Double-stamped nails!

Hey ya’ll- I’m over here having fun with my new MoYou plates! I reviewed one of their plates and stampers in my last post, and I had to pull them out again for more stamping fun. This time, I had double fun! Have you ever tried stamping the same image onto your nails TWICE? Well, that’s what I did and the results look wicked! Check it out!
moyou plate mani

For this look I am wearing a basecoat, three coats of Blue Flame from Brijits Digits Boutique and seche vite topcoat.  I wore this beautiful blue polish for three days (no chips!) until I decided to spice it up with some double stamping effect!  On day number four I stamped a shimmery white polish called Ginessa by Zoya using my MoYou London Pro Plate 5 XL stamping plate.  Then I used that same plate but stamped China Glaze Liquid Leather (black) over top of that.  The designs didn’t match up, which makes it look cooler I think.  I like how they overlap!  It sorta looks like the bottom of a swimming pool. 🙂

double stamped blue nails

Wanna see what Brijit’s Blue Flame polish looks like before I stamped over it?  It has a lovely jelly quality to it and it’s bluer than blue.  I love how blue it is!  It took three coats to get to this opacity and so far I am very happy with it’s durability.  I’m on day four with no chips yet!  Look at what a live wire this polish is! Yowzer!!!!!!

brijits digits blue indie

Blue Flame is on clearance now at Brijit’s Etsy shop!

Have you ever tried double stamping?  If not, do it to it! 

MoYou London XL plate and stamper review

*these products were provided to me by MoYou London for review

My nails are long at times so the sizing of nail stamping images is crucial to me.  I’m happy to show you a plate today that’s perfect for long nails!  It’s called MoYou Pro Plate Collection – 05 XL.  It’s important to know that there are two versions of this plate.  The original plate and the new-fandangled XL plate.  From what I hear, customers were asking for larger designs which prompted MoYou to re-create some of their products.  Hence, my pro plate XL was born!   I also chose to try out their large size stamper and scraper set since it was designed to work great with the XL plates.

xl stamper

Let’s look at the large size stamp & scraper set first.  It comes with two plastic scrapers.  This is new for me since I’m used to using metal scrapers which seem to scratch up the surface of my plates.  I really like the idea of plastic scrapers instead. →UPDATE 5 months after writing this review:  I never use the plastic scrapers anymore.  My old metal konad scrapers work better in my opinion.  Yes, the metal scratches the plates,  but they make for cleaner scrapes.

As for the stamper, it’s two-sided.  The small pink side is hard which is good for small intricate stamps.  Whereas the large white end is nice and big and squishy.  It’s definitely a lot larger, softer, stickier and more cushy than my old trusty Konad stamper.  In fact, it’s so sticky you can see some fuzz and cat hair stuck to the stamper in my pics.  This initially annoyed me a lot.  But after cleaning it with an acetone soaked pad I found that any little residual pieces of fuzz did not deter from the stamping quality.  I will have to get over the fact that the squishy end is hard to clean all the way.  BUT, on the bright side, it grabbed the designs off my XL plate like a real champ!  You won’t have to press down hard to pick up the design, or to transfer it to your nails.  This is handy for two reasons: 1 its less effort and 2 you can stamp on top of a base color that isn’t necessarily dry yet!  I tried two different manicures with this plate and stamper and both had two coats of color that were not entirely dry… but no worries.  The nice squishy stamper dropped the design onto my nail with ease.  Usually with my Konad stamper I have to press real hard to get the design to hit the far edges of my very curved nails… and when you press hard like that you hafta make sure that your base color is dry or else the mani will get all flubbed up.  Well, with my large MoYou stamper I barely applied any pressure, the design reached all areas of my nail with ease, and my still-wet base colors were unharmed.  One thing to note- save the big squishy end of the MoYou stamper for large designs, and use the small end for smaller designs.  I had better luck that way since the big end didn’t transfer tiny designs well.  Overall, I’m very happy to have this new large size stamper.  It is my go-to stamper for full-nail designs now.  Don’t press hard and you’ll see it works well.

xl stamper from moyou

Moving on to my Pro Plate 05 XL.  It comes wrapped in a plastic sleeve and has the typical blue peel-off film to protect the surface.  I really love the designs on this one.  They are well etched and sufficiently large enough for long or wide nails.  I measured them to be 15mm x 21mm which is bigger than any other brand plate that I own (see my size comparison of other brands right here).   Each plate also has a hard plastic base attached to the back of it which makes it feel nice and sturdy and gives the plate nice smooth corners. Shown below is pro plate 05 XL before I removed the packaging.

pro plate 05 xl

You can see that this #05 plate gives you 12 XL images.   The comparable non-XL plate is labeled #03 and has 18 designs on it.  So by choosing the XL you lose a few images, but if they fit your nails better then it’s probably worth it.

