29 December 2013

Vintage Roses


So I was all geared up to try something new tonight, turquoise nails. I was going to be a little different and use the technique on the purple that I had just swatched. But since the water marble section didn't want to play, I gave up and decided to try something else instead.

I settled on vintage roses in the end. I've attempted these a couple of times in the past but have always decided that they don't look right halfway through and never actually finished them. I did a quick google search to see if there were any easy tutorials for me to follow. I finally settled on this one. I was very easy for me to follow with big pictures and detailed descriptions of what the author did. 

I started by doing two coats of Nails Inc Royal Botanical Gardens on most of my fingers with Nails Inc Porchester Square as an accent nail. I then applied a coat of HK Girl top coat to make sure that my nails were dry before I started striping.


I then used striping tape on my ring fingers to make a pinstripe effect. (Sorry, the flash caught the shine on the tape slightly)


A few months ago, I spotted a post about how to apply polish over striping tape. I used this method (sorry I can't remember who posted) and sponged two coats of Nails Inc Victoria. The sponging gives better coverage and also helps to stop any bleeding that you would get under the tape as there is no excess polish. I then peeled the tape off slowly after the second layer had dried.


I the used the tutorial to make the roses and have listed the colours used below.

Roses:

Nails Inc St - James's for the base
Seventeen - Love for first accent
Nails Inc - Chearing Cross Road for the second accent

Leaves:

Barry M - Watermelon
Barry M - Spring Green 

I topped it all off with another coat of HK girl top coat and the finished product is below.


I like these nails very much! I've never finished vintage roses before, but I think I'll be trying them in different colours! These will look lovely in spring with my other pastel colours.

Thanks for reading!





Swatch from my China Glaze Cirque Du Soleil collection



Sorry I've not posted for a while, been slightly busy and also haven't kept a design on for more than a day for a while. I did however get a massive haul at Christmas which I'm slowly making my way through.

I was lucky to get the whole Cirque du Soleil collection by China Glaze. I must say that I love all of the colours and have already used a few. 

Today I decided to try Creative Fantasy which looks like a lovely bright purple in the bottle. However, I'm not sure I like it yet. I went to apply as usual on top of my base coat but found it to be very watery. Even after my usual two coats I could still see my nail through the colour. Considering how dark the colour is, this is quite strange to me. The below picture shows two coats.


This picture shows three coats. Slightly better but still a little streaky for my liking. It would probably take 4 coats to get the same coverage that the other colours give in two. I wonder if this is just a one off and there's something wrong with just this colour. I'll try it again in a few days over a white base and see if it gives better coverage, but at the minute I'm not too impressed. 


What do you guys think?

Thanks for reading!





8 December 2013

My first bottle of Nicole by OPI



I went shopping last weekend with my mum and spotted some of the Nicole by OPI range in TK Maxx. I've never bought any of these before as they're a little expensive and I can get dupes of a lot of the colours for less elsewhere. But these were half price and this colour was so beautiful I couldn't resist.

This was the first one I picked up and I was torn between a few other colours. I decided to be good and stick with my original choice and go back for more if I like the quality rather than buy lots and not like them. 

The colour i settle on is Back to Reality.....TV. This is a gorgeous pale-ish purple but it has gorgeous tiny pieces of glitter that make your nails shimmer in the light. I couldn't quite capture this in a photo so I've added a little video at the bottom to show off the sparkle a little. This is two coats.


I'm now incapable of wearing just a plain colour anymore, so I jazzed it up a little. I used some tiny blue stars and gold hearts that I got from the She Sells SeaShells website. This is a UK based online shop that sells tiny cute little charms and things for your nails. I decided just to get a wheel of stars and some hearts for now to see what the quality was like first (Something I have recently learnt to do). I'll have to see how the hearts wear as they're a little larger than I thought they would be and they're also hollow so I may have to fill them first in future. 


Overall, I love this colour and think this will get worn a lot! This is another one that I think I will have to add to my Christmas list, along with a new bottle of top coat!

