Tag Archives: Nails

Happy Valentines Day & Hearts Nail Art – Holiday Beauty

Kissing Cupid Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day!

What are you doing today?

Here I will be popping popcorn tonight, as my husband and I have decided to rent the new 007 Movie “Skyfall” on our Direct TV’s Pay Per View (or whatever they call it, “showcase”?). Rick and I simply love Daniel Craig’s portrayal of James Bond in his movies.

Did you get anything for Valentines Day? Or buy yourself something special?

When I was single I would buy myself something special on Valentines Day… just because you haven’t met your soul mate yet, doesn’t mean you cannot celebrate! Me? I received a beautiful card with “Lady and the Tramp” on it (always a favorite of mine and my husband as it represents us in a way) and the card scared me when it started singing. lol That’s a first for me! And a received a lovely box of Russel Stover Chocolates, which I plan to share with Rick my sweet husband, though I may eat an extra one or two myself. lol

Me, Mariah forming a Heart with my hands fingers, red nail polish on with white stamped hearts
Me forming the shape of a Heart to send to all my lovely readers… love you all!

Onto the Hearts Nail Art Project

Today I finished decorating my fingernails, for Valentines Day. Late lastnight (so hubby didn’t have to smell the fumes) I did my acrylic nails, for the first time in years. I tell you when I was a teenager I was self taught with Acrylic and in Cosmetology training we were taught just simple manicures, just filing the natural nails and polishing. So the other students and I would play after classes with Acrylics together and later as a Cosmetologist we often got together and had a day of beauty together, dying our hair and putting tips and acrylics on each others nails.

So basically I know a little about acrylics but I usually just grow out my natural nails and deal with the breaks by cutting them off and cutting down other nails to match. So my Acrylic application is now far from perfect as I picked up the products needed for this at Sally’s for the first time in ages.

Anyhow, I polished my nails red after I finished applying the Acrylic over my natural nails  last night, leaving off the top coat planning on decorating them this morning.

The 2 sided stamper, scraper, stamping plates and holder that was in my Salon Express Kit
The Nail Stamping Kit I used, “Salon Express”. This is all that was in the kit.

Today I got out the supplies for decorating my nails, I decided to try out the kit that I bought a while back at the drug store for stamping the nails. I knew there were some hearts on the plates and I was vacillating between Pink for a delicate look over the red or white. I opted for the white finally and decided on one design on a plate.

Well the first design I tried the narrow area on the plate was too very thin to really look good on the nails… I have heard that these cheaper plates are not as good as the more expensive products, but I admit I am frugal and I am a skeptic sometimes when it comes to other experiences. This time I do think that the reports may possibly be right and that these cheaper plates are not as deeply carved as the more expensive ones.

Plate for nails stamping with apple, palm tree, flower, hearts, star and butterfly on it.
The Plate I used for Stamping the design on my nails.

Now I admit that I am new to using the plates and I did a rather sloppy job, but I wanted to share with you my nails for Valentines day with hearts on them. 🙂

The product I bought at the Drug Store was called Salon Express, and I found it in the area where Walgreens has the As Seen On TV products, though I never saw it on TV myself, I kept walking back to them and examining them and decided I just had to try. My Mother had purchased the more expensive stamps and when I looked into them I decided not to purchase since I am so frugal and hey we are constantly budgeting to even try to get our medications and bills paid here since hubby and I are disabled.

The Nail Polishes I used, Sally Hansen in 1 Natural White, Zoya in Diana, Beauty Secrets Base coat and O.P.I. Top Coat
The Nail Polishes I used, Sally Hansen in 1 Natural White, Zoya in Diana, Beauty Secrets Base coat and O.P.I. Top Coat

For my nail decoration and base color I used:

  • Base Coat was Beauty Secrets Base Coat (from Sally Beauty Supply)
  • Red Base Color is Zoya “Diana” polish
  • I used Salon Express Nail Stamping plate #SE18 (one of the 5 plates that were included in the Kit that I purchased at Walgreens).
  • For stamping my nails, I used Sally Hansen’s “1 Natural White” polish (I bought this in a French Nail kit that they sell, I am not sure if you can buy this one separately)
  • Top Coat I used was, O.P.I “Top Coat”
  • And I use Beauty Secrets Non Acetone Nail Polish Remover (since you should not use an Acetone Polish Remover with Acrylic Nails) – this was for cleaning up the plate, scraper, plate holder and 2 sided stamper as well as any mistakes around the nails.
  • An Orangewood Stick for clean up around the nails
  • Cotton Balls

After trying out one of the plate designs that I really liked and finding that it wasn’t stamping well as the narrow areas of the scroll-work type heart. I gently removed the attempt with the Non Acetone Remover, this did remove some of my red base coat, so I re-polished my nail and as I waited for it to dry I used another heart pattern on this same plate. This other heart design worked out well.

