Thursday, 4 April 2013

31 Day Nail Challenge: Week 30 - Inspired by a Tutorial

So here we are at week 30, the penultimate week of this nail art challenge. It's crazy how the time has gone!

This week is Inspired by a Tutorial. There are tons of tutorials for nail art online. You can pretty much google for a tutorial on any theme, design, technique, etc and you'll find one. So this week feels kind of cheaty. I guess back when it was made there were less tutorials around so it would have been more of a challenge and less of a "oo I want to do spoon nail art *google spoon nail art* *get 100 results* ooo which spoon tutorial shall I use?" sort of situation.

I'm kind of tempted to do a spoon manicure now.

I like spoons.

Anyway, enough of my cutlery preferences and more on my SUPER CUTE NAILS!

This tutorial (from Cindy Blogs Nails and Chalkboard Nails) is pretty popular/well known and has been circulating around for a while now. I love how simple and cute it is so I thought I'd have a go. I actually decided to use this tutorial back in week 2 or 3 when I was planning ahead a bit lol so it felt rude to change my mind now.


Everyone is fond of owls. This manicure is bright, cheerful and makes me smile when I lookie at my hands =) here's what I used.

Base: Orly: Bonder
Background: Barry M: Nude
Pink Owl: Models Own: Soda Pop Pink, Sinful Colors: Easy Going
Yellow Owl: Bloom: Daisy, Rimmel: Lemon Drop
Green Owl: Models Own: Jade Stone, Nails Inc: Wimbledon
Blue Owl: Kiko 337, Models Own: Beth's Blue
Purple Owl: Barry M: Berry Ice Cream, Models Own: Utopia.
Little Owl Noses <3: China Glaze: Papaya Punch
Eyes: Rio Nail Art Pens (White and Black)
Top Coat: Colour Club:Vivid Top Coat

I love having a rainbow of owls on my nails. I think my favourite is the blue owl, especially as I messed up one of the eyes on my left hand and he looks super derpy. I wish the colour contrast on the yellow owl showed up more. You can hardly see his cute little belly spots. Aww.

Next week is the last week of the challenge! The theme is Re-create your Favourite Challenge and I'll be featuring *your* favourite of my challenge manicures with my first tutorial so stay tuned for that!

No news from Gemx, I hope she's ok and too crazy-busy! I'm sure she'll have some fab nails to show you very soon =) I'll update when she does.

Hope on over to Alli's blog to check out her awesome nails tooooo!

That's it from me for this week =)


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

31 Day Nail Challenge: Week 29 - Inspired by the Supernatural

Ok so I'm a massive fan of Sci-Fi so there were countless options for me for this week's challenge but did I do Sci-Fi nails? No. I did not. 

No, for this weeks challenge my nails have been taken over by unicorns.

My nails are super girly, super cute, super super and I LOVE IT. Every girl (and guys too if they want) should have unicorn nails. I have been in the best mood today and I'm pretty sure it's the nails doing. I have been looking at my nails and smiling. I have been singing about unicorns. I have been singing about glitter, unicorns, rainbows and tea cups. The unicorns are helping me type this. They also helped me dissemble a cherry muffin earlier >.>

It's been a fab day.

Here is a list of what I used:
Sinful Colors (The lack of "u" bugs me.): Snow Me White
Barry M: Berry Ice Cream, Lemon Ice Cream, Mint Green, Strawberry Ice Cream, Nude
Models Own: Beth's Blue
Rio Nail Art Pen: White
China Glaze: Fairy Dust

These, in my eyes at least, are the perfect unicorn colours. My unicorns think so anyway. Also I love the Sinful Colors white, it's awesome! One coat was enough for my tips to be covered and it's a nice formula too, it glides on smoothly. Very happy. I picked it up in Boots in a 3 for 2 along with 5 others, adding to my SC collection lol. I'm SO happy these are in Boots now! SO HAPPY. I hope other American brands will be available here (*cough* ZOYA *cough*) more readily because I have a big American-Polish-shaped hole in my life right now. 

I can't stop staring at my hands lol I think every day should be unicorn day tbh.