Thanks for reading!

video

Nails Inc Malibu Collection


I've been lurking on Ebay this last week looking for good deals. I spotted this set of 3, that was brand new and I won the auction for just £7. I've recently discovered Nails Inc and so far I really  like them! They usually do beautiful bright colours and they apply brilliantly!

This is how the set arrived. 


This is the first colour I tried which is called Malibu Mojito. Two coats gives full coverage and it's a beautiful bright blue/green. This is probably my favourite out of the three and I can see me wearing this quite often.


This is Malibu Cosmo. Two coats (excuse the mess) and it a gorgeous bright purple. Again, I can see myself wearing this a lot and it's my second favourite from the trio. 


The last of the three is Maliblush. This is two coats and is probably my least favourite. It's a bright coral/orange that's almost neon. This is maybe a little too bright for me, although that might be because I don't wear orange very often and favour the blues and purples instead. 


I like all of these colours and would definately wear them all! I think I shall be adding some Nails Inc to my Christmas list as I'm very impressed so far.

Thanks for reading!

My First Essie



Ok, so I spend most of my free time scrolling through all the beautiful manicures on the RedditLaqueristas subreddit on the wonderful Reddit website =). Most of the ladies on there are from America and lots of them love the Essie brand. Having never tried it, I was curious to see why so I went on ebay and found myself a cheap bottle to try. 

The colour I chose is Stylenomics as it looked like a lovely dark Christmassy green in the photos. Below is the bottle.


So, below shows two coats of this colour (I couldn't bring myself to remove the tree from my previous design). It gives complete coverage and if you do thick coats you could maybe get away with just one coat of this. It was a little too close to black for my liking though so I added a coat of the Barry M aqua glitter over the top to lighten it up a little. 



I probably wouldn't wear this colour on it's own as I usually go for brighter colours. But I really like it when I team it up with the glitter.

Thanks for reading!

Christmas Mash Up



There will be a few posts tonight since I've been rather busy this last week and haven't had a chance to post all my lovely nails. This one is probably my favourite.

A few weeks ago I put in an order at Born Pretty Store and it finally arrived! I was so excited and now I have lots of lovely new things to play with!

I did a base of BK Matt White on my ring and finger and painted the rest with Barry M Blueberry Ice Cream. I then used my new stamping plate from Born Pretty and stamped the snow man design over the blue using the Matt White.

For the two white nails I used hex glitters from this set to make the Christmas tree and just used plain white (even though it shows purple here) on my index. 

I don't quite think the below picture did this design justice. It's one of my favourites so far and the hex glitters last surprisingly well!


If you would like to order any items from Born Pretty then you can use code GPL91 to get 10% off full price items!

Thanks for reading!



1 December 2013

New NYC and Miss Sporty polishes



Ok, so I know this is a little late, but here are the last three polishes from my Superdrug haul last week. I love the first two colours but I'm not sure on the last one.

First up we have NYC - Blue Sky. I agree with most reviews on this in that it is most definitely green not blue. It's a beautiful mint green and gives complete coverage in just two coats. It also dries quicker than a lot of polishes so would be great if you were in a rush!


Next up we have Grape from the Miss Sporty Clubbing colours range. It's a gorgeous mid purple and is actually a shade that I don't have! This again is just two coats for complete coverage. I've never used these before but I must say, I do love the brush. It's a lovely wide brush that covers my whole nail in just one sweep!


Lastly we have Aurora Borealis from the Miss Sporty Metal Head range. In the bottle this is a beautiful shimmery green that changes to purple dependent on the light. This was different when I applied it to my nails. The below pictures show two coats, though this one could probably do with a coat of white underneath as I can still see my nails through. It also doesn't appear to change colour like it does in the bottle. No matter how I moved my hands it just showed purple. This is my least favourite out of the three.  



I love both the green and the mid purple, but I'm really not keen on the last shade. I think I'll have to try it with white underneath to see if that shows the colours any better.

Thanks for reading!

