Monday, 26 November 2012

31 Day Nail Challenge: Week 12 - Stripes

Stripe nails this week! Not much can be said for stripes really, they can look really good and can be done in tons of different ways.. I had an idea in my head for my stripe nails and this is how they turned out:

I used two coats of my trusty Barry M Nude, seriously guys I use this nearly every mani and it's absolutely fab. I couldn't recommend it more. Then used a paint brush to paint stripes in various shades of pink. The lightest pink is Kiko 372 - Kiko have such imaginative names.. (A quick look on the Kiko website shows that this shade is called "Nude" as well lol). The mid pink is Splash of Grenadine by Essie, the first and last Essie polish that I will ever own because they are not a cruelty free brand; something I wasn't aware of when I was in Denmark last year and got all starry eyed at the nail polish there.. It's such a nice colour too, grr Essie!! The darkest pink is China Glaze Traffic Jam which is one of the most gorgeous creme polishes ever. It glides on and is such a rich and beautiful colour <3 I got this free when I bought CG Fairy Dust in Sally's during the summer! I love a good deal!

I quite like this mani, as you see I haven't added topcoat yet so it could do with some smoothing out, and the lightest pink is possibly a little toooooo light... But otherwise I'm happy with it! Hurray!

Let's take a look at what Gemx did for her nails this week!

"This week for the stripes I cheated a little and used some Rebel Nails. I have quite a few of these from GlossyBox and I never think to try them. They are really easy to apply, just warm them up with a hairdryer, stick them in place and file off the excess and they are done! I do like how clean and neat they look and although I always feel like they are going to come off if I don't keep smoothing them down, they are really stuck on. I had several showers with them on and they haven't budged!"

I have never used nail wraps, they always seem overly expensive to me and I would always choose to buy a bottle of polish over a pack of wraps. Having said that these do look really good and I'm glad that Gem tried them out and liked them! I think I have two sets of wraps from beauty boxes that I set aside.. I tend to hang onto things for ages and not use them so maybe I'll have a go for a Christmas party or a special occasion =)

That's about it! I hope you enjoyed the post, please pop over to see Alli's Striped nails too!


Monday, 19 November 2012

31 Day Nail Challenge: Week 11 - Polka Dots

So here we are at week 11! Polka dot nails can be really fun. For the dots you can use anything, cremes, glitters, jellies of all colours and the same is true for the background. You could even polka dot onto a gradient or 'Saran wrap' (cling film) mani. I chose to mix mine up a bit and did my polka dots onto a funky French. For the base I used Barry M Nude, which is a common theme through these posts I'm noticing but it really is so versatile! I then did the tips in Stargazer Silver Chrome which is a gorgeously shiny silver. Not quite a mirror finish but it doesn't leave too many brush strokes so it's a nice foil effect. Onto that I used my dotting tools to create dots at random in different sizes using three complimenting colours. All of the colours I chose are Models Own because I have an abundance of blues and greens of theirs. I used Blooboo, Top Turquoise and Prussian Blue. I tried to create a sort of crescent shape around the top, side and bottom of my nails, leaving a space on one side and trying to keep the bigger dots in the centre of the crescent. It ki d of worked better on my left hand which is weird because it's my dominant hand lol but I do the left last so I guess I was more practised by the time I got to it.
Here are the pictures!

As a note of interest, my dotting tools aren't actually dotting tools. They are 'embossing tools' which can be picked up from any good craft supply shop. I got mine from The Range in Ipswich for approximately £2.99 for a pack of 3 double sided tools. They are designed to emboss designs into card using stencils but are exactly the same as the dotting tools sold for nail art. You can get wooden or plastic handled ones, I chose the plastic because I like the feel but wooden would be good if you're dipping them in acetone to clean as the plastic could get damaged.

I love the contrast between the creme dots and the really shiny tip, it looks really glowy in some lights! I was a bit worried that with the nude base it might look as though I have some really weird disease LOL but I think I avoided that..

Gemx's nails are super cute is week! They look very 50's/mini mouse. I bet they look really striking in person!

Here's what she had to say!
"Here are my polka dot nails, they took ages! I used Revlon Cherries in the Snow as the base red. Whacked a quick drying topcoat on and then poured a little Models Own Snow White onto a old CD case. I used the end of my Eyeko eyeliner as a dotting tool, and it worked pretty well as one! It was a little fiddly because the red, even though it was under a topcoat, it was still making the end of my home-made dotting tool red and making my white go a bit pink. So I was making a new blob of white into my CD case every 3 nails so that it was still pure white."

