Thursday, 29 November 2012

31DC2012 Day 26: Inspired by a Pattern

Today's nails are inspired by good old gingham as part of the 31 Day Challenge. I've done gingham nails before but I wasn't 100% happy so I wanted to give them another try and I like the outcome much better. 

As always, head over to Let Them Have Polish and Nails and Noms to see their nail art today.

I used Barry M White as my base colour and used a nail art brush to paint on the stripes 2x2 on each nail in Essie Navigate Her and then used Barry M Spring Green to paint on the little squares where the lines cross. I topped it all with a coat of Seche Vite.


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

She Wears Blue Velvet All The Time

Quite a simple mani for you today. I really love this flocking powder and I've been using it quite often as an accent. Last time I posted this and when I posted it on Instagram earlier today, I had loads of really good questions from you guys so I'll just talk about the powder for a bit and hopefully answer them.

Most people want to know what happens when you wash your hands with this stuff on. Well it absorbs a bit of moisture and looks kind of dead for a bit but then it just dries out and goes back to normal. It lasts about 24 hours during which time it gradually rubs off and starts looking grubby. If you left this on for more than 24 hours I would judge you... it really looks gross!

The flocking powder is from Born Pretty Store and it comes in loads of colours. The one I have is Sky Blue and I'll definitely be buying some more colours. It's really easy to apply, you just paint on a coat or two of polish and press your nail in to the pot of powder while it's still wet, then use a brush to swipe away the excess. Job done! 

I also want to give a shout out to these Chanel decals while we're here. Again, they're from Born Pretty Store and I'm always using them to spice up a plain (between nail arts) mani. They're actually metal, not stickers and they come completely flat. So before I apply one, I bend it around a pen to give it a slight curve so the edges don't stick up and catch on everything. Then I slather it in top coat! I think it looks the bomb.

The base colour I've used here is NYC Water Street Blue* which is absolutely gorgeous and probably my favourite blue right now. The only downside is it stains like a bish so do not skip your base coat if you wear this! You can get the flocking powder (velvet) here and the Chanel Decals here. My top coat is Seche Vite.

P.S. If you order anything from the Born Pretty Website, you can use this code to get 10% off!


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

31DC2012: Day 25 Inspired by Fashion

Welcome to Day 25 of the challenge! Today, we have to create nails inspired by fashion so the first thing I did (again) was type 'Fashion' in to Google! I came across the Vogue website and started clicking through this season's catwalk shows.
I spent a long time looking through and I was waiting to see something... ANYTHING that I could immediately envisage on my nails when the bottom half of a dress from Christian Dior's ready-to-wear collection caught my eye. I immediately knew that this would be the nail art I'd do to match and I'm so pleased with the way it turned out.

Runway photo credit:

For this manicure, I didn't use a base colour or even a base coat, I went straight in with some striping tape to mark off the lines. I did this for two reasons. Firstly of course, you've got the authentic see through look and also I couldn't be bothered to wait for anything to dry! For the thicker lines I just used two pieces of tape right next to each other. I used nail art tweezers for this step because it's very fiddly.
When all the tape was in place, I painted on a coat of A-England Lancelot, one nail at a time, and carefully peeled off the tape using the tweezers. There was some polish out of place, especially near the edges where the tape had come away from the nail a little, so I dipped a nail art brush in some acetone to clean away the bits I didn't want. When everything was completely dry, I used two coats of Seche Vite to glaze it over.

Now go to Rie and Cris' blogs to see their fashionicures!


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Aphrodite Lacquers Swatches: Auction, Supernova and Margarita

This is the first weekend for months where I have absolutely no plans so I've had a pretty lazy Saturday. So far today I've worked my way through the entire first series of Workaholics, picked up where I left off on Homeland, dyed my hair and painted my nails about 7 times! I consider that quite a day, especially for a weekend!