27 November 2013

New Barry M Polishes and a bit of Christmas Stamping



Ok, so I made a small mistake of going shopping on my lunch hour at work today. I wandered up to Superdrug and they had a special offer on where if you spend £6 on Barry M then you get a limited edition polish for free! I never say no to free polish! I also got a few other colours but I'll swatch them tomorrow.

I actually managed to buy myself 3 shades from the same colour palette for once. I usually walk out with completely contrasting colours that I can never use together. I finally invested in one of their Matte Nail paints that I've been drooling over for months. The shade I picked is Caramel. It looked slightly whiter under the bright shop lights, but when I applied it, the shade is almost a match to my natural skin colour. The below picture shows 2 coats which give complete coverage. I'm not sure on this one as it's a lot paler than the shades I normally go for. Although a few people have mentioned that it makes my nails look longer and that it would be a good natural shade for if i ever have any interviews. I agree and it does give beautiful coverage. 


The next shade I bought is from the normal nail paint range and the shade is Cappuccino. I decided to pick this shade because one of the few colours I am lacking is brown shades. I only have one other brown shade and I often find myself unable to do designs as I don't have the right brown. My solution is to buy more polishes! So the below picture again shows two coats and I really like it! It's a lovely purpley/brown shade and I can see me wearing this a lot for work. 


The free limited edition shade I got is Gold Dust (the other shade at Superdrug is Fairy Lights which I already own). I added one coat of this over the Caramel shade. It gives very thick coverage though the confetti does take some spreading otherwise it just stays clumped together. I'm still a little unsure on confettis and can't decide whether I like them or not. 


I decided to go for an all over base of cappuccino tonight except my ring fingers where I applied 2 coats of the Gold Dust confetti to give a glitter accent effect. I then used Barielle Big Apple Red and the Barry M Silver Foil to stamp Christmas patterns on my nails using BM - H02.


Overall, out of these three, I think I like the Cappuccino shade the best. Though I shall keep using the other two to see if they grow on me.

Thanks for reading and comments are welcome! 


26 November 2013

Flower Water Decals



Earlier this week I ordered some water decals and stickers from www.vivalanails.co.uk. They arrived today so I thought I would try some of them tonight as a simple mani for work tomorrow. The ones I have used are these ones but they are out of stock at the moment. There are plenty of other though and these ones are very similar but in blue and pink. 

I started by applying two coats of Revlon Gum Drop to all of my nails. I don't know why I don't use this more often as it's a gorgeous shade. Next, i applied 3 coats of W7 Purple Dazzle. I bought this shade at the weekend and haven't had a chance to try it until today. It's a very pretty shade but there are still a few gaps where I couldn't get the glitter to cover with the brush. I think I'm going to try sponging glitters to see if they cover better.

To use the water decals, you need to cut each one you intend to use out of the sheet so each one is on it's own. 
Next, pour out a little bit of water into a small container and soak your first decal for about 20 seconds using tweezers to hold it. 
After the 20 seconds the decal should just slide off the backing paper. 
Using the tweezers, lift the decal and place it on your finger nail. 
I then use a cotton bud to remove the excess water and press the decal onto the nail. 
Then just repeat for the other nails!

Once I'd placed all my decals, I topped my nails off with a coat of Sally Hansen Super Shine Top Coat and then a few drops of Sally Hansen Dry Kwik to make sure I don't smudge.




I'd never really used water decals until today. I'd only ever used odd ones and had never done full hands. I really like these, they apply really easily and they look really sweet and classy. Plus it's a great way to have your nails look great if you don't have time to sit and do lots of artwork on them. I shall definitely be looking at getting some more!

Thanks for reading and comments are welcome!



25 November 2013

Some Slightly Early Christmas Nails.



Ok, so I am well known for being a lover of Christmas. I already have most of my presents and the Christmas cds and earrings are ready to go! But I just couldn't wait to attempt my first lot of Christmas nails!

