Monday, 30 January 2012

Galaxy Nails... Literally

Today's nails design was suggested by a friend and I really can't believe I haven't thought to do this before! You may have heard of galaxy nails, well I've taken them to a new level and literally painted our little part of the Milky Way on to my digits! Today, I'd like to introduce you to my elusive right hand. I'm pretty certain it's only ever been spotted here once before.


Since Pluto was a planet when I was taught 'The Solar System' in school, I added him in too but it was so awkward taking these photos and trying to get it all in!


I used (the aptly named) W7 Metallic Neptune as a base and then sponged on Essence Choose Me and another polish (but I've completely forgotten what it was) to get the galaxy look. The sun and all the planets are completely freehanded using nail art brushes. The black outlines are acrylic paint.


Friday, 27 January 2012

My Nail Art Brushes

This is a post I've had a few requests for and been meaning to put together for a while. Today, I'll show you the brushes I use in my nail art.



Top to bottom:
1 + 2 Born Pretty Nail Art Brushes [here]
3 from the 15 Nail Art Brush sets you can buy on eBay [here] or Born Pretty Store [here]
4, 5 + 6 Liner brushes available on eBay [here] or Born Pretty Store [here]



I use the liners (bottom four) for outlines and small details. Even though it looks like the brushes with shorter brushes would be better for this, I've found the liners are better because they come to such a small tip at the end. They do take a bit more hand control though!

I use the brushes with shorter bristles for filling in and bigger details.

To give some perspective, here are the brushes next to a hair slide...




These are the brushes I use for 'clean up' with acetone (removing the excess polish around my cuticles after painting my nails).
They are from Asda (Wal-Mart) in a paintbrush set from the childrens' craft section and they've served me well for years.



I hope this answered any questions you might have had about my nail art arsenal. If you have any other questions specifically about the brushes I use, just ask in the comments and I'll try my damnedest to reply!

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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Tangoed Talons

I have some good news and some bad news to share with you today. I'll start with the bad news - I'm officially unemployed. You might know that I started a job at HMV before Christmas but it was a temporary position and I knew it would come to an end at some point. The resulting good news is that being jobless means I'll have a bit more time free for blogging. Hence the recent infusion of blogging mojo!


Stamping Plate: Red Angel RA104*
Base Colour: No7 Tangy
Stamping and 'V' Colour: Barry M Gold Foil
W7 Black for the lines



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Sunday, 22 January 2012

I Try

Well today's been busy considering I had a lovely lie in and didn't wake up until the afternoon! I spent most of the day tidying and cleaning so I'll be in love with my bedroom for a little while until it starts getting messy again!

I filmed two YouTube videos this evening but my computer is rejecting both of them. They start playing but at a certain point, the software just gives in and shuts down. This has happened with 2 videos I filmed in the past as well which leads me to think the videos are corrupted. It's très frustrating and I'm thinking I might have to get a new camcorder :(


Stamping Plate: Bundle Monster BM205
Base Colour: A-England - Elaine*
Stamp Colour: Barry M - Silver Foil
Top Coat of NYC



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Saturday, 21 January 2012

Classic But Not

Since my Lana Del Rey inspired manicure [here], I've been completely obsessed with the combination of nude and red polish. Although I think this mani could have used a bit of bling, I still love it!

One more reminder - and no I won't stop mentioning it until the competition's over! - it would be great if you could swing by Cult Nails' Facebook page and give my photo a quick 'like'. All you have to do is click here to see my entry and if you think it's deserving of your vote, just click the like button. Thank you!



The base colour is Cult Nails Cruisin Nude and I used a nail art brush to paint on the tips with La Femme Cherry Red and the lines with W7 Black.





Sorry about the variations in colouring of the pictures, my camera's white balance function seems to be going through a rough patch!

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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Reader, beware, you're in for a scare! (Goosebumps Nail Art)

I have to confess - I never read the books but I used to watch the TV show as a kid and I can still remember the drippy green logo from the opening credits which is what inspired today's mani. I even managed to paint this design on my right hand using my left and it looks nearly as good as my right-handed effort!


