Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sneak Peek At Vibrant Vinyls

By now, most of you have heard about my new endeavor, Vibrant Vinyls. I'm working hard behind the scenes to design the website, product line, and shop. I'm thrilled with the quality of vinyl I am using and the designs are coming along really well.
 I'll be opening with a basic line of Nail Art Vinyls before I incorporate nail art decals & stencils. For this mani, I used 'Wide Straights' which are one of the three available sizes of 'The Straights'. All of the Nail Art Vinyls will be sold in sheets of 100 and there will be discounts available when you buy multiple sheets. I will also offer free standard shipping on all orders no matter how small and all vinyl will be made to order by hand.
The Nail Art Vinyls are such a breeze to use. For this mani I painted one coat of Sally Hansen's 'Celeb City' which is my go-to silver. On top of that I used one coat of Funky Fingers 'Sand & Stilettos' which is packed with sparkly holo micro-glitter. I topped it off with Seche Vite so I had a smoother texture to apply the Nail Art Vinyls to. The glitter is quite gritty and I feel like that might have affected how well the vinyl stuck down.

I gave the base about 20 minutes to be sure it was fully dry before applying my vinyls. Because you will pull the vinyls up while the polish is still wet it's best to work nail to nail. The vinyls peeled up off the paper backing really easily with a pair of tweezers and clung right to the nail when I applied them. I re-positioned a few with no problems. After laying the vinyls on the nail I smooth them out with my fingertips to make sure there are no air bubbles or gaps under them. I use an orange wood stick to make sure the edges are pushed down all the way to my cuticles then I painted on my KleanColor 'Metallic Red'. Always make sure to pull off the Nail Art Vinyls while your polish is still wet. Tweezers are a big help for this. My vinyl is top quality so unlike cheap brands, you won't ever see any sticky residue left behind on your nail. Some brands will instruct you to stick their vinyl on your skin and peel it up before applying it to the nail. You'll never need to do that with Vibrant Vinyls. The last step was topping off my mani with Seche Vite. I always recommend using a quick dry top coat any time you are topping nail art.

I'll be sure to keep you updated on Vibrant Vinyls and be sure to like the Facebook page for a chance to win some Vibrant Vinyls of your choice. I'm hoping to be open for business soon!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Business Cards from minted.

You might have heard a few whispers flying around that I am in the process of opening up a shop. Well it's true and I couldn't be more excited! I'll be opening with a line of basic nail art vinyls and I plan to add nail art decals & stencils as well as permanent decals for cars, glass, metal, etc. in the near future.

One of the things on my agenda is having business cards made to include with each order. I was told about minted. which has a wide variety of beautiful designs that are both stylish and professional. I've heard great things about the quality of their papers so they are my first choice printer for my small business.

When looking at their available business cards via the Paperie category, you can sort cards by profession, gender, style, price, and more to find exactly what suits your needs. I am looking for something classy and feminine while embracing the theme of my shop. It was simple to preview cards with the 'quick look' feature to see the available colors and options for each card design.
The first nail art vinyl I designed to sell is a chevron design so I was drawn to the 'bold contact business cards' when I seen the chevron design on the back. I also love how the front looks super clean & classy while the back is fun & funky.

As you can see above, this card is available in four different colors which all give off a totally different look. You can also choose your type of paper from three available options.
 When you click 'Personalize' you are taken to a customization page for the front of the card. It was easy to enter any & all info I wanted to include in the text box with options to change the font, color, & size of the text. I wasn't able to edit the large 'Contact Me' area where I will want my shop name 'Vibrant Vinyls' but it's not a big deal because I can enter my request into the 'Special Instructions' area on another page. A minted. designer will make the change before sending me the digital proof to review before my order is sent to the printer.
 The personalization doesn't stop there! On the next page you are able to choose from a variety of patterns, solid colors, and even your own photo or logo for the back of your card. I definitely want the chevron pattern since it fits my shop so well.
 On the preview page you will see a rough preview of the card you created before any special requests. I haven't placed my order just yet so I haven't received a proof with my shop name on it to show you but I will be sure to update when I do!

~UPDATE~
Here's the proofs I received the day after I created my cards...


