Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Simple Valentine Faux nad

Have you ever just had one of those days?  How about one of those weeks?  About 2 weeks ago I broke the corner off one of my nails on my picture hand.  So since my right hand looked pretty decent, I switched to taking photos of my off hand while the break grew out.  Last week I broke the corner off a nail on my off hand.  ARGH.  So I went back to my left hand (which had had 7-10 days to grow out and was easier to hide the break).  And yesterday I broke another corner on my left hand...  Someone is definately trying to tell me something.  So I bit the bullet and just chopped them all off to be the same length so they can grow out strong and split free. I prefer my nails square, but for the purpose of growing them out I went ahead and tapered them to give them extra strength.   It annoys me so much when I break a nail; and I've had a real hard time getting them back into good condition this winter.  So here are pics of my super nubs proving that short nails can be pretty too!

Today's post is a super easy Valentine's Day mani combining some simple sponging with stamping.

I started with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Pink Blink which is a light pink, then sponged over it with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Presto Pink (which is a darker pink) and Pure Ice Superstar to give it some depth.

After it was fully dry I stamped with Sally Hansen Color Quick Fast Dry pen in Red Chrome and Red Angel plate 114.  If you haven't tried these pens for stamping yet, they work really well but dry SUPER fast so you have to work very quickly.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Berry Flakey Goodness

I received all five of the Finger Paints special effects flakies last week from my mom, and have just now gotten around to using them! I know, I know. Blasphemy at its finest.

For this mani I used a base color of Zoya Jacy. If you've been following Mad Manis for quite some time, you've probably heard me say time and time again how much I love this color. Well, for those of you who haven't: I. LOVE. THIS. COLOR!! I love berry shades, but this ones a bit different.  If you look closely in the bottle picture, you can see little teeny tiny particles of a purpley shimmer! The application on this was a little runny for a Zoya polish, but I can handle it because I love this polish so much. Zoya had one of the best berry shades of all time. OF ALL TIME!! (Kanye reference, anyone?)

The flakey polish I used over this is Finger Paints Asylum. Asylum is the prettiest of the bunch -- it has little flakey particles that flash blue and green and orange and yellow and it's just like a shredded flakey rainbow of goodness on my nails! I used two coats of Asylum for these pictures.

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Magnetix magnetic polishes

Look what I spotted in Rite-Aid today.    A display of new magnetic nail polishes.  I snapped a pic quickly before a sales associate could see me ;-)

There looks to be about 6 colors in the collection.  I already had similar colors from Icing so I bypassed all but these two.  I can't seem to find names on them, but they are a toffee color and a light plum color.  They come with 2 magnets, which I'm a little lukewarm on.  It looks pretty flimsy and not very user friendly.  Look for swatches coming up next week!


Valentines Love Birds

It's time! Time for the beginning of Valentine's Day manis! Yay! I love love :) :)

I found this adorable little image of a love bird on Shutter Stock and decided I had to recreate it on my nails. The base color is OPI Sparrow Me The Drama and the rest is done with acrylic paints. I really need to get myself a full size bottle of Sparrow Me The Drama... I only have the small one from the POTC mini pack (which sucks to use on my big nails, btw)

Aren't they cute?! I didn't want to take these babies off!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Icing magnetic pink Wednesday!

This was my first attempt with magnetic polish.  I picked up 3 of the 4 colors at Icing Saturday night and decided to start off with the pink one for Pink Wednesday!

I started with a base of Color Club Hot Like Lava, which is a beautiful color in and of itself.  I love this Foiled collection - the polishes apply well, dry fast and are very forgiving of brush strokes.

The Icing polish applies nicely as well, it isn't too thick or too thin; but it is in a smaller than average bottle with .33 oz of product rather than the usual .5.  The price was much more reasonable than most of the other magnetic polishes that have been marketed to date (but that may soon be changing as more companies jump on the magnetic polish bandwagon).  I paid $9 for one bottle, but Icing was having a BOGO half off sale so the second polish rang up at $4.50.  That's $6.75 per bottle. (I are a math whiz)

The polish comes with a removable cap containing the magnet, so you dont have to flip your brush upside down to magnetize the design.  The magnet also contains little finger ledges to help with holding the magnet the correct distance from your nail without it coming in contact with it.  Well -- in theory anyway.  I actually had to redo 5 nails because I got a tiny bit too close and bumped the magnet into my wet polish.  So there is an initial learning curve.

