Happy Chinese New Year + Let the Good Times Roll!

Bonjour! It’s Mardi Gras today, which is of course a favorite in the NTMG household. I mean, the holiday is all letting loose and collecting shiny things as a reward. How could it not be a fave? Unfortunately, by the time I make it to New Orleans, I will probably be too old to collect any beads for flashing anything. :(

Luckily, I have some bedazzled Mardi Gras nails to keep things sparkly, complete with studs, rhinestones, pearls, a tiny mask and a Carnival dancer.

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And since Chinese New Year starts on Thursday, I have something ready for that too, though it is a bit more subtle and does not feature brazen topless dancers:

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Being that Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year often fall so close together, I think there should be a holiday mashup combining both days. It would probably involve nearly nude dragon dances, though, so maybe that’s one thing better left alone.

Happy Year of the Goat, everyone, and let the good times roll. :)

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18 Easy DIY Valentine’s Day Nail Art Ideas

Somehow Valentine’s Day always sneaks up on me- usually because the focus where I live is more on Chinese New Year during this time. I’ve got some really easy ideas that you can do as a Valentine’s Day accent nail, pedicure or even full set if you’re feeling brave enough!

I’m using a set of acrylic paint for some of these looks. You can pick up some tubes of water-based acrylic paint at your local craft store. You can mix any color with just red, yellow, blue, white and black. Just make sure your base color is totally dry before doing any acrylic painting. You’ll need a clear topcoat to protect the design as well. It’s not always super durable, but Valentine’s Day is only 24 hours, right?

I’ve also used some clay decoration bits in heart shapes- these should be easy to find on Ebay or Etsy. You can get pre-cut ones or buy a whole cane and cut them yourself with a razor blade.

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I’m using water-based acrylics from Japan, but any brand should do. Don’t use too much water when you paint over the nail polish- just enough to make the paint flow evenly over the nail. If acrylic paint isn’t for you, these designs can be made with nail polish too. In either case, let your design dry completely, then add a clear topcoat for protection.

Valentine's Day 2015 Nail Art by NeverTooMuchGlitter

For you romantics, I made some love pills, heart shaped leopard print, a chocolate covered strawberry and a love letter. There’s also a couple more subtle looks, like a lace French tip and a rose. And, of course, there’s a broken heart with “Love Stinks” just for all of you out there who are not feeling the love. ;)

Happy Valentine’s Day, all. And remember, whether you’re in love or not, the 15th is Bargain Chocolate Day! Take advantage accordingly.

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A Gentle Reminder About Picture Reposting

Hello everyone! I love it when you like, share and reblog my nail art. But lately, I’ve been finding people have been downloading my photos, cropping them to edit out my watermark, and then re-posting them. This means that nobody knows the original source of the picture. Boo! I spend a lot of time making nails, photographing them and editing, so it’s not cool to remove the watermark. I have tried to keep the watermark small and unobtrusive, but I will unfortunately have make it more prominent.

While I realize this is not all that big of a deal and may be done without any malice, there is another brand of people out there who are also people using my photos as their own and even adding their OWN watermarks to my work.

The rottenest people of all are those who are “SELLING” my work-i.e., they just steal my photo, post it on Ebay and offer it as a photo of an item for sale. Of course they don’t have the actual nails I made nor the ability to make them, so the customers get nothing. It really bugs me to know my work is getting used in a scam. People buy the nails based on the stolen photos, get cheated, then my good glittery name gets smeared by association. :(

So, folks,  if you enjoy sharing photos, please don’t crop out watermarks and try (I do know in some cases it’s just not possible) to attribute the original source. It does make a difference to those of us who create art for everyone to enjoy. And please let me know if you see my work being ripped off anywhere or offered for sale, I do sell on Etsy, but not anywhere else, so if you see my work on Ebay, etc. it’s phony. Thank you all very much! <3

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Sunny’s Body Products Miracle Balm and Sugar Scrub Review

All right- time to sneak in one more post during the month of January!

I’m pretty hard on my hands and nails, being that I work with a lot of polish, gel and acetone in my line of work. I’m always on the lookout for things that will be kind and replenish my poor dried out fingers and toes. I’ve used LUSH Lemony Flutter for a while and liked it, but was ready for something new. I’m also a scent junkie so I wanted to try something with a new smell.