So are you ready to see my first attempt at MoYou stamping?

moyou pro 05 manicure

It’s a mixmatch/skittles mani so you can see some of the different stamps from the plate.   I really like using a cream base with a shimmery stamp, or a shimmer base with a cream stamp just to pump up the level of contrast a little bit.  I think the peacock nail may be my fave.  I applied two different blue Butter Londons to that design and when I scraped it off they blended a little bit, but for the most part it worked well to create two different colored feathers.  As for the other nails, the green snakeskin was stamped on using Sinful Colors magnetic nail polish, and the zebra was stamped with black konad  polish.  All of the polishes I used seemed to stamp well with this plate.  Since I usually stamp with Konad special polish… I was happy to see such great results using MoYou plates and regular ol’ nail lacquer.

pro plate stamp

My second manicure is a wood grain design.  This wood stamp is what really excited me when I saw a pic of the plate online.  I just love the idea of making my nails look like organic materials… plus, my dad is a woodworker so I have a fondness for that kinda stuff.  I’ve been wearing this manicure for three days now and I just love it.  The brown hues are muted so you don’t even notice the design at first glance.  But if you do a double-take you’ll see the cool wood grain appear.

wood grain moyou

I used two coats of Zoya Pandora which is a nude shade and while it was still pretty tacky, I stamped some black Konad polish and regular brown polish over top.  Again, I was thrilled that my wet polish didn’t get smushed by my nice new stamper.  The black looked kind of stark against the nude though, so I sponged some brown over top to mute the appearance of the grain. The results are a subtle but unique manicure and I love it.

wood nail art

I’m thrilled with my XL pro plate.  I didn’t have any issues with application and I never messed up even one of my nails.  I also received another plate called Back to the 60’s -01 from the Time Traveller Collection.  I will have to show that to you soon!

I’m really excited about all the plates that MoYou London carries and they keep pumping out fresh collections all the time.  If you’d like to see more MoYou London goodies you can visit them online at http://www.moyou.co.uk.  Just know if you buy a plate labeled as PRE-SALE or LATE SHIPPING then it will not ship til a later date.  Make sure to use code SHINY20 to save a generous 20% off your cart until Nov 1st, 2013. 

A Craftynail Year in Review

Since my Craftynail Blog has been alive and kickin’ for a year now I thought it would be fun to see what I’ve done in the last 365 days!

NAIL CARE TIPS

My nail health has really seen some improvement since I started blogging.  I’m able to change my nail style more often since these nails have been growing like weeds!  Did you ever notice that I have a NAIL TIPS page on the main menu of my blog?  In case you’ve never seen it here’s my tips for growing out your nails.  Look how long they were in this pic! ↓

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CHANGE IS GOOD, RIGHT?

My nails have changed so much in the last year.  I haven’t found my ‘signature shape’ yet….I keep changing my nail length and filing them differently as time passes.  I noticed that most other bloggers have their own ‘look’ that I instantly recognize.  I can do a google image search and instantly spot other bloggers hands like, “oh hey, there’s Sabrina’s nails” or “yup, that’s the Daily Varnish”.  But I bet you can’t quickly pick a Craftynail manicure out of a lineup like that! I haven’t decided if this is something I want to correct, or if I should embrace the fact that I change my nail shape and length all the time.  Afterall, I’ve always said CHANGE IS GOOD.   So, I made a collage to show you how different my nails looked throughout the last year.  Which style is your favorite?  I always used to like square and long, but lately I’m enjoying my nails shorter and more round.↓

nail shapes by craftnail

MY MOST POPULAR POSTS?

By a landslide, my most popular post is my OPI Nail Envy Review.  That article has racked up 6,500 hits so far!  The cool thing about my review is that I posted before and after pics… so you can really see the proof in the pudding!

nail envy review

Here are some other runner-ups in terms of page views.  Some of them get a lot of referrals from pinterest.  Especially my DIY nail soak…

MY FAVORITE POST?

My favorite manicure of mine is probably these rainbow gradient nails.  They’re so bright and cheery and they make me feel young again!

rainbow_nails

Some of my other faves are what I like to call my UNDERSIDE MANIS since I just love painting underneath my nails!  I also love my crafty posts that involve jewelry findings or beads.  Here’s a sampling…

NAIL CHALLENGES

In July 2013 I organized a nail art challenge with Brijit from Brijit’s Digits and Jemma from Eeeek! Nail Polish! called Oh Mon Dieu! It’s the Rather Awesome 31 Day Challenge GiveawayYep, that’s a mouthful, and what a blast!  So many people participated!  963 manicures were submitted for the challenge.  And I know this because I just counted them all!  (click here to see all the manis) I also made great friendships in the process.  Brijit and Jemma and I are a good international team so we’re planning on having another world-wide Oh Mon Dieu Challenge again in 2014.  You ready for some OH MON DIEU PART DEUX?

