Monday, 30 April 2012

Gradient Nails Picture Tutorial

Exciting news today! This blog now resides at thenailasaurus.com! I've always wanted my own domain and after two years I finally decided today was the day to fix that. 
For some reason, I had it in my head that it would be complicated and expensive. It wasn't! I don't know how it works on other platforms, but it turns out Google will pretty much do it all for you for $12.30 a year. All you have to do is go to your basic settings in dashboard and follow the steps. Easy as pie and just as satisfying!

So yesterday I hinted that I'd be elaborating on the technique I used for my gradient nails. And today, as promised, I've written a detailed picture tutorial for you guys. Enjoy!

UPDATE: If you'd prefer to watch the video version, just scroll straight to the bottom of this post!

Gradient Nail Art Tutorial

Click 'Read More' to see the tutorial

Sunday, 29 April 2012

I Finally Mastered Gradient Nails!

Gradient nails are something that I've been admiring for a long time but never quite managed to master myself. Until very recently that is! 
I've seen a few tutorials and this one from The Beauty Department looked the most promising but using four colours seems like it would take a lot of time and effort just to get the effect of one colour fading in to another, I figured there must be an easier way! After a bit of playing around, I found a method that's super fast, very easy and all you need is two colours and a sponge.

Ombre Nails Nail Art

Ombre Nails Nail Art

To get this ombré result, I used BYS Pretty as a Peach, Rimmel Urban Princess and a small section of sponge. More details to follow tomorrow!

Ombre Nails Nail Art

Ombre Nails Nail Art

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Saturday, 28 April 2012

Black and White Day 10: Your Choice

For the last day of the challenge we decided to recreate our favourite manicure that someone else had created during the challenge. So I had the near impossible task of picking from 42 manicures! In the end, I came to a compromise, I'd dedicate one finger on my hand to my favourite design from each of the other 5 ladies.

Black and White Challenge Day 10

Black and White Challenge Day 10

Pinky Finger, The Lacquerologist: Day 3
See Emily's original post here
W7 Black as a base. Dotted first with Barry M White then again with Rimmel Urban Princess, Barry M Mint Green, NYC Lexington Yellow and Miss Sporty Orange.

Ring Finger, Nails and Noms: Day 3
See Rie's original post here
W7 Black as a base. Using scotch tape to mark of the triangle closest to my cuticle, I used BYS Flirty Sparkle. I gave up on scotch tape and freehanded the next triangle with Rimmel Daisy Chain.

Middle Finger, Fab Fingertips: Day 5
See Esther's original post here
A-England Galahad as a base. A-England St George for the first cloud and W7 Black for the second.

Pointer Finger, Sincerely Stephanie: Day 2
See Stephanie's original post here
Base coat of Barry M White. W7 Black with a striping brush for the center parting. Then I switched to a dotting tool using the same two colours.

Thumb, Let Them Have Polish: Day 1
See Christina's original post here
Barry M White as my base colour. First I used a large dotting tool and W7 Black, then a slightly smaller dotting tool with Barry M White to dot in the centres.

Finally, I finished off each nail with two coats of NYC In A New York Minute.

Black and White Challenge Day 10

Black and White Challenge Day 10

Black and White Challenge Day 10

And finally, pop over to the other ladies' blogs to see which design they've recreated!
Esther at Fab Fingertips
Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie

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Friday, 27 April 2012

Guest Post for Make Up and Beauty Blog!

The lovely Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog is taking a much deserved vacation and she invited me to write some content for her blog while she's away!
I decided to write a tutorial for Chevron Nails which I think is going to be a big nail trend this summer. For the full tutorial, click here or on the picture below to go to the full post at makeupandbeautyblog.com!

Chevron Nail Tutorial Guest Post

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Thursday, 26 April 2012

From The Vault: Galaxy Nails

I just found these pictures in my drafts list! I'm pretty sure they're rejects from Day 19 of the 31 Day Challenge. You can see the ones I decided to post here. I like them and I recall liking them at the time but deciding the colour scheme was too similar to the ones I posted way back in February 2011 - my first ever attempt at Galaxy Nails.

