DIY Mani Fizz

Hello Lovelies!  Today, I have a different kind of post for you.  For those of you who don't know me personally, I am a bit of a DIY fanatic.  I love to make things for my friends and family (and occasionally myself).  I regularly make my own candles, fragrance sprays, lotions, and lip balms.  I'm sure many of you, my fellow nail fanatics, are aware of the current mani craze: mani bombs or mani fizzes.  After doing a bit of research and a testing a bunch of different recipes, I managed to come up with two DIY recipes for creating your own fizzes at home.

The recipes I came up with are adaptations of a recipe I discovered on You Tube, by WhatsUpMoms.  I started off with their recipe and then modified it, modified it, and modified it again until I came up with recipes that I felt were more mani friendly and easier to work with.  Before I continue on to the recipes, let me just say, please excuse the pictures.  Because of the nature of this project, I was working on my (ugly) kitchen counter and didn't set up extra lighting for fear of ruining my lamps during the process.

Both recipes are mostly the same, except one is made using primarily items you will find in your kitchen or can be purchased at your local grocery or specialty food stores.  The second recipe is a bit more advanced and may require you order some materials.  However the process is same for both recipes.

Kitchen Goods Recipe                                                             Advanced Recipe
1/4 cup Baking Soda                                                                1/4 cup Baking Soda
2 tablespoons Cornstarch                                                         2 tablespoons Cornstarch
2 tablespoons Epsom Salts                                                      2 tablespoons Epsom Salt
2 tablespoons Citric Acid                                                         2 tablespoons Citric Acid
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil or Vitamin E Oil                         1 teaspoon Jojoba Oil
                                                                                                 1 teaspoon Vitamin E
                                                                                                 1/4 teaspoon Sweet Almond Oil
                                                                                                 1/4 teaspoon Avocado Oil

Optional items for both recipes
1 teaspoon Essential Oil or Skin Safe Fragrance Oil
Food coloring or soap coloring
Both recipes have the same dry goods, the only dry good I had a difficult time finding locally was the citric acid.  I read that you could find citric acid in specialty food stores or in pharmacies, however I had no luck with any of my local stores and ended up ordering it from Amazon.  Citric acid is an essential ingredient in this recipe, because it is what gives the fizz its fizz.  I accidentally made a test batch without the citric acid, and the bomb wouldn't fully dissolve and of course without the fizz it was quite depressing.
Also, for the kitchen recipe you can use either vegetable oil or vitamin E oil.  I tried both and found I personally didn't like the vegetable oil version because it left my hands feeling slimy.  The vitamin E version was just as moisturizing but without the sliminess.  The oils in the advanced recipe might be found at a specialty goods store, but again I had no luck and instead ordered them through a company I have been ordering candle making supplies from for years Nature's Garden Candles.  In addition, to candle making supplies they also offer a large variety of cosmetic and soap making ingredients too.
Let's get on to the process, shall we.  After testing out a few different methods this is the one that I found worked best...
Begin by whisking together the baking soda, cornstarch and Epsom salts.  Other recipes, say to incorporate all dry ingredients, which would include the citric acid.  However, I had several issues when adding the citric acid in at this stage.  I recommend adding the citric acid last, I'll get into why a bit later.  Once, the dry goods are well blended set them aside momentarily.
Next mix your oils, fragrances, and coloring in a cup.  I decided to use a disposable cup so I wouldn't have to worry about staining a good cup.  If you opt not to use an essential or fragrance oil be sure to make up the difference in your moisturizing oils otherwise there will not be enough liquid in the final mixture.  If you opt to use a fragrance oil instead of an essential oil, please make sure that it is skin safe.  There are fragrance oils out there that can be very harmful to your skin.  Likewise, with the coloring that you use, make sure it is skin safe otherwise you may end up staining your skin.  Soap making dyes and fragrance oils would be best to use for this and can often be found in local craft stores.  I did use food safe dye and I did not have an issue but I only used one drop.
With the oil mixture combined as well as you can get it to combine, slowly and I mean SLOWLY whisk it into your dry mixture.  What you see in the picture is almost too much to add at once.  While whisking try to mash out any significant lumps that occur.  If the mixture is looking kind of pasty, you are probably adding your oil mixture too quickly.  Blend it thoroughly before adding any more liquid.

