Orange Cream Dream

S&M 12 June 2017

This summery design was created using Gelish Orange Cream Dream from the Candyland collection, with a marble design in the corner made from the following Gelish colors:

I applied and cured two coats of Orange Cream Dream first, then added a third coat but did not cure.  In the corner of the nail I laid down two lines of My Yacht, My Rules.  In between the lines I put the blue or purple color, and marbled the lines using a liner brush. Then I cured for 60 seconds, since the polish was 2+ coats thick in the corner. Finally, I topped it off with Gelish top coat. Easy-peasy!

Have you tried marbling gel?



Gelish Collections List Updated!

I just updated the master list of Gelish polishes to include the Beauty and the Beast spring collection.


Photo Credit: Esther’s Nail Center

And, stay tuned over the coming weeks for updates to that page – I’ll be linking all my collection photos and nail design photos to that page so you can not only reference a color name, item #, or release date, but also see the color sample or a nail design using that color.

Rocking My Stocking


This is Gelish Rocking My Stocking, of course, from the Wrapped In Glamour collection. I used a light gray from Apple Barrel Paints to hand paint the stripes and dots.

As usual, I loved this Gelish collection when I bought it, and love it even more now that I’ve experimented with the colors. Just a beautiful collection, and it holds up even past the holidays… I can totally see a client requesting this color for Valentine’s Day.

Let’s Get Frosty!



Happy new year!

This is Gelish Let’s Get Frosty over Nailite’s UV gel polish called Sand (which I believe is a retired color).  I used ASP Form-a-Nail nail forms to add a protective layer to my natural nails using Nailite’s Sand, then applied 3 coats of Let’s Get Frosty.  (Note that Let’s Get Frosty is more silver than you see in the photo above; applying it over the colored gel altered the final shade a bit.)

The photo was taken after about a week, so you can see how well these held up. I was really happy with these; I kept them on for about a week and a half, and the only reason I re-did them is that I wanted to have time to do a new set before I go back to work in the new year.

I love my Gelish! What about you? Are you wearing any colors from the Gelish winter or Holiday collections?

Perfect Landing!


This design was done with the color Perfect Landing by Gelish, from the Fall 2016 Sweetheart Squadron collection.  I stamped the nail art using Fingerpaints Still Life – Is Good! and Born Pretty stamping plate BP-L 003 for the background, then Fingerpaints Calligraphic Calico and stamping plate BP-L 008 for the leaves on top.

Note that this design is over a week old: a testament to how well Gelish stands up to everyday life. Over the week plus that I had this manicure, I did all my normal daily housework as well as some painting on the outside of my house. In the end, the only reason I wanted to take it off was the growth at the cuticle, which is visible in this photo.

So far I’ve used three of the six colors from this collection and they’re all beautiful. What do you think? Have you used any of the colors from this collection?


S&M 13 February 2016

This is Gelish Firecracker, from the Red Matters Collection.  I used Cashmere Kind of Gal and Fashion Week Chic from the House of Gelish Collection and Chain Reaction from the Urban Cowgirl Collection to hand paint the swirls and dots.

Some more information on nail art stamping

Lately I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on nail art stamping plate brands that are available for purchase in the U.S., and I wanted to share some of the information I have gathered with you, as well as some of my own tips for successful stamping. I am going to share links to a lot of other blogs’ posts because it would be unnecessary to duplicate the work that these lovely bloggers have already done.

If you are brand new to stamping, start with this informational video from The Nail Junkkie or this in-depth video from Chickettes before diving into the information below.

Stamping Plate brands and reviews:

  • Konad – This is the brand that started it all but, unfortunately, the plates are somewhat hard to find, and knock-offs abound.  Here’s a review of a single plate from Samarium’s Swatches and a review of a Konad kit from Swatch & Learn. You can buy authentic Konad plates and accessories at
  • Bundle Monster – This company has a few sets of plates, all priced very nicely.  I own all the sets and can highly recommend them myself, as they have high quality images that stamp crisply.  Here’s a review from ChitChatNails.
  • Pueen – These stamping plates generally get good reviews. Check out this one Colores De Carol or this one from ChitChatNails.  Ready to buy? You can find these on the Pueen website or on
  • MoYou London – This company is serious about their branding! Their stamping plates come in themed collections, which I thought was a great idea, even though most of the collections didn’t appeal to me.   Their newest plate collections take the themes a step further in that they have a lady’s name and her persona that dictates the theme of the collection, such as Amy the Rebel or Olive the Sailor.  I haven’t tried any of these plates yet myself but based on the good reviews, like this one from Lucy’s Stash, I plan to in the future. In the U.S. you can buy them on (search for the name of the collection plus the plate number).
  • Cheeky – This company offers jumbo plates (meaning the designs are bigger, for full nail coverage) which are great for people with wide or long nails, so that they don’t have to double stamp. No Nude Nails has a review of these plates for you here. The plates are available for purchase on or on
  • Winstonia – I haven’t tried these yet, but they got great reviews from nail art bloggers. Here’s a review from Nailed It, and you can buy these plates from or the Winstonia Store.
  • SHANY Cosmetics – over the past couple years I’ve seen reviews from quite a few bloggers on these, though I’ve never tried them myself. Here’s a review from Nail Crazy.  The SHANY Cosmetics website has these for you to buy, or you can get them from

Here are reviews for some lesser-known brands:

Note that there are other brands available from other countries.  If the brand isn’t readily available for purchase in the U.S., I haven’t included them in this list.

