Sunday, January 30, 2011

Black Swan: Cheeky Monkey Filthy Madame

Hello ladies,

Ever since I watched the movie Black Swan, I have wanted to create a manicure inspired by the haunting visuals. I chose reoccurring themes from the movie to decorate my nails: ballerinas, feathers, a swan, and lilies. I attempted different ways of embellishing the tips with red and bone white crushed shell.

I chose white Konad special polish for stamping. On my pointer finger, the cascading feathers are from plate M77. I added a mirror gem and a white pearl. The ballerinas positioned on my middle finger and thumb are from S08. My pinky has lilies from M36. I adhered a white pearl and a small rhinestone to highlight the flowers. The plates mentioned above are from Konad.

From chez-delaney P19, I stamped the swan on my ring finger. I placed a clear crystal on the wing. I used a striper brush with China Glaze Millennium to highlight the feathers, water beneath the swan and the lily stems. It is tricky to create clean lines with a chrome polish. I would recommend experimenting with a fine silver glitter instead.

Feathers, a ballerina, a swan, a lily.
I chose red crushed shell to embellish the tips on my thumb and ring finger.

A howlite crystal skull.

On my rather elusive and seldom seen right hand, I blended red and bone white crushed shell on each tip.
My right pointer finger.

Cheeky Monkey Filthy Madam reminds me of a black pearl. In bright sun, the color appears deep charcoal grey. There is a wealth of micro shimmer adding luster to Filthy Madam. Silver and rainbow particles are stirred throughout. Holding the bottle, I can easily distinguish green and pink micro shimmer.

The formula has a pearl finish. There are subtle brushstrokes during application that dissipate once topcoat is added. I am wearing three coats, but I think ladies with shorter nails could get away with two. The polish dries quickly with a lovely sheen.

When examining the different typefaces printed around the bottle, my friend Emily said: Filthy Madam? What about Filthy Mademoiselle?. I think that's a wonderful name to add to the Cheeky Monkey catalog!

I hope you enjoyed my cinematic nail art. For another manicure exploring the movie Black Swan, check out Deniz's version. She really captures the dark and violent feel. Are there any other Black Swan manicures I should see?

How many of you ladies have seen Black Swan? What were your impressions? While I enjoyed the acting and found some of the images arresting, I felt the director could have been more restrained in letting the plot move more naturally and allowing the viewer to develop his or her own impressions. I knew how the movie was going to end within the first 10 minutes.

I also would have loved to have seen more original themes explored. The idea of ballerinas dealing with aggressive and predatory directors, overbearing mothers, competition among dancers, and anorexia has been examined. This isn't to say the movie wasn't worthwhile, but I think with fine tuning it could have been great.

Filthy Madam was offered to me for review. This shade can be purchased at

Konad image plates M36, M77 and S08 were sent to me for review. You can shop the complete line of nail art stamping products at

Design plate P19 was provided for my consideration. Stop by to view the full assortment of nail art stamping plates.

Happy painting, ladies!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Morning glories: Color Club Positively Posh

Hello ladies,

I walked across the city this morning, through the aftermath of snow. People took turns navigating the tiny paths dug out in the sidewalks. Plows blocked traffic while trying to force snow into tiny mountains at street corners. I kept seeing the ghosts of flowers everywhere. An empty trellis called to me, telling me to be patient for the morning glories that would soon awaken.

I chose Konad pastel blue special polish to stamp the flowers from Born Pretty M11. I flipped the design to convey the topsy turvy climbing of morning glories. With an Art Club turquoise glitter striper, I highlighted the petals. Rainbow rhinestones and blue pearls embellish the flowers' centers.

I am wearing three coats of Positively Posh. I think two would easily suffice on more active length nails. This polish is a beautiful dark taupe with dusky purple undertones. One of the things I love about Color Club is their subtle variations on classic shades. The purple tint adds interest and makes this basic taupe a standout.

I hope the morning glories bring some joy to your day along with the promise of fair weather.

Positively Posh was sent to me for review. This shade is part of the Untamed Luxury Collection, available for purchase at

Image plate M11 was provided for consideration. It can be purchased as part of item #518, a 12 piece nail art stamping plate set. Readers of painted Lady fingers will receive a 10% off discount at through March 31. Use the code DIANAK31.

Happy painting, ladies!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Made from Earth: Organic Lip Balm

Hello ladies,

Made from Earth Organic Lip Balm has been in residence in my make up bag for the past couple months. This product is sweetened with a delectable vanilla flavoring. It is filled with natural emollients and skin healing vitamins A, D and E.
Organic Lip Balm has a firm consistency that softens and melts as it touches the lips. This product is far more emollient than the standard drugstore Chapstick. I found it's perfect as a light coating under lipstick and gloss. It moisturizes without causing color to feather or shift.