I was really happy with how they looked so I sent them off to the printer.
They were shipped out just a couple days later and a few more after that they arrived in the mail. I was really impressed with how quick of a process it was. I thought I would be waiting a while but was pleasantly surprised. The cards look great in person and I'm excited to start handing them out!
  Disclosure: The owner of this blog is compensated with free products and services to provide a review of. Even though I receive compensation for posts or advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those products or services. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.Any paid advertising will be identified as such.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holiday Crafts, Gifts, Candy, & More from Oriental Trading - Review

Oriental Trading is best known for their party supplies and crafts but they have a large selection of toys, novelties, gifts, and home decor as well. With a stock of over 40,000 products they are able to meet the needs of individuals, businesses, educators, non-profits, schools, and more. You can order their products online or via one of their colorful catalogs (Request One Here). Personally, I love the simplicity of ordering on their website. Everything is easy to find and they have several nice categories for browsing including a seasonal Christmas Store. Aside from making all their holiday products easy to find, the Christmas Store also features recipes, craft ideas, and decoration ideas.

If you've been a regular reader of the blog you have probably seen me review for Oriental Trading a few times now. They're one of my favorite companies to work with and I always enjoy the products. Last year around this same time I reviewed several of their holiday decor items (HERE) that I used to decorate my house again this year. I have no doubt I'll be enjoying them for years to come!

Since I was all set on decor, I decided to order some fun crafts and gifts so I can spread the holiday cheer outside my home this year.
The first thing I picked was a set of "The Legend of the Christmas Owl" Pins on Cards. Each 1 1/4" metal pin features a wide-eyed owl with a Santa hat and is on a 3 1/2" cardboard card. The card reads: "The Legend of the Christmas Owl. I'm a little Christmas Owl, as cute as I can be. I won't say much while I'm here, but my eyes have much to see. When Santa starts to check his list, you know he checks it twice. He sends an owl to be his eyes and see whooo's naughty and nice! So, every time you see an owl with his eyes so wide and bright... be on your best behavior for that owl is Santa's sight!"

They are sold in packs of one dozen and come already assembled and ready to share. A couple of the owls had fallen off the posts in the first package I received but Oriental Trading's customer service was happy to replace the whole package at no cost to me as soon as I let them know. They even express shipped them to me! I ended up with extras to share which was really nice. I included these in my holiday cards, packages I sent to friends, secret santa exchanges, attached them to gifts, and I will use them as stocking stuffers too!
 The next thing to catch my eye was this adorable Christmas Owl Ornament Craft Kit. As you might have guessed, I love owls and they seem to have gotten really popular this year. I'm absolutely loving it and so are my other friends who love owls. Like many of Oriental Trading's craft kits this includes enough pieces to make a dozen ornaments so I knew I wanted to make these for my friends. Most of my friends are located in different states and even other countries so I have to mail their holiday gifts. These cute little owls are made of lightweight foam pieces so they didn't cost much to ship. That means I was able to send gifts to more people which made me happy.
The package contains 12 separately packaged kits that contain all the pieces you will need as well as detailed instructions with a helpful photo. These were really easy and fun to make. All of the foam pieces already have a sticky adhesive on the back so all you have to do is peel them up and stick. I only had to break out the glue gun for the jewel on the end of the hat and the eyes.
A really fun gift I made for some of my nail polish loving pals used these Clear DIY Star-Shaped Christmas Ornaments. I swirled a few colors of nail polish inside each one but the possibilities for these are endless. You could use acrylic craft paint, crayons, markers, glitter, foam pieces, trinkets, toys, tinsel, etc.
Each plastic ornament is 3" in diameter and they come in packs of.. you guessed it.. a dozen. Each ornament opens up to two halves so it's super easy to add your paint or other items. If you are using paint or polish make sure it's fully dry before closing the ornament up. Adding a ribbon or hook for hanging helps keep the ornament together and really completes the look.
I looked at this Glass Jar Set every time I have ordered from Oriental Trading in the past and I considered getting it every time because it's just so beautiful and versitile. I finally decided to grab it up before it was too late and I'm so happy I did. The jars are just gorgeous and they sit together so well. These can be used for so many different things and would be a lovely addition to any party, candy bar, or in your seasonal decor. I plan to fill them with different things depending on the season. Halloween candy & plastic spiders, Christmas candy or ornaments, red white & blue items for the Fourth of July, maybe some sand and shells in the summer. I might even put them in my bathroom to hold my bath bombs & salts for a while. Being glass they are easily washed out and reused. Jars come in 3 sizes: 8 5/8" 16 oz., 9 1/2" 21 oz. and 11" 24 oz.
 Here they are filled up with an assortment of candy from Oriental Trading including Hershey's Miniatures Holiday Christmas Candy Assortment, Mars Minis Holiday Chocolate Candy Mix, and Lifesavers Holiday Mix. I ate a few of the candies during the photo shoot and they are fresh and delicious. These make great stocking stuffers and additions to gifts. They also look great out in a bowl, dish, or as seen above, in jars.
 The candy also makes a perfect filler for the holiday mugs you can find at Oriental Trading. These are adorable gifts and although I didn't think to add it in photos, sticking a packet of hot cocoa mix in would be even cuter! The Snowman Mug with Shovel Spoon holds 18 oz. of your favorite hot beverage. It's a little hard to see against the black backdrop but the snowman holds his shovel in his "hand"le. hehe! Perfect for stirring in hot cocoa or marshmallows!
 I couldn't choose just one since I love cute mugs (I refuse to use my plain boring ones since I have these) so I also picked this Penguin Mug which is just as cute as his frosty friend above. I love how his little wing is giving me a wave and he just looks so happy. This one holds 16 oz. of your favorite hot beverage, candy, or whatever your heart desires.

