da nail well.

Viscosity: is it getting so thick that polish thinner is becoming desirable?
Konad clearly states that one should not use their stamping polishes for regular manis. Why? Cuz it's so thick it won't spread over da nail evenly before it dries. Your regular polishes don't need to be quite that thick to use for stamping, but you don't want to use cuticle flooders either. Thin polish tends to distort (smoosh) when used for stamping cuz it can't hold da image, even if its opaque enuf to stamp with.

When peeps ask about what polishes can be used, they often ask about brands. Heads up! It's not generally what brands will work, but rather what specific lines of any given brand or which specific polishes will work. That said, you may notice that certain lines or collections from particular brands do keep popping up in my Does it Stamp? posts.
To save you some note taking time, I'll list some da most common of them here:

Color Club Holo Hues ~ both da 2012 & 2013 collections
Color Club 2012 Holiday collection*
Sally Hansen Lacquer Shine line*
Sally Hansen Hi Definition line*
China Glaze Bohemian collection*
Kleancolor Metallics
Pure Ice metallics
Nubar holos
*not longer sold in stores, but still available thru blog sales & eBay.

There are other brands with specific lines & polishes that tend to stamp well,
but I don't own all of them, so I haven't tested them personally.
Don't let this stop you from doing your own testing!


You can test polish on your nails, but if it doesn't work, you may get grumped about it & if you're testing a bunch of polishes da cuticle drying factor should be considered. I suggest testing a bunch of them in one sitting & stamping on both dark & light backgrounds.
You can do this by stamping on paper in both a dark & light color
(glossy card stock works well as it doesn't absorb da polish like uncoated paper will)
OR you can do what I do to test polishes for stamping:

This is a glass pebble I got in a bag of 34 at da dollar store in da 1" - 1.25" size. I got da idea from Soguesswhat & its brilliant! You want glass pebbles that are clear (iridescent clear is ok too cuz it will come off with acetone) & more flat than domed with no pits or other texture on the top of da glass. I painted mine half black/half white (I use cheap polish, $1 or less) as you can see, so I only have to stamp each test polish once. After a testing session I wipe da tested polish off with an acetone soaked cotton swab. (I do all da white sides 1st, then go back with a dif swab to do da black sides) Once da pebbles dry, I'll add new layers of polish as needed. I tend to look for polishes that stamp over black well cuz I tend to wear dark polish more than light. Some polishes also look better over a dark base color than over a light one. Most polishes that pass da O & V test will work on lighter base colors. Also, even when using official stamping polish, it can look faded or less than opaque before you add top coat. I didn't use top coat when testing.

I also have used different stamping plates at different times, but da images should be da same in each photo. Here we go! (all listings go from left to right)

My reds: Sally Hansen Quick Brick, Color Club Berry & Bright (scented),
China Glaze Red Pearl, Ruby Kisses Red Hot Chili Pepper

My one orange: Sally Hansen Three D

My yellows: Sally Hansen Hue, Kleancolor Metallic Yellow, Pure Ice Excuse Me

Since this first post in da series is chock full o' wordage,
I opted to go light on da photo spamage. Next week: golds, coppers & browns!

