KB Kitties

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With a little help from some water vinyl nail art stickers from Daily Charme.  More on those in a second.

But first, the polishes!  Which would be KB Shimmer’s soft, coral-y pink, Blush Money, topped with KB’s leopard print glitter, Spot Sign.  Blush Money, a peachy-pink holo sprinkled with gold shimmer, is a real chameleon, shifting from a bright coral-rose in the shade to a warm, glowy peach in the sun.  I think both in the bottle and as against my very pale skin it looks like Nars’ venerable Orgasm blush.  And Spot Sign, as always, is awesome – a leopard print mani in just a few swipes of the brush – but temperamental. The little C-shaped leopard glitters want to stick together and they really do snag on everything, so Spot Sign will require your patience, and about two layers of topcoat.

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So the nail art stickers?  Bit of a learning curve with these guys.  Having never used water vinyls before (really, I’m not much for nail art accessories of any description) I didn’t know what to expect, and the instructions on the back of the package were somehow both overly simplistic AND needlessly complicated.  And that really did these vinyls a great disservice, because in the end, they turned out to be fantastically easy to apply. They’ve also worn beautifully and didn’t smudge all to heck and back when I topped them with topcoat.  That’s nail artist pay dirt right there!

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The instructions for these cute kitty nail stickers called for an assortment of cutting and soaking and buffing and then, somewhat alarmingly, the back-to-back use of both water and a blow dryer.  Sounds dangerous! Also made very little sense to me, which is why I was initially left with the impression that these stickers were total garbage.

But they weren’t!  Far from it, actually.  I just needed to spend a bit of time tinkering about with these very versatile vinyls.  Basically, it went a bit like this:

  1. Peel the protective film off the sheet of stickers.  The printed designs will be on one side, and a simple, lightweight piece of adhesive paper will be on the other.
  2. Taking a pair of sharp manicure scissors, cut out the design or designs you’d like to use, including the adhesive backing.  Don’t feel confined to taking one design – here the cute black kitties – at a time; if there’s two designs side by side on the sheet that you just love, then cut them out together!  Also, you don’t need to cut in extremely close to the design, as the backing on these vinyls is translucent and the edges disappear entirely once topcoated.
  3. Taking a small bowl of room temperature water and working one at a time, drop your tiny speck of paper into the water.  You’ll immediately see the adhesive backing take on water, and then after another 10 or so seconds, the vinyl design will separate from the paper.
  4. Reach out and touch the tip of your finger to the vinyl – it’ll cling to it a lot like a contact lens.  Then apply the vinyl to your (painted and dried, but now slightly damp) nails by simply touching your finger to your nails.  The sticker will now cling to your nails, and if your nails are wet enough (dunk them in the water you used to soak the vinyls and blow off the excess) you’ll have a bit of play to push your sticker around until you’ve found the perfect place for your design.
  5. Top with a layer of high gloss topcoat and marvel at the streak-free finish.  I really can’t oversell that point enough – many a mani has been ruined or at least severely compromised by streaky black detail paint!  That these kitties came out so crisply is something of a nail art miracle to me!

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She Sells

She Sells 1

More like “She bought…these shell stickers.  In blue and now pink.  So she should use them.  And possibly stop narrating her life from an omnipotent perspective.”

So yeah, what she said.  This is my second time using these shell stickers I purchased from Daily Charme, and they applied just as nicely in this rosy pink hue as they did in the icy turquoise I used some months back. Made of real shell and sold on one small, solid sheet with an adhesive backing, the stickers take well to being cut into various shapes, although I prefer simply cutting out a sticker in the shape of one of my nails to use as an accent nail.

Here, though, I covered all of my nails in the shells, laying the stickers atop a red manicure I had done earlier in the day.  Last time, fretting about what a layer of toxic topcoat might do to the delicate shells, I opted against using any and instead destroyed my manicure with simple soap the first time I washed my hands.

So this time I gave things a whirl with topcoat, and I’m pleased to report that it had absolutely no adverse effect on the shells whatsoever.  If anything, the high gloss topcoat highlighted some of the cool, colour-shifting bits in the shells that were getting lost amidst that pretty mother of pearl design.  And from a practical perspective, using a topcoat helps fill in the fine ridges in the stickers that result from their diamond-type scoring. The scoring helps the stiffer-than-usual stickers lie flat on your nails, but the little slices also snag and rip out every bit of your hair that has the misfortune to drift into the orbit of your hands.  Which is A LOT, and I’m not one to fidget around with my hair.  Otherwise, these shells were once again a delight to use and wear – a very cool nail product that does what it’s supposed to, and well at that.  What a delight!

She Sells 2

Surf Kitties

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I love the idea of surfing, but unfortunately, as we all know, I’m a real weenie about getting in the water with sea life that wants to eat me. But surfing looks glorious, doesn’t it? I love everything about it – the culture that surrounds it, the people it attracts, the athleticism, the spirituality, the breathtaking locales. I love it so much, Blue Crush is one of my favourite movies, and that’s not something a lot of people would admit! So it’s something I love the idea of, but I’m also fully aware that it’s something I’ll never, ever do, because I am so scared of being munched on by sharks, and I’m also not that jazzed at the thought of dashing my brains out on a wall of coral. So once again, this will have to be one of those admire-from-afar things, which is cool when what you’re admiring are these fun, super summery nails instead.

For this beach kitten mani, I used some glittery kitty nail stickers from Daily Charme. A note on using a topcoat over the stickers: Don’t. They will pretty well melt on contact. That’s a lesson the cat that was on my middle finger learned the hard way.

Space Kitties! (OMD3)

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Having lost my dear old cat, Porky, to old age not two weeks ago, I initially wasn’t super keen on tackling a manicure to fit day 15’s theme of cats in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge. I have lost pets before – my childhood Cocker Spaniel, Boo, my young adulthood cat, Puddin’, my goldfish, Fred – but none have hurt like this. She was just such a major part of my life for so very long – 15 of her 22 years – and there’s a weird part of me that doesn’t know how to be without her.

All that to say I’m not quite ready to put brush to nail to create a wonderous bit of nail art honouring my kitty. Or any kitty, really. 😦 So what better time to bust out some glittery kitten nail stickers to do all the heavy lifting for me? I bought these particular stickers through Daily Charme, and they’re adorable – the cutest little glittery cats, shooting stars and tantalizing fish bones. I’m typically not one to think there’s too much of something, particularly when that something is either holographic glitter or cats (or in this case, in the best of both worlds, BOTH) but with the holo base I used here, Enchanted Polish’s Instant Galaxy holographic topper over a plain black creme, I think there may be a touch too much going on. You can barely even see Darth Kitty hiding out there on my middle finger! It’s just a lot to process, what with the glimmering rainbows, hand-painted holographic stars and glittery kitties floating in space. Huh, didn’t think that’s a sentence you’d ever hear me say – too many glittery kitties floating in space? 😉

Space Kitties Fingers