Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2015!

Wishing everyone a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Though we don’t celebrate it here in Southeast Asia, I am a big fan of phony green things and pots o’ gold.

I had to do a bit of nail-art recycling from past years, since I’m having a little stiff shoulder problem which is flaring up when I paint. So here is a nail art collage with (mostly) previously posted items, but I hope you can still find a festive design that will bring a smile to your face. :)

St Patrick's Day

Hope everyone has a day filled with luck, gold coins and green beer. Happy St. Patty’s, all!

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First Look at Kolortek Swatches

It’s a colorful day! I got a massive amount of samples from Kolortek, an industrial pigment supplier who doesn’t test on animals. They are based in China, but export for Western markets and seem to have all their (cruelty-free) US and EU standards up to date. Yay for that!

I started off first by swatching the 6000 series of 48 colors. The pigments were mostly very smooth and had good opacity. There were a couple problem children in the yellows/yellow greens pigments with some nubbly burr-type flecks (yes, I know that’s not a good scientific term) in the finish, but it was mostly eased out with topcoat. Some of the metallics were opaque enough to be used as stamping polish for any Konad/stamping fans. I didn’t actually try it out for stamping yet, but will do so soon!

Here’s the spread:

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I just mixed a pea-sized amount of pigment with 8-10 drops of regular clear polish, mixed them up, and swatched away!

Here’s a little illustration:

NTMG pigment

I swatched all 48 shades on a palette and currently have a bunch of colors on my fingers and toes to test the wear, see if the colors stain, fade, etc. When Mr. NTMG is not looking, I will use his fingers and toes for swatching too. That will cover 40 of the 48 shades. ;)

Kolortek No 1

These swatches have a coat of Seche Vite topcoat. Most of the shades are fairly smooth, but you can see some issues with the Blue Green and Lemon Yellow. There is heavy air bubbling and some burrs on the surface, but most of the colors were very smooth and easy to work with. Other brands of pigments get irregularities in the surface- this is not a Kolortek issue. This is pretty minor, considering how many of them performed very well.

The good news is, the pigments are great. The bad news is, Kolortek is an industrial supplier only, meaning their smallest order is 1kg of pigment. In other words, enough for several lifetimes supply. They will work with a 500g minimum in some cases. I just wanted to show the many amazing colors of cosmetic pigments available and how they translate into nail polish.

And..my standard warning. Wear your mask when working with pigments as it’s easy to inhale the tiny particles. Treat your lungs kindly- they do a lot of work for you! And #2, DO NOT USE ARTISTS PIGMENTS ON YOUR SKIN. They are dirt cheap and incredibly vivid, but they are also highly toxic. Stick to cosmetic grade pigments and if in doubt, don’t put a pigment on your skin or nails, and that goes double for eyes and lips.

That’s all for now- will be back with some updates on the durability and staining in a few days, plus more swatches!

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Massive Swatch Project Underway!

Whoa…I have just gotten dozens of pigments to swatch! I’m underway now, but with over 50 shades in one series, it’s a big undertaking. Check back in the next couple days for a review and to see the new pretty colors. :)

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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:

CHinese New Year

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.

Miracle Balm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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