Gemx will be back soon I'm sure, she's just crazy-busy so look out for an update soon! In the meantime check out Alli's nails, they're so awesome!


Sunday, 24 March 2013

31 Day Nail Challenge: Week 28 - Inspired by a Flag

Yes I'm aware that we are nearly into the next week and therefore I'm WAY behind but there we go, this week has just been crazy-busy.

For my flag nails I chose to use the International Maritime Signal Flags. Each flag represents a different letter but also other warnings and messages to passing ships. I chose to use the flags to spell out my blog name on my nails =)

 My right hand thumb is a hyphen and my right pinkie is a heart from my blog logo, so those ones aren't flags in case you were wondering why they weren't on the list, I just had to make up space on my hands lol

I'm pleased with how these turned out and I have had tons of compliments on them! They're quite striking to look at.

For these I used a base of 3 coats of No7 Snowflake on each nail, which as I've mentioned before is a total pain to use but my other white has gone too gloopy to be saved. I did buy another this week but after I'd already done my nails. The other colours were from my Rio Nail Art Pen kit.

Gemx has been really busy too this week with family stuff meaning I haven't had anything from her so I'll add it later. Alli is back though! So go and check out her blog to catch up with how her challenge is going!

That's it for now! I can't wait to do my nails for the supernatural challenge, I've been sitting on an idea for ages! Expect lots of sparkles!


Thursday, 14 March 2013

31 Day Nail Challenge: Week 27 - Inspired by Artwork

This week's challenge was fun for a few reasons,
1. I got to browse lots of artwork on google!
2. I got to rummage through my entire polish collection look for colours to use!
3. I got to use some colours I hadn't opened before!

Anyway, moving on..

My nails are inspired by the artwork of Gustav Klimt, mostly The Kiss (1907) and The Tree Of Life (1905). Klimt used a lot of gold leaf if his paintings so my nails this week are painted using various shades of gold! 

Usually I stay away from gold because it looks weird with my skin tone but I actually own a few shades of gold that are really wearable! My skin looks very red in most of my pictures and the ones that look more colour accurate are a bit.. wishy washy.. can't tell you why. No idea. So I included one of the crazy red-skinned ones for you to see the nails better. Sorry about the lobster.

These are the golds I used:
Barry M - Gold Foil
Models Own - 25 Carat Gold, Gold Rush and Champagne

Gold Foil is an antique-gold shade that only really needs one coat. It isn't really a foil exactly though, not like MO Champagne is, and it does show a lot of brush strokes, however it is fab for stamping as it's so pigmented. The colour reminds me of those gold marker pens that you get, where you have to push the nib down to make the ink flow. Champagne is a very pale gold that looks rose-toned when compared to the others. It's a foil finish so no brush marks and SO shiny. Gold Rush is sheer sparkly yellow-gold but because it is quite sheer it allows some of your nail colour to show through meaning it is less stark and more wearable. It essentially is very fine gold glitter in a clear base. Surprisingly I really enjoyed wearing this one and will definitely bring it out in summer! 25 Carat Gold is a yellow-gold shimmer polish. It isn't quite a foil but it isn't so frosty that you're left with lots of brush strokes. The shimmer is very fine which makes it glow. It's looks like gold leaf.

And here are the colours on each of my fingers:
Thumb - Base of Barry M Gold Foil, topped with a coat of MO Gold Rush (to make the colour more yellow-toned). The swirl is painted using China Glaze Harvest Moon <3 using a small paint brush.
Index - Base of MO Gold Rush (2 coats, quite a sheer polish but super sparkly) circles painted with MO 25 Carat Gold and outlined with CG Harvest Moon and Barry M Gold Foil.
Middle - Base of MO 25 Carat Gold, lines painted in CG Harvest Moon, No7 Grey Skies, Barry M Gold Foil and Rio Nail Art Pen.
Ring - Base of MO Champagne, triangle at base of nail using Barry M Gold Foil, outlined in CG Harvest Moon with Rio Nail Art Pen triangles. 
Pinky - Base of Barry M Gold Foil topped with a coat of MO Gold Rush (same as thumb) squares painted using CG Harvest Moon.