So, all my nails except the ring fingers have been given a coat of Barielle - Swizzle Stix. This is possibly one of my favourite blue shades. It's nice and bright and gives pretty much full coverage in just one coat so is brilliant to use a base for nail art. On my ring fingers I used 2 coats of a Barry M textured polish called Peal Lady. This is the first time I've used it since I bought it and it's much shinier than I thought it would be! (I don't do any cleanup until I've finished my designs so please excuse the slight mess around my nails)


Next, I used a large dotting tool and Barry M - White to make cloud shapes at the bse of my nails.



Using Nails Inc - Black I made a large circle at the top of my nail, then a smaller one on top for my penguins on my thumb and middle finger. I then used Elf - Chocolate to make a half circle with another half circle/oval on top for the base of my reindeer. 


I used my white to dot on the penguin faces and chests then went over the outline of the reindeer using my Barry M nail art pen.

Then using black and white nail art pens to draw the eyes on them all. Then, using the small end of my dotting tool, I added beaks to the penguins using Barry M - Mango and noses to the reindeer using China Glaze - Infra red.


Again using the small end of my dotting too, I used Barry M - Mushroom to add antlers to my reindeer. Then added little Santa hats to my penguins.

The final step was to add snow in the leftover blue bits using my white pen and then top it off with a coat of Sally Hansen super shine top coat with a layer of dry kwik to make sure I don't smudge them before bed. Here they are finished after a little cleanup but still with the dry kiwk on (which is why my fingers look shiny).



This is my first attempt at doing a design like this. The penguins haven't quite turned out how I planned, but I do like the reindeer. I think I'll try this again soon with a lighter brown and do the penguins a bit bigger so I can add the details easier. But I had lots of fun playing with the design, though I have learned to put my hair up when doing things like this as I now have white nail varnish in my hair!

Thanks for reading!

24 November 2013

Oddball Stamping



Well, my boyfriend has been rather lovely lately and has been buying me lots of stamping goodies. I didn't have many stamping plates before, only 2 sample Konad's and my mum got me the holidays set for my birthday. Since it's a little late for the autumn/halloween plates and too early for the Christmas ones, I treated myself to 2 of the Moyou plates a couple of weeks ago.

Now, he's a little sweetie and buys me a "monthavirsary" present each month. This month it was one of the bundle monster packs. He'd also bought me two more Moyou plates for Christmas, but since they put a company stamp on the package, I've ended up with them early as I'd spotted it and he refused to keep them til Christmas. So, tonight I decided to oddball nails with a different colour and stamp on each nail. 

So from thumb to pinky the colours used are :
Barry m - Blue Moon
Barry M - Greenberry
Barry M - Prickly Pear
W7 - Baby Pink
Barrielle - Swizzle Stix.


The plate used on all nails except my ring finger is Moyou plate Roxy collection 04 and on the ring finger is Bundle Monster BM-201. I used Nails Inc black and Barry M silver foil for the stamping. This is all topped off with a coat of Matte Me Crazy by NYC. I'm really growing to like my matte nails and it's been a long time since I've had a different design on each nail. I think I'm going to go back to doing designs like this, they'll certainly keep me entertained tomorrow at work!

Thanks for reading!



23 November 2013

Nails Inc mini haul



A few weeks ago, I bought a magazine that came with a free Nails Inc varnish. I've been playing with it for the last few weeks and it's by far the best black varnish that I've ever owned. It completely covers my nails in just one coat. Which makes it very good for nail art.

I was curious to see whether all the Nails Inc varnishes were this high quality or if it was just the black. However, I didn't want to pay the £11 price tag just for one in case the black was a one off. So I went on ebay instead and found a set of 3 unused ones that someone didn't want. Of course I had to bid on it and I won all three for just £6.50 then postage so I was very happy. 

The three colours I got were Gliston Road, The Thames and Electric Lane. The last one is a top coat with tiny bits of holographic glitter.


 The picture below shows the colours with 2 coats. I was pleased to see that they did give enough coverage to get away with just one coat. I have only applied two out of habit. 