Close up of white scrolls with hearts stamped on red nails towards middle of nail

The problem with the stamps is that it is so difficult to get exact placement on the nails, but mind you, I am new to doing this so perhaps with practice the location on the nails can look much more uniform.

First did my right hand, attempting to center the stamp on the nails. They look pretty good only one heart in the design got left out and it was on my narrow pinky finger. Not bad.

Now I went to my left hand and by mistake I got the design nearer my finger tips on my thumb. Looking at it and first thinking to myself “oops”… as I looked at it I decided that I like the design better on the tips then on the middle of the nails. Well I decided to do all my right hand like this but messed up with the pinky finger as I got that more towards the middle of the nail.

close up of white scrolls with hearts stamped on my nails towards tips.
close up of white scrolls with hearts stamped on my nails towards tips. Sorry Blurry.

Instead of making the other hand look just the same, I decided that I would share with you, both looks so you could decide what you like better… next time I may use the little gem like nail decorations that I have a nice little ziplock bag of with this design it may look good with it, though it takes a lot more clear polish to help keep them from falling off even with nail glue.

I am not perfect, the acrylic coating over my natural long nails isn’t done “right” with the 3 ball method (easier to do on others then on yourself) so you may notice it’s not perfect. lol

white scrolls with hearts stamped on my red nails in the middle of the nails
My hand with the stamp toward middle of nail bed.


I think that these plates are great, except for the other design I tried on the same plate. This opens up a new world of decorating nails, I may play with these some more and share with you what I’ve done, I think I shall try to multi color some of those applying 2 colors to the plate and carefully scraping it so as not to mix the colors sometime soon. I do wish that the application could be more exact with the stamp however, but I bet that someone somewhere has developed a product with deeper carving in the plates and a more exacting application on the nails.

scrolls with hearts in white stamped onto my red nails
My Hand with the stamping closer to the edge of the nails

While closing out this post I want to share with you the direction in which I wish to concentrate more on in the new blog

I hope to share with you a lot more Beauty Products (hints, tips,experiments and just plain playing around), a lot of DIY, Creative Stuff (with Arts and Crafts mixed in), Fashion, Food and Beverages, and get more into Computer related posts here… These things are my passion and I have a lot of knowledge in these areas, I hope that you too share in my passions and have some fun.

Thank you all for reading and Happy Valentines Day!

Love and hugs,




Lex Arcoiris (glitter) Nail Polish – Review and Giveaway

Bling those Holiday Fingernails with Arcoiris (Glitter Nail Polish) from Lex!

Lex Cosmetics LogoHi all, I have had the pleasure of playing with some fantastic nail polish from Lex, Lex Arcoiris. The Arcoiris which is a fun, glitter filled polish. I feel this polish is fantastic for the upcoming Holidays, let those nails celebrate!

Look at those Lex polish bottles, I love love love the decorative tops on these bottles!

Lex bottles, how very lovelyAnd know that your health is as safe as can be with Lex polishes, why? If you haven’t read my nail polish reviews previously, I will tell you some about what I call The Terrible Triplets: these are dangerous, toxic and cancer causing ingredients: Formaldehyde, DBP and Toluene were once very popular ingredients in nail polish… more and more cosmetic companies are struggling to formulate safer nail polish. Some out there still don’t have the formula quite right, but others like Lex have been very successful in their formulation. All polishes by Lex Cosmetics are free of these dangerous toxins, so rest assured you aren’t harming your health with the use of their products.

Why are some nail polishes more successful than others in my mind?