Stampers and Scrapers:

  • Konad – You can find a variety of scrapers plus stampers in multiple sizes at  This should be your go-to stamper if you are a beginner.
  • Salon Express – I haven’t used this “As Seen On TV” brand, but I’ve heard that you can buy at Sally Beauty, Rite Aid, and CVS.  Here’s a review from Vampy Varnish.
  • Winstonia – Lots of nail stamping enthusiasts prefer this stamper, which you can buy at the Winstonia Store.
  • Pueen – This company offers a super squishy stamper in addition to the regular stamper.  You can buy these sets on or from the Pueen website.
  • XL Stamper – made from soft silicon, this stamper allows for a more comfortable stamping experience especially if you’re stamping nails with a deep C-curve.  Here’s a review from The Nail Polish Project, and you can buy it at Ninja Polish.
  • Messy Mansion – This company has rectangular stampers in a couple different colors (so that you can see a contrasting color of polish on the stamp in order to line it up on your nail), in addition to the traditional round stampers.

Stamping polish:

You can use regular polish for stamping, with varying degrees of success based on the brand and viscosity of the polish.  If you want to buy special stamping polish to ensure success, here are some brands and reviews:

  • Konad Special Stamping Polish – these are worth it, especially for beginners. I own black and white, but there are many different colors available and in a couple different sizes, as well. I bought mine on, but you can also get them from Konad or
  • Born Pretty Nail Art Stamping Polish – I haven’t tried this brand myself.  It is available for purchase at the Born Pretty Store, of course.

Note that I’ve only listed two brands here because that’s all I know of, as I typically use regular nail polish (RNP).    Just remember that you’ll have to work faster when stamping with RNP, as these are less viscous polishes than the special stamping polishes and therefore dry faster.  Here are the kinds of RNP that work the best:

  • metallics
  • Old, thick RNP
  • chromes
  • special nail art polishes (the kind that come with the skinny brush in the bottle)


If you have wide and long nails it will often be necessary to “double stamp”.  See an example of how that’s done at My Simple Little Pleasures.

Use a credit card instead of a scraper. Many people prefer this over the scrapers with the metal edge, as using the plastic avoids metal-on-metal violence against your stamping plates.

Pinch a cotton ball with a clothespin and dip it in the acetone. Use that to clean the plate between stamps, instead of your fingers.  If you use your fingers, you may end up ruining some of the stamps you’ve already done on your nails.

Most seasoned stampers use and recommend Seche Vite regular top coat nail polish. You can apply stamps over gel polish. You just use the gel top coat rather than regular polish top coat.

Make sure your base polish is completely dry before beginning to stamp on it.  Also, allow the stamp plenty of time to dry before applying top coat.

Work as quickly as possible so that the polish isn’t drying on the stamper.

For healthy nails and skin, get plenty of vitamins A, B3, C, E, and K. I take this  Hair Skin and Nails multivitamin from and moisturize with Palmer’s lotion with vitamin E multiple times daily.  Also, drink plenty of filtered water!

Advanced stamping techniques:

  • Stamp with multiple colors – Simply apply multiple colors of polish to the stamp, then scrape.  Check out these examples from The Polished Mommy and Nail Polish Wars.
  • Reverse the image by picking up the stamp on a stamper, as usual, then immediately transferring it on to another stamper by pressing the two stampers together.  Then, quickly push the image onto your nail. Here’s a pictorial from Wacky Laki.
  • Make your own nail strips or decals using a plastic bag or parchment paper – simply apply one layer of top coat (in roughly a nail shape and size for decals, or a spot slightly larger than your stamp if you’re stamping a small graphic) then stamp on top of that, and color in the stamp using a small brush and RNP.  Allow it to dry for at least a couple hours before carefully removing it with tweezers from the bag and laying it into a freshly top-coated nail. This is a very versatile method for creating nail art easily.  Check out this tutorial from The Daily Varnish.
  • Create a decal directly on the stamper – simply pick up the image on the stamper, then paint it with other colors of RNP, as desired. After that dries, top coat and allow the decal to dry for at least a couple hours before peeling it off with tweezers and applying to a freshly top-coated nail.  Find more information on this and other techniques from Lucy’s Stash.