Review of Madam Glam Color Change Polish: Love on Top

I never imagined that I would get into gel polishes because I don’t like how much effort it takes to remove it, and I change my nail polish often enough to not make that time investment worthwhile, but there is something to be said when it comes to 30 second drying times that allow you to move on with your day right away!  I found the most interesting variety of gels at Madam Glam.  They’re on to the latest trends in color, and in addition to their solid color collection, they have the most beautiful thermal, magnetic, and glow in the dark polishes that I have seen!  One look at their offerings, and my wishlist was full!

To start, I tried out one of their thermal crelly colors called Love on Top.  It has three different sized silver hexagonal glitters suspended in a beautiful base that is magenta pink in cold temperatures and a white jelly color when warm.

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Love on Top from Madam Glam.

Just from looking at the bottle, I loved the polish.  It is super ingenious of them to have the polish color swatched underneath a clear plastic button on top of the handle so that you can see the exact color of the polish inside without having to open it up.  It comes in a 10 mL bottle which is a little on the small size, but this is a specialty polish that gives a lot of bang for the buck.  I guess they do this so that they can keep the prices of the polish the same across the entire line as they do offer 15 mL bottles for some other colors.

The brush inside is a good size that is comparable to the width of the kind in an OPI bottle.  You should easily be able to paint each nail in 2-3 strokes.  The formula of the polish is fairly thick so the gel stays in place once you paint it on.  The coverage is excellent where I could have easily used one coat of color, but I opted to paint two coats more a more opaque white color.  Each coat cures in 30 seconds under a UV LED lamp.

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When the temperature rises, this polish is a white jelly.

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Colder conditions make this polish go bright Barbie pink.

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The perfect gradient is achieved when the tips are dipped in cold water. This also happens naturally if you have long nails.

Thanks to the thicker formula, the glitter stays suspended in the polish and does not settle to the bottom of the bottle.  The glitter disbursement is fairly even so there is no need to fish out larger pieces to even out the coverage.  If you have ever worked with polishes that contain multiple sized glitters, you know how challenging a perfectly spaced distribution can be, so Madam Glam’s version is a dream come true.

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Side by side color transition photos.

Love on Top is a gorgeous color when hot or cold, and the color shifting abilities of the polish will keep you staring at your nails all day long.  People are wowed by the effect, and it doesn’t take extreme temperatures to get the colors to change.  The glitter pieces add the right amount of sparkle, and the best part is that because this is a gel polish, it lasts for weeks.  The thermal effect also makes you think that you got two colors for the price of one, so it is definitely a good investment.

The mutability of the polish made me think of butterflies, so I added some stamping on top of my manicure.  It is still a beautiful color either way.

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Butterflies and flowers go along perfectly with the gradient base.

Overall I was very impressed by the quality of this polish.  I might be a gel convert yet!  Color change polish is perfect for those who don’t like committing to a single color for a long period of time, and Madam Glam’s version is easy to apply and provides instant nail art with hardly any dry time required.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

Love on Top sells for $19.95 USD and can be found at the link below.  Madam Glam always has a coupon code listed on their home page, and their specials change regularly, so be sure to check out their latest offer before you shop.  Happy polishing!

http://www.madamglam.com/chameleons-gels/love-on-top.html

Thanksgiving Cornucopia Nails

It’s funny how I yearn to paint more freehand designs these days.  I used to always favor simple nail art in interest of time, but now I don’t mind spending hours paying attention to details and shading.  With such high aspirations in mind, it only made sense that I try to paint a cornucopia in time for Thanksgiving.

I often have a hard time getting started with these projects, so I started off by painting my nails a nice gold color.

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Ambitious by Formula X is a matte metallic gold shade.

I figured that the lightest shade would be the best to use as a base color because anything darker would easily show up over it.

I picked out three more autumnal shades for the background of my design which I planned to smoosh together, and I chose a few extra polish colors which I used for the fruit in the cornucopia.

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Polishes used from left to right: Dusk by Formula X for Sephora, Caliente Coral by Sephora by OPI, Espresso Your Style by OPI, Legend by Formula X for Sephora, S’more Fun by China Glaze, and NY139 by Nicka K.