I look for longevity of the polish on your nails, wearability, chip & crack resistance as well as length of drying time and application. With these attributes in mind, Lex has passed the test for me. I type daily and the polish lasted through my wear and tear on my nails, they didn’t chip, crack or fade in days of wear. Some glitter did let loose, but as far as glitter polish goes this is not a concern as inevitably you will lose a couple of bits here and there especially prior to top coats of clear polish.

Lex has the most “glitterific” polish I’ve ever run across! This nail polish is so thick with glitter that you must pat it on, I found it a lot of fun playing with different design ideas!

french manicure in drk blue with glitter tipsSpeaking of glitter, I do find that any glitter polish can be sharp. I’ve had some glitter polishes that during removal have put scratches on my skin around the nail bed causing irritation and small abrasions in the skin. I’d like to also warn contact lens wearers to be careful with glitter polish, I used to wear contacts and I found the glitter polishes out there hard on the lenses, no matter what you do, even after careful followup with top coats, it can have a few glitters that catch on things and even scratch lenses while you handle the lenses. If you are a contact lens wearer perhaps you can try wearing some sterile medical like gloves to handle your lenses while wearing Glitter polish, just a thought, I won’t guarantee it would work, but that maybe worth a try. Otherwise, I would say either forgo the glitter polish or place on your contacts then do your nails, taking off the polish carefully before handling your lenses again.

If you know me, you know I am a former Cosmetologist, loving anything to do with Skin, Hair and Nails… and I just love anything sparkly. Joan knows this too well about me as she asked the representative of Lex Cosmetics send me this lovely polish. And nothing says Holidays to me  like sparkle on the fingernails for the holidays. In the 80’s and 90’s I would paint my fingernails red and attach a stripe or 2 of metallic gold to the surface of my nails. As the world of nail polish has evolved into easier and a larger variety of adornments for your fingernails, so I evolved to start using easier products to get the fun celebration on my nails. In the past I have used, little gems, stars etc on my nails, the only problem is how many coats of clear polish it took to seal in these adornments so they would stay put, not catch on clothing, falling off or sharp edges exposed on the nails etc. After my application of Lex Arcoiris, I did have some catching, I needed to file the edge of my nails, after applying the polish, I filed to get some that hung at the edges off and I then followed up with 2 coats of good top coat and that helped a lot.

nail polishes on top, which are used as background colors for lex's glitter polish called Arcoiris over top. Thumb nail is done with only Lex Arcoiris.My favorite looks with this polish? the color of a bright pink, red, metallic green, metallic bronze and a deep blue as total base coverage with glitter polish over top, was fantastic. The polish by it self is fantastic over a nude nail too. The top most look for me was placing the product as a french tip on the dark blue all over the nail.


closeup number 1 of different color backgrounds with lex over top closeup number 2 of different color backgrounds with lex over top

For my experiments I used a small flower shaped punch and a small star shaped punch on some tape (I placed on a backing from some old self adhering stamps so as not to plug up my little punches with tape). This did not work, I failed to realize that the polish glitter was so heavy that the design, once the tape was pulled off was going to be distorted. However for future reference this makes a great stencil for regular nail polish to place a design on your nails… you can always try add the glitter over such a design with a Stylus (found in art supply stores not to far from the brushes and palette knives.)

Next I tried to free hand the french tip, but the glitter is so very thick that while dabbing I found I had a thick french tip and difficult to control the application area. So this is what worked for me:

thumbnail with blue polish and lex on french tip as accomplished by my french manicure techniqueInstructions for Mariah’s Lex Arcoiris Glittering French Tips.

You will need:

an old plastic lid or a coated paper or disposable plastic plate


rectangle makeup spongea sponge makeup applicator – you can use makeup wedges, or the squares/rectangles (the squares/rectangles aren’t so great for makeup application and I mistakenly picked up a bunch years ago, so not to let them go to waste this is what I used). I recommend getting the non latex type for those who have allergies.

Some Tape* – I have used both painters tape (as it’s not to sticky) -OR- Use some pre-made french manicure (rounded) sticky strips (I think I found some of these pre-made “cheats” at Sally’s Beauty years back)

*If you are using tape, you will need:

*a pair of scissors to cut the tape into a curve that will match your nail edge for the french tip look.

