Saturday, 31 March 2012

Here We Go Again!

Tomorrow I'll be reuniting with my 31 Day Challenge buddies, Cris from Let Them Have Polish! and Rie from Nails and Noms for the Black and White Challenge which was created by Mateja at Purple Glitters

This time we'll be joined by some other talented bloggers, Esther at Fab Fingertips, Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie and Emily from The Laquerologist.

It's a ten day challenge but we'll be posting every three days (schedule below) which will take us up to the 28th of April.


1. White base with black ( 1st Apr 2012)
2. Black base with white (4th Apr 2012)
3. Black base with color (7th  Apr 2012)
4. White base with color (10th Apr 2012)
5. Color base with black (13th Apr 2012)
6. Color base with white (16th Apr 2012)
7. Black & white with glitters (19th Apr 2012)
8. Sponging (22th Apr 2012)
9. Water marble (25th Apr 2012)
10. Manicure of your choice with black and white (28th Apr 2012)


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You Win or You Die (Game Of Thrones Nail Art)

So it's finally here! Game of Thrones is back on our TV screens tomorrow and I'm so excited, although I have to wait until Monday to see it here in the UK. Boo!
I originally planned to do something with the great houses' sigils but that proved to be very tricky so I went with their mottos instead! 


Left to right:
House Baratheon 'Ours is the Fury'
House Targaryen 'Fire and Blood'
House Stark 'Winter is Coming'
House Lannister 'Hear Me Roar'




Friday, 30 March 2012

Brace Yourselves... Spring Is Coming

So even though today was kind of a nail fail, I have to post them anyway due to blogging withdrawal. I swear if I don't post these today I'll be up all night stressing about not posting for 3 days!
Today's mani is continuing with the theme of sunny weather and bright summer colours. I'm not sure if there's a problem with my stamping plates, scraper, stamper or I've just lost my stamping skills because I couldn't get anything to go right for me today! In the end I settled for this patchy excuse of a stamping manicure.


 Stamping Plate: Bundle Monster BM224
Base Colour: NYC Lexington Yellow
Konad Colour: Barry M Gold Foil
Top Coat of NYC





P.S. If you know where the reference in the title comes from, I've got some cool nail art coming up (provided I can get it right) relating to a very exciting event taking place this weekend!

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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Summer Sorbet

I normally avoid pastel polishes like the plague but the recent flux of summer weather has me buying them left right and centre! It's not that I have a particular dislike for pastels but my disposition lends me to darker, moody colours. 
I picked up these two BYS polishes today in the £1 bucket and I wasn't expecting to love the peach as much as I do. I only picked it up to push myself out of my comfort zone a little and now I might not return there until the weather turns bad. The brighter colour, Purple Rain is one I've had before (many years ago) and I wore the hell out of it until it was a globby, unusable mess and I had to bin it so I was chuffed to find a bottle in the sale.


Stamping Plate: Bundle Monster BM210
Base Colour: BYS Pretty As A Peach
Colour: BYS Purple Rain
Top Coat of NYC


Hit the jump for more pictures. There are a lot today!

Monday, 26 March 2012

A Storage Solution For All Your Tiny Bits!

Storing all the tiny little items used in nail art like rhinestones, and all the other glitter and flitter is a tricky business. Often they come in packaging that's not suitable for long term storage or just causes an inconvenience every time you want to get to the stuff inside.
Recently, I've gotten fed up of keeping all my nail art supplies in small plastic bags (which nearly always results in spills and other accidents) so I started searching for alternative storage. I started using small screw lid pots that I got from a drugstore to store my rhinestones and such. They were £1 for a pack of 3 which is a very good price but I took to the internet anyway to see if I couldn't find something cheaper!

The result was this amazing storage solution that I found on eBay! It's a small, fairly flat plastic box inside which sits 12 little jars. The box measures a compact 13 x 10 x 2 cm and the jars are about an inch in diameter with a screw top lid.



The case is very compact and fits easily in to my hand. The lid doesn't 'pop' on, it just sits on the top so I've used an elastic band to keep it securely in place.



This product is simple, elegant perfection and if you're looking for a practical, tidy storage solution for your nail art supplies it's ideal. And the possibilities are endless, you could even use it for storing jewellery or craft supplies!

I bought this product on eBay UK here.
I did some digging and found a listing for a similar, if not identical, item on eBay US here.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Birthday Nails!

Tomorrow is my 21st birthday! I'm going out tonight with some friends to celebrate with drinks (read: lots of drinks) and revelry and these are the nails I'm sporting.
I got the idea from Trincess at Emerald Sparkled who took inspiration from The Illustrated Nail. The title of Trincess' post, 'Look Rich Be Cheap' has stuck in my head since the first time I read it because it pretty much sums up my life!