I can't remember exactly what polishes I used but I'm pretty sure I can see BYS Glittering Purple, E.L.F. Twinkle and GOSH Holographic must be in the mix because I'm holding the bottle!

Galaxy Nails

Galaxy Nails

Galaxy Nails

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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Black and White Challenge Day 9: Water Marble

I've been dreading today since before we even started the challenge. Water Marbling and I are just not friends, never have been, probably never will be! I love the way it looks so much but I've never been able to do it to much success.
I gave it my best shot but after an hour of trying, I was really starting to lose my patience. I even dropped my black polish in the water which was just the last straw and I had to let out a very loud growl of frustration! I don't think it's worth sacrificing my sanity for the sake of some nail art so I had to settle for just an accent nail.

Black and White Skittles

Black and White Skittles

For the accent finger, I painted on a base coat of Barry M White and used Wet n Wild White and W7 Black for the marbling. I'm wearing A-England Bridal Veil on my index finger and W7 Black on the others.

Black and White Skittles

Black and White Skittles

Perhaps the other ladies had better luck than I did with their water marbles today!
Esther at Fab Fingertips
Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Video Tutorial: Applying Rhinestones

A few months ago, I opened my Etsy shop and started selling decorated nail sets to raise money for a decent video camera. I ended up buying a Panasonic HX DC10 and I'm really impressed with the quality, considering it was quite a bargain at £139.

So here's the first video I've made with it! It's just a super quick tutorial that will hopefully answer any questions people have been asking about how I apply rhinestones to my manicures. I apply studs, fimo and bullion in the same way but sometimes I might use pliers or a toothpick to place them instead of a brush.



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Monday, 23 April 2012

Stud Stripe Square

It's no secret that I love studs. Especially ones I can wear on my nails! Born Pretty Store is my one stop shop for nail studs. Their selection has grown a lot since I bought my first bag - they now have all shapes and sizes and because it's Born Pretty, I know I'm getting a bargain. The most exciting addition for me was these square studs. I've seen them used before but couldn't find them anywhere, until Emily alerted me to them on Born Pretty!

The blue and nude isn't a colour combination that I would have thought to use but I've been seeing it all over Tumblr recently and it definitely works!

Square Stud Nail Art

Square Stud Nail Art

I used two coats of Cult Nails Cruisin' Nude as a base, then used a striping brush to paint on the stripes using Barry M Cyan Blue. I placed the studs* using a toothpick dipped in clear polish while the blue was still tacky and pushed them gently down in to the polish. All finished with two top coats of NYC.

Square Stud Nail Art

Square Stud Nail Art

You can buy nail studs from Born Pretty here. These are the 2mm square ones.
You can use my code, SA5X31 at the checkout to get 7% off your whole order!

*This item was sent for consideration. For more information, see my disclosure.


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Sunday, 22 April 2012

Black and White Challenge Day 8: Sponging

The challenge keeps sneaking up on me this week. I always think I have loads of time to do the manicures because of the three day break in between but it gets to the night before and I realise I still haven't got any idea what I'm going to do!

Admittedly, I used sponging on Day 7 but when faced with glitter that's where my mind immediately wanders. Vice versa when someone tells me to use a sponge, I think glitter!

A-England Bridal Veil and Girly Bits Into The Night

A-England Bridal Veil and Girly Bits Into The Night

I used A-England Bridal Veil - a black scattered holographic - as a base and sponged Girly Bits Into The Night - holographic glitter in a black jelly base - on to the tips!