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Inky

Friday, March 29, 2013

Shamrawk Nail Art Challenge ~ ombre/skittle

Hello Dahlings!
This is it...da last day of da challenge & I did them all! Tho' I did go off da reservation a bit by not using any green polish or any St. Paddy's Day imagery for today's manicure. After a month of half my manis being green or theme related...I just couldn't do it. LOL
Da line up: Scandal French White; BK Hello Kitty Glow-in-the-dark #27, #17, #16, #19 & #15; Scandal Modern Black. Da day I was going to do my ombre/skittle mani my order from da Born Pretty Store store arrived & I just HAD to try out some of my new glow-in-the-dark polishes! I don't have a special 'save 10%' code for you cuz I'm not a big blog or even a medium sized blog...I'm just an itty bitty blog having fun. I saw some of Born Pretty Store's other GITD polishes on JennaFroggy's blog I'm Still Thinking & then a few days later on Profesional DQ's YouTubeChannel. I don't remember which code I used, but if you don't want to use one of theses you can always check your fav blogs to see if one of them has a code for you to save 10% on BPS's already low prices & free worldwide shipping on ALL orders. I hadn't ordered from BPS before, but was prepared for it to take awhile to arrive cuz da website is in Canada. I checked back every few days to see if my order had shipped. About a week later I had a tracking code to check & learned that while da website is in Canada, the warehouse is in Singapore. This certainly 'splains da longer ship time! LOL No biggie tho as my order arrived about 10 days after shipping. This is pretty good time for mail to cross da Pacific. want to see da nails?
I started with 2 coats of French White undies on all nails cuz
GITD polish tends to be rather sheer.
Pinky ~ #27 this lavender creme only needed 2 coats to be fully opaque.
Ring ~ #17 this one needed 3 coats even with undies cuz it's more of a jelly.
Middle ~ #16 is much like #17 in application, 3 coats needed.
Index ~ #19 is my fav color of this bunch & while it also needed 3 coats, I didn't mind cuz I was lusting all over that intense neon pinkness!
Thumb ~ #15 I was surprized by how vampy this one was & it was also a pita to apply as it went on patchy & I wasn't sure 3 coats would be enough to even it out. Turned out it was.
I then did a coat of Seche Vite & wrapped da tips.
Would you like to see them glow in the dark now?
Mr Inky gets full kudos for helping me take this photo! He suggested we go into da garage & use da halogen shop lamp, plus when da lights are out in there one can't see one's hand in front of one's face, unless they have GITD polish on. LOL He had to putz with my camera to find da setting that would best capture these polishes doing what they were made to do. You're looking at my index (#19 looks bright orange), middle (#16 looks orange) & ring (#17 looks white) fingers & you can just barely see my pinky (#27 slight greenish smudge to da left on my index finger). My thumb (#15) did glow, but da camera just could not pick it up. Did I leave my nails skittled & call it good? Of course not!
TA DA! I Kitchen Sink'd those GITD bad boys as per Her Momma Slappin' Highniness aka Nicole's (Young Wild & Polished) decree when I asked on Twitter if I should stamp or KSM these nails. Here's da scoop: pinky ~ double line French tip using my skinny striper to make da white line above da black tip; ring ~ double dots using both lg & sm ends of a dotter with da black & white, middle ~ skinny stripes using my skinny striper with black & white, index ~ more double dots but I reversed da black & white, thumb ~ I used some very old curved French tip sticker forms to make da curved white lines.
That's it, da challenge is OVER! Thanks for stopping by & please go visit Poliship. She'll have her last challenge mani up soon.
~ Inky

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My 1st Jelly Sandwich!

Hello Dahlings!
I did this mani before I did da SNAC ~ Brew mani as a trial to see if I could do a jelly sandwich without messing it up in new & interesting ways.
Da line up: Ruby Kisses Blue My Mind, Pure Ice Darkside & Ruby Kisses Silver Bling.
This is 2 coats of Blue My Mind & it did blow my inky lil mind! I fell in color lust with this polish as soon as I put it on a swatch stick & used it da next night for this mani. It went on smooth as can be over my regular base coat & dried pretty fast, so I could move onto da next step...
This is 1 coat of Darkside. If I skipped da colored undies it would be opaque in 3 coats...can you say GLITTER BOMB? I thought you could! Tho' it doesn't show much here, it has medium holo hex glitter that flashes blue more than any other color. (look at da center of my index finger & you can see one)
TA DA! I added one more coat of Blue My Mind then French tipped with a skinny line of Silver Bling using my skinny stripper. I pondered doing a French tip using Darkside, but I thought it would overwhelm the da holo bits peeking thru da yummy blueness.
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Inky