Enter Sunny’s Body Products. (Just a note: I do not get paid for reviews in any way and buy the products myself. I just enjoy sharing cruelty-free/indie options whenever I can!)

Most of my purchases were samples so I could try a bunch of different scents- there are dozens to choose from!

First up is Sunny’s Miracle Balm.

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I got samples in Hyacinth, Pikake Flower and Aloha scents. Scents are intensely personal, and what smells good to one person will not necessarily appeal to another. But the scents are nice- not overpowering, but enough so you can get a whiff for a while after application.  The Aloha scent smells a bit like a Pina Colada mix. The Pikake Flower is a pretty tropical floral but not super true to the actual flower (but bear in mind I am a snob since I’m lucky enough to have a bunch of pikake trees right outside my window). Sorry, freezing people of the world! I didn’t mean to rub that in. ;)

But the real standout for me is the Hyacinth. It actually smells like a real honest to goodness hyacinth, which is one of my all-time favorite scents. It always reminds me that spring is around the corner. This balm got it just right.

Scents aside, all the Miracle Balms perform really nicely. They are waxy and thick and feel a bit gritty in the tub but are smooth on. I use them on my cuticles at bedtime and wake up with happy hands. All the scents I tried sink in quickly, if you would rather use them during the day. A little goes a long way- I’ve hardly made a dent in the sample size even after a couple weeks. The ingredients in all appear to be the same: Shea Butter, Beeswax (so it’s not strictly vegan), Candelilla Wax, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E, Garlic (?!), Biotin, Fragrance Oil.

All in all, a nice product for those hardworking hands and priced very competitively against my previous standby, LUSH Lemony Flutter. I’d love to see this in a vegan option without the beeswax, but almost all cuticle balm type products do contain it, including LUSH’s.

Luckily, for our strict vegan buddies, there’s a nice Hand Sugar scrub product in the line which will give you some beeswax-free moisturization.

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I got the Sugar Scrub in Oak Barrel Cider (maybe I was feeling nostalgic for New England?). Nice woodsy cider smell. Yum. It’s a sugary gritty scrub but it is super-saturated with oils so it left me greasy even after washing. I personally am not fond of that oil slick feeling, but I found that if I massaged the leftover oil into my forearms, it soaked in much more easily. I recommend using this right before bed, maybe during a nighttime shower or bath, then massaging in the leftover oil onto any dry parts. I did wake up with lovely soft hands the next morning after using this at night. With daytime use, you may risk leaving greasy fingerprints around for a while.  It’s not as convenient as the Miracle Balm, but is a nice option for vegans who want smoother hands or feets. Just be careful if you use it on your feet since you/tub/shower will become super slippery. If you have marble floors like I do, you can even make your own ice skating rink!  Ingredients: Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Sugar, Purified Water, Soy Bean Protein, Avocado Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut Oil (twice), Grapefruit Seed Oil, Fragrance Oil.

I enjoyed these products, especially since they can be made in such an extensive variety of scents. For me, delicious-smelling products make me much more likely to use them.  In my ongoing quest to buy less, I’ve been really trying to use up products I have before moving onto the next thing. Like many of us out there, I buy stuff, use it for week, and then forget about all it. With these sample packs, you can try out a bunch of goodies and flavors instead of getting stuck with something you may not like. And you’ll smell good. Win-win! :)

Sunny’s products can be found here, if anyone would like to check them out. If you’re an indie company who has cruelty-free (vegan if possible) products, I’m always interested in hearing from you!

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What Goes On?

It’s January, and I have been pretty good with keeping up with my resolutions except the one to blog more! Oh, and the one to stop eating cookies. I’ve cut way down on the sugar but I like a cup of tea (no sweetener!) and a cookie in the morning. The tasty food of Asia is very hard on the waistline. I’ll miss it when I’m gone!

I’m also back on Twitter @gothicnailart and I promise to update more. The Twitter  and my newer site focuses more on my darker work, since I’ve got the blog, Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook to show my non-gothic items. It got away from me and I’m not good at tweeting, but I will be better about it. I’ve gotten a few new followers, which was very encouraging and made me get my butt in gear.