Since I have dry skin, I prefer a heavier balm as a nighttime, winter treatment. Organic Lip Balm offers the right consistency for daily use under makeup. I think those with normal to oily skin would find this balm offers optimal hydration throughout the day.

Made from Earth creates lip balm in the following flavors: blueberry, citrus, mocha, spearmint and vanilla. Each tube is sold individually. The mocha and vanilla are also available in a pairing called Ice Cream Flavors.

I appreciate the natural scent and taste of their vanilla flavoring. Made from Earth perfumes their products lightly. There is enough of an aroma to enhance the application, but not so much as to become distracting. I am tempted by their blueberry and mocha flavors.

Ingredients: Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Vanilla Flavor, Vitamin E, Rosemary Extract and Organic Calendula.

Sunflower oil is an optimal choice in caring for the delicate skin on the lips. Rich in vitamins A, D and E, sunflower oil contains fatty acids responsible for nourishing the skin. The potent antioxidants in sunflower oil can help lessen free radical damage and assist in preventing signs of premature aging.

Beeswax provides a natural protective barrier for the skin. It acts as a humectant by attracting moisture to the skin and sealing it against the elements. Particularly beneficial in winter, beeswax also offers antibacterial and anti-viral properties. It can be a useful healing agent in treating the cold weather problem of chapped lips.

A natural way to keep lips feeling soft, Organic Lip Balm is a daily treatment compatible with make up application. It's a great basic to add to your natural skin care regimen.
Vanilla Organic Lip Balm was sent to me for review. The retail price is $3.99 USD. You can shop the full line of skin care products at

Happy painting, ladies!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Roses in the snow: Nubar Pekin and Pixie Dust

Hello ladies,

Last night, I had my first experience with thundersnow. It was strange hearing the sky boom and crackle while the snow descended. I think the air made me crave a soft glitter topcoat and silver roses. This look would make a pretty Valentine, no matter what the weather.

From Born Pretty plate M11, I stamped the roses with a franken I made from Konad silver special polish and China Glaze Millennium. I detailed the leaves and stems with the striper from the Nubar two way nail art pen in Emeralds.

Pekin is a dark cherry red. This morning I slipped my hand into a bag of cherries and my nails were instantly camouflaged. I am wearing three coats of Pekin. The formula, somewhere between a jelly and a creme, has a quick dry time. This vampy red is tremendously glossy.

I added a layer of Pixie Dust to create a soft sparkle. Pixie Dust is one of those layering notes that can instantly beautify just about any manicure.

I hope you enjoyed the rose bouquet for snowy weather.

Nubar Pekin and Pixie Dust were sent to me for review. Pekin is part of the Finest Silks Collection while Pixie Dust can be found in the Holiday Jewel Basket. Both shades are available for purchase at

Image plate M11 was provided for consideration. It is part of the nail art stamping plate set #518 from The code DIANAK31 will entitle you to 10% your purchase through March 31, 2011.

Happy painting, ladies!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ladies' Choice of Eight Plates Giveaway Winner!

Hello ladies,

Needing to select a winner for the Ladies' Choice of Eight Plates Giveaway, I turned to the most decisive of judges, Moonunit.

Behold, the face of judgement!

Within this pale yellow and green shopping basket, 661 hand written contest entries are mingled with catnip.

Moonunit approaches the evidence with a contemplative air.

She immerses herself in the task!

She assures the expectant crowd...

That she must do this alone.

With careful thought,

And attention to detail, she toils.

She rarely even takes a moment...

To come up for air.

Even with such a perplexing case,

Moonunit prevails!
Berry T is the winner!

Congratulations, Berry! Be sure to stop by her blog: for a rainbow of pretty manicures.

Many thanks to OC Nail Art, the giveaway sponsors! You can shop the full line of Konad stamping nail art products at

A special thanks to Moonunit and her human companion, Reesha. Be sure to visit Reesha's etsy shop, requited love, for stylish handmade accessories. The discount code "love10," which entitles readers of painted Lady fingers to 10%, off will be valid for a few more days. You can read a bit more about Reesha and Moonunit in this interview.

Judging for the Get Festive Giveaway! will commence soon. I also have a new giveaway in the works this week.

Happy painting, ladies!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sugared violets: Cheeky Monkey Booty Call

Hello ladies,

I love the taste of violet candies. I adore floral desserts and perfumed black teas. There was an exotic ice cream shop that made its own African Violet flavor. It was purple hued and violet scented, with little chocolate chips throughout. Today I created a sugared violets manicure for those who like to smell and taste the flowers along the way.

I stamped the blooms from Born Pretty plate M11. I chose Konad pastel blue special polish because it appears lavender over the purple base color. I alternated placement of pastel blue and violet pearls. The stems were highlighted with an Art Club turquoise glitter striper.