Monday, March 25, 2013

Shamrawk Nail Art Challenge ~ Glitter

Hello Dahlings!
Yep! I finally took off da birthday mani I did to honor my Swishie. 7 days is a lo-o-ong time to wear da same polish even if I did alter it a lil every couple of days. LOL
We're on promt #7...GLITTER! I had a lightening strike of inspiration on this one.
This is your brain...
This is Your Brain on Shamrocks by LynBDesigns
Look at all that sparkly goodness! This St. Patrick's Day polish has medium green hexes & small gold hexes plus mini glitters in green, gold & clear iridescent.
Da line up: Ruby Kisses Millionaire Green. Essie Good As Gold
& LynBDesigns This is Your Brain on Shamrocks. (all purchased by me)
This is one coat each of Good As Gold on my ring finger as an accent & Millionaire Green on my other fingers. I can almost get away with 1 coat of MG, but if I were doing a mani wear da VNL would show I would do 2 coats for sure. This is da 1st time I've used GAG in a mani as a base color. It is a 1 coater & it's good to stamp with...
it's also a streaky mess to apply & shows every lil flaw in da nail.
Me thinks I'll stick to my Sally Hansen Chromes for metallic base colors.
Ta Da! I didn't start this mani until about 12:30 last night, so I wanted to do something fast that showed off da glitter. Double line French tip to da rescue! I did 1 coat of TIYBOS on the green nails & 2 coats on the gold nail. I then added FTs using the base color, then contrast stripes using the other color & my skinny striper from Essence. I think da TIYBOS looks better over da gold than da green, so it's a good thing I did that for my accent nail! LOL I finished with a coat of Seche Vite.
Thanks for stopping by!
Please visit Poliship too! She's a prompt behind, but is still playing.
~ Inky

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Swishie pt 2 & 3

Hello Dahlings!
I so enjoyed da mani I did for my lovely Swishie's birthday that I didn't want to take it off! This is rare for me as I tend to get bored after a couple of days plus I don't like tip wear
& grow out gap. So here's what I did to keep da fun going...
I added stamping! I tested several blues that I thought might work & da winner was Wet N' Wild Fergie Blue Eyed Soul. It's a silvered denimy blue that went well with the other colors. The stamp image is off Cheeky XL plate N but I've seen it on a few round plates as well. Another layer of Seche Vite & I was good to go for a couple more days.
2 days later...I again didn't want to take this mani off! So I opted to matte it & do a comparison while I was at it.
This is 1 coat of Sephora by OPI Matte Top Coat over da previous layers. Da last time I used this I was disapointed in how uneven da effect was over several nails. Some turned uber matter while others only turned slightly matte. It turned out more even this time, but I'm still favoring da other matte tc I used for my right hand.
This is one coat of Orly Matte Top tc. It dries to a satiny matte finish that is consistant on all nails. When comparing both hands side by side there really isn't much of a difference, but I think da Orly looks more like what I want in a matte top coat.
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Inky
P.S. Just for da record, I have bought every single polish I've shown on this blog with da exception of a few that were gifts from friends. I don't do reviews using products sent to me from companies to review. Granted, nobody has asked me to either. LOL

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Shamrawk Nail Art Challenge ~ Brew