I used two coats of Cult Nails Time Traveler as a base, then used a slow drying top coat and placed on these sequins from Viva La Nails using a cocktail stick dipped in the clear polish to make the end sticky.
I used GOSH Metallic Blue to paint on the XXI and finished it off with a couple of coats of NYC In A New York Minute just to smooth things over.



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Friday, 23 March 2012

Jump In The Pool

I've got time to squeeze in a quick post before I head out to see The Hunger Games!! Someone has just burst in the door to tell me we have to leave right this second so I'll say farewell and may the odds be ever in your favour ;)



Stamping Plate: Red Angel RA114
Base Colour: GOSH Pool Party
Stamp Colour: Collection 2000 Moonlight Shine
Top Coat of NYC



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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Nails on Fire: The Hunger Games Nail Art

Unless you've been living under a rock with no internet access recently, you'll probably be vaguely aware that The Hunger Games hits cinemas this weekend. So of course I had to pay 'tribute' on my nails! I'm going to see it on Friday and hopefully I'll love it as much as I did the books.

I did some Hunger Games nail art back in July last year while I was reading the books which you can see here. I considered re-hashing that design with a few updates but decided to create my imagining of Katniss' flame manicure that she wears for her pre-games interview with the addition of a Mockingjay pin.



I started with a base coat of Barry M White and then used a nail art brush to freehand the flames. I started with the red (La Femme Cherry Red) on the outside part, then used orange (No7 Tangy) and finally yellow (George Buttercup Shine) right in the centre. I added a few strokes of Rimmel Daisy Chain in the direction of the flames for a little glowy highlight. Finally I painted W7 Black around the edge and finished with a few top coats of NYC.
The Mockingjay was painted with Barry M Gold Foil and a nail art brush.



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Monday, 19 March 2012

Born Pretty Prettiness

I want to take a few minutes today to tell you about Born Pretty Store. I buy so many of my nail art supplies from them so I'm gonna give them a quick shout out. I know I go on about it all the time, but I really do love a bargain and Born Pretty have the cheapest prices of any online nail art supply store I know about. They've even been nice enough to offer a 5% off coupon for all you lovely readers, just enter SA5X31 at the checkout.



They sell everything you could ever need for your nail art from acrylic powder and brushes to fimo slices and rhinestones. Delivery is free worldwide and it takes about 2 weeks for my items to get to me here in the UK which isn't too long to wait if I'm not desperate for the stuff and I really don't mind because of the low prices.

 
(click any picture to go to the product page)

I should probably mention, lest I get accused of anything unsavoury, that I'm not affiliated with Born Pretty in any way and will not benefit financially or in any other form from you clicking any of the links in this post or using the discount code. I just really like their store!


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Sunday, 18 March 2012

Green With Envy

Just a quick one today to show you some stamping nail art because it's been weeks since I featured any and it's kind of the basis for this blog! And let you know about the coupon codes I'm running in my Etsy shop.

At the moment, you can get 15% off or free worldwide shipping on everything in the store.
15% off code: 15WILLGO
Free shipping code: SHIPIT2ME
The codes are valid until April 1st, so for two weeks.

Click here to go to my Etsy shop if you fancy a browse!


Stamping Plate: Bundle Monster BM221 from Amazon
Base Colour: NYC Flat Iron Green
Stamping Colour: GOSH Metallic Green
Top Coat of NYC



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Saturday, 17 March 2012

Tips and Tricks for Shiny Nails

Some people have been enquiring about how I get my manis so shiny and the answer is lots of top coat!

On a normal day when I'm just wearing one or two coats of colour, I'll just use one coat but when I do lots of nail art on the nail, all the layers can create a bumpy manicure so I use two but there's a secret coming up.

My favourite top coat, and the one I use every day is called In A New York Minute from New York Color, or NYC. It's not specified that it's a top coat but it's clear so I assume that's what it's meant to be used for and I've been using it as my top coat for years. Full review and better bottle picture here.

In the picture below you'll see two bottles of the same polish but they look kind of different right?
The bottle on the left is a (nearly new) bottle and the polish is perfectly clear and a good consistency.
The bottle on the right is an accumulation of leftovers that I collect when the bottles run down and become thick. You can see that it's become cloudy although it's still crystal clear when applied to the nail.

Left: A nearly new bottle
Right: Combined leftovers from a few old bottles

As you can imagine, I get through a lot of this stuff and as the bottles begin to empty, the polish becomes thicker until it's almost too thick to use. I used to throw away this waste until I realised that it's great for 'glazing' my nails.

