Pneumonia and Whooping Cough..Oh My!

I’ve been sidelined from nail painting, due to a super unlucky combo of getting 1) pneumonia and 2) whooping cough. I feel like I’m collecting random childhood diseases. :P

NeverTooMuchGlitter PSA: It may seem extreme, but if everyone around you seems sick and you live in a city, consider wearing a surgical mask when you’re out and about. I use public transportation every day, and there was a lot of coughing  going on. I didn’t think much of it at the time, until I got really unwell. I also didn’t get a booster vaccine against the whooping cough, so it snuck in while I had pneumonia. If you’re not into vaccines for whatever reason, then my mask advice goes double. Coughing until you vomit and bruise/crack ribs is really awful. I am walking proof of that!

Since chemical exposure is out of the question for my poor sad lungs, I’ve been spending my downtime practicing new techniques like watercolor, one-stroke, foiling and calligraphy. I tried to sneak in a little Konad and it started me coughing, so I’m behaving myself. Really and truly.

Luckily, I have a lot of already-painted base nails in my stash, so I got to just have fun and start decorating.

Stay well, everyone! I’m very torn on vaccines, since they are definitely tested on animals and benefit Big Pharma, but the diseases they prevent also cause a lot of suffering. Best advice: prevention! Wear a mask, wash your hands, and dodge sick people as best you can. I wish I’d followed my own advice! But I hope to be back on my feet in a couple of weeks and see you then.

Romantic Nails 2015 by NTMG IMG_2673 IMG_2607 IMG_2598

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March 2015 Roundup

Whoa, it’s almost April already. Hard to keep track of time in a seasonless place! I’m zipping off for a short beach break tomorrow, which is very exciting. I also have pneumonia, which is not so exciting. So I’m headed off with steroid inhaler, antibiotics and bathing suit. Not ideal but it happens.

I’ve been doing some custom work (hello, spring brides!) and a lot of swatch/testing with a large bunch of pigments from a company called Kolortek. Here’s the second half of the swatches, featuring blues, purples, pinks and metallics. Click to enlarge!

These were pretty nice, a few problem children in the group but most performed  very well. The metallic silvers are opaque enough to be used for stamping.

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Lots of interesting possibilities here. I sometimes add pigment to my Konad stamping polishes, if they’re too sheer. I’m not sure if the bottles I got were just duds, but Konad put out some very disappointing silver and gold shades that were near impossible to use. With some pigment mixed in, they’re workable. But still a big thumbs down for those Konad metallics! They should have done better, pretty much being the inventors of stamping.

I’ve also got (my personal fave!) interference pigments to play with. Those are the ones that look white but reflect different colors over a dark base. But being that I am coughing like crazy all the time, I’m taking it easy. I do wear a mask whenever I work with pigments, but measuring out powder + being overtaken by a coughing spell= colorful dust everywhere.

And a couple photos of the nail art I’ve been working on recently. For some reason, I’ve been on a big Japanese 3d nail kick (yes, I know that’s pretty much all the time) but it’s been especially frenzied lately. Something about spring makes me want to stick even *more* stuff onto my nails. Not quite sure why, but there’s what I’ve come up with recently.

IMG_2569  Purple Goth Lolita IMG_2440 IMG_2461 IMG_2497 IMG_2558

Marsala BurgundyMonopoly Nails NTMG

All right, Typhoid Mary is over n out. Hope everyone who’s celebrating has a lovely Easter and Passover! And stay away from people who cough a lot (like me at the moment.)

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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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