Hello Dahlings!
Today is da 6th prompt in this challenge & I had da damnedest time with it. This may get a bit wordy, but you can always scroll thru da pics, ignoring da words, & call it good. lol
Da line up: Zoya Frida, Orly Mermaid Tale & Matte Top Coat,
plus Revlon Powder Puff Matte.
This is 2 coats of Frida. It's a lovely jelly that looks really dark in da bottle,
but is perfect for jelly sandwiches.
So that's what I did. After da 2 coats of Frida & added 1 coat of Mermaid Tale & then another coat of Frida & Seche Vite to cure all da layers. I then added a coat of Orly's Matte tc. I LOVE THIS STUFF! I also have Sephora by OPI's Matte tc & was disappointed in how uneven da effect was from nail to nail, but da Orly's worked like a dream. I then added foam using Powder Puff & a lg dotting tool.
So what's da big deal you may be wondering? Well to start da Powder Puff matte takes FOREVER to dry when dotted. I even did 2-3 thin layers with dry time in between. The other headache is that while I was sitting there, watching da news on DVR after midnight, Mr Inky went up to go to bed & discovered that da toilet in da guest bathroom at da top of da stairs had OVERFLOWED! Da water had made it into da hall & was starting down da stairs leaving a tan stain from dissolved clumping cat litter behind on da carpet. EEEEEK! Mr Inky started grabbing towels from da hall closet while I ran for a fan. We spent da next hour plus blotting up water from da carpet & my nails were ruined from wringing towels out over da tub. Blerg. Da good news is that there wasn't anything in da bowl at da time of da flood & we got most of da water out of da carpet & after running 2 fans for 4 days straight we dried out da carpet pad enuf that it shouldn't need replacing. Da vinyl flooring in da bathroom will get replaced cuz it started peeling up around da toilet, da carpet will get cleaned by pros & we'll get a new toilet installed with da new flooring. AND insurance will be paying for it after our deductible!
So da final pic here is actually take 2 for this mani. I was able to salvage da green part, but had to redo da white foam cuz it got wiped off & it took forever to dry again & got all dinged up cuz I can only sit there doing nothing for so long. LOL
Thanks for stopping by & please go visit Poliship We're da only one's to keep going on this challenge. I know I'll be seeing it thru to da very end!
~ Inky

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Hello Dahlings!
Today is a VERY special day! Why? It's my polish daughter Swishie's 21st birthday!!! 
She already got her box of birthday goodies from me, but I have one last pressie for's mani!
A while back, Swishie, myself & another Twitter pal were chatting about likes & dislikes when it comes to colors & techniques used for nail art. I had just posted a 4 color neon pink gradient with China Glaze Whirled Away black & white chunky glitter over it. Swishie isn't into neons or chunky black & white glitter tho' 'she thinks gradients are okay when done with da 'right' colors. LOL I asked her what she colors thought would look 'right' for a gradient with chunky glitter...
Da line up: Milani Key West, Wet N' Wild Bijou Blue,
Townley Homeroom & Milani Lavender.
This is 2 coats of Homeroom. It's one of my oldest polishes at 20 years or so (yes, it might even be older than my Swishie lol) & is part of the school themed polishes that set me off on my Welcome Back Kotter themed franken fest last month. It's a frosty, steaky mess
& if I were planning on wearing it alone I'd do 3 coats or put on white undies first
cuz VNL just ain't in it for moi.
I used a scrap of dog bone car washing sponge to apply da gradient & reversed it on my ring fingers for an accent. Bijou Blue almost gets lost between Homeroom & Key West, but it works to bridge da 2. Good 'nuf.
TADA! Swishie said a blue to green gradient with chunky purple glitter might be okay in her world. it? Will it do? Can you tolerate gradients with chunky glitter a smidge more my dahling daughter?
Thanks for stopping by to celebrate my fav polish daughter's birthday with me!
~ Inky

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Shamrawk Nail Art Challenge ~ Stripes

Hello Dahlings!
Happy St Patrick's Day! While I do have a wee bit o' da Irish in me on me mother's side,
I'm such a mutt I don't really indentify with any particular ethnic identity beyond
being an American. Oh well. LOL
Today's prompt in da SNAC is...Stripes.
This is where we left off in da last post. This is my Pot O' Gold nail
& 2 coats of Orly Dayglow on the rest.
Da line up: Orly Dayglow, Stripe Rite red, L.A. Colors Bright Orange
& Yellow, Stripe Rite green & light blue, & Kiss Soft Purple.
Have you guessed what I did for my stripes yet?
TA DA! I painted a rainbow to go with my Pot O' Gold.
I used da brushes in da bottles then finished with Seche Vite.
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Inky