*a pencil or pen– to trace a curve onto the tape

For cleaning up edges of nail and cuticle (polish on them) you will need:

cleanup cuticles and edges suppliescotton ball

nail polish remover

orangewood stick (found at beauty supply stores, usually in bulk, so share with friends)

Start off with a fresh manicure, using a basecoat and then the color of your choice over the whole nail (or just basecoat if you choose to have the nude nail look with the glittery french tip).

If you’ve oops-bood (made a mistake) and get polish on your skin, it is time for clean up.

to clean up, take your orangewood stick, dip in nail polish remover (helps it stick)

take a very tiny amount of cotton off the cotton ball and stretch the cotton and twirl around end of orangewood stick. You don’t want that too thick with cotton and it can take some practice.

orangewood stick set up for cleaning up edges around the outside of the naildip your cotton tipped orangewood stick in nail polish remover and carefully remove the excess polish off the areas of skin around the nail, being careful not to get the cotton on the nail and removing polish there.


picture showing my removing cotton from orangewood stickWhen you need to change the cotton, just curl you paper towel around your cotton end of the orangewood stick, pinch and pull to get the cotton off.

Wait for your polish to be good an dry now.

preparing painters tape for my french manicure trick with thick glitter polish like Lex Arcoiris*This is for those making their own french tip stencils, peel off some tape, you can use the base of a round nail polish bottom to trace out your curve for your nails. then cut out the shape and place on your plastic lid, so it’s easily removed when needed. Some companies have ready-made french manicure like guides in adhesives, you may also use the outer edge of the punched paper hole stabilizers (the little doughnut shaped adhesive shapes that you would put over loose-leaf paper that goes into a binder).


Cut painters tape for my french manicure stencil

Tape on fingernail to prepare for french manicureWhen you are ready place strip(s) of your french tip stencil (curved tape) to the tips of your nails, leaving part of the nail exposed at the tip where you want the french tip to be.


picture of lex glitter polish called ArcoirisIt’s now time to dab out a little nail polish onto your plastic lid or plate, being ready to use you applicator right away so it doesn’t dry. You may need to dab on a little for each nail at a time from the polish so you don’t waste much.

Taking your makeup sponge dab it into your nail polish that is on the plate, I found using the edge of the square/rectangle makeup sponges works the best for controlling where the polish goes and not going past your stencil (especially the pre-made store-bought ones that are very narrow).

Take off the stencil carefully before your newly applied french tips dry, if you wait too long you may have problems removing the strip.

Once your nails are dry, follow up with a top coat or two and you are ready to show off your lovely new blinged out nails to the world!french manicure in dark blue with glitter tips

closeup of Lex on blue polish in my french nail technique If you have any questions please do ask and I will try my best to answer you. 🙂

You can not only look beautiful on the outside, but feel just is beautiful inside knowing you are helping others out with your purchases at Lex Cosmetics as a percentage of all their proceeds go to some very worthy Charities! So please check them out and consider making a purchase, and you will glow with inner and outer beauty my friends! 🙂

Disclaimer:  Mariah Lockwood personally reviewed this product. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, Lex Cosmetics provided me with a free sample of this product to test. I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. . All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The photo’s used in this review were provided by Lex Cosmetics and me.

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Freebie Finds to Share

Hi all, as I got online this Morning, I checked my emails and found some freebies that friends where sharing. So for an odd post this morning I thought I’d share with you as well.

1) Sign up for Sneakpeeq: You will be taken from their site to your Facebook to approve signing up for your free membership through them. If your lucky you will see a free ring. You don’t get to choose color, and, unless I missed something, you don’t get to choose the size. But Free is Free. lol     Continue reading Freebie Finds to Share

Monte Bleu Glass Nail File Review and Giveaway


Hi friends, I have something new and wonderful to show you today. I was fortunate enough to have been invited to try out and review a wonderful glass nail file from Monte Bleu Shop & Their Wholesaler: Monte Bleu Design (for purchases in the USA: Glass Fuzion).

Samples of The Beautiful Glass Nail FilesNow my questions and concerns with these nail files. Are they sturdy? What about sharpness? Will they last a long time? How well do they work? Once I saw the wide and varied choices that you could choose from, well what can I say,  I just had to take them up on the offer for a review and giveaway of their beautiful nail files. They have everything in glass nail files from regular sized to mini, from hand painted to jeweled to blinged with Swarovski Crystals! And anyway isn’t that what I am here for? To test out things just like this and answer those very questions that I found I was asking myself? Obviously I said yes to the chance to review one of these beauties.

