Month: February 2014

Finger Food’s Theme Buffet: Cute

I recently joined Finger Food’s facebook group and this is my first time taking part in one of the themes which this week is “cute”.

There were a whole load of possibilities for this theme but I knew I wanted to do some cartoony animals. I’ve seen a lot of super cute owl nail art and thought I’d give it a try. I loved Supa Nails’ neon and black owls so decided to use them as inspiration for my owls.

I painted the whole design in white first and then painted the neon colours over the top. I had a lot of fun doing these nails and enjoyed wearing them. Cute designs are always great for nail art and put a smile on my face!

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GOT Polish: Orange

This orange polish is one I’ve had for ages. It also has a stupidly long name that comes out as something like The Most Awake Bright Psychedelic Orange when translated from Japanese – it’s from a Rimmel collection which was only available in Japan and I got as a gift when I lived there. I’ve used it in loads of manicures and will be sad when it finally runs out.

I wanted to try the houndstooth check pattern but knew it would be a challenge so decided to use white acrylic paint to try and make it easier. It was still a huge challenge and my second mani of the week that looks much better from a distance and shouldn’t be examined too closely!

I followed this tutorial by 10 Blank Canvases which made it look so much simpler than it is! Hers were so perfectly neat! Mine are a bit rough around the edges and I don’t think I got my grid of dots and then squares evenly spaced at the beginning which is key to a good result in this pattern.

I’m still quite pleased with the result, even if it’s not that neat, and am glad I tried this pattern out!

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I used: Psychedelic Orange – Rimmel, white acrylic paint

Techniques Challenge: Brushstroke Mani

I’d never even heard of the brushstroke technique before this challenge but was excited to have yet another new technique to try.
I looked at a whole load of photos after watching the tutorial by Gorgeois and thought about doing a variation on the idea, like only using shades of one colour but in the end decided just to follow the tutorial as it stands, using similar polishes as I loved the look Gorgeois created. It being the first time I’d tried this technique I had no idea how well it would come out or how difficult it would be and thought not being too adventurous would be best in this situation.

I really enjoyed doing the mani, it was simple and fun and looked equally good on both my right and left hand! (Not something I can often say – my right hand is usually a slightly wobbly version of my left…) I can see myself coming back to this technique and experimenting a bit more now I understand what’s involved and the effects that could be achieved.

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I used: Strong Chocolate – Kiko, Fluent Red – Kiko, Lawn Green – Kiko, Boltons Place – Nails Inc, HG32 – Layla, Princess Tears – A England

Tri Polish Tuesday: Grey, Pink and Brown Plaid

Plaid was one of the very first designs I ever tried when I got into nail art. Someone, somewhere had said it was a simple nail art design for beginners. I totally disagree! It was way beyond my capabilities then and I’m still struggling with this design as it really requires perfectly straight lines and mastery of the striping brush. (Or tons of patience and tape maybe, but given my hatred of tape I’m more likely to achieve striping brush perfection!) It’s one of those patterns I know I need to return to from time to time to see how I’m progressing and if I’m any closer to getting it right.

I followed this photo tutorial that I came across on a google image search. The google search links to someone’s Pinterest board and I have no idea who originally put this tutorial together – if you know then please tell me and I’ll give proper credit. I thought my mani looked great from a distance this time, but up close my decidedly wobbly lines are pretty obvious. It’s an an improvement on my previous attempts so I’m happy with that! This won’t be my last plaid mani, that’s for sure.

It will be my last grey, pink and brown mani for the Tri Polish challenge though as next week we’ll have new colours for March! I’ve enjoyed my first month taking part in this challenge and am looking forward to March’s colours.

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I used: My Boyfriend Scales Walls – OPI, Miss Grey – GOSH, Lady in Black – OPI, Hoopla – Ciaté, You Don’t Know Jacques – OPI

Let it Glitter – Tropical

I’ve got a bit behind on my posts as I was away in Seville for a conference this weekend… So this was meant to be my Sunday sparkle but now it’s late on Monday evening. I want to show you this polish though, as it’s a really fun one!

This is the first time I have purchased anything from Let it Glitter. They have a lot of really fun and sparkly polishes available but I was attracted to the bright colours in this green and blue non-metallic glitter. It has two different sizes of bright blue and green hex glitter pieces which would look great over so many base colours – I had a really tough time choosing what to layer it over!

It was surprisingly easy to apply and didn’t require as much glitter fishing as I expected it would. I didn’t need to dab it on as it brushed on nicely. It’s not a densely packed glitter and that’s one of the things that help it to be a great polish for layering over a variety of shades. I love the random polka dotty look that it creates. It also dries pretty quickly making if a fun and easy to use polish.

I decided to layer it over a pale blue to lilac gradient (mainly because I couldn’t decide which of the two colours to use!) but I’d like to try it over a yellow or pale orange next time to give it the tropical feel its name suggests.