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Shamrawk Nail Art Challenge ~ Pot O' Gold

Hello Dahlings!
I have no idea where my time has gone this week! OK, I do, but it hasn't been on nails. I've had mondo prep for my next stamp camp & my MIL is visiting. So RL interfered with my polish fantasy life. *sigh* So this is a day late & I'm sorry.
Let's see...we're on Pot O' Gold in da challenge!
Da line up: Sally Hansen Glow, Color Club Winter Affair (gingerbread scented), Essie Good As Gold, Santee Gold Bright & Orly Liquid Vinyl.
This is 2 coats of Glow on my ring finger. It needs 3 coats for full opacity, but 2 was fine for what I had in mind. Why do I love retired Sally Hansen polishes? I don't know, but I do seem to collect quite a few after they're gone from da stores. (da other nails have 2 coats of Orly Dayglow, but you'll just have to wait until da next challenge post to find out what I did on them lol)
Ta Da! I used my next to largest dotting tool with da 3 gold polishes to make coins going from my cuticle to about half waydown my nail. I then used da same dotter with Liquid Vinyl to rough out da pot. I then grabbed a small detail brush to smooth out da pot's sides & add da rim. I tried a new top coat on this nail: Ruby Kisses Quick Dry Top Coat. I really like Ruby Kisses polishes, but this 'quick dry' was anything but! 5 minutes after I applied it, it was still tacky. This just won't do! So I slapped a coat of Seche Vite over it & decided to stop wasting money on other fast dry top coats cuz SV makes me happy. Da only good thing about da Ruby Kisses tc was da price: $2.29. I'll use it for frankening, so it's not a total waste.
I'm not sure what's happened to da others in this challenge. Sam is busy launching her new blog featuring indie polishes & hasn't been sending out da linking thingy . Poliship has been posting, but doesn't have anything up for this prompt. Oh well, real life happens! I plan on finishing da challenge cuz I want to follow thru' even if I am late on some of them.
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Inky

Monday, March 11, 2013

Shamrawk Nail Art Challenge ~ Clovers

Hello Dahlings!
Today I'm showing my Clover nails as per da Shamrawk Nail Art Challenge.
I've been having such a great good time with the 2012 & 2013 Color Club holo polishes that I decided that I had to use one on them in this challenge.
Da line up: Color Club Kismet & Klean Color Metallic Green.
This is 2 coats of Kismet. I love how these polishes are opaque in 2 coats! I could almost get away with one coat. I have other holos that need 3 coats or undies to hide da VNL. While Kismet looks gold in da bottle shot, it's really a pale golden green.
Very pastel & spring bling.
Ta Da! I didn't want to cover up da holo goodness, so I did a four leaf clover using da Metallic Green & a small dotting tool. I topped my nails with Seche Vite as usual. I've had issues with da Klean Color metallics bleeding under da SV in da past, so I waited 15 lo-o-ong agonizing minutes for da green to dry completely before adding top coat.
It bleeding & da linear holo goodness shows thru!
My Inky lil brain cell is already bubbling with plans for my pot o' gold & stripes nails!
Thanks for stopping by & please go visit da other Shamrawkers!
~ Inky