Here’s some of my manicures from the Oh Mon Dieu Challenge…

AND THEN?

Blogging has quickly become such a big part of my life, I don’t see me stopping anytime soon.  In fact, I wish I started earlier!   Here’s what I’ve got up my sleeve…

keep-calm-and-paint-your-nails-96

  • I’d love to do more Celebrity Copycat manis.  So far I’ve only done two copy cats (Adele and Wizard of Oz), but I plan to do my third soon- Kelly Osbourne’s pointy heart nails just HAVE TO BE copycatted!
  • I’m currently hosting a monthly nail art challenge of sorts called NAIL ART IDEAS LINKUP (NAIL).  I’m running this linkup with the help of Brijit and Eeeek and we plan to keep coming up with fresh nail art themes each month!   Here’s the current info on NAIL if you’d like to submit your nail art.
  • I’d like to create more tutorials.  My ghost nail art tutorial for halloween has been re-pinned more times than I can count.  So I’m assuming people would love to see more tutorials.  Safe assumption, right?
  • I’d also love to become more active on Instagram… but did you know that IG only lets you upload pics from an app?  I upload my pics from a desktop pc, so unfortunately, IG isn’t really happening for me at the moment.  Maybe someday soon I’ll have some techy device with apps. <sigh> I have a Nook, but there’s no IG apps on there that allow you to upload.  Anyway…

Thank you for reading everyone!  Please know that I love all of the comments and LIKES that I receive.  Our nail blogging community is such a positive and supportive group of people- I’m thrilled to be a part of it!  I look forward to another year of fun with all of you.  Talk soon!  You know I’ll be commenting on your blogs and scoping you out on bloglovin.  I have a tendency to do that!

xx Jacqui aka Craftynail

My new pointy nails!

My Craftynail blog turned one year old yesterday.  So I wanted to do something new and crazy, like a blogiversary makeover. 🙂  I decided to change my nail shape!  I’m dying to show you my new pointy claws…

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Beforehand my nails were squoval, but now they’re so different!  Would you call these almond shaped?  I’m not sure the exact term… but I think I’ll call them pointy.  To shape them like this I used a sturdy glass file- I made sure to use one that had a tough grit in hopes of making the filing go faster.  I know you’re not supposed to ‘saw’ your nail back and forth- they say you should only go in one direction when filing.  But honestly, I didn’t want to be here all night…so I used the sawing technique.  I know, bad girl!  But even still, it took a good 50 minutes or so to file them down!  They came out looking shorter than I expected….but I like the cute pointy shape!  It feels very appropriate for halloween too.  I also like not having any ‘corners’ on my nails to bump into things or bend.  The corners are always the first place my polish chips too.  So I’m really enjoying the new feel of my pointy nails.  It’s easier to use the pads of my fingers to get things done and my nails aren’t getting in the way as much.

In these pics I’m wearing Orly Naughty, a cool-weather oxblood sorta color. I also used some nature props to show you what fall is like here in NY right now.  It’s extremely sunny out, the old giant maples in front of my house are gold and burnt orange, leaves are falling all around me and there’s pumpkins and apple cider donuts at every farmstand.  Ahhh it’s so nice today.  I wish today would last all week and maybe we could skip the whole work and weekday thing!

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I was thinking of doing a ‘year in review’ post to summarize what happened with Craftynail this past year.  Maybe show you which of my nails designs were my faves, which of my articles is the most popular or gets the most hits, etc…  Let me know if you would be interested in reading something like that!  Oh and lemme know what you think of my pointy nails.  Unless of course you don’t like them, then I don’t wanna know at all.  hahaha!  See ya!

Winners!

The random rafflecopter results are in!  Kimberly B was the lucky US winner of 5 L.A. Girl holographic polishes!  And Joanne P was the lucky International winner of the nail art and Konad prize pack!  Way to go ladies!  You won my 1 Year Blogiversary Giveaway!

Winner

I have contacted them by email and I’m just waiting to hear back.  Sorry to everyone else who didn’t win.  I honestly wish I could send nail mail to all of you!  I really mean it!

Since my blog just turned one year old I will have another fun post coming up… including some shots of my new nail shape.  I went a little crazy with the nail file tonight.  See you soon!