My nail file was sent to me very securely packaged for shipment, honestly I don’t know if they are all wrapped the same way my package was, simply because, sometimes it’s the representative of the company that sends out a sample of their products to test and not their usual shipping department. However, in our correspondence, they did indicate that they were sending my information to their logistics department to have them ship to me. I did need to use a knife to open the packaging, it was taped up so well that I believe the packing was waterproof! And that is a good thing as this was shipped out all the way from the Czech Republic! Oh and Yes folks this is a World Wide Giveaway… for 5 winners! Woot! Riah’s first World Wide Giveaway and for 5 winners? Wow!

Ok so I skipped far ahead of myself here, and as you can see I am so excited to offer our friends from all over the world this wonderful giveaway “and now back to our regularly scheduled program.”… errr umm I mean “regularly scheduled review, then the giveaway.” lol

I received my nail file in a lovely box and the file is so beautiful I want to show it off everywhere I go! This nail file is not only made of clear glass (they have black glass files as well) but it is blinged out with Swarovski Crystals! The design I received has the name “Bubbles” which you see below, the name is so perfect, don’t you think? I sure wish these pictures did the files justice, trust me, there is nothing like seeing these in person!

Beautiful Glass Nail file called bubbles
Click on the picture if you want to see it on their website to purchase your own. 🙂

The thickness of the glass file is nice, the weight is nice and the nail file seems very sturdy. The edges of the file are nice and smooth, so as for cutting yourself, I wouldn’t worry about it unless you break it, and I am a clutz and although I did drop it once it hasn’t broken nor shown signs of cracks or damage. As far as longevity of the file, well now that I’ve had it in my hands and used it several times, I’ve discovered it’s easy to remove the nail filing dust off the file area and it shows no sign of wearing out yet. If you think about traditional nail files, you will remember that all they are is sand or sand like substance glued onto the backing… these nail files are glass that is possibly sand blasted to get that rough filing edge. Of course this will last! 🙂 The grain on my file feels like a medium coarseness and the opposite side feels just a slight bit finer.

I tried to take pictures of this lovely glass nail file that I received and the best I could get is the one below. I need to learn more about settings on digital cameras so I can capture the beauty of bling on things I receive and not have the sparkle & shine take over the picture in a glowing mass that messes up any focus on the item. lol

my bubbles glass nail file, ok so I added the flower frame to it, I love it so much!
my bubbles glass nail file, ok so I added the flower frame to it, I love it so much!



While looking once more at their websites, I found myself drooling over all these lovely nail files, each one is a piece of art in itself and they really should be displayed… but remember to display in your home/beauty shop or what have you, groupings of 3 is a must. lol Yes really! 🙂 And I plan on going to go there to order 2 more someday soon… and I’ll tell you what else, they now have Bling  on there Hair brushes… ahhhh, yes, yet another one that I must have! 🙂

All-told, I believe that if your into beauty tools and Bling then Mont-Bleu is for you and their websites are a must see. And don’t forget those people on your gift lists that would go nuts over these beautiful nail files. I love to find unique gifts like these for the holidays, *nudge nudge wink wink* (yes I am giving a gift hint to family and friends!)

I wish to thank the folks at Monte Bleu for entrusting me, for being so very wonderful in offering me this product to review. I am so SOLD on these nail files, and I will be replacing all my normal stick files with  yours. Besides they look so beautiful that they are a lovely accent on makeshift beauty vanity in my cute little “dressing room”… they distract from the mess that is currently all around in that small room. I cannot help but smile every time I sit there!

links for their websites:

  • A link straight to Monte Bleu e-shop’s glass nail-files: http://www.design-glassware.com/en/Nail-Files/

Now for our wonderful giveaway: They Ship Worldwide so your location is not an issue. We are giving away a nail file to 5 lucky readers! Again this is for anyone anywhere in the world! Yay! prize will be one nail file (Swarovski Crystals on a Glass Nail File ) for each of the 5 winners!

#win Glass #Nail-File from Monte Bleu with #Swarovski Crystals! Ends 11/15 #WorldWide Entries http://tinyurl.com/4yoh9f9 #Bling #Manicure