A-England Bridal Veil and Girly Bits Into The Night

A-England Bridal Veil and Girly Bits Into The Night

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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Black and White Challenge Day 7: Black and White with Glitters

Glitter. I hate the stuff. I truly do. Has anyone noticed that as soon as you touch something with loose glitter on it, you'll find pieces of glitter all over yourself for the next two days at least?! Luckily, glitter polish isn't too bad on that account but it still has a habit of sticking to you and putting up a fight when you try to remove it from your nails. 
I got off lightly with this manicure though. Because there are so many layers of polish, it wasn't even completely dry underneath when I removed it (about 1 hour after taking the pictures) so I could actually just peel of the whole thing one nail at a time! I can't imagine how long it would have taken me to get it all off otherwise.

Black and White Challenge Day 7

Black and White Challenge Day 7

I used W7 Cosmic Black - a black jelly packed with Silver glitter - as a base. Then I took a sponge and used it to apply W7 Cosmic Mauve from the tips. Then I added some Wet n Wild White to the mix but because it's not very opaque, it gave it a milky look. Finally I used a little more Cosmic Mauve right on the tips and used about 3 coats of NYC Top Coat to smooth things over!

Black and White Challenge Day 7

Black and White Challenge Day 7

Click over to see what the other girls have come up with today!
Esther at Fab Fingertips
Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie

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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

MASH Nail Art Tweezer Review

I received these tweezers from the lovely Maria in my package from the Cult Nails nail art competition back in February. Since then, I've found so many uses for them and they've become an invaluable addition to my nail art equipment posse! To be completely honest, the thing I probably use them for the most is removing anything that sticks to my wet polish that's not supposed to be there (i.e. my hair, stray cotton wool, dog hair) but occasionally I use them in reverse, the way MASH intended - to stick pretty stuff to my nails!

The great thing about these is they can pick up absolutely anything you could ever imagine using in your nail art. They even pick up bullion! Those tiny metal beads that are perfectly round and less than a millimetre in diameter. Impressive right?

Mash Nail Art Tweezer

These tweezers look pretty awesome as well. They're sleek as hell but still substantial enough to get a good grip on. When open, the gap between each pincer is 12mm wide. Do with that tidbit of information what you will, I just thought it would be handy to mention!

Mash Nail Art Tweezer

To give you a bit of perspective, here's a close up of the tip of the tweezers next to your standard bobby pin. You can see that the tweezers are very small and come to a complete point. Perfect for handling even the smallest nail art accessories.

Mash Nail Art Tweezer Review

Mash Nail Art Tweezer Review

The angled tip makes things much easier than normal, straight tweezers because you have a clear, unobstructed view of what you're doing. Perfect for someone like me who has to start over if a rhinestone is a mm out of place!

Mash Nail Art Tweezer Review

I recommend keeping hold of the small plastic tube that 'locks' the tweezers in the packaging because the ends are very sharp and it really hurts if you accidentally jab yourself with them. I learned the hard way when I was rummaging around in the pot where I keep them and snagged my finger!

Mash Nail Art Tweezer

The tweezers cost $4.99 and you can get them....
...from the Mash website here with free shipping (at time of publication).
...or from MASH on Amazon.com for $4.99 + shipping here.


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Monday, 16 April 2012

Black and White Challenge Day 6: Color base with White

The 'Skittle mani' is not a style I sport very often. I think it's due to my obsession with evenness and symmetry! Nevertheless, I decided to give it a go today when I couldn't decide which pretty pastel I wanted to use on my nails and I really love the result. I'm really taken with pastels and I think the love is fueled by my desperation for summer's return after I was given a taste of it the a few weeks back when we had a few days of sunshine!

I've been doing too much online shopping this week and I have my eye on some jewellery from Fresh Trends. I'm a bit of a piercing junkie and I had my anti-helix pierced a few weeks ago as a little birthday present to myself! For whatever reason I didn't get a chance to mention it at the time but you can see it here!  I had no idea about all the amazing jewellery you can get for the more uncommon piercings like my new addition. I think this is gonna have to go in my rook piercing on the other ear!