I’v been doing a lot of organizing lately. My nail polish stash and supplies can easily get out of hand, since I’ve got so much! I have some things I don’t use a lot, and some nail polish that’s just been hanging around forever, so I’ve culled some of the collection. I think I just may be a nail goodies hoarder- it was hard to get rid of stuff, even if I  *knew* I wasn’t going to use it and it would cost more than it was worth to ship back when the time comes. Do I need an intervention? ;)

Here’s my current stash of nail polish I use on a daily basis. This is about 1/3 of my full stash. I separate the polishes by color, since that allows me to find what I’m looking for most efficiently.

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I’ve gotten some new nail stamping plate holders instead of just stacking them in piles. I do have a trick for MoYou plates, if anyone has any: use a Ferraro Rocher chocolate box. They’re the perfect size to hold the plates, plus you have an excuse to eat chocolate. :)

Nail-wise, I’ve been up to a strange mix of cute and dark, which I guess happens a lot, now that I think of it. Click to see it bigger.

NeverTooMuchGlitter January 2015

In other nail art news, the results of the Tokyo Nail Expo Art Tip Award Contest are in! The theme was “Adult Punk.” Here’s the winner. At least it wasn’t hearts n flowers. It’s really good work, and the spiky collar is vaguely punk, but I’m not sure about the motorcycle. But hey, bulldogs! On a tiny motorcycle!

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That’s all the news for now- I’ve got some fun indie polishes to show soon, as well as a couple new glitter frankens on deck.

Posted in Japanese Nail Art, Nail polish, NTMG Original Nail Art, Tokyo Nail Expo 2014 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Goodbye 2014!

Ah, it’s that time of the year again. 2014 has drawn to a close. This year was pretty good for me, as I got in some international travel to Myanmar, Indonesia, the Maldives, Japan and Cambodia. Travel is (almost) always something I enjoy, and it’s my main hobby besides glitter.

This year was a kind of…quiet…year. I joined a gym and started exercising, which was a big change for me. I was beginning to get some serious back and neck aches from being stooped over and painting, so I started exercising to try and get some more strength and better posture. So far, so good.

As far as nails went…it was kind of slow. I haven’t done much work I really loved this year. I find being out of Japan has really put a damper on my creative spirit. I find a lot of inspiration locally in Indian design, though. Mostly by applying ridiculous amounts of rhinestones onto nails. ;)

But creatively, it’s been a kind of meh. I don’t want to insult any local folks and the following is totally just my opinion, but I find the creative energy in Singapore is somewhat lacking. There’s just not a lot of artsy stuff going on here. I mean, there’s a couple boutique-type streets with way overpriced hipster tat ($400 messenger bags, anyone?) but art is not a big part of daily life here. As a”kiasu” kind of place, Singapore seems to be about making money and one-upping the people around you by having the most material goods. High-end shopping is a national hobby. Get a Rolex watch, a brown Louis Vuitton bag, and a Mercedes if you can afford it. Those are the things to aspire to.

Needless to say, as a gal who has a dollar-store bag and a flea market watch, I am not down with this. I’m happy with my simple band of gold wedding ring, ancient Nokia phone and flip-flops. To be fair, I have met some lovely people here, but the kiasu/brand zombie thing drives me crazy. All these things sort of combine to put a damper on my creative spark, somehow. I find I do much better work when I’m happy, relaxed, and have creative people around me. But I’m going to keep at it and try to work through the artistic doldrums. Luckily, I do recharge my batteries through travel, and living here makes a great base to visit Southeast Asia. So there’s a counterpoint to the negative stuff. :)

All right, enough rambling! I know most of you guys are here to see pretty nails, not read my crazed musings, right? I’m staying in with Mr. NTMG tonight, but that’s no excuse not to have blingy nails for New Year’s Eve!

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Wishing everybody a very healthy and happy start to 2015! May your year be filled with glitter and joy. :D

Posted in Holiday Nails, Nail Art | Tagged | 8 Comments

Merry Christmas 2014!

A very merry Christmas to all those who are celebrating!

Here’s some nail art for the day (click to enlarge):

Nail Art Holiday 2014

Hope everyone is having a joyous, peaceful day with your loved ones. I’m off to Cambodia for a little holiday adventure, but I’ll see you when I get back!

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