Dishwashing Detergent Nail Art

Proving that the Japanese will make a nail art contest out of just about *anything,* here’s a contest in which the theme was Joy diswashing detergent. The prize is a trophy…and 16 bottles of dishwashing detergent.

There were enough contest entries for several pages of nails…ah, Japan. Here is the epic battle for sudsy-themed nail art dominance, from Nail Max magazine.
















The three nails on the bottom are the winners from the last time. (Last time?!)

Below with the arrows, I have drawn a blue arrow next to the nails that actually have anything to do with dishwashing detergent. The rest are all random floral nails, which I think is the go-to in any Japanese nail art contest whatsoever, no matter the theme. It could be a “Bloody Death In Battle” contest and there would still be an overwhelming selection of nails with roses and glitter, and perhaps a kawaii pearl bow or two.
































Check out the 3D bottle of detergent in the right column, third down! Too cute.

So, folks, paint hard, practice a lot and you might be able to win large quantities of cleaning supplies! I know it’s all about the glory and not the prize, but still. Crazy product challenges aside, many nail art contests generally cost quite a bit to enter and the prize is worth far less than the entry fee, so even if you win, you’re still coming out behind. Sometimes it seems like a bit of a scam.

I hope the disappointing trend of Flower Nails No Matter What The Theme will turn around soon. I think judges start penalizing people who don’t follow the theme- otherwise, why have any theme at all? A prime example was the Nail Tip Contest at the 2013 Tokyo Nail Expo. The theme was “Fresh Flesh,” which lent itself to interesting possibilities, but a majority of the nails were…flowers. Whether the theme is Dishwashing Detergent or Fresh Flesh, the nails look startlingly similar. This is really a dud for those of us who want to see real art. Don’t get me wrong- the florals are gorgeous and well done, but I want to see something daring and weird and wonderful!

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Fabulous Franken Friday, 30 May 2014 Edition

I have a lot of sheer and semi-sheer polishes in my stash.  I don’t personally like the look of sheer polishes on myself and don’t have the patience to apply 3-4 coats of polish unless it’s a fabulous color for a special day, but sheer shades do have a place here at NeverTooMuchGlitter! Sheers can be layered over other colors, nail art, or mixed with glitter and pigments to make fabulous frakens (my personal favorite, of course!)

Sheer colors will allow mixed-in glitters to show through beautifully- check out what I’ve been mixing up lately! Today, two China Glaze semi-sheers get frankened. The shades are China Glaze No Plain Jane and China Glaze Rare And Radiant. On their own, these took 3 coats to get opaque and could have possibly used a fourth to be really solid. I mixed these with TKB Trading Pigments Sparks.

‘The Sparks are iridescent super-fine glitter. *Please please please* wear a disposable paper face mask if you are working with these. They are superfine and a little glitter cloud will poof out everytime you open the bag. You absolutely do not want to be breathing in any kind of superfine glitter. You can buy a box of paper masks at any drug store. It may seem like overkill to wear a mask, but your lungs will thank you later. Please believe me on this one! All that aside, here’s our first beauty: China Glaze No Plain Jane. On its own, it’s a slight duochrome orchidy type color. The swatch shown is 3 coats.

 Here, No Plain Jane gets the Sparks added to it. With the Sparks, it was opaque in one coat.

 You can see how much the Sparks change the color of the polish. My personal favorite is the Gold Sparks, but they are all lovely. The glitter polish only needed 1 coat for opacity, though 2 would probably look best for an all-over even look. All the glitter swatches here  are 1 coat with a topcoat of Seche Vite. Next up, China Glaze Rare and Radiant, a murky green duochrome with a kind of goldish hazel flash. This is more duochromey than No Plain Jane, but still sheer at 2 thick coats on its own.

…and the glitter train rolls on…

My personal pick from these would be the mix with the Red Sparks- it’s a really unusual color.  I don’t have anything like this in my stash. It’d make a cool base for an animal print or nature-inspired look.

Lastly, we’ve got Barielle Elle’s Spell. It’s a very sheer burgundy with iridescent Mylar flakes. It looks fabulous over reds to add depth and some twinkle, but is sheer on its own. Shown in the swatches below is 4 coats.