Cheeky Monkey makes amazing polish. The application of Booty Call was fantastic. Two coats resulted in perfect opacity. The polish dries quickly. I was initially concerned about the size of the lid attached to the brush wand, but I didn't find the design cumbersome to work with. The polish practically applied itself.

Booty Call reminds of grape jam. Purple reflective shimmer adds depth to the shade. As much as I enjoy a good purple, their bottle aesthetic also captures my attention. The polish name is repeated in various fonts circumnavigating the bottle. So cute! It also came with a note: Always magnify and express your individuality and edge and you will have personal creative fulfillment. It's like a feisty fortune cookie.

I hope you enjoyed the purple hue and the tiny flowers sweetened your day.

Booty Call was sent to me for review. This shade can be purchased at

Image plate M11 was provided for my consideration. This design plate is part of a 12 piece set, item #518, available for purchase at

Happy painting, ladies!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Grey and silver skies: Nubar Barricade and Organza

Hello ladies,

The past three days have been a gathering of snow, sleet, and rain. I decided to translate the chill weather onto my nails. I created a grey tone on tone manicure with gems and mirrors as icy highlights.

I formed pearl dots using Nubar Organza. This is my first venture with a dotting tool. I am definitely looking forward to experimenting further with this technique. I placed large rainbow gems, mirror circles, clear faceted and smooth rhinestones and pearls at random.

This manicure was tricky to capture. All of the dots are the same color on the nail. The sun seemed to highlight some more than others. If you squint a little, you can envision it.

Barricade applied easily, with the standard high quality Nubar formula. Two coats brought perfect opacity. I love wearing grey polish in winter. I feel like I am part of the atmosphere.

I hope you enjoyed my modern take on snow, ice and rain.

Part of the Fortress Collection, Barricade was sent to me for review. Organza, also provided for review, can be found within the Finest Silks Collection. Both polishes can be purchased at

The dotting tools were sent to me for consideration. Visit to purchase.

Happy painting, ladies!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Blue bouquet: BB Couture Ride My Sleigh

Hello ladies,

The recent cold spell has been inspiring garden fantasies. Longing to see delphinium in bloom, I created a blue bouquet for my nails. As much as I enjoy the effervescent feeling of cold, this year my heart has been time traveling a few months ahead.

I chose Konad pastel blue special polish to stamp the bouquets from Born Pretty plate M64. Royal blue rhinestones, pale blue pearls, and silver beads highlight the flowers. I alternated placement of blue Marquis rhinestones amongst the leaves. I added dark blue shading to the leaves and flower centers with a Nubar nail art pen in Sapphires.

Ride My Sleigh is such a beautiful shade. The color reminds me of the greenery on Victorian Christmas cards and old fashioned lengths of velvet ribbon. Ride My Sleigh has far too much delicate shimmer to join the army green shades. There is a combination of pale green, coppery red and rainbow glitter in the mix. The application was typical BB Couture perfection, easy to apply, quick to dry. I am showing three coats.

I hope you enjoyed my sparkling bouquet toss!

Ride My Sleigh was sent to me for review. This polish and the others in the Christmas Collection are available for purchase at

Image plate M64 was provided for my consideration. Visit to see all the designs in their nail art stamping plate set #518.

Happy painting, ladies!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Folk Art Flowers: Diamond Cosmetics It's Electrifying

Hello ladies,

I love the brilliant skies in January. The blue is such a contrast to the snow, that has settled in drifts and patches throughout center city. Putting on my grey boots today, I was thinking about embroidered peasant skirts: the bright gauzy cotton sewn with flowers, beads and small mirror circles. I love wearing skirts like this in the summer, to walk about the dahlias and blend among their colors. I decided to create the look of folk art flowers in a winter palette of blue and white.

With Konad white special polish, I stamped the flowers from Born Pretty plate M64. I used an Art Club striper in turquoise glitter to highlight the floral design. A large blue gem was placed in the center of each flower. White mirror circles from Art Club and blue pearls add further interest.

This glowing blue has a neon base stirred with tiny shimmer particles. It's Electrifying awakens with topcoat. I wasn't prepared for the beauty of this polish! I am showing three coats for perfect opacity. The neon formula is fast drying. I love that It's Electrifying can be worn without a whitening base coat and no worry of having a visible nail line. I would like Diamond Cosmetics to create more shimmering neons including a pin up red and a medium purple hue.

I hope you enjoyed my bright winter manicure!

It's Electrifying was sent to me for review. US residents can purchase this shade at Internationals, keep an eye on for availability.

Image plate M64 was sent for consideration. It is part of the nail art stamping set #518, available at

Happy painting, ladies!