You should have a slightly but mostly dry crumbly looking substance when it is all combined.  I found incorporating a dye made it easier to see when it was completely combined versus a batch I made without dye.

Now it is time to add the essential ingredient, the citric acid.  Combine this by adding one tablespoon at a time.  Sprinkle each tablespoon in and whisk it thoroughly.  If you see it fizzing your mixture is way to moist, stop adding the citric acid and add in some more cornstarch (I would recommend starting with a tablespoon of cornstarch).  If you hear fizzing but don't see any fizzing just add a little cornstarch.  If premature fizzing occurs it is because the citric acid is being activated by the oils in the mixture.  This doesn't mean that they won't fizz later, but I noticed they won't fizz as greatly or for as long as the one that were not prematurely activated.

Once all ingredients are combined you should have a slightly moist but mostly dry crumbly substance.  I tested the moisture by pressing some within my hand.  If it sticks together, it is should work find.  If you find it too dry and it won't stick at all (and if you are daring enough) you could add a little bit of water.  I had nothing but problems when I added water.  No matter how little water or how slowly I added it, it would activate the citric acid.  If you don't want to add water and your mixture is too dry, I would recommend you leave it loose and just use it as a powder fizz.

If your consistency is sticky enough, you can press it into molds.  I used a wax tart mold I have from my candle making supplies.  You can also use candy molds, or soap molds, or even ice cube tray.

Let your bombs sit for about 6-12 hours before removing them from the molds.  If you are in a rush about an hour in the refrigerate helps them to set quicker.  I found the longer I let them set the more solid they were and less likely to fall apart when I took them out of the mold.  In the picture above, the top row of bombs, is what you can expect when the citric acid prematurely activates.  The bad bombs still worked but had hardly any fizz at all when dropped in water and the fizz last only seconds.

Using the bombs are quite simple, fill a bowl big enough for your hands with warm water.  Drop in a bomb or if you are using a loose fizz add a tablespoon or two.  Submerge your hands in the fizzing tub and soak for about 10-15 minutes.  Some people like to wash their hands with a moisturizing soap afterwards, I personally like to just let my hands air dry and rub in any remaining oils.  If you would like to see a quick video of a mani fizz in action checkout my Instagram feed.

Mani bombs are all the rage right now and are a great way to pamper yourself.  These also make a great gift idea, I particularly like the idea of making loose fizzes and packaging them in mason jars for gifts.  If you like these bomb recipes and you really want to self indulge, double the recipe and use a larger mold to make a bath bomb.  I hope you'll give this DIY project a try, if you do please let me know how they turn out and if you have any extra pointers on making the process easier.  Thank you for stopping by, see you next time.

Your Fellow Plebe,

Inspired by a Midsummer Night's Dream

Hello Lovelies!  Today, I have a stamping nail art design inspired by Shakespeare's 'Midsummer Night's Dream.'  Though in large part the story takes place in a forest, I always think of a rose garden when I hear this title.  So, I created a wild rose garden seen on my nails...

Materials I used:
INM Ridge Free basecoat
Revlon 'Metallic' - used as an undie
Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer 'Bound to the City Life - base color
Mundo de Unas - 'Neon Green,' 'Neon Pink,' & 'Pastel Pink' - stamping
China Glaze 'Seeing Red' & 'Seduce Me - stamping
Pueen image plate 4 & 15
Fabur Nails stamper and scraper
Beauty Plus Salon glossy topcoat

I used a silver metallic basecoat as an undie...

I placed one coat of my teal blue jelly polish, from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer.  Using the silver undie, helps to bring out the shimmer and brighten the teal slightly.  My goal was to use a dark yet bright background to create a night time garden scene.

I then began my stamping layers, first using a leaf/vine image from Pueen image plate 15 (image on left side of plate in the picture) along with Mundo de Unas 'Neon Green' on all my fingers.

Then using a couple of polishes from China Glaze along with a couple of stamping polishes from Mundo de Unas, I stamped rose images randomly across all my nails.  I stamped two to three rose images on each finger, in no particular color pattern.  The rose image is a singular rose image from Pueen plate 4 (rose image on the bottom right side of the image plate picture).