I think these are very Klimt-esque, especially as there are so many different shades of gold. The patterns that I picked out are very characteristic of his style.

Those of you that have been following for a while will remember that China Glaze Harvest Moon was on my May Wishlish .. Well I FINALLY bought it last month along with Luxe and Lush (also on the wishlist) and Electrify. I cannot wait to use Harvest Moon properly! I'll swatch it very soon. 

Gem's nails are superly gorgeous this week! 

"This week I wasn't sure what to do. It's difficult to replicate art on nails! I picked Peggy Garr to try and replicate her art on my nails. I really like her paintings with the earthy toned background and the abstract floral/trees in the foreground.So I gave that a go!
I used:
Models Own Golden Peach
Models Own Snow White
Models Own Lemon Meringue
Revlon Cherries in the Snow
These were sponged on to create the background. I then use Snow White to dot on some flowers and Andrea Fullerton black nail art brush in black to draw on the tree."

I LOVE the background colour. I may need to try this myself! Golden Peach is such a pretty colour. When summer (eventually) comes I know I'll be wearing it a lot.

That's it for this week's challenge! Next time the theme is 'Inspired by a Flag' which perhaps isn't the most exciting but I have a good idea for what to do =)

See you soon!


Saturday, 9 March 2013

31 Day Nail Challenge: Week 26 - Inspired by a Pattern

Yes I'm aware this post is super late but there we go..

Week 26 is all about taking inspiration from a pattern, but there are so many patterns to pick from. I had considered doing something Maths related (sequences) for this challenge but kept getting drawn to spirals and ripples. As I suck with decisions I went to my mum and asked for her suggestions and she said I should do paisley, so here are my paisley nails.

I got the colour theme from this image on google:

I liked the green and pink, it looks exotic and full of contrast. I did a pink background using Rimmel's Pop Rose that I picked up in poundland a few years ago (before I realised about animal testing). I topped the pink off with some China Glaze Fairy Dust to give it some sparkle. The details were done using my Rio Nail Art Pens; I used the white to fill in the shapes then blocked it in with Nails Inc Wimbledon (that was a pita because of the brush size -I couldn't find my nail art brushes) and used the dark green pen to add detailing.

I really like how these turned out =) I did my right hand first, as always, and learnt what I didn't like so much in order to improve the left hand. So I prefer the left hand to the right for a change. The dark green pen also seems to have discrepancies in the colour as it looks a lot darker on my right hand. I love the Fairy Dust sparkling through, it's so pretty! I'll definitely try paisley nails again as I love the pattern and there are so many colour combinations to try!

Gems nails are so pretty this week as always!

"I choose a zig-zag as a pattern as I hadn't done that before. I used OPI DS in Extravagance and Coronation. I first used my Make Up Store Aqua base coat, it seems to hold onto these polishes better and it smells really good for a base coat! (NB: Don't sniff your polishes). I then put on a coat of Extravengance and a quick drying topcoat while I cut some cellotape into zig-zag shapes. I then stuck the tape on and painted a coat of Coronation and prayed that when I pulled the tape off it wouldn't look awful! As you can see, it worked out ok and I didn't ruin any nails! 
I really like this combo and so did my cat apparently. I only get sunlight in my bedroom in the daytime so I went in there to take some pictures and my cat was desparately wanting to be stroked so I took a picture of him. He looks a bit crazy with his ear scruffed back like that, but look at those cute eyes, awwww! :D"

Ok firstly how cute is the kitty!! I'm a total sucker for pink kitty noses haha I want to give him nose nubs <3 I love how sparkly Gems nails are, the DS series are so shiny it's unreal. I am totally jealous of Coronation but never mind lol. The two colours work very well together and the zig-zags show up nicely with the contrast =) simple designs are so often the best!

That's it for now, I'll be back with the next part of the challenge very soon =)


Tuesday, 26 February 2013

31 Day Nail Challenge: Week 25 - Inspired by Fashion

Only 6 more weeks of the challenge left! Then what will I do with myself?

