Sunday, 30 January 2011

Minnie Mouse in the House



Plate: Bundle Monster - BM19
Base Colour: NYC Glossies (I've lost the bottle so I can't tell you which one)
Stamp Colour: Stargazer - White
Top Coat of NYC

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Leopard Got The Blues

How do you like my new banner? I'm not too sure about it so I might make another one or go back to the old one soon.



Konad Plate: M57
Base Colour: No7 - Betty Blues
Konad Colour: China Glaze - Adore
Barry M Blue Glitter for the dots
Top Coat of NYC

Friday, 28 January 2011

Barry M Mint Green

I had my last exam today. I'm so so so happy to have them over, even though I think I failed 3 out of the 4.
After the exam some friends and I went out for a pub lunch and just chatted for nearly 2 hours which was so much fun as I've been stuck inside for nearly 3 weeks. I was planning on going out with my friends tonight but decided to stay in eating, sleeping and watching movies since I haven't really had a chance just to chill for the so long, but I'm looking forward to going out tomorrow - it should be a crazy night!



Konad Plate: M35
Base Colour: Barry M - Mint Green
Konad Colour: BYS - Fools Paradise
No7 Betty Blues for the dots done with a dotting tool
Top Coat of NYC

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Simple Ruffian

This one's a bit messy. I'm terrible at doing tips or ruffian in any capacity let alone attempting to get the tiny little stripes matte so it went all lumpy and bumpy but I quite like it, I'm going to attempt at again in the future. After all, practice makes perfect.


 

The base colour is Barry M Cyan Blue with one coat of BYS Tinkerbell to get the shimmer, then a top coat of NYC.
The dark blue is No7 Betty Blues and I used E.L.F Matte finisher to matte out the ruffian strips.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Barry M Raspberry

My mouth has been annoying me recently. My wisdom teeth have been causing me trouble on and off for years now but I've always just done my best to ignore it and wait for it to pass. I know I should really go to the dentist but I know they're gonna say I need them out and I hate getting anaesthetic, doesn't everyone?
Anyway, my whole jaw has been aching for a few days now and I hate it but I'm handling it like a boss!

I used a different camera for these two pictures and they've come out totally different colours! The first is most colour accurate but I love the second one because it looks so sunny and it's nice to be reminded at this time of year that the sun still exists.



Plate: BM11
Base Colour: Barry M - Raspberry
Stamp Colour: George @ Asda - Natural White
Top Coat of NYC

P.S Please check out my For Sale Page if you're in the market for an MP3 player or Digital Camera.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Tips and Tricks for Taking Pics

I recently started using Google Analytics which gives me loads of useful information about The Nailasaurus' audience. If you have a blog or website, I really recommend trying it out.
One of the 'keywords', or searches that keeps popping up is 'nailasaurus what camera do you use' so I thought I'd share some of my tips for taking and editing pictures and run you through my... 'process', if you will!

The main camera I use to take most of the pictures you see on this blog is an Olympus E510 with a 14-42mm lens.


Recently, I have also started using this Panasonic Lumix FS30 which I got for Christmas. It has superior macro capabilities, but obviously doesn't give the same quality or range of settings customization you get from a DSLR. I use this for really close-up pictures.



How do I take my pictures?

Positioning
I photograph with my hand and camera both resting on a flat surface. This minimises the chances of blur from unsteady hands.

Focus is important
I think focus is the most important factor in photographing nails and nail art, where every tiny detail counts.
I've found the best way to get sharp close-up pictures (with the DSLR) is to zoom in as far as I can and hold my hand a little further away from the camera as opposed to shoving my hand in to my camera's face!
Don't worry if you can't get in as close as you would like with your camera. Just make sure it's in focus, then crop it later like I do.

Set the white balance
This just makes sure that you get colour-accurate pictures.
All you need to do is find out how to set the white balance on your camera (however, not all cameras have this feature). It will normally tell you how to do this in the instruction manual, or if not I'm sure you can find some instructions online. It involves holding a white piece of paper in front of the lens and taking a dummy picture, the clever camera then decides the correct exposure and colour settings for your picture.

Editing

This is one of my pictures before any editing. You can see that my hand is resting on a flat surface (in this case, the floor!) as I mentioned above. I'm also resting the camera on the floor. This is the closest I can get my hand to the camera, if I move any closer, it won't focus on my nails.