 This one had the most dramatic color change when the glitter was added, since it was the sheerest.

 And here they are all together- look what you can make with 3 sheer polishes and 5 glitters. Pretty amazing! For a lot of folks, mixing all these slightly different colors probably won’t be worth the effort, but color junkies will totally understand the joy of mixing 5 different polish shades with iridescent glitter.

IMG_3982 You can check out the Sparks here. Like all the goodies I use and feature here, TKB Trading products are cruelty-free, of course. Hope everyone is having a happy Friday!

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Happy Glittery Friday!

I didn’t set out to do this, but I wound up doing a set of reggae-inspired glitter nails in red, yellow and green.  I had bright, cheery colors on my mind since we’ve been having some dreary gray days in my area, and this is what came out.

I have some superfine champagne silver glitter from the Japanese brand Presto, but any fine silverish glitter will do for these looks. I wanted to start mixing up some glittery summer shades for my toes. I used my trusty silicone baking cups, poured in some polish, added the silver glitter, mixed it up, and voila! Here’s what I got.

First up, a regular red creme: Misa Femme Fatale. A nice, solid red, but I wanted some glitter to jazz it up.

Red Glitter Collage












A fun juicy red with some twinkle to it. These would look cute with a nautical touch- maybe a blue anchor or stripes?

Next up, Orly Hook Up gets the glitter treatment. On its own, it’s a lemon yellow shimmer, but it is really streaky, as yellows often are. Or at least my bottle is, I’ve had it for a couple years.

Yellow Glitter












Result: Happy sunshine yellow! The glitter gives a bit of opacity to counteract the streakiness, and the mix looked good after two coats.

Last one is China Glaze Emerald Sparkle. This shade is one of my personal favorites. It’s a very dark evergreen microglitter, but is very Christmas-y. To make it a bit more summery and versatile, the silver glitter lightened it up to a jungle-like tropical green.

Green Collage














This would look cute with some 3D tropical flowers, wouldn’t it?

Pedi season is coming around! I always find that glitter polishes, even frankened ones, wear like iron, so they’re my go-to choice since I generally wear sandals year round and do lots of beachy stuff, so I need some tough polish! I hate hate hate chipped nails, but somehow it’s worse on the toes. Plus, I never need a good reason to wear glitter. ;)


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Vanity Planet Flat Iron Review

Today I’m taking the focus off nails and moving up to my hair. While I’m pretty handy with nail art, I’m totally unskilled with hair. Usually I let it get crazy-lady long, trim it, repeat. I’m a ponytail and braid kind of gal, but every now and again I get fancy and stuff it into a bun with some hairsticks.

I do have a natural wave in my hair, which is kind of puffy even in regular circumstances, but gets super frizzy in high humidity. Mostly, it hangs out in a floofy ponytail. I’m okay with that most of the time, but there are occasions when I want to look sleek.

So, today I have attempted to tame my hair into shape via the flat iron.  This particular one I’m reviewing today is from Vanity Planet. The brand is Style House. It has a cute leopard print pattern and ceramic plates. It heated up really fast-within a couple minutes. It has a knob to adjust the heat as well, though I used the lowest heat.










Cute and sleek.














On off switch with heat control knob. There’s an LED light that lets you know when the iron is hot. It heated up and was ready to go in about 2 minutes.















I’m a little photo shy, but here’s the Before photo showing me and my hair in all its floofy glory.
















Ta-Dah! After: a few quick passes on low heat with the flat iron gives me a suave look. ;) This flat iron did its job- heated quickly, had nice smooth ceramic plates, and was easy to handle. It has a US-shape plug with two prongs, but has worldwide voltage. After using an adaptor to change the plug shape to a UK style, it worked perfectly on 220V. The animal print is a cute touch, too. I got good results with low heat. I imagine I could get a glass-smooth look on high heat, but I just wanted to tame things down a bit with minimum heat, and it worked very well. My hair stayed sleek through the day in some very sticky weather. It also has a limited lifetime warranty.  All in all, a solid performer. I may not use it every day, since I’m too busy with my nails, but I’ll be sure to take it out on those occasions when I want my hair texture to look a bit less like a Brillo pad.