I didn't really know what to do this week because I don't really follow fashion. I tend to buy clothes that have cute animals on them or that look cosy. In fact this is about as involved in fashion as I'll get:

do like oversized jumpers/cardigans
do like pencil skirts
do like lace
I do like shift dresses
I do like brogues
I do like skinny jeans
I do like blazers
I don't get the whole disco pants thing
I don't like studs
I really don't understand tops or jumpers that are much shorter at the front than the back
I don't like slogan t-shirts
I don't like pointy shoes
I don't like trainer/heel hybrids.. I mean what is the deal there!?

There, that'll do. Actually, my biggest fashion peeve is when people wear sheer leggings with short tops.

That is all.

So having a very vague grasp of what is "hip" and "happening" I decided to do a google search for this years trends. Turns out that each year has a colour, who knew? And this year it's Emerald Green. So I chose a green base (not emerald, I was in the mood for pastel). The polish I used was Nails Inc Wimbledon which I got in a set (only £10 at the moment if you're interested!). Hurray step one of fashionable nails complete!

I had a browse through Glamour Magazine's photos of the London Fashion Week catwalks and noticed a bit of a trend for stripes and flowers... cue step two of fashionable nails!

Now the first picture might look like a girl in pants, a tea cosy and space boots.. and the second might look like she stepped straight out of bed and onto the catwalk (except who has bed hair like that!?), but what do I know? I took the monochrome flowers and the vertical stripes as my inspiration. Mostly because I love pyjamas.

 Now these could have been better, but they could have been a lot worse. The green is showing up as very yellow in the pictures and it's not that yellow in real life. I tried to reverse the stripe/flower colours on my ring fingers but the white flowers don't show up so well so I shouldn't have bothered.. this mani looks a bit like a 5 year old did it, but I don't mind it too much, I tried at least and it MUST be super fashionable. Look at those flowers and stripes; SO hot right now.

Gemx did a much better job than me this week! 

"So this week is nails inspired by fashion. I'm not a huge follower of fashion. I pretty much wear the same kind of stuff I wore ten years ago (I buy new clothes, it's not the same actually clothes, but a similar style :P). It was London Fashion Week last week so I had a look at the trends to see if I could get some inspiration. Before I did this I thought to myself, wouldn't it be awesome if holographic nail polish was put on clothes in some way...and well, I was a little surprised when that's exactly what I saw!! Any excuse to crack open the Make Up Store holos :) I used Make Up Store Britta and Illamasqua Jan."
Here's the inspiration Gem used: (also from the Glamour Mag pictures)

I have to admit I'm pretty jealous of Illamasqua Jan. I wanted to order it but it's discontinued and when I ordered it from Debenhams they emailed me the next day to say they couldn't fulfil my order =( so I guess I'll never own it. It's such a pretty shade so I'm a bit bummed. It looks gorgeous with Britta too! 

That's it for this week, I hope I haven't embarrassed myself too much in my admittance of being a fashion noob but there we go. Alli has moved her blog back to its old address but hasn't posted for a couple of weeks, she's busy moving house so I guess we'll let her off =P


Sunday, 24 February 2013

Worth Watching #1

Well here it is! Worth Watching is a new feature that I'm working on =) in this series of posts I aim to show you what I'm currently enjoying on television, on catch up, in the cinema and on DVD.

Having been ill this week I have spent most of my time in bed with paracetamol and my iPad. This means I've been watching a ton of catch up tv. I've discovered some really good dramas and I'd like to share them with you before they become unavailable!

I'm definitely a catch up tv kind of girl. I love that I can watch it whenever suits me. Living at home means that my parents have exclusive access to the family television so I don't really get the opportunity to watch what I would like. Catch up tv means that I can pick and choose my own broadcasting schedule and also means, with the help of apps, that I can watch from the comfort of my own room. 

In the UK we are so lucky to have access to BBC iPlayer. The BBC is well renound for its stunning dramas (I mean who can forget the 1995 Pride and Prejudice in a hurry?) and they're still churning them out at a fantastic rate. ITV also produces some wonderful dramas (Downton Abbey, anyone?) but their online player is littered with adverts which can sully the experience somewhat. I haven't perused Chanel 4 for any good dramas for a while.. If you have any recommendations then do let me know! 