I used Collection 2000 Spangles as my base colour, then used nail art brushes to paint on W7 Black for the drippy details.
Spangles nowhere near as yellow as it looks in these pictures. It's actually a perfect slimey green colour!



Mini Giveaway - Now Closed

Wow. 2500 followers. This little blog has come a long way in 21 months and it's completely down to you guys. I can't thank you all enough for reading and commenting and just being the amazing audience that you are. 
I'm terrible at writing my feelings so I won't get all gushy but I truly am overwhelmed by the success of this blog. There have been some rough patches and some amazingly joyful ones but at the end of it all I just love creating and sharing these manicures with you all.

So to thank you all for taking the time to stop in and see what I have to say, I'm giving away a few polishes. This really is just a teeny tiny thank you giveaway of a few of my favourite polishes and I wish I could have given you all a prize but that's just not going to happen!

The Prizes


Left to right:
NYC Prince Street (see it here)
NYC Pier 17 (see it here)
Rimmel Purple Reign (see it here)
NYC Top Coat
(All brand new)


The Rules
You have to be following this blog through GFC
Everyone gets one entry - there will be no extra entries for tweeting/sharing/blogging etc.

How to enter
All you have to do to enter is fill in the form below.

I need your GFC follower name and email address.

I've asked for your twitter username as a quick form of contact if you win, but this is not required.



MAKE SURE YOU FILL OUT AND SUBMIT THE FORM BELOW. ENTRIES LEFT IN THE COMMENTS WILL NOT BE COUNTED!



This giveaway is open internationally

It will close on Thursday 9th February 2012 at 10.00pm GMT.
Good luck!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Red Angel Stamping Plates Review

A little while back, the nail community was abuzz with news of a new set of stamping plates from the brand, 'Red Angel'. The set is similar to the successful Bundle Monster sets in that they're a cheap and good quality alternative to Konad plates and they are available to purchase on Amazon.

You may have already seen a few manicures that I've created using the Red Angel plates*. I've had a bit of time to test them out and overall, I can say that I'm really pleased with them.


The set consists of 21 plates with a nice variety of 'all-over' and smaller designs. They come in a cute little plastic pouch decorated with a fluffy and moustached Red Angel. This is very handy as plates can be awkward to store neatly and this solves that problem from the outset.


The plates come with a layer of protective blue plastic which needs to be removed before you can use them. I like to remove the plastic one plate at a time as I use them so I know which plates I haven't tried out yet!


A hot topic whenever new plates are released is the size of the all-over designs. We need to know if the designs will cover our whole nail so I've updated my little infographic and you'll be pleased to know that the all-over designs are a really good size - 16 x 12mm.


That ranks them slightly longer than the Konad plates but slightly narrower than the New Bundle Monsters. If the all-over designs from the Konad plates cover your whole nail, then these definitely will.

These plates do not have a backing which means the edges are kind of rough and jagged in places. To this day, I've never cut myself with the edge of a plate but I know it has happened to other people.
The only way the rough edges have affected me is that they sometimes scratch my table if I drag them across the surface. This isn't a huge deal to me because I normally put plastic down when I'm doing my nails which protects my desktop but it's something to bear in mind and be a bit wary of - just make sure you protect the surface you're working on.


I love these plates and I think they hit the market at just the right time.
Every single one of the designs is really pretty and there are some really fresh ideas that I haven't seen on any stamping plates before. Did you notice the all-over designs with a half moon cut out? So you can now create mani's like this without the need to fuss around with stickers - such an innovative idea.
The plates don't come with a stamper and scraper so if you haven't got one already, you'll need to get your hands on one from somewhere. You can improvise with the scraper by using any old credit card - this is what I use as it doesn't scratch the surface of the plates like the metal scrapers.