Today I've got swatches of some polishes from Aphrodite Lacquers*. These polishes have been sitting on my desk for swatching for weeks now but with the 31 Day Challenge going on, I haven't had much time for swatching. With the quick break I'm taking from it this weekend I finally had time to sit down and test out these beauties.

Auction is a pearly white base packed with blue square glitter and small black hexes. I've used 3 coats straight on to my naked nail except on my ring finger where I used two coats of Sally Hansen Ion under 3 coats of Auction. There are two coats of Seche Vite top coat on every nail.

Supernova is definitely my favourite of the three. It's pink purple and silver hexes in a black jelly base. I used three coats for drama but two will give you full coverage. I used two coats of Seche Vite top coat.

Margarita is a beautiful green glitter polish somewhere between lime green and bottle green. It contains green hexes, slightly smaller blue hexes and silver glitter in a green jelly base. For this swatch I used two coats of NYC High Line Green as a base and then three coats of Margarita, except on my index finger which is just 3 coats of Margarita. Using a green base has given a slightly brighter result but the polish looks just as great on its own. Two top coats of Seche Vite.

You can buy Aphrodite Lacquers from Rebecca's Etsy Shop for $8 plus shipping.


Thursday, 22 November 2012

31DC2012 Day 24: Inspired by a Book

Like last year, I've gone with a children's book again. There aren't a lot of books for grown ups with pictures in them so kids books make for way more interesting nail art!
In case you couldn't tell, these nails are based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I remember loving this book as a kind but my copy is long gone.

We're postponing the challenge a little this week because we all have super busy schedules but we'll be back on track next Tuesday with Day 25. I'm feeling the pressure following the completely unexpected and overwhelming success of last year's Inspired by Fashion mani

Pop over to Cris and Rie's blogs to see how they're getting on with the challenge!

I used Barry M White as a base colour. The caterpillar is made up of Barry M Watermelon, Barry M Spring Green, Essie Navigate Her and a dark green Sinful Colors polish that I can't remember the name of and I'm not at home right now to check!
Also mixed in there are W7 Coral, NYC Lexington Yellow, Essie Glamour Purse and a blue Rimmel Polish that, again, I can't remember the name of!
It's all topped off with two coats of Seche Vite.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

31DC2012: Day 23 Inspired by a Movie

I'm here with Day 23 of the 31 Day Challenge and the film I chose is Watchmen. We all know how I love everything superhero so this was the obvious choice as I've exhausted most of the other ones. If you haven't seen the film, watch it!
This is the first really detailed freehand nail art I've done for absolutely ages and I love it! I wish I had more time these days to do nail art like this. I miss it!

Don't forget to stop by Nails and Noms and Let Them Have Polish to see how they're getting on with their challenges.

Thumb to pinky: Silk Spectre, Dr Manhattan, Watchmen, Rorschach (kind of!), The Comedian

All the details were freehanded with nail art brushes and here's a run down of the polishes I used...
Urban Outfitters Denim Blue, Cult Nails Quench, Essie Mezmerised, Collection 2000 Sherbet Lemons, W7 Black, Barry M White, Deborah Lippmann Fashion*.
I also used white and black acrylic paint here and there for the small details.


Sunday, 18 November 2012

31DC2012: Day 22 Inspired by a Song

Day 22's nails have to be inspired by a song and I struggled for a long time to come up with an idea. In the end, I just put my MP3 player on shuffle and waited for inspiration to strike. When Lana Del Rey's Blue Velvet came on I remembered this flock that I have from Born Pretty Store and knew it was meant to be!

Rie and Cris' nails for Day 22 of the challenge are very impressive! Go see!

I used one coat of NYC Water Street Blue* to my nails. Then, one by one, I added a second coat, waited about 30 seconds and dipped my nail in to the flocking powder. It comes with a really good brush that I used immediately after application to brush the excess back into the pot and it made very little mess. Because it's so fine, the bits that missed the pot just kind of blew away in to the air like dust! 