For the smoosh technique, I used a large stamper and dotted on my fall colors.  I used Ambitious, Dusk, Caliente Coral, and Espresso Your Style for the mix.

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Haphazard array of fall nail polish colors on my stamper head.

To achieve the smoosh look, I stamped the blend of colors directly onto my nails.  Continue to dot polish on the stamper and apply it to each nail until you are satisfied with the result.

It is recommended that you use a liquid latex peel off barrier around your nail beds for easier clean up because things can get messy during this process.  I still had to use cotton swabs dipped in acetone to clean up any excess polish on my skin.

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After clean up, a beautiful fall background is achieved.

What I love about the smoosh effect is how it almost looks like I painted leaves, but in reality it took hardly any effort!  I’m also just a little bit proud of my results because this was my first attempt at a smooshy nail design.  After doing nail art for four years now, it’s hard to believe that there are techniques that I still haven’t tried yet.

I applied top coat at this stage because I had to go out to dinner, so I continued with the painting of the cornucopia when I returned home.  I’m grateful that nothing got smudged or chipped while I was out!

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The cornucopia was done mostly with blends of craft smart acrylic paint with a detail brush. The bodies of the apples and grapes were made with some nail polish applied with a dotting tool, and selected grapes were outlined with acrylic paint so that they didn’t look like a blob of color.

I probably should have sketched out my design prior to painting it because it would have made arranging my pumpkins and fruit easier to do, and it would have saved some paint as I opted to paint whole items in the background first so I could paint the foreground items on top of them without having to worry about placement right away.

In the end, I think I spent about 3 hours painting all the cornucopia elements.  I had wanted to make it look more bountiful, but I got lazy and figured that I got my point across at this stage so I wrapped it up.

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So thankful that I finished the design without any horrible mishaps!

This design holds the record for the most time I have spent painting my nails.  Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it was definitely one of my most intricate hand painted works.

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I didn’t have the energy to paint corn, so I’m holding it in my hand instead. Candy corn counts, right?

I didn’t mind putting the effort into painting this, but I’m sad that I didn’t use a peel off base coat first so I could save my work of art in the end.  I guess I’ll have to live vicariously through my photos!  The saving grace is that I don’t have to worry about random nails losing their polish during my daily activities!

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!  Happy polishing!

Burgundy and Gold French Manicure

I had to go tame with the nail art for a concert over the weekend, so I stayed classy, San Diego with this simple French manicure in classic fall colors.

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I started by painting my nails with Define Good… by China Glaze.

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After allowing my base color to dry, I painted the tips of my nails with Wrapped in Ribbon from Finger Paints.

I did not paint the tip of my ring finger so that I could turn it into an accent nail with some stamping.

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I used the pattern from the bottom row, 4th image from the left on plate BPL-024 from Born Pretty Store to create a fall looking accent nail.

Initially I stamped the full image from the plate but then removed extraneous parts around a single vine from the stamper with some tape.  The idea was to let the vine curve along the tip of the nail in place of the classic French tip.

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I used Ya Qin An polish in Gold to do the stamping.

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As an afterthought, I applied Rich Gold from Sephora + Pantone Universe over the entire ring finger for some additional bling.

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Macro shot from the other side so you can see the detail of the vine creeping up the side of my nail.

The look is elegant with just enough sparkle for the holidays.

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More than anything, I wanted to take advantage of the fact that my nails have been growing out longer and healthier since my departure from a job that required some very hand abusive activities!  It was nice to be able to paint some French tips, which is something that I haven’t done in a long time.  Now let’s hope all this cold and dry weather doesn’t ruin my hands instead!

Happy polishing!

 

Thermal Manicure: Butterflies and Flowers

I  have been seeing so much ugliness online lately, so even though this manicure is out of season in the States, I wanted to create something that looked beautiful.

I took advantage of a thermal gel polish I recently bought from Madam Glam for the occasion.  I’ve been dying to use this but wanted to wait until my nails grew out a little more so the color change effect would be more noticeable.