You can buy the Red Angel plates from Amazon.com here.
They cost $12.99 for the set of 21 plus shipping (which I don't think is more than $3.99 wherever you are in the world)

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Saturday, 14 January 2012

So Here We Go Again

This is a design you've probably seen from me before but it's one that I wear all the time because it's so simple and elegant, yet it always gets so may 'Ooooh's from people!

You may know that Cult Nails are running a nail art competition at the moment (details here) and I entered a mani I did a little while back. It would be great if you could vote for me by clicking here. All you have to do is 'like' the photo and you'll be entered for the chance of winning a prize too!



Stamping Plate: Bundle Monster BM208 and BM209
Base Colour: A-England Elaine
Konad Colour: GOSH Metallic Purple
Top Coat of NYC


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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Purple on Blue on Blue

Hellooo! It's been a few days hasn't it, sorry about that. I fully intended to blog yesterday but fell asleep at 8 in the evening because I had to get up at 6.30am on five hours sleep and I am just not used to that kind of morning! Not very hardcore, I know, but I like my sleep!

It seems like I've only used 'all-over' stamping patterns for a very long time so I went in search of a smaller pattern for today's mani. I decided on this one from the Red Angel set because I love the way it fits perfectly in to the curve of my nails and looks like a pretty little frame.


Stamping Plate: Red Angel RA119*
Base Colour: Barry M Blueberry Ice Cream
Stamp Colour: NYC 243B
Gems from eBay
Top Coat of NYC



Sunday, 8 January 2012

Top 11 of 2011

Today, I've lined up my top 11 manicures of 2011! These are my own personal favourites and it was impossible to put them in any order, that's like asking me to choose between my babies!

This countdown, or rather collection, consists mostly of freehand manis that I made during the 31 Day Challenge or my theme weeks which has made me realise I definitely work best and come up with my best ideas under a little pressure. It's something I need to bare in mind this year and I'll have to come up with more challenges for myself so that in turn, I can come up with some kick ass manicures!

You can click on any of the pictures to go to the original post for more info and pictures.























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Friday, 6 January 2012

Guitar Hero Nail Art!

I think it's safe to say that I've become addicted to Guitar Hero this week! I first played it at a friend's house on Monday and by Thursday, we had it in our house and I ended up playing it for 6 hours straight. I have a blister on my finger and achy arms from rocking so hard on the drums!



I used W7 Black as a base and white acrylic paint for the thumb and button details before I topped them with colour.


Now if you'll excuse me, I have to do some laundry. LOL JK, I'm gonna play guitar hero!

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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Stamp Teal You Drop

Here's another mani from the new Red Angel plates! As I said before, there will be a full review coming soon.  This is definitely my favourite of the patterns I've tried out so far, I just keep going back to it again and again.

Sorry my posts have been brief and scattered recently. It just seems like I never have much time to devote to blogging at the moment. Hopefully now that the holidays are over, I, like everyone else, will be getting back in to a regular routine and start sleeping properly!




Stamping Plate: Red Angel RA109*
Base Colour: W7 Teal
Stamp Colour: Barry M Gold Foil
Top Coat of NYC



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Monday, 2 January 2012

Top That!

I don't post a lot of swatches or plain nails but I wanted a simple mani today and I love what I decided on so I wanted to share. It's very glitzy which is slightly out of my comfort zone but after seeing all the sparkly New Years manis that everyone was coming up with, I think a bit of twinkle is in order.

I hope everyone had a good start to their 2012. After stressing about not having any plans for New Years I just decided was going to stay in and watch a movie but ended up going in to town very last minute (at 11.30!) to join some friends and we ended up staying awake until about 6 in the morning. It was definitely one for the books and I hope the rest of the year will bring as much fun.


I layered Essence Choose Me over Barry M Cyan Blue and finished it off with a top coat of NYC.



I had loads of questions on Tumblr today which some of you might be interested in seeing. I answered questions about how to get followers (or not), weight loss, free samples and more so if you might want to read what I had to say, click over here.

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