The software I use for editing is Adobe Photoshop CS5 and this is my routine editing process. It's quite basic really, I just rotate the image 90°, crop it down and then stamp on my watermark.


Sometimes I also have a quick mess around with the contrast and colour settings if I don't think the colours in the photo are true to real life in an attempt to match them up.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Out of the Ordinary

Here are some more goodies from Viva La Nails, hopefully this will make a nice change from all the stamping. These are Water Decals and I'm gonna say again that they are great - so pretty and easy to apply. Enjoy all the pictures!





The base colour is Barry M Berry Ice Cream.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Houndstooth

I forgot how much I love this pattern. I had so many compliments about my nails yesterday. I think this houndstooth pattern is great because you can't tell which colour is stamped on, it's so seamless, the only problem is the size of the all over Bundle Monster patterns - they're quite small and don't always cover the whole nail which is when you get seams starting to appear!


Plate: Bundle Monster - BM21
Base Colour: NYC - Prince Street
Konad Colour: Miss Sporty - Zodiac
Top Coat of NYC

Stylish Blogger Award

I have been tagged for the Stylish Blogger award by quite a few of you lovely people now so I think it's about time I posted it. It only took so long because I find it really hard to think of stuff about myself but after reading all of yours for a bit of inspiration, I managed to come up with a few things and then the facts just kept coming. I could probably write 20 facts about myself now! I also have some other awards to post, I haven't forgotten any. So if you tagged me and are still waiting to see it, don't worry, I promise they will all be up soon.


The Rules
1. Thank and link back to who gave you the award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award it to 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers to tell them about this award

Thank you very much to AntoszewskiaCristinaKyouyaMadisonCarissa and Sarah for tagging me. 
Toni also tagged me for the Versatile Blogger Award which has very similar rules to this one so I'll merge the two here.



1. My head is full of useless movie trivia but I can’t remember anything I’m taught in school.

2. I’m addicted to Call of Duty. It's not just for guys. I rule at it to be honest, I beat one of my guy friends and he refuses to play with me any more for fear of losing to a girl. Man pride is stupid.
(If you think you can beat me, my PSN name is Sammersaurus)

3. I have a very obnoxious personality. I’m always right(!) and I’m not afraid to speak my mind.

4. I’ve had 15 piercings in my life time, but only 11 remain. I had my first when I was about 7 or 8 after finally convincing my mother to let me have my ears pierced. Now she rolls her eyes every time I come home with a new hole in me.

5. I can’t hold a grudge. I never stay upset about anything for too long and I can move on from bad situations really quickly.

6. My friends joke that I have OCD. I’m a neat freak and can’t stand mess and disorganisation. Proof: I requested a label maker for my birthday a few years ago.

7. My life motto is ‘You don’t ask, you don’t get’. If you want something, act on it. Don’t wait around to be offered an opportunity – make one for yourself.

I tag:

Goose from Goose's Glitter
Salla from Purple Blur
Alice from Nails by Alice
Danielle from Polish Obsessed
Emma from Polish and Love
The Erins from Never Enough Nails
Millie from Perdy Claws
Kari from Once Bitten
Katherine from Necessary Nails
Ivy and Ioewe from Quick Dry Is A Lie
Laura from Emerald Green 88

Monday, 17 January 2011

A New Chrome Discovery

Hey guys! I know I've been M.I.A. for a few days, other than my constant twitter moaning, but it's exam period in Uni at the moment and I have 4 exams to study for. I got the first one out of the way this morning so I felt I deserved a break from revision and stressing to do my nails properly.

A few weeks ago, I saw swatches of a chrome polish from Avon at Goose's Glitter. I know how amazing chromes are for stamping and since I know Avon is a brand I can get my hands on here in the UK, I started my treasure hunt to get my hands on a bottle.

Avon aren't actually selling this on their website or in the book, but I found a few bottles on eBay and eventually won the bidding on this one at a good price. It popped through my door on Saturday but due to my lack of studying last week, my weekend was crammed full of it so I had no time to play with my new polish.


So today, as a reward to myself for all my work, I went a bit overboard with manicuring. I painted my nails about 5 different colours today before I was happy!