Without further ado here are my top picks for what's currently on the catchup apps at the moment!

Mr Selfridge (Broadcast Sunday 9pm ITV - DVD release March 8th)
Mr Selfridge is a fantastic drama full of lavish costumes and sets. It, rather obviously, revolves around Mr Selfridge, the creator of Selfridge's department store on Oxford Street in London. I have been watching this since it started and have finally caught up. I always like to leave it and episode in lieu for when I really crave to watch it but it was so gripping I watched two in a row one night and have been anticipating the next ever since. Mr Selfridge himself isn't always the most likeable character but he isn't exactly unlikeable either. He makes rather ambiguous moral choices but always tries to help people. The shop itself is full of quirky characters and a central role is given to Agnes Towler, a shop girl from a lowly background who is shown kindness by Mr Selfridge and quickly becomes an important part of his team. Another interesting character is Lady Mae Loxley who is a shrewd and clever member of the Women's Rights Movement and has her foot in the door of Selfridges by being married to the main benefactor. I also love that Frances O'Connor (from Mansfield Park) plays Mrs Selfridge; she has to be one of the prettiest and most intelligent actresses ever. There are intertwined relationships throughout and more than one character is left heartbroken. We also see domestic violence and alcoholism included within the plots. Despite this the series manages to maintain an upbeat and lively feel to it and it is never depressing for too long. I highly recommend that you look into watching this series as I know that you'll enjoy it.

Dancing on the Edge (Broadcast Monday 9pm BBC 2 - DVD release March 11th)
I wanted to see this mainly for the fact that I recognised Angel Coulby (Gwen from Merlin) in one of the main roles during the trailers. This drama isn't at all what I thought it would be and that's a good thing! I won't tell you what genre I would put this in because I really don't want to spoil it for you, but let's say there's a plot twist that totally changes the direction of the series and is one I totally didn't expect! The main character is a man called Louis Lester who is the frontman of a jazz band bearing his name that sees itself grow in fame to a large extent. He is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (whose name I'm not even going to pretend to know how to pronounce) who I instantly recognised from Serenity and Love Actually. I love his accent, totally RP. Anthony Head is also in this, which means its got to be good. I loved him in Buffy, I loved him in Persuasion, in fact I don't think I've seen him in anything bad at all. Another actor I recognised is John Goodman (who, despite his numerous high profile roles, will always be Pacha fro The Emperor's New Groove to me!) who plays Mr Masterson, an extravagent American business magnate. The drama is cleverly done, it's first scenes are set in 1933 then it shows what happened previously to get to that point. I have watched 4 episodes so far and I think I'm just at the point where the 'before' and 'now' come together. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Ripper Street (Broadcast Sunday 9pm BBC 1 - DVD release March 18th)
I have to admit I'm only one episode in with this but oh my it's good! I did at first say out loud "What the hell is Mr Darcy doing in an underground fighting club?!" but once I got over that initial shock I got really into it! I've been putting off watching it because I thought it would be scary.. and I don't enjoy being scared.. but it's not. It's clever and it's engaging. Matthew Macfadyen is indeed the main character and no, he's not Mr Darcy this time. He plays a police detective that has been plunged back into the world of murder and other sordid practices following the wake of the Ripper murders in Whitechappel (1888) several years (at least I assume several years) previously. I also recognised Amanda Hale (Mary Musgrove in the 2007 adaptation of Persuasion) as Mr Darcy's, sorry Detective Inspector Reid's Wife. The story is fairly fast paced and is very graphic in places but at the same time strangely enjoyable? It sounds weird to call it enjoyable in a way.. it's very disturbing because Edmund Reid was a real person involved in the Ripper murders.. that and the fact that the murders were real too and very brutal.

I wholly recommend all of these series. Make sure you catch them soon as well, Ripper Street is being removed from iPlayer on 3rd March and the early episode of Mr Selfridge are already disappearing off ITV Player because they don't hold entire series' like the BBC does. The DVD's will be out soon though and will be worth purchasing, especially as DVDs don't contain adverts in the middle of the episodes! All of these series are in hour long episodes so you'll get a lot of viewing just from these three. I hope you try them out and that you enjoy them!