And here is the lovely Hot Like Lava on it's own

Noobie tips

1) Do only one nail at a time, you want to magnetize the polish while it's still wet.

2) Hold the magnet stationery.  I was under the misguided notion that since I have wide nail beds if I kinda slowly pivoted the magnet from one side to the other I'd get a more uniform design.  Untrue.   Your best design comes from holding the magnet absolutely still.

3)  I found that the best way to judge the distance from my nail bed to the magnet was to hold my finger under a bright light and look down from the free edge toward my cuticles rather than a side or lateral view.  (see pics for example)



4) Base color (at least on the polishes I have tried) does not seem to impact your finished product much.  I swatched on 4 different base colors and my design came out pretty much identical on all 4 swatches.

This is such a different concept to me and I like it a lot more than I thought I would.  I think the phrase I used while I was working on this mani was "freaking awesome"!  hehe  Also the color variations don't show up as well in bright light (i.e. light box) than in normal ambient lighting so your design is going to be more pronounced than it looks here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review: The Body Shop Honey & Beeswax Hand and Foot Butter

I received this for Christmas from my cousin and thought I'd share a review for it with you guys.

What it claims to do:
Pamper your hard-working hands and feet with rich hydration from an intensive moisturizing treatment with skin softening ximenia oil from Africa that will leave skin feeling soft, supple and subtly scented with our traditional Spa Wisdom™ Africa fragrance. Particularly effective on hardworking hands and feet or any very dry areas such as elbows and knees.

First off, the smell. I wouldn't say that this really smells like honey or beeswax to me... it doesn't smell bad and it doesn't smell particularly awesome, it just smells like a light scent. I'd imagine this would be good for those of you who are sensitive to scents.

The butter does have a bit of a greasy feeling when you first apply it, but I think that comes with the "body butter" territory. Every body or hand butter I've ever used has had that sort of greasy feeling, presumably from the shea butter that they put in these products. It actually proves to be beneficial because the lasting power on this stuff is great. It keeps my hands and feet feeling moisturized until I wash my hands and need to reapply. It works so well on my cuticles that I don't need to apply any of my Burt's Bees lemon butter if I have this on.

I've only used it on my feet a few times (because I honestly just don't really lotion up my tootsies) but when I did it immediately moisturized the dry patches on my heels and the balls of my feet. Put this on with some nice warm socks and you'll have deliciously smooth feet for hours!

I have used this before doing my nails which turned out to be a mistake. I usually lotion up my hands before I do my nails (I've never had any problems with it before) but when this was on my nails it affected the way my polish applied. So I'd definitely wait until after your mani's finished to put this one on.

A few complaints I have about this product:

The price point. $22 for a 4.3 ounce jar is a little more than I'm used to spending. But at the same time, this really works wonders for moisturizing my dry hands, so it's hard to say if I'd repurchase this or not.

A less deal-breaking complaint:  the stupid freaking jar! I realize they were probably trying to make this look cool and hip and chic with the hinge on the jar, but really it's just more annoying than cool. It's hard to open and even more difficult to close when you have butter all over your hands. I wish they would've just kept it simple with a squeeze tube or a regular jar with a lid that screws off. I just don't see the point of this and it annoys me so much I'm considering just buying a cheap bottle to transfer this to. If you don't get the plastic rims of the lid perfectly lined up on the bottom of the jar, the butter will dry out. I've had the lid squish little bits of the butter outside of the jar and it turns hard and crusty and nasty. The jar does look pretty darn cute on my nightstand, though...

I would definitely recommend this if you have the money to fork over for it. It keeps my hands soft and smooth and I don't have to keep reapplying it numerous times throughout the day.  The smell is light and doesn't linger on my hands for a long time after applying it. It keeps my cuticles as moisturized as a cuticle butter which sure is handy because it eliminates an extra step in my nail care routine. :) It's especially nice now that it's started to get really cold here in Indy. It protects my hands and cuticles from the harsh winds.

This can be purchased at Body Shop stores or online at It retails for $22.

Icing glitters - part 2

Today's post is the remaining 2 Icing glitter polishes I picked up at Icing prior to Christmas

First up is Birthday Beyotch.  Ok the name - love it or hate it?  I think I'm kinda liking it.  At first glance it's another one of those multi color glitters in a clear base.  But check out the bottle shot.   It has SO MANY colors in it.   It's like a circus exploded in the bottle!