When I was satisfied with design, I performed a bit of cleanup with acetone and a brush, and applied my glossy topcoat.

This nail art design is slightly unconventional for me.  I don't often wear darker colors and I haven't done a great deal of stamping.  Typically, I would consider this to be a very busy nail art design, but I feel the combination of bright and dark colors helps to tone down the busyness.  All in all, I like this nail art design way more than I thought I would.

The only thing I wished I could change about this, is that I wish I had an image of a fairy to incorporate into the design, since they are a significant part 'Midsummer Night's Dream.'  However, I can easily image little fairies hiding behind the roses, can't you?

I actually created these for Nail Art Nation's weekly prompt, however, I was a day late in submitting them (as usual).  I'll be happy to share them as a nail of the day post though, because they are (in my opinion) too pretty not to share.  I hope you all enjoyed this nail art design just as much as me.  Thanks for stopping by, see you next time.

Your Fellow Plebe,

Inside Out Movie Inspired

Hello Lovelies!  Last week's Nail Art Nation weekly prompt was the movie Inside Out.  I had the opportunity to see this movie with my daughter when it first came out and I really enjoyed it.  Even though I missed the Nail Art Nation deadline, I still wanted to create nails inspired by my favorite character from the movie.  Here is a clue to who he is...

Who's your friend who likes to play?
Bing Bong, Bing Bong
His rocket makes you yell "Hooray!"
Bing Bong, Bing Bong
Who's the best in every way, and wants to sing this song to say
Bing Bong, Bing BONG!

Bing Bong, is by far my favorite character.  For those of you who haven't seen this movie, he is Riley's imaginary friend.  He is this quirky creature made up of various animals such as an elephant, raccoon, rabbit and probably a few others.  His lifetime aspiration is to take Riley to the moon in his song powered wagon rocket ship.  This fury lovable guy, helps Joy and Sadness on their adventure through long-term memory.  I won't say anything more because I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.  However, he is an unforgettable character.

I started with a white base color, this time I used Color Club 'Blank Canvas'

I created rainbow stripes, representing the rainbow jets of Bing Bong's rocket wagon using watermarble stripes.  I simply created a rainbow bulls-eye using various shades of Ciate London.  I then stretched it to create curved oblong lines.

I tried dipping three fingers at once and end up with a bit of a problem on my pinky because I accidentally overlapped my fingers.

I ended up redoing my pinky, I performed a bit of clean up, added a bit of China Glaze 'Fairy Dust' to make it more magical, and topped it all off with a glossy topcoat.  I added an acrylic painted image of Bing Bong peaky over the tip of my nail.

I did a similar design on my right hand, except I painted his lapel flower instead.

I had some issues with the watermarbling on my right hand but I really like how the rainbow stripes turned out on the rest of my fingers.  The color is a little off on Bing Bong too but it was the closest I could mix up.

If you haven't seen Inside Out yet, I highly recommend it, even if you don't have kids.  It is a really cute movie, and easy to relate to too.  I hope you enjoyed my Bing Bong inspired nails.  Thanks for stopping by, see you next time. 

Your Fellow Plebe,

Nautical Nails

Hello Lovelies!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and that your Monday has been a good one too.  I love nautical themed nail art.  I don't know why exactly, I just do.  I created some nautical last year, and to be honest I wasn't very fond of them.  My skills were lacking and the color combination wasn't the greatest (  So, I thought it was time to relive this theme...

Materials I used:
INM Ridge Free basecoat
Gothic Gala Lacquer 'Weird Science' (gold glitter)
Gothic Gala Lacquer 'Odin' (dark purple holo)
Striping tape
Dotting tool
Small brush
Beauty Plus Salon glossy topcoat
Various accessories

I started off with a base coat of gold glitter, on my pinky, ring, and mid finger.  I used my dark purple holo on my thumb and pointer.  I applied the glitter polish with one brushed on coat, and then sponged two additional coats over top.  I applied the glitter via sponge to give it a really glitter packed appearance without making it too thick.

Before, we move on to the actual nail art I wanted to give a brief review on Odin.  I purchased this from Gothic Gala when I placed my last order.  It is a beautiful deep purple with a phenomenal holo shimmer.  Easily opaque in two coats.