This item was sent for my honest review by Vanity Planet. You can check it out here:

Flat Irons (

 Price: $39.00 + free shipping for US customers

And now that my hair is looking pretty good, we’ll be back to the nails in our next post- who’s ready to see some fun summer designs? :)

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Happy Star Wars Day!

Happy Star Wars Day!

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Where’s The Nails?

Back from Japan several pounds heavier and with a much lighter wallet! I had a great time, as always, but I have some surprising news to report: Nail art seems to be on the out in Tokyo! I saw polite neutrals, some French tips…but very little in the way of crazy nail art! I’m hoping it’s just a brief moment of nail minimalism before some amazing stuff comes back in vogue. Nail art did have a large boom in the last couple years, so maybe nails are settling down to previously undecorated levels. But have no fear, I’m still making loads of loud and proud nails:

NTMG Nail Art Collage April 2014

Lots of girly stuff, some kawaii cats, and some totally over the top rainbow Swarovski monsters.

I’ve been feeling a little glum since my return from Japan. I really miss it- the four seasons, the fine craftmanship in everything from bento boxes to kimono, the strange fashion, tasty food, and the daily inspiration I got just from walking around the city. It’s not all wonderful-there’s a lot of sexism and racism in Japan (and don’t get me started on how they treat animals and go whaling), but I spent many wonderful years there and I really miss it.  I didn’t want to leave! I literally did not want to get on that plane to go back.

I’m trying to make a go of it in Singapore while Mr. NTMG is working here, but I’ll be honest: I’m really down on it. It’s sticky-hot every day, people shove, push and scream like it’s an Olympic sport, and the national hobby seems to be shopping for designer goods. Even my favorite part (tasty food!) is not working out for me as the grease and MSG make me feel miserable after eating. But the wonderful tastes keep me going back for more! I do cook for myself, but it’s hotter than heck standing over the stove and I’m a fair cook at best. It is not one of my many talents. ;)

So I’ve been feeling pretty down about where I am, but I realized that there is beauty here too: in the fabrics of Little India, brightly colored detailing in a Chinese temple, in the beautiful architecture of Peranakan shophouses. The aesthetic gorgeousness is not as easy to find in Japan and not as integrated into the culture, but it’s still there. I’m going to make a big effort in the coming weeks to find and enjoy some beautiful things- maybe go to some museums, break out my camera and tripod and go on a photo shoot, and perhaps even do some painting. I haven’t done any painting (other than nails, of course!) since I’ve gotten here.

I hope everyone is enjoying either spring or fall, depending on which side of the Equator you’re on! And one heads up as we go into May: For all you summer brides who might be thinking of getting some nails from my shop for your big day/honeymoon etc, PLEASE order early. Mail to the US has been especially slow lately, and every year I get quite a few disappointed gals who found their dream wedding nails just a little too late. The only choices for shipping are (slow) airmail and outrageously expensive FedEx. So please order early!

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Off To Japan!

I’m really sorry for being neglectful to my blog readers…I’ve been awful about updating here! I post new nail art on Facebook daily here but I have been lousy about the blog as other project (books! Gothic Beauty Magazine! Nail Max!) have taken center stage. I actually haven’t done my own nails in ages!

I’m jetting off in a couple hours to Japan to get some fresh inspiration, since I’ve been feeling really stuck in a rut. I want to get some springtime instead of eternal sticky summer, and the crazy street fashion of Tokyo is always a source of ideas, which I am sorely in need of!

A few days of Japan R&R should cure my southeast Asia blues and I hope to be back to blogging with something worth reading about! I am going to be trying some of the latest Japanese true metallic gels, plus some new sculpting gel that’s buildable to 3D shapes. I’ve been hoping to try some totally transparent shapes embedded with rhinestones in the middle..and maybe some sand and shells for summer. I have a strange fondness for things embedded in other things- amber, paperweights and old Bakalite jewelry with glitter in it.



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