Plate: Bundle Monster - BM21
Base Colour: W7 - Blue Lagoon
Stamping Colour: Avon Mirror Shine - Blue Steel
Top Coat of NYC

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Fishnet Stockings


Konad Plate: M57
Base Colour: Carla Di Roma - Grape Wine
Konad and Tip Colour: Sally Hansen Chrome - Anemone
Top Coat of NYC

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Absentee

Hey guys. Sorry I've been out of action for a few days. I could excuse myself by moaning about my exams and moving all my stuff back to uni but the truth is I've just been lazy this week. Super lazy. Soz.
I'm not sure about this base colour. It's a light purple shimmer and I normally don't go for light shimmers but this one was purple and in the sale so I had to get it! I don't think I would ever wear it on its own but it's nice for under a pattern like this.


Konad Plate: M60
Base Colour: Glo Baby Glo from Primark - Fondant
Konad Colour: BYS - Glittering Purple
Top Coat of NYC

Sunday, 9 January 2011

McCreamy

I picked up this beautiful grey polish from La Femme in a £1 shop today. I spotted the display of polishes and zoned in on them. Most of the colours were not really my kind of thing - a lot of metallics and pale shimmery shades - but I spotted this one at the back and bought it thinking it might be good for stamping since it looked creamy and pigmented.
I haven't put it to the stamping test yet but I think it looks great on it's own. It is a gorgeous creamy polish that is perfect in two coats. The only down side to this polish is the brush. It's kind of stiff so it leaves streak marks but they do settle themselves - it's just annoying. Nothing I can complain about considering it was such a bargain.


Konad Plate: M56
Base Colour: La Femme - Grey Cream
Konad Colour: W7 - Black
Gems from eBay (Seller)
Top Coat of NYC


Did anyone make the connection between today's colour and the post title?!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

It's All Gone Kenneth Tong

Something has been really winding me up today. And it's this twitter debacle involving the aforementioned imbecile. Sorry, but I can't bring myself to write his name again. I don't know if anyone's been following it?

Basically, he's glorifying eating disorders as lifestyle choices and proclaiming his belief that every woman should have one so they can be 'skinny' and 'fashionable'. Obviously we can all tell he's a bit of a prick who lives a shallow and fickle existence.

Some of you in the UK may recognise from a series of Big Brother where he was portrayed as an international playboy millionaire. I actually watched some of the show when he was in there and he seems to me like a smart guy (a complete douchebag, but a clever one). He knows about celebrity and the business world in general.

So what I don't understand is why this guy continues to expose himself in such a bad light. It seems to me that he's just desperate for fame and recognition. 
First he goes on one of the most shameful TV shows in existence. That didn't work but now he's got himself some twitter followers so he figures he'll cause a bit of outrage and get himself mentioned (in disgust) enough times to become a trending topic. 
What I'm trying to say here is this guy knows exactly what he's doing. I believe he likes his girls to look like twiglets but he knows what he's saying is wrong and outrageous - he's just doing it for the attention. Now the celebs (Rihanna and Simon Cowell to name a few) have started putting their two cents in and the guy is revelling in it. Look at the guy, he's no George Clooney and about 5 foot tall to boot so who is he to be telling us how we should look.

So I'm urging you all just to ignore it and not mention or tweet him at all. Maybe I'm defeating the point and you can call me a hypocrite for writing this rant about him. I just want everyone to know that it's pretty clear he's only doing this for the recognition. Don't recognise it and he'll go away back to under the rock he emerged from two days ago.

Anyway, here's today's manicure. I hope you like it...


Konad Plate: M54
Base Colour: Rimmel Lycra Wear - 399 Black Satin
Konad Colour: Sally Hansen Chrome - Amber
Top Coat of NYC


I apologise if I offended anyone with any of my words or language. I'm not worked up about it and I'll sleep fine tonight, I just wrote this in the heat of the moment. I may take it down soon.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

'Foil Method' Glitter Polish Removal Tutorial


I recently fell in love with some of Barry M's glitter polishes but hated the trouble I ran in to when attempting to remove them. At first I tried my usual polish remover on a cotton pad, but the pad just got ripped to bits. Then I tried the same with pure acetone but the same thing happened. Aside from being a pain in the butt I could also see it was damaging my nails because any pieces of glitter that had come loose was scrubbing my nails like sandpaper. 
I remembered reading about this foil method before but was a bit hesitant to try it because it seemed like so much hassle. I'm really glad I tried it and after doing a few nails I got the hang of it.