I’ll have another Let it Glitter polish to show you soon as I couldn’t limit myself to just buying one…

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I used: Tropical – Let it Glitter, Blu – Zoya, Violet – Kiko

GOT Polish: Chevrons

Chevrons usually mean tape and I’m really off tape at the moment! I had a horrifically messy tape disaster a week or so ago and just wasn’t in the mood for fiddly bits of tape that take ages and may not have the result I want. Rant over.

So instead I decided to try and freehand a chevron. I was inspired to do a kind of gradient chevron by Nuthin’ but a Nail Thing but doubted my ability to do such a neat gradient as she’d done without the aid of tape so decided to outline my chevrons in black.

I thought I’d done a fairly good job keeping my chevrons even but when I looked at them at the end I realised there were some pretty wonky lines in there. Perhaps it’s time to revisit taping and make my peace with it! I do love seeing the amazing manis other people create using tape and it’s something I wish I had better skills with. As much as I love to freehand as much as I can, I’m going to make myself a promise to do taped manis on a more regular basis until I get the hang of them better.

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I used: Mellow Yellow – Sally Hansen, Yellow – Sweets Sweet, Psychedelic Orange – Rimmel, Revlon Red – Revlon, Victoria – Nail Art, Black – Decorative Nail

Techniques Challenge: Stamping

I’m sure you’ll see a lot of incredible stamped manis today but I’m really proud of mine because this is my first successful stamped manicure. I never really got into stamping – although I did buy some cheap soft stamps a year or so ago which I used a couple of times but didn’t get me overly excited. Recently I thought I ought to give stamping a proper go and bought a couple of plates. I never realised how difficult it was and how much practise it requires! I knew that getting a perfect stamp was something which required skill but I thought the basic technique must be easy enough. I was so wrong and spent ages wondering why I couldn’t even manage to pick up an image. The lovely ladies at Polish-aholics Anonymous gave me some great advice and helped me select the right polish and get the right technique for picking up images.
I know it’s something that’s going to take a lot more time and work if I want it to look anywhere near as good as all the amazingly perfect stamped manis I see on a daily basis, but this is the first step, right!?!

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I used: Venom Teal – Kiko, Ivory Queen – Ciaté, Moyou Suki Collection 7 plate

Tri Polish Tuesday: Brown, Pink and Grey Fishtail

It’s been ages since I last did a fishtail braid design. It’s a style I love because it’s so simple to do and looks so good – as if you’ve done something much more complicated and requiring far more skill than this mani needs in reality!
I really love the colour combination in this one and think it’s the first time I’ve really got the February Tri Polish colours to work for me. I think the dusky pink and the grey go especially together and the gorgeous shimmery brown gives a nice pop! The pink was a bit sheer so you can see through to the layer underneath a bit, but hopefully it doesn’t detract from the overall effect.

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I used: Shag – Butter London, Artificial Sweetener – Orly, Miss Grey – GOSH

Sunday Sparkle: She Walks in Beauty

Making my nails bright and sparkly today is the gorgeous She Walks in Beauty by A England – a brand I always make a point of buying a few bottles of each time I’m in the UK.

The combination of various sized gold and pale pink glitter pieces is really pretty and felt like an appropriate sparkle for the end of the Valentines weekend. It’s a very girly glitter which is easy to apply and get good, even coverage with. Just one coat looks amazing as a topper, two coats gives a much denser, glitter heavy effect. It’s also a great polish for using in glitter gradients but today just wanted to coat my nails in it!

I layered it over Warwick Avenue by Nails Inc which I thought it went with really well, the only problem is that they match so well that it’s a bit difficult to see the pale pink glitter pieces in the photo.

If you can’t already tell, this pretty glitter has made it a very happy and sparkly Sunday indeed!

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Ciate Chalkboard Manicure

I did this mani about a week ago but completely forgot to post it until someone in a facebook group I’m part of started talking about this kit. I wanted to get the Chalkboard Manicure kit when it first came out but the price tag was a bit high and people didn’t seem to have amazingly positive things to say about it. When my local Sephora had a whole bunch of nail kits including this one at 10€ in the sale I thought I’d give it a whirl!

It said to apply the black Chalkboard Paint Pot directly to the nail without a base coat, but I was worried about black staining my nails so applied my base coat anyway. Unfortunately this made the polish behave like a crackle polish so I had to take it all off and start again.

The black dried pretty quickly and looked quite nice and even without a base coat. (I only wore it for a day but didn’t have any staining when I took it off).

As other people have said the pens are quite chunky for doing nail art with and take a bit of getting used to. They seemed a bit dry and scratchy at first but just needed a lot of shaking and coaxing to get a smooth flow of ink/paint coming through. It would take me quite a lot of practise to get a nice looking design using these but I did have fun drawing patterns on my nails. The blue pen seemed to work much better than the others with a smooth and opaque application. The others looked a bit patchier but also a bit more like chalk on a board…

The matte top coat dried really quickly and looked just as good as the OPI matte top coat I already own. A day later it was starting to look a little less matte but no more so than other matte topcoats I’ve tried – I think most of them need re-mattifying after a day or so if you plan to wear your mani that long. The kit was worth it for the matte topcoat which would have cost at least 10€ here in Spain anyway and I had some fun with the chalkboard polish and pens.

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