Thursday, March 7, 2013

DIY ~ Faux Leather Effects

Hello Dahlings!
I don't lemming often (mostly cuz I just get what I want when I want it lol) but I was a goner as soon as I saw swatches of Nails Inc Leather Effects polish kit! I bought da kit at Sephora on my birthday & while it's pretty nifty, $25 for a .33oz bottle of polish & some bling is more than I usually spend on any polish & I know it's out of many polish enthusiast's budget. So I decided to see if I could franken something close...
I tried 2 different combos of glitter, pigment powder & polish.
On da left is Nails Inc's Leather Effects. To me it looks like sueded leather (that's an animal hide with da smooth top grain removed). In da middle is my Pleather franken. I LOVE da look of smooth shiney leather! I think I got that effect with this one! The franken on da right I call Litter Box cuz it's all chunky & dark. (I have 4 cats & know of what I speak lol) This one is less like leather & more just pure chunky texture. I haven't decided if I like it yet.
Ta Da! This is 2 coats of Pleather without top coat. It was a gloopy hot mess to apply (needs thinner) & it chipped like a bitch in 24 hours! However, I like the leather look I got & after I putz with it some more, I will wear it again. Knowing I might only get one good day of wear just means I apply it the same day I want to show it off. Da studs are Kiss self adhesive bling & I can't recomend using these without top coat to seal them in cuz they were popping off all over da place any time I bumped my nails into anything & leaving behing lil circles of adhesive that collected fuzzies until I rubbed them off. Blerg.
Oh? You want to know my secret formula? Um...well...I started with 2/3 of a bottle of Wet N' Wild top coat then added a lot of small black craft glitter that had minimal sparkle then I added some black craft pigment powder. The powder was to darken da base & make it it matte, but pigment powders can turn polish into cement if too much is added. So I added some L.A. Color black to darken the base which made it more of a semi-gloss. Since I didn't use any suspension fluid, I do have to shake it up before & during use. All in all, while not perfect, not a fail!
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Inky

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Shamrawk Nail Art Challenge ~ Green Polish!

Hello Dahlings!
Today is da 2nd promt in da Shamrawk Nail Art Challenge ~ Green Nail Polish. I find it really difficult to wear just one polish at a time. Part of this is that I did just that for 30 years. I now find it a tad boring & 'unfinished'. (I don't mind others wearing only one color, just me! lol) The other part is I now have SO many polishes that if I don't wear 2 or more at a time, I may not live long enuf to wear them all.

Da line up: China Glaze I'm With The Lifeguard, NYC Flat Iron Green & Milani White On The Spot. I decide that if I was going to focus on just one green polish, I was going to pick da brightest, loudest one I have!
This is 2 coats of IWTL with a coat of Seche Vite. I have a wee bit of VNL & would have added a 3rd coat if I were stopping here. (I did stop here for da night, hence da SV.) Alas, I just can't leave my nails with just one color for long...
Ta Da! Another Kitchen Sink Mani...are you bored with them yet? I'm not! Flat Iron Green may look black in these pics, but it's really a very dark, blackened green.
Here's what I did by finger:
pinky ~ double line French using a straight line French form sticker for da FIG
& my skinny striper from Essence for da WOTS line;
ring ~ double dots that look like rings using both da large
& small heads of my largest dotting tool;
middle ~ skinny stripes using my skinny striper;
index ~ my 1st attempt at a cloud mani! It's not 'perfect',
but I did ok & give myself a B;
thumb ~ I used da curved French form stickers from da same sheet as da straight ones
& that part came out ok, but da WOTS was drying so fast that it was getting clumpy as I was using it, so my stripes look somewhat 'organic' rather than da precision lines I wanted. Oh well.
I did a 2nd coat of SV to finish.
Thanks for stopping by! 
Now go visit da other Shamrawkers!
~ Inky

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Can't Stop Staring at my Nails!

Hello Dahlings!
I gave into my holo cravings & bought both da Color Club 2013 Holo Hues collection AND da 2012 Holo Hues collection from Enospring a couple of weeks ago. DAMN! Those polishes are bling-tastic!!!!
Da line up: Color Club Miss Bliss & Beyond.
This is 2 coats of Miss Bliss with SV...LOOK AT THAT LINEAR HOLO GOODNESS!!! So many holos, especially da linear ones, lose their sparkly goodness when top coat is used. Alas, most polishes don't last long without top coat. That ain't a problem with these dahlings!
I wanted to do some stamping, but it was getting late & I was having issues with my hands...funky French to da rescue! Even with another coat of Seche Vite, da lil bit of Beyond on my tips showed da linear holo goodness!
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Inky