From what I understand, wrapping your fingertip in foil prevents the acetone from evaporating and lets it really soak into the polish and soften it up so it easily comes off your nail. 

So here's how I do it...

1. Be Prepared
You'll need acetone, cotton wool pads (or whatever you like to use to remove your polish) and foil cut into rectangles about 2"x4".


Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Out of Spice

Sorry about the lack of variety over the last few weeks. I migrated home over the Christmas holidays and could only bring a limited amount of kit with me. I've only got 35 polishes with me - that's actually a lot now I've counted but when I look at them in the drawer it looks like nothing! - and only 2 of them are any good for stamping so my manis have been a bit samey.

It also occurred to me that many of you may not be aware of the Bundle Monster plates so I've put a link there underneath the picture for you to check out the Amazon listing. If you want to get into stamping but don't want to splash out big bucks on the Konad plates, the BM's are great. You just need to make sure you get a stamp and scraper (or you can use a credit card to scrape like I do) from somewhere.



Plate: Bundle Monster - BM21
Base Colour: E.L.F - Purple Pleaser
Stamp Colour: Collection 2000 - Moonlight Shine
Top Coat of NYC

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Barry M Dusky Mauve

Here are a few pictures of Barry M Dusky Mauve. This is rumoured to be a dupe for Chanel's Paradoxal. I can't give you a solid opinion on that claim but judging from swatches I've seen of the Chanel, I'd say it is pretty darn close!


I wore this on New Years Eve and lots of my friends commented on it. My bestie (who has never bought a polish in her life!) even said she's going to get some to wear at work because it looks so sophisticated.


I also have Models Own Purple Grey in my collection which you can see here. This polish is a good match for the colour of Dusky Mauve but doesn't have the shimmer - it's just a plain creme.

And of course - I had to put a Konad over it and matte it up.



Konad Plate: M57
Base Colour: Barry M - Dusky Mauve
Konad Colour: Collection 2000 - Moonlight Shine
Top Coat of Essie Matte About You

Sunday, 2 January 2011

NYC In a New York Color Minute Quick Dry Polish Review

I have to start by saying this is the best damn top coat I have ever used in my life!

You may have noticed the line after all my manis that normally says 'Top Coat of NYC'. Well, this is the polish I mean....

New York Color Quick Dry Top Coat
(website)

This top coat dries to the touch in one minute - just like it says on the bottle. Within 15 minutes, it will be completely hard and you can go back to your business without worrying about getting any dinks or scratches in your polish. You could even go to bed and sleep peacefully knowing that you won't wake up up with duvet dents pressed in to your mani.
I think it's also important to mention that this top coat won't smudge your Nail Art/Konad designs like some other top coats I've tried.
I can't comment on the lasting power of this top coat because I never really wear a manicure for more than a few days. When I do keep a mani for a little while, this top coat holds up pretty good. Sometimes it does chip slightly around the tips after about 2 days.
The only downside with this top coat is that when you get about two thirds through the bottle it starts to get really gloopy and tricky to apply but I think it's the same with most top coats and polishes in general right?

I can't really compare this to any of the other well known top coats that are out there on the market such as 'Seche Vite' and 'Essie Good to Go' because I've never used them. I've never had the need to try them because this one is so freakin' awesome and at only £2.59 a bottle, it beats the other brands hands down for value.

So if you're looking for a top coat that's going to dry your mani fast and keep your polish hard and strong, this is the perfect budget top coat for you.

In the UK, you can find the NYC range in most larger Superdrug stores. Click here to see stockists in the US.

Help?!

I'm attempting to redesign my blog a bit for the new year. I've been meaning to do it for absolutely ages but never found the time or motivation to learn html in depth. I know some of the basics of html but I've been struggling for a while to get the results I want.

The plan is to make a new banner and change my background colour.

I also want to change the width of my 'posts' section and sidebar. Well, not exactly change it but make it so that they are both fixed sizes rather than being a percentage of your screen width. I've been viewing my blog from some computers other than my own and realised that it looks different monitor to monitor.

So here's my plea.... If anyone can help me with the html I need to make this happen, please let me know.
You can email me or just leave a comment below and I'll email you.

I'd be so grateful to anyone who can help me, even in the smallest way!

Thank you, 
Sammy xx 
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