The Trick
Basically, I use one coat of the new stuff (on the left) which applies nicely and dries my nails quickly.

Once that's completely dry, I'll apply a coat of the thicker leftovers (left) which is a bit more tricky to get even on the nail but it leaves my nails with a completely smooth surface because it doesn't cling to any bumps left by nail art.

Don't be tempted skip the first step and go straight to the thick stuff because it will smudge any nail art you've taken the time to apply.

Remember, I only use this technique when I've got lots of layers of nail art on my nails. On a normal day, one coat works just fine.


So next time you're tempted to throw away the gloopy remains of your favourite top coat, DON'T! Keep them for glazing :)

Friday, 16 March 2012

Party of 5 Glitters? Happy Birthday? Or just a Carnival?

When I spotted this polish yesterday I immediately thought of Deborah Lippmann's Happy Birthday. It's a close match and could easily pass for HB from a distance but I'd put it closer to Wet N Wild Party of 5 Glitters. Cris has a great comparison post here where she goes in to all kinds of crazy detail about the glitter.

It's not really a polish I would normally pick for myself but I was convinced it was a dupe of a £15 bottle of polish for only £1 so I splurged (or not) and picked it up anyway. I'm actually surprised to find myself really liking this polish even though I wouldn't normally touch multicoloured anything with a ten foot pole!

By the way the polish is called Carnival from a brand called Technic and I found it in The Original Factory Shop but I've also seen the brand in Bodycare.


I used Rimmel Grey Matter as a base colour and a sponge to apply Technic Carnival to the tips. I finished with a few coats of NYC In A New York Minute to glaze it.




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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Paint ALL The Nails!

I love memes. I have one friend IRL who loves memes too (and a few others who are slowly learning) and when we get together, half of our conversation is completely incomprehensible to everyone else because it consists of a lot of meme and fandom referencing! This particular meme, 'X all the Y' originates on Allie Brosh's amazing blog, Hyperbole and a Half.
If you 'get' this manicure, you're awesome. If you don't - go learn about it here and be awesome like us.




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Pink Wednesday: Biker Barbie

It may be quite obvious to you by now that I'm going through a phase of decorating my nails with metal! Using chains is an idea I've had for a while but I didn't know where to get my hands on a chain small and light enough that I could stick to my nails. I looked on a few nail art supply sites but the only 'chains' I could find were not really very chainy - more like wire with small intermittent balls.

So I'd almost given up on that idea when a package from BuyInCoins.com (such an amazing site you should really check it out) fell through my front door.
I'd ordered this necklace but the pendant was a bit malformed though I wasn't too worried because it was an absolute bargain at less than $1. Then I had a brainwave, the chain was the perfect size for adorning my nails. So here we are!


Before I even started with any polish, I measured out the chains by holding the necklace up to my nail and counting how many links each nail needed. I cut off what I needed using wire cutters/pliers and laid them out  on the desk in order.

My base colour is two coats of Nails Inc Paris (for Diet Coke). I waited for this to dry then slicked on a coat of NYC In A New York Minute. I waited a few seconds for this to get tacky and used the Mash Tweezers to carefully place the chain along the tip of my nail.
When everything was dry and securely in place, I added another top coat of NYC In A New York Minute.




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Monday, 12 March 2012

Dr Seuss Nail Art!

 10 days ago, the lovely Danielle let me know about a nail art competition Nylon Blogs were holding to celebrate Dr Suess' 108th birthday which you can find here. To date they still haven't posted a winner, which is kinda sloppy on their part since it was supposed to be posted last Tuesday. So I thought I'd just post mine here already because it doesn't look likely that they'll ever post the winner's manicure and I can't hold on to this for much longer!


I don't think it needs too much explaining since Seuss' work is so iconic. I had to include the 'Sam I Am' sign because of course, I Am Sam! The windmill looking things on my middle finger are truffula trees from The Lorax. Obviously then we come to The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.

It was all freehanded using a nail brush, the outlines are black acrylic paint and if you want any info about the polishes I used for a particular part just ask below!


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Saturday, 10 March 2012

Stud Up! Day 7: Spots or Stripes?

Today is the last day of Stud Up! week and I've had an absolute blast. A theme week was definitely what I needed to bring some inspiration back to my manis.
Today's nails were inspired by racing stripes so I picked a base colour to match my car. Although unfortunately my little Percy Peugeot doesn't have any studded stripes!


I used two coats of Cult Nails Time Traveler for my base colour. One nail at a time, I added a coat of clear polish and placed the bullion using a toothpick with the end dipped in clear polish to make it sticky. I finished off with a coat of NYC In A New York Minute.




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