I'm showing it as a jelly sandwich today with Revlon Grapefruit Fizz (which was part of their scented polish LE line last summer), but this would really be spectacular over a black base.  Unfortunately I didn't get many good shots of this as my light box really sucks (it's too short and I can't get my tripod into it and end up having to contort into all sorts of unnatural positions to take pics)

Then we have my favorite of the 4 - Glitterati.  It boasts small holographic glitter with large fuschia hex glitter.  Here I've layered it over Sally Hansen Pat on the Black, which is a dark vampy plum color.  I wish the photos accurately depicted the holo sparkle this had!  Then just for fun I mattified it with Essie Matte About You.  The middle picture is intentionally left blurry to show the holo glitter.

Application was pretty much the same as yesterday's swatches.  What do you think of these glitters?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Icing glitters - part 1

Before Christmas, I found these glitter polishes at Icing and they were so unique I went ahead and picked them up.  It's taken me this long to get them swatched for you.  I bought 4 and am going to be dividing the swatches up into 2 posts.

Today I have Disco Ball and Party Confetti

Sally Hansen Green Tea and Disco Ball -   I would describe Green Tea as a dusky light green color.  Like a mint but with a more greyish cast to it.  I had high hopes for Green Tea, but sadly - I did have some application issues with it.  My bottle was very thin and watery, so I had to be mindful of how much polish I loaded on my brush.  Also, as I suspected, the first coat was very streaky - which mostly evened out on the second coat.  I did have one nail that required three coats because even with 2, I didn't get opaque coverage.  I do however, love Sally Hansen's brush.  It is just perfect for the shape of my nails and the tapered or rounded end gives me a cleaner cuticle line.

I've layered Icing Disco Ball over Green Tea in these photos.  Disco Ball appears to be a clear base with small and large hex blue glitter particles.  As you can see in the photos though, the base color has now taken on a decidedly blue tint so the base must have just a hint of blue in it.  As with many glitter polishes, the base on these was very thick and goopy, making it difficult for uniform coverage with the glitter.  You may have to resort to placing the large hex glitters individually (like I did) with an orange stick or toothpick.

And here is Green Tea all by itself

Orly Purple Crush and Party Confetti - I think I made a poor choice on the base color with this one.  As Purple Crush is a neon (and cameras tend to freak out at trying to photograph neons), the pictures lost a lot of the depth that this color combination really had.  You can find Purple Crush swatched under the Orly tag elsewhere on our blog.  Party Confetti is a clear base with small and large fuschia hex glitter and a sprinkling of large purple hex glitter.  Again - same problem with application - it's difficult to get the glitter to spread evenly and some of the larger hex glitters have to be coaxed from the bottle with an orange stick.

In conclusion here is my unofficial review of these Icing glitters -


Unique color combinations; if you are a glitter nail polish fan you will like these
Price (I paid $4.50 per bottle)


Application (difficult to get large glitters out of bottle)
Cleanup - I had glitter everywhere when trying to remove these

Watch for part 2 later in the weekend with the remaining Icing glitter polishes!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Springy Spongey Konad

Yes...I know it is January 20th. But we got about 3 inches of snow yesterday so I needed a spring pick me up.  I am hoping this winter won't last until like May since the first part of it was pretty tame :\

I started with a base of Sally Hansen Lavender Cloud, then sponged randomly on top of the white with China Glaze Lemon Fizz, China Glaze Peachy Keen, China Glaze Electric Pineapple and Essie French Affair. Add a coat of Fairy Dust (duh) and I stamped with the flowery butterfly plate (RA 102). I really need a better white stamping polish because this Sinful one does NOT show up opaque enough. But I kind of like the subtlety it gives it.

The end result is an overly spring mani that looks way out of place in this dreary wintery Indiana weather, but I don't care because it's pretty and I like it! :D

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tape Mani using China Glaze Sea Spray

This one's been sitting in my pictures folder for a few weeks... I never got around to posting it. But I am now, because I've had a terrible bout of sinus headaches over the past few days so I don't have anything else to show you guys :(  Hard to do your nails when your head pounds every time you move it, huh?

I hadn't done a tape mani in a while and was feeling pretty unmotivated on nail art, so I settled for a simple funky french mani.  The base color is China Glaze Sea Spray and the tips are done with China Glaze First Mate and Cult Nails In A Trance.