Index - Gliston Road, Middle - The Thames - Ring - Electric Lane over Barry M white.


 Overall, I'm very pleased with my purchase. I love Electric Lane and I am currently sporting this on my toes over the top of a silver foil. My only slight regret is that I managed to buy a set with two near identical colours. I've decided to keep The Thames and gift Gliston Road to a friend at work who has been admiring my nails for a while. 

I decided that my nails were too plain just being grey, so i used one of the new Moyou plates to spruce them up a little. The below design has been done using their Pro Plate 10 and the polishes are Barry M Watermelon and W7 Baby Pink. I'm very impressed with these plates as they appear to work with any polish. Past experience with plates had previously led me to believe it was the polishes fault, but maybe the plates weren't cut deep enough. I shall have to experiment some more as I also have a new set of bundle monster plates to play with, so there will be quite a few more posts showing off my stamping. 



Thanks for reading!

21 November 2013

An Introduction


I've had an interest in painting my nails for a long time and over the last few months I've gotten into doing nail art on them too. I've had lots of compliments from friends and colleagues and a few of them suggested that I start my own blog showing all the different things I'm learning. I've finally decided to be brave and do just that! So here it goes!

I thought my first post should be showing the new polishes that arrived today. I got slightly carried away when I went on the Superdrug website at the weekend. I spotted a brand that I see a lot on reddit (my usual place for showing off my nail art) which is NYC nail colour. There was also a fairly new brand called MUA. Thanks to these being fairly cheap in the UK and a 3 for 2 offer, I managed to get 8 new polishes to play with for little over £10 with free delivery. 





So, these are the polishes I bought. They all seem to be of quite good quality, though I've only swatched them so far. One of the polishes I bought was a smokey top coat which I haven't tested yet because I'm not quite sure how it works. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

As this left me with 7 colours, I had to do the testing in two lots. Below is a nail each of the 4 NYC colours I bought. Each colour is showing 2 coats and this should easily cover your nails.

Index - NYC - Magic Earth (foil), Middle - NYC - Pure Air (foil), Ring - NYC Prince street, Pinky - Wild With  Passion.



Next we have the 3 MUA nail polishes. Now I'll admit, I've accidentally managed to buy a dupe since the colour on the website was wrong. 

Pointer - MUA - Plum Noir (duped with Wild With Passion), Middle - MUA - Koala Bear, Ring - MUA - Shade 1 (dark blue/black).

All of the MUA colours used to come in small, rectangle shaped bottles and only had shade names. But now they've changed their packaging and lots of people have told me to try them. The bottles look very similar to the Essie's, but since I don't currently own any, I can't really compare the quality of them. One thing I will say, Koala Bear is very sheer, the below picture shows 2 coats so unless I did a white base, this would probably need 3-4 coats to completely cover your nail.


I must admit, I do like all of the new colours that I got. Although the plum noir now has a new home in my mum's room as she spotted me wearing it and liked it. I think I'll have to have a play in the next few weeks and see how well the colours hold up for stamping etc.

I also got some MoYou stamping plates this week (it was payday last week which is always dangerous for nail items) so decided to have a play with some of the patterns. I picked Wild With Passion as my base as it's nice and bright and I didn't fancy wearing a dark colour. The below picture shows two coats which is more than enough. If you do nice thick coats, you could probably get away with just one coat of this colour and have pretty much complete coverage. 


Next I stamped on two t-rex using MoYou Princess Plate 05 and Barry M Gold Foil. On my Thumb i used the Pro Plate XL 05 plate to do the Ammonite pattern on my Thumb. I think I like the Ammonite best and will definitely be using this one more often! A few things you may pick up on in future posts is that 1. I love Barry M ( I currently own more than 50 ) and 2. I do love dinosaurs so I am on the lookout for decals or more stamping plates that include them!


I apologise for the slight mess around my nails, I have a habit of shaking plus I'm still learning how to clean up properly without ruining my designs. 

Thanks for reading!