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Love on Top is a pretty thermal crelly polish from Madam Glam that turns white when warm and magenta when cold.

The color change effect works great with flower and butterfly images, so I used 3 different images from Cheeky Jumbo Plate 2 to create my design.

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For this manicure, I used the single hibiscus flower in the top right corner of the plate, the butterfly image on the far left 5 rows down, and the combined hibiscus/butterfly image 6 rows down, 2nd from the right.

I stamped the butterflies first on my index and pinky fingers, erasing parts of the image with tape so that they would only cover half of my nail at a diagonal.  I stamped the full butterfly image onto my thumb (not shown).  The single hibiscus was used on the other half of the index and pinky nails while the entire image of the combined butterfly and flower design was stamped onto my middle and ring fingernails, flipping the image on one nail so that the nails didn’t look exactly the same.  I also added a single small butterfly to the middle finger to fill some empty space.

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Stamping was done with b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black.

I was quite pleased with how this turned out, and I’ve been entertained by watching the colors shift back and forth in different temperatures.

Hope you all have had a great week!  Happy polishing!

 

 

Election Day Voter Nails

It has been a crazy couple of weeks, not just for me, but for the nation.  I went to the polls immediately after I finished doing these nails, but I didn’t have time to post the tutorial until today.

I wanted an almost graffiti like look, so I went for a splatter technique in classic red, white, and blue colors.  Go USA!  This method was done with coffee stirrers that I cut in half so that the small opening could fill with nail polish easily (see the bottom right photo below for the size).  Simply brush the end of the straw with the color that you want to use and then blow through the other end to splatter the paint all over the place.  Things will get super messy, so make sure you protect all surrounding surfaces before starting!  Keep in mind that thin polish formulas work best for the actual splattering, and the farther away you hold your hand from the straw, the finer the splatter will be.

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  1. Paint your nails white.  I used wild white ways from Essence Cosmetics.
  2. Brush some red polish (And A Cherry On Top from Sephora by OPI) onto the end of a small straw or coffee stirrer and quickly blow through the other end to splatter the color onto your nails.  Repeat until you are satisfied with the coverage.
  3. Repeat the splatter technique with blue (royal blue from b.m.c. nail lacquer) and white (White Hot by Sephora by OPI) polish.  Obviously, white does not show up much, but it does look good when sprayed over large patches of red and blue.
  4. Be prepared for an intense clean up session!  I painted liquid latex around my cuticles, but I also washed my hands with a pumice scrub to get some of the polish off before wiping up the rest with acetone and a cotton pad.
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All cleaned up! Red, white, and blue patriotic speckled effect.

For the lettering, I cheated and used a stamping plate.  I seriously wish that companies would offer a full alphabetic plate, but I managed to make BM-426 from Bundle Monster work for this mani.

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Plate BM-426 from Bundle Monster. Vote can spelled from love and hate. How appropriate.

Because the letters have negative space, I filled in these parts with silver glitter polish (Silver Bells from Finger Paints) and did some reverse stamping.

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I used a clear stamper with Konad Special Nail Polish in Black to first pick up the letter from the plate, then I colored in the empty part with silver glitter nail polish and let it dry completely before transferring it to my nail.

Optional: Use a detail brush with black acrylic paint to correct and/or thicken up any lines as necessary.  I touched up some of the lettering after the stamping was done to make sure the word was visible enough even though most of the stamping came out perfectly.

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Repeat these steps until you spell out the word you want.  Then go out and vote!

I know that there are quite a few people disappointed in the results of the election.  I’m not going to voice my opinion here because this is a nail blog, not a political forum, so if you want to know my views, please talk to me in person.  It is our responsibility as a nation to try to get along with each other and accept the results instead of insulting people and their choices for supporting the “wrong” candidate.  Our voting system is the way it is for a reason, and all we can do is have faith that our president elect will make good decisions in the best interest for the country.  If not, we will have another chance to elect someone else in four years.

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People fought hard for the right to vote, so go out and register if you are able to do so.  It may not seem like one vote matters, but you never know how things might have turned out if everyone who could vote cast a ballot!

Take care, and happy polishing!