I promise we'll have some posts up for you soon. Take care :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Orly Orange Punch leopard

Any one that knows me knows I'm a big football fan.  And since my team unfortunately had a dreadful year, I had to go with a surrogate team for the playoffs.  :)  I know that the Denver Broncos have been in the news a lot because of Tim Tebow, but I find it refreshing to have a good positive role model for kids; not some gun toting, girlfriend beating thug.  So here's my nod to the NFL playoffs with my Denver Broncos leopard print.

The base is Orly Orange Punch, which applied like an absolute dream.  Smooth with good opacity for a creme/jelly.  One coat gave pretty good coverage, but I am a creature of habit and applied a second.  Then i stamped over it with konad plate 57 and special polish in blue, and dotted the spots with white acrylic paint.

As Amanda says... "Rawr"

I'll always be a Colts fan though.  You can take the girl out of Indiana, but you can't take Indiana out of the girl :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sally Hansen Oxide

Picked up this little beauty at Rite Aid on clearance for 3.75.  It's from the fall Tracy Reese limited edition. 

Oxide is a black shimmer (almost bordering a foil or frost) that applied like a dream.  The opacity was good - I still had some patchiness after the first coat which was completely covered by the second coat.  It leveled well with no pooling and dried fast.

When Oxide was completely dried, I stamped over it with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Silver Sweep using Red Angel plate 111.  I had some minor issues getting the stamp completely centered - but I like it anyway!  I've been having a really hard time finding the motivation to do my nails with them being nubbins, being sick, and all the other life changes I've gone through lately - but I actually enjoyed this one!  Maybe I'm getting my nail mojo back.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Whale of a Nail

Hi guys, this is just something fun I did a few days ago that I thought I'd share. The pics of it didn't turn out too well, but I was quite amused at the way these whale nails turned out. They're so goofy looking they're almost cute! Hahahah.

They're such happy, chunky whales!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pink Wednesday (Holo Goodness Edition!): Sally Hansen - Ruby Diamond

Happy Hump Day!

Today I am showing you Sally Hansen Ruby Diamond.

Ruby Diamond is a beautiful medium pink holo that was applied almost perfectly albeit a little runny. These pictures are two coats -- you could get away with one if you wanted a more subtle holo effect, but I like the way two looks.

Not much to say about this one, but, it's a pink holo!!!! And by the grace of God it happened to be sunny when I was taking pictures of this puppy. Bam.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Abstract Dots

Hi all! Long time no post!  When I wasn't busy I just could NOT for the life of me think of anything exciting to do to my nails. But I think I'm finally back into the swing of things so hopefully that means more regular posts for you guys. It's weird not having a post up every day or every other day!

The base is Sally Hansen Lavender Cloud (sidenote: These SH CSM bottles are ridiculously hard to hold and get a good picture topic) and the big dots are made with:  white acrylic paint, China Glaze 108 Degrees, China Glaze Entourage and Essie French Affair. I just used a tiny dotting tool and a small nail art brush to do the detail work. The UBER tiny dots are made with the point of a pushpin! I don't have a dotting tool that small ;-)

This design is based off of a background I saw on ShutterStock. That's a great place to look for inspiration if you can't think of what to do, btw :)

Hope everyone's having a fabulous week!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Finger Paints Flecked

Hello everyone.  I'm happy to be well enough to post again, as the last 2 weeks has been a real challenge for me.  The flu has really knocked me on my butt - I was sick in bed for 6 full days.  By the time I was beginning to feel a little bit better, I had to prepare for Amanda's visit to Boston.  We had only 3 glorious days together before she and her brother returned to Indy.

My nails have taken a beating this winter.  Since November they've been in terrible shape - first from all the packing and moving/lifting heavy boxes, coupled with the cold weather and being sick (I broke 2 on my picture hand one night as I stumbled to the bathroom) - I've had to cut them down to nubs again.  So until they grow back out you'll have to live with my non picture hand nubbins.

I did manage to score two complete sets of the Finger Paints Special Effects flakies yesterday.  The one I'm showcasing today is Flecked - which is a green flakie that flashes blue in some lighting.  Here I have layered it over OPI Here Today Aragon Tomorrow, which is a deep forest green.

I used two coats for my pictures, but the flakies are very dense and one coat will actually cover quite nicely.  With the small amount I used (even using 2 coats) I can tell this polish will last me a while.  The special effects polishes are meant for layering, and although you can use them over any color, applying over dark colors is where they really shine.  I did experience a little bit of tip shrinkage which was most likely caused by the SV top coat.