On my ring finger I drew an anchor.  I dotted four points to use as a guide.  I then used a small brush to draw a vertical line for the center of the anchor.  I then drew in the hooks, trying to curve the lines slightly.  I finished it off with a horizontal line at the top, and dotted the top as well as the ends of the horizontal bar.

I used striping tape to create various striped patterns on my pinky and pointer.

I preformed a bit of clean up with acetone and a brush, and applied a glossy topcoat.  Lastly, I finished the look by adding a bow charm on my pointer and small gold studs from on the side of my thumb.

If you haven't guessed by the trend of my last few posts, I have recently fallen in love with Gothic Gala Lacquers.  Odin and Weird Science makes a great combination, the holo and the glitter are just too pretty.

I also think there is a significant improvement in my freehand abilities too.  Overall I am very happy with the turn out of this design.

I feel that nautical designs will never go out of style, and is absolutely perfect for summer.  I hope you enjoyed this nail art design.  Thanks for stopping by, see you next time.

Your Fellow Plebe,

Gothic Gala Lacquers Victorian Era Collection

Hello Lovelies!  Today, I will be sharing with you one of the most gorgeous collections I've seen in a while, Gothic Gala Lacquer's Victorian Era Collection.  If you have been reading this blog for a while you know that I made a nail goal to explore the indie polish world more thoroughly this year.  Through this adventure, I discovered Gothic Gala Lacquers in an indie collaboration box earlier this year, and I have quickly fallen in love with their lacquers.  However, I am also trying to be more frugal and trying to purchase only polishes that I am absolutely head over heels about.  When Samantha offered an another amazing sale on Fourth of July, I just had to purchase this collection, and I'm so glad I did!

Before I get into my swatches and review, please be aware that the information and opinions expressed are my own and are not solicited in anyway.  All swatches are photographed indoors under daylight lamps, and are edited only to show the colors as true as my eyes can make them out to be.  Also, for all swatches I used Yellow Stopper base coat and a generic glossy topcoat.

Without further adieu, I give you Gothic Gala's Victorian Era Collection...

Cupid's Kettle Drums

If you follow my IG account at all you know that I was wearing this earlier this week.  I have always claimed that pinks were my least favorite color, however, I have to amend that statement because pink really compliments my skin tone.  So, even if I don't like pink, it seems to like me.

This soft pink is really pretty with red undertones, and a gold holo shimmer.  This color is just so elegant and classy.  It is soft and subtle but still very eye-catching.  Swatched here in two coats.

Gas Pipes

Okay, to be honest I was a little put off by this color before I applied it.  In the bottle it appears to be this weird greenish-grey, greyish-green color.  Once, I applied it though I was pleasantly surprised to see it is more of a sea glass yellowy green shade that has little reflective flakies along with a little bit of rainbow holo glitters in it.  It is really quite pretty!  This was the thinnest polish of the set, and was the only one I swatched with three thin coats.  I probably could have gotten away with two coats if I had applied it slightly thicker.


I have no idea what a Gigglemug is, or might have been during the Victorian Era.  But I do know I love, love, love this color!  Of course, its my favorite color, blue!  Even if you are not a fan of blue, how can you not love this lacquer.  It is a soft light to medium blue with deeper blue/purple tones and a beautiful silver holo shimmer.  Excuse me for a moment while I wipe the drool from my chin (I should probably wear a bib when I'm swatching gorgeous polishes, such as these).  This was perfectly opaque in two thin coats.

Bit o' Jam

This shade is so nice!  It is a soft purple that leans toward the burple family.  It too has a beautiful silvery blue holo shimmer.  Let's face it, who doesn't love holo (if your a holo hater, I suggest staying quiet, unless you want to get virtually stoned to death by all the holo lovers out there, just a bit of friendly advice).  This is shown in two thin coats.

Tight as a Boiled Owl

First off, I think the name of this polish is absolutely hilarious, thank you for the laugh, Samantha.  Secondly, I couldn't do this polish true justice in the pictures.  This is one of the most unique polishes I think I've ever seen.  It is a brown coppery golden metallic polish with rainbow holo micro glitter.  Some might not think of this as a "pretty" polish, but it really is quit gorgeous because of the unique combination of facets.