Abstract Fall Leaves based on a tutorial

First I wanna say that there’s only about two hours left to enter my giveaway!  Get your free entries in right here!  Sometime tomorrow I will announce the winners via email, and I’ll put out a blog post too.  Can’t wait to pick the winners!  Good luck everyone!

The prompt for week 2 of October’s Nail Art Ideas Linkup is Autumn Trees.  I’ve had so many great ideas for this theme and decided on an abstract leaf design that MrCandiipants came up with.  You can see her youtube tutorial here.  Someone commented on the vid and said that the design looks a little weird on square nails- so I wasn’t sure how I would pull this one off!  Then yesterday, I had a major nail snafu on my thumb!  I had to file the side of my thumb nail way down after a section of it cracked off.  😦  I was being a scaredy-pants but I managed to file my nail to a semi-stilletto shape to disguise the break.  It came out great!  I loved the way my pointy nail looked!  So I did my other thumb too just for spits and giggles.  I’m really contemplating making all my nails stilletto.  But get real Jac…. who am I kidding?  I won’t have the guts!  But my new thumbnail shape is a great reason for me to try out MrCandiipant tutorial now.  Well, on two nails at least.  So here we go!

abstract leaves

I used a variety of colors for the leaf design…and it was a little hit and miss.  I changed my mind a few times and in the end I wound up using similar shades to what Candiipants used.  Here’s a list of my colors:

dark orange ♥ Art Orange from AVON

light orange ♥ Orange Creamsicle from AVON

yellow ♥ Inspire from AVON

green ♥ Limelight from Ulta

teal ♥ Read my Palm from Sephora by OPI

black ♥ Liquid Leather China Glaze

abstract fall leaves

Is it okay that I only did my thumbs?  I really didn’t know how to make the design look nice on my other square nails… so the others are painted nice and simple with Kalahari Kiss.  I’ve been dreaming of getting Kalahari Kiss for a while now…. and when I recently placed an order on Cherry Culture I had to add this one to my cart.  That site sells China Glaze real cheap!  I think it was $3.99 and I had a discount code so I made out like a bandit!  Kalahari Kiss is one of those fugly kinda colors… but I’m so glad I got it.  It’s versatile, smooth and opaque and will be very handy for nail art I think.   Believe it or not, I only needed one coat for this mani.

Here are the other prompts for October.  Join in whenevs!

30th Sept – 6th Oct Breast Cancer Awareness :

7th-13th Oct Autumn Trees :

14th-20th Oct Things That Go Bump in the Night :

21st-27th Oct Treats and Sweets :

28th Oct – 3rd Nov Hallow E’en :

Thermal Polish from Brijits Digits Boutique

Today I’m showing you another cool indie polish from Brijits Digits Boutique.  This one’s a thermal color-changing polish called Orchis des Marais.  It’s a special polish with a fancy french name, ooh la la!  I hafta say, this is the most fun that I’ve had with a polish in a really long time!  Take a look at it and you’ll see what I mean…

orchis-des-marais-thermal

Shown here is one basecoat of Sally Hansen Maximum Growth, two coats of Orchis des Marais and one coat of Seche Vite.  If you apply thin coats then you may want three coats of the thermal, but two did the trick for me.  It appeared violet when I first applied it but shortly after it started turning pink.  On the right-hand side of my photo collage you can see all the blue shimmer in there too- just gorgeous!  Orchis des Marais dries quickly and has a nice finish.  Thermals have a tendency to be matte and dull so I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

Here’s a pic of Orchis des Marais when I first woke up in the morning and my hands were cold as ice.  We haven’t turned the heat on yet this season.  Brrrrr!  ↓

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And here’s a shot of my nails after a nice hot shower.  They’re bubblegum pink now and the tips are quickly starting to cool off as you can see.  ↓

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Throughout most of the day my nails were a pretty gradient that started out pink and got more purple towards the tips.  They did change very easily too.  If you hold a cold drink you’ll see them shift right away.  Or if you get a droplet of water on your nail you’ll see a perfect little purple circle appear!  So much fun!  All day long I kept looking down- ooh I’m cold, oooh now I’m hot!  Also, I noticed that my right-hand middle finger was strangely cold and purple most of the time.  The weird thing is, that nail breaks all the time too.  It’s my one problem nail.  Maybe my chi doesn’t flow well in that finger?  LOL  You can see in the top left photo of my collage that it’s more purple than the rest!  What’s up with that?

Overall, I’m thrilled with this polish.  I need more.  In every color.

If you’re looking for a heat-activated polish you can find Orchis des Marais on Etsy at Brijits Digits Boutique.

What do you think of color-changing polishes like this one?