This powder is much finer and therefore way better than the stuff I used before and has even convinced me that a velvet manicure can be lovely when done right.

And here's the song that inspired the nails. Did you know the original version is by The Clovers from way back in 1950? You can hear that here. It's been covered by loads of people through the years but Ms Del Rey has managed to put her sombre, dreamy spin on it perfectly.


Friday, 16 November 2012

31DC2012: Day 21 Inspired by a Color

Day 20 of the challenge is a bit late. This is definitely the strangest day of the challenge, a color is a very simple thing to find inspiration in so I kind of got lazy and just went for a purple ombre. So I guess you could say I was kind of inspired by purple?! I've never actually done an ombre manicure before and I really struggled to find the right colours for this one.

Stop by Let Them Have Polish and Nails and Noms for some pretty manis!

The colours used from thumb to pinky are:
Sally Hansen Plum Night
Cult Nails Vicious
E.L.F. Purple Pleaser
Color Club Pucci-Licious
Sally Hansen No Hard Feelings
I topped it off with a top coat of Seche Vite. My first bottle is starting to get thick and I can see the shrinkage problem starting to take hold!


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

31DC2012: Day 20 Water Marbling

I've never made any secret of the fact that I despise water marbling and in the last 2 years, I've only done it twice when it was part of a challenge. Well as much as I hate it and totally wanted to duck out of this day, I ain't no quitter! So last night, I put my big girl boots on and knuckled down to business.
I went in to this knowing that I would only be doing one accent nail. It's insane how much this technique has stressed me out in the past and I'm quite a level headed person! I took precautionary measures and promised myself that as soon as I did one nail satisfactorily, I'd be finished so I didn't end up pulling my hair out this time!

Rie and Cris have both done amazing jobs with their water marbles today. Go check 'em out!

I used Sally Hansen Ion* as a base colour and created the water marble with Barry M Watermelon and Blueberry from the Gelly range. My index finger is Barry M Blueberry and I used one coat of Seche Vite to top it all off.


Sunday, 11 November 2012

31DC2012: Day 19 Galaxy Nails

Day 19 of the challenge calls for some galaxy nails! I saw this drippy galaxy design on Very Emily and traced  it back to Starlett Approved. I heart galaxy nails pretty hard and wish I could muster the effort to create them more often. Saying that, they're so easy. You literally just need a sponge and some sparkly colours! There's a great tutorial and an amazing galaxy look to be found here at Coewless Polish.

Cristina and Rie also have cosmic claws for you today!

I used A-England Lady Of Shalott* as my base colour and then used a sponge to create the galaxy effect with...
NYC Full Metal Jacket*
A-England Dorian Gray*
Rimmel Metal Rush Pearly Queen*
Essie Navigate Her
With Sally Hansen Ion*, I used a nail art brush to draw on the drips and stars. Then I added a highlight to the drips with Rimmel Pearly Queen and placed on a few holographic glequins before topping it all off with 2 coats of Seche Vite.


Saturday, 10 November 2012

31DC2012: Day 18 Half Moons

For day 18 of the challenge, we have to create half moon manicures. This is another day that I've been really looking forward to since I saw this half gradient, half half moon creation at Globe and Nail. I stole the Purple and Green colour combination from last year's Day 18 manicure! I never know what to pair with green except for more green. Then my brain always skips to 'What's green?' Grass and HULK... 'What colour does he wear?' PURPLE!

You can see Christina's Half Moon Manicure here and Rie's is here!

I used Essie Navigate Her as my base colour and applied a coat of Seche Vite to make it dry quickly.
Next I stuck Hole Reinforcers to my nails at the cuticle to mark off the half moon shape before creating a gradient with Julep Anne and a little more Navigate Her (gradient tutorial here).
Finally, I used a nail art brush with a bit of Julep Anne just to fill any any gaps on the moons and topped it off with two coats of Seche Vite.

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