I am a Steampunk cosplayer, whenever I get the opportunity, and this will go great with many of my costumes.  I have been having a very difficult time finding just the right polish that will work with my outfits and accessories.  This polish has everything I need and in just the right color, so I am very excited about this shade.

This was easily opaque in just two thin coats.  The only recommendation I would make, is that if you have heavily ridged nails like myself use a ridge filler base coat.  The metallic nature of this polish shows nail bed imperfections.  This is not a problem with the polish, in fact this is very common for metallic polishes.  Hence, the reason ridge filler base coats exists.  Though I didn't use it for this swatch, I am currently using (on a regular basis)  INM Ridge Free for my ridge filler base coat.

Dash My Wig

This polish is perfectly named, because it is a light-medium silver grey pepper with black micro pieces, finished off with a lovely holo shimmer.  The title is entertaining, and the polish is beautiful.  This is another that will be accompanying Tight as a Boiled Owl into my Steampunk wardrobe because of its metal-esque appearance.  Swatched here in only two coats of perfection, I would also recommend a ridge filler base coat under this.

Final Thoughts

I am so happy I purchased this collection!  This is truly a unique collection, that is diverse, interesting, soft and feminine but still so unique.  With the polish industry so focused on neons right now, it is really nice to see something else for a change.  This collection is great for someone look for something different.  I also feel that the softer colors are good for a work environment or for those environments that don't allow overpowering polishes. 

All in all, this collection is a great addition to my vast polish stash.  The application of each was smooth and clean, the finishes are gorgeous, and the colors are unique and interesting.  I hope you enjoyed these beautiful swatches and found the reviews useful.  Thanks for stopping by, see you next time.

  Your Fellow Plebe,


Sharpie Gradientish Stripes

Hello Lovelies!  A while ago, I was watching YouTube videos of some of my favorite nail artists when I happened upon a bunch of videos of artists using sharpies to make watercolor designs.  I just so happen to have a bunch of Sharpies because I love to doodle...

I picked a few of my favorite colors and I came up with this striped design...

Materials I used:
INM Ridge Free base coat
Sinful Colors 'Snow Me White'
Nicole by OPI matte topcoat
Sharpie markers
Rubbing alcohol
Cotton swabs (q-tips)

I began with a white base polish topped with a matte topcoat.  I highly recommend that if you use sharpies on your nails that you use a white or colored base coat.  Not only will it make your colors brighter but it will also prevent staining, Sharpies are permanent markers.  The matte topcoat is optional but I prefer to use it because I feel it helps capture the colors,  however I noticed it affects the overall appearance.  If you want to go with a more watercolor like appearance do not use the matte topcoat.

I first drew stripes with my markers.  Then to smooth out the colors I used rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab.  I tried a few different methods to blend the colors and what I found works best to create this look was to flood the nail with rubbing alcohol and then dab the nail with a dry swab to absorb the alcohol and the loose colors.  As a side note, if you are using fine tip markers like I am be careful about digging the tip into your base polish, I accidentally did that a couple of times which leaves the surface lumpy and uneven.  If you are purchasing markers specifically for nail art I would recommend going with the medium softer tip Sharpie, this way you are less likely to have this problem.

What is nice about this method is that if the colors blend too much or you rub too much color off you can go back over it with the marker and re-dab it to make it more the way you want it.

Once, I was happy with how these appeared I performed a bit of clean up with acetone and a brush, and applied a final layer of matte topcoat.  Of course, for your final topcoat it is up to you whether you go with a matte or glossy.

I was hoping when I created these that I would be able to blend the colors a little better to create a gradient like design, but I wasn't able to blend them quite as much as I would have liked.  I think if I had skipped the matte topcoat I would have had a better gradient affect.

I do like the bright colors and the rough stripe affect that I was able to create.  They kind of remind me of a pastel version of a Mexican blanket or serape.

As you saw in the top picture I have a ton of Sharpies and I have a few other watercolor type designs that I would like to try out, so expect to see them again in the future.  I hope you enjoyed this nail art design, and found the tutorial and tips useful.  Thanks for stopping by, see you next time.

Your Fellow Plebe,
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