Barry M Pastels

Stamping Plate: Bundle Monster BM205
Base Colour: Barry Ms Mint Green, Berry Ice Cream, Blueberry Ice Cream and NYC Lexington Yellow
Stamping Colour: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Whirlwind White
Top Coat of NYC

Barry M Pastels

Barry M Pastels

As always, my challenge homies will have some beautiful manicures for you today!
Esther at Fab Fingertips
Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie

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Friday, 13 April 2012

Fish Egg Friday!

Today's nails are inspired by some nail art that Dashing Diva created for the Cushnie et Ochs show at Fall 2011 Fashion Week which you can see here
I'm sure you've all been seeing a lot of this style manicure recently and I'll be honest, I wasn't completely sold on the look. And I also thought it would be a nightmare to apply. Now that I've finally tried it, I've surprised myself at how much I actually like it and it was way easier than I expected. It literally is a case of pouring the beads over your nail and letting them stick!
It doesn't show in the pictures, but these beads are so sparkly in real life. My nails are like mini mirror balls!


It's a long post today! More after the crack ↓

Black and White Challenge Day 5: Color base with Black

I'm so excited to post today's nail art! For Day 5 of the Black and White Challenge - Color base with Black, I've created some nail art inspired by the One Ring from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I was going to wait to do this for the release of The Hobbit which I thought must be some time soon but it's not until December!
This nail art was first posted on Billy the Brime's Tumblr and couldn't wait to give it a go myself. Allison's mani is more accurate to the original source material than mine and fair play to the girl, dang that inscription is fiddly!

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them
One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

Lord of the Rings Nail Art

Lord of the Rings Nail Art

I used Barry M Gold Foil as my base colour and black acrylic paint with a nail art brush for the details.

Lord of the Rings Nail Art

Lord of the Rings Nail Art

Don't forget to visit the other ladies' blogs to see their Day 5 manis!
Esther at Fab Fingertips
Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Black and White Challenge Day 4: White base with Color

Netflix is pretty new to the UK and I've been signed up for a while now. As is to be expected, though, it's seriously detrimental to my productivity! I've spent the past two days vegging out in front of the TV watching 90's movies. Some of my favourites include The Parent Trap, Clueless and George of the Jungle! I think I'm going to start watching The IT Crowd this week because I keep seeing hilarious gifs of it on Tumblr!

Day 4 of the Black and White Challenge calls for a white base with come colour and I knew immediately that I wanted to use a holographic. And what better holographic than THE Holographic. I heard rumours a few weeks ago that GOSH were going to bring back the 'VHTF' (Very Hard To Find) polish but then they died down and I've heard nothing on the subject since.

Gosh Holographic and Bundle Monster BM223

Gosh Holographic and Bundle Monster BM223

Stamping Plate: Bundle Monster BM223
Base Colour: Barry M Matt White
Stamping Colour: GOSH Holographic
Top Coat of NYC

Gosh Holographic and Bundle Monster BM223

Gosh Holographic and Bundle Monster BM223

Don't forget to pop over to the other ladies' blogs to see what they created for Day 4!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Malteaster!

Happy Easter everyone! Today I have some easter chocolate themed nail art to show you. I've seen a lot of Creme Egg nail art and, sure those things are yummy and all but have you tried Malteaster Bunnies?! These things are frikkin delicious and since they started selling them at Easter a few years ago, they've overtaken Creme Eggs as my favourite Easter chocolate. I always get upset when they start disappearing from shelves after Easter and normally start stockpiling them in the hopes that my stash will last until next February when they start selling them again. In reality, it lasts two weeks because they're too yummy to save!



The red base colour is from L'Oreal and I picked it up recently for 39p. I can't find the shade name on the bottle though! I've been looking for a true red for ages but I always end up buying more raspberry toned reds so this finally fits the bill.
I used white acrylic paint with a nail art brush for the writing. The chocolate bunny is Barry M Mushroom outlined in black acrylic paint. The little details are NYC Lexington Yellow and Miss Sporty Orange.



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