As always, I loved working with Oriental Trading again and hope to do so again in the spring.
Be sure to head over to their website right now because you can find a lot of these items plus many more up to 75% off during their Cyber Week sale and today only (12/2/2014) you can score free shipping on any order!
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 Disclosure: The owner of this blog is compensated with free products and services to provide a review of. Even though I receive compensation for posts or advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those products or services. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.Any paid advertising will be identified as such.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Turkey Nails Using Acrylic Paint

Goodness, it's been almost a week since I posted last. It's not that I forget about it, I've just been in a slump lately. I have 4 other posts started just not finished. Terrible habit to have, let me tell you!
 I absolutely had to share my latest mani with you guys because it came out so cute and I tried out a new medium I'm excited to share!
All the holiday gift sets are showing up in stores and I found this big pack of acrylic paints at Walmart for just $9.98. I have been wanting to try acrylic paint for my nail art for several months now but I just never got around to picking out colors. Usually these sell for $0.60-$1.00 per bottle so this was too good of a deal to pass up. Even if you aren't using them for nail art, they are great for crafts of all sorts. I even picked up a few canvases to paint.
 These were the first things I did while playing around with the paint. On all nails (above and below) the base color is nail polish but the rest is acrylic paint from the set. All nails are topped with Seche Vite. The paint dries matte and will wash right off with water so a top coat is a must if you want to save your design.
The acrylic paint was so much easier to work with than polish. It doesn't dry up so quickly so you have a lot more time to work with and you can add a few drops of water if it does start to dry and it comes right back to life. I came back to paint that sat for an hour and it was still workable. It slides on way smoother, blends better, and if you make a mistake, you can wipe it right off with water! Another thing I loved (and that is kind of surprising) is that although the paint doesn't dry up fast on your palette, it does dry fast on the nail. No more 20 minute waits between steps so I can complete a design in much less time. If you want to know more about using acrylic paint for nails I'd suggest (this post) over on tillynailart's blog. 

You can expect to see me using acrylic paint in a lot more of my designs!
 (These products were not sent to me by their maker, brand, or a sponsor to review.I purchased the products myself or acquired them on my own.As always,the views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Retro Owl Inspired Nails

So, by now most people know I'm obsessed with two things... nails and owls. I've only used owls in my nail designs once before which is really surprising since I love them so much. Even then, it was just a stamp which you can see in (THIS) post.
I knew I wanted to freehand some owls this time but I didn't have any specific design or colors in mind. I had also just got some awesome new chevron nail vinyls from NailVinyls.com owned by my pal, Linda that I was itching to use.
Last week I found this adorable retro owl place mat from Kmart.com I just had to have for my nail desk. I'm especially fond of the dark brown owl with the orange and teal accents so I decided to use it as my inspiration.
I always practice on a few swatch sticks to make sure everything looks as good together on the nails as it does in my head. Seeing how cute they looked got me even more excited to try it out on  my nails.
 The owls came out pretty cute and I think the chevrons came out just perfect. I've used cheaper brands of nail sticker guides before and they worked alright but these vinyls worked so much better. During application they hugged right to the nail, stayed stuck down during polishing, and pulled off super smoothly. I didn't have any spots where polish got under the vinyl on any of my nails like I usually do with the cheaper ones. Now I wish I had got more during her recent sale!
The polishes I used in this mani are:

Sinful Colors - Nirvana
Bonita - No name but it's from the Essence Collection
Sinful Colors - Feel The Vibe
Milani - Quick Teal
Avon - Sunshine
Seche Vite
 (These products were not sent to me by their maker, brand, or a sponsor to review.I purchased the products myself or acquired them on my own.As always,the views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Simple Scallop Nail Art Over Color Club Halo Hues

Color Club holo's pretty much speak for themselves. They are packed with shimmery, sparkly, rainbowy, holographic magic. If I had to use only one kind of polish for the rest of my life, it would be these! I've had these three colors for about 2 years now and have used them again and again. I've found myself returning to these more often than any other polishes in my collection of about 450.
 Pictured above is 2 coats each of Over The Moon, Miss Bliss, and Eternal Beauty topped with Seche Vite. I wore this mani for a couple of days before I did the scallop art on top of it. I always get so many compliments on these and people always ask where they can find them. I got mine on Amazon, by the way. The holo's are so stunning on their own I almost left them alone. I didn't get bored with the mani or anything but I was just bored in general over the weekend so I had to play some more. ;-)
Scallop art is one of my favorite simpler techniques because it looks so soft and it's a lot of fun to do. I used Sinful Shine 'Wisp' which is a white cream in between the Color Club holo's to give the nails a bit of dimension.
Typical me forgot to take a photo during the process but here's a great tutorial I found over on A.M. Polishes!
    (These products were not sent to me by their maker, brand, or a sponsor to review.I purchased the products myself or acquired them on my own.As always,the views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Foxy Nail Art (Step-by-Step)

A couple of weeks ago I got a great deal on a big lot of 68 bottles of polish. There are so many I have lined up just waiting to be tried but one of the first ones I was drawn to was the orange shimmer by Revlon (Top Speed) called 'Charmed' I used as the base for this mani. I'm usually not a big orange fan but the shimmer in it is so pretty. And of course, it's even sparklier in person. It's also perfect for fall!
Although owls do own my heart, I have a love for foxes as well. I picked up this mug ($2.98 at Walmart) a month or so ago I just adore. I also seen a similar nail design done by @WinnasNails that inspired me to give this mani a try.
I started with 2 coats on Revlon (Top Speed) 'Charmed' and let it dry really well. Man, that's a gorgeous color!
After the base color was fully dry I used single chevron nail guides (Purchased on Amazon) in the center of each nail. When using guides or tape, be sure the edges are pushed down all the way especially near the cuticle. Smooth out any bumps or air bubbles to ensure no polish gets under the guide.
When working with tape or guides it is best to use a polish that is opaque in one coat so you can remove the guide right away while the polish is still wet. I used Sinful Colors 'Snow Me White' which did require 2 coats so I had to let the first coat dry before painting on the second coat. I did remove the guides immediately after painting on the second coat while it was still wet so it still came out okay but the lines would have been a little smoother had I used a one-coater polish and pulled the guide off right away.
Once the white tips were completely dry I used Sinful Colors 'Black on Black' for the faces. I used dotting tools (Purchased on Amazon) for the eyes and nose but bobby pins & toothpicks work great too. For the whiskers I used a thin detail brush (Purchased on Amazon).
The last step was the ears which I had a really hard time with. They were a lot harder to get straight than I expected. How hard could triangles really be, right? I used Sinful Colors 'Snow Me White' with the detail brush mentioned above. The photo below is my non-dominant hand which is usually my better hand but I feel like I messed the ears up on them. They were smaller at first but a little lop-sided so I added more white to try to even them out and that became too much in my opinion.
This was one of the rare occasions when my dominant (right) hand actually turned out better than my non-dominant hand. The photo at the top of this post is my dominant hand and I prefer the ears smaller like that. Once the details had fully dried (to prevent smearing) I topped the nails with a coat of Seche Vite.
    (These products were not sent to me by their maker, brand, or a sponsor to review.I purchased the products myself or acquired them on my own.As always,the views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.)