Before I had my 'dotting' tools I used a cocktail stick for dots and designs. It was SO awkward so I totally commend Gem for persevering with this and making it look so neat! I would totally recommend to anyone who doesn't have dotting tools, get some. They don't take up much space, they're not very expensive and yet they make things so much easier lol look out for embossing tools in craft ships if you're ever in one.. Not that you're all stationery car y like me haha

That's all for this week, let me know what you think and be sure to pop over and check out Alli's pastel polka dots too! 


Monday, 12 November 2012

31 Day Challenge: Week 10 - Gradient Nails

My how the weeks are flying by! I can't believe it's week 10 already eek! Anyway this week is gradient nails I haven't done these for ages, not since my yellow to orange gradient post. Mostly because they're a pain in the bum. But they do look pretty! This time I went for different shades of purple and to top it off I added China Glaze Snow Globe which is a gorgeous iridescent glitter <3 thanks to Alli for getting it for me for my birthday! The purples I used were Models Own Utopia, Barry M Berry Ice Cream and then I dabbed a v small amount of Models Own Purple Poppy and went over it with more Berry Ice Cream. Mmm ice cream..

 The only problem I really found was that the glitter shrank the polish underneath so I was left with a gap at the tips.. Next time I'll make sure I seal it all in with top coat but I didn't this time because Snow Globe dried so quickly and didn't feel bumpy! But then it shrank and I felt a bit cheated. Grr.

You can really see the shrunken tips in this photo.. It was day 3 of the mani but still, urgh. Annoying. And I hadn't even noticed the massive chip in the index finger before haha oops.

I liked this mani, it felt girly and pretty =) next time I might try adding pink or blue for the ultimate unicorn nails haha

Gemx did a lovely sparkly gradient! So pretty, let's take a lookie:

The first picture is natural light and the second is with a flash to make the holo stand out more =)

Here's what she had to say!
"I used Missguided Misstify as the base and then mixed some more of Misstify and some Make Up Store in Brita (purple holo) on a piece of plastic and used a piece of sponge to press the mix onto my nails. I'd been putting this weeks gradient nails off because I thought it would be a bit of a nightmare to do, but it wasn't too bad in the end, easier then I thought it would be. I want to try some more exciting gradients now :)"

Whilst doing my gradient I was going "urgh what an effing chore" then when I had finishing dabbing purple all over myself (well, in a localised area..) I looked at them and thought "not worth the effort" but then I added the glitter. Oh the glitter. And it made me think "whyyyyy aren't all my manis gradients!?" -.- so yeah I agree with Gemx here, I want to try new combinations. I love the holo in hers, I might have to try that at some point. When I'm in a very good mood lol

That's it for this week's challenge =) make sure you check out Alli's gooorgeous orangey red gradient!


Sunday, 11 November 2012

Lest We Forget

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.


(Products used: Barry M Nude, OPI DS Reflection (not CF), Rio nail art pens)

Monday, 5 November 2012

31 Day Nail Challenge: Week 9 - Rainbow Nails

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder treason and plot
I see no good reason the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot

I decided that as it is bonfire night to combine my rainbow nails with the occasion. Here are my nails:

I used so many colours for these nails  but I'm sure any would do if you were to recreate them. The black base is Filthy Gorgeous, an amazing one coater! I sponged on the colours over the top (I used white first for the lighter colours so they would show) and then used my nail art pen to add the sparkles. As all fireworks are different I added glitter to some but not others depending on how I felt lol I spent ages doing this and messed up a couple with the topcoat. I have to say I don't think it was worth the effort. I don't feel great about these. Meh. I showed my mum and she did a face that can only be described as "repugnant". I think that says it all. If I had time to redo these then I would. Having all of the different bottles out made me feel very claustrophobic, by the end I just wanted it to be over which I think is why the white bits don't look neat and they got smudged. By that point I didn't care.

When I was younger my default nails were a rainbow, one nail each colour and I still love it today! Gemx did her nails similar to this but with a twist to keep it funky yet modern and more grown up:

"I really struggled with this one. First I painted each nail a full colour and but an old black crackle polish over the top. I thought it might look good, but it was awful! I think my old crackle was maybe a little too old! Can polish go off? :/ So anyway I took it all off and tried again! I have a thing for painting the tips a different colour lately so I did rainbow tips. I wish I'd used a base colour though as you can see the staining on my nails, woops :s It doesn't look to bad in real life I swear! I tried to find colour that were of a similar saturation and ended up using: OPI - Charged Up Cherry, Rimmel - Apricot Punch, Models Own - Lemon Meringue, Bourjois So Lague - Bleu Model (definitely a green!), Models Own - Top Turquoise"

I can't see any staining! I love coloured tips, I think they look awesome! 

That's it for this week, please check out Alli's rainbow nails too because they're fab! Especialy for a first attempt at nail art!


Here are some pics of a firework display I went to in Rayleigh on Saturday