Saturday, 30 April 2011

17 ~ Go Go, with Crackle!

I got a couple of 17 polishes the other day to try out. The colour selection is pretty nice, although somewhat limited.
I decided on this bright yellow affair and a lovely shimmery blue one.
I just love the brightness of this yellow polish, which is called Go Go. The application however left something to be desired. The brush is really nice, like a stumpy version of the OPI pro wide brush. The polish went on nicely as well, and the first coat looked promising. Then funny things started to happen. There was some cuticle drag and streakiness, which seems to happen quite a lot with some yellow and white polishes, but this polish did things I have never seen before!
It started creating strings, almost like melted cheese! I'm guessing it's because it's one of those 60 second polishes, and maybe it started drying around the opening as I painted. I had to actually close the polish up and shake it between each layer!
This is four layers btw, and there was still some VNL, but not much streaking.
Since I don't really like VNL I decided to try out one of my new Barry M Instant Nail Effects over the top. The result is very Swedish, don't you think :)



I Just Couldn't Resist

I caved and bought some fimo canes from ebay! I have to admit that more often than not looks created with fimo are a bit OTT, but seriously, how cute are they!

I'll be doing manis with them soon, so stay tuned :)


Friday, 29 April 2011

Stamping Tutorial

I know there are a lot of tutorials on how to do stamping out there, but I thought I would show you how I do it as well!

These are the materials I use. Clockwise starting in the top left corner they are as follows:
Acetone Soaked Cotton - You don't need to use pure acetone, but I strongly recommend that you use a remover that at least is acetone based. This will cut through polish quicker than anything else, and you won't need to worry about your nails since the remover won't actually touch them.
Stamping Polish - Unless you want to use Konad Special Polish this is a matter of trial and error. In general an opaque crème will work quite well, but this isn't always the case. If you want to try it out just stamp your chosen polish on a piece of paper to see how it looks.
Scraper - The scraper that comes with the Konad stamper is rubbish, please take my word for it and stay away from it! I have scratched lots of my plates before I realised that I can use a plastic card instead (yeah, sometimes I can be a bit slow)
Towel - I use a face cloth for this, but you can use anything at all that you won't mind getting polish on. A lot of people will use a paper towel, but I prefer a proper cotton one that is dedicated to stamping. Folded double it gives a nice yielding soft surface that will keep my plate in place and that is easy to wipe my scraper on quickly.
Stamper - This is a Konad stamper, you won't have to spend much on one! Before you use it the first time, or if you notice it doesn't pick up your polish that well, it's advisable to roughen up the surface gently with a nail file or very fine sand paper.
Image Plate - These come in so many varieties now! Some of the most popular ones are Konad, Bundle Monster and MASH. They are metal plates with a number of images engraved into the surface, where the polish will fill in the groves for the stamper to pick up.
On to the stamping! I am assuming for this that your nails are polished with a base of your choice, and dry.
Step 1 - Wipe your plate with the acetone. Put your cotton piece on the towel and twirl the stamper over it to clean it.
Step 2 - Take your stamping polish and put a bit over your chosen image. You won't need to paint over the whole image as it will spread when you scrape.
Step 3 - Use your scraper to remove the excess polish from  your plate. You may need to experiment with the angle and pressure of the scraper. This will depend on the size of the image and the thickness of your polish.
Step 4 - Working fairly quickly, pick up the design with your stamper by pushing and rolling the stamper over the image on the plate.
Step 5 - Take your stamper and transfer the image to your nail. Take care to use an even pressure and make sure you don't push the stamper, but roll and press.
Finally - seal in your design with a top coat of your choice. Don't go over the image several times, as this can smudge your design. I have yet to try a top coat that in itself smudges, I find it's more about application technique.
I hope this is helpful to someone, please let me know if you have any questions!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Barry M ~ Blue Moon

This is one of the two new polishes from Barry M - this polish is called Blue Moon.
It's a baby blue polish with teeny tiny sparkly flecks in it.
It applied - ok. I'm not massively impressed, not massively disappointed. Just a bit.. meh. This is three coats.
I added two bits of nail art tape to my ring finger to make it a bit more interesting. I kind of like the outcome.



OPI ~ Princesses Rule!

Doesn't this polish seem really appropriate the day before a Royal Wedding?
OPI's Princesses Rule is a very sheer glitter pink polish. I'm wearing 4 coats. I think next time I will layer over another polish first, as I'm not a huge fan of VNL (yet somehow always seem to pick up sheer polishes! Go figure)



Are you planning on watching Kate and William get married tomorrow? If the weather isn't too lovely I might just watch it a bit on the telly :)

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A Mani For Mum

First of all - apologies for the lack of posts this week. My mum and dad are here to visit, so I haven't had that much time to play around with my nails and computer.
So, instead of an Easter themed mani, I give you this purple one, as purple is my mum's all time favourite colour.

Second of all - a great big thank you to all my followers! I'm so happy you want to follow what is going on with my blog, and I love all your sweet comments! <3

For this mani I painted my nails with two coats of the beautiful Vivid Purple from Barry M. This polish is a dream to work with!
Then I stamped over with patterns from Bundle Monster plate BM21 with Silver from GOSH.
Finally I added a few purple rhinestones on my left thumb and ring finger, and my right index finger.
My mum loved it! I hope you like it too :)

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Revlon ~ Strawberry Electric

This polish is super bright! I thought Strawberry Electric by Revlon would be a bit sheer when I bought it, but the application was surprisingly good. This is three coats.
This polish almost looks like a duochrome to me - but not quite. It does have that subtle iridescent shifting going on though, that makes it a bit more fun in my opinion.

I stamped over it with a simple design, and I think it looks quite cute.
All pictures are in natural light.


Saturday, 23 April 2011

Revlon ~ Grape Icy

As mentioned previously I do like a subtle stamping now and then. I quite like a mani that's not in your face (and then again I like one that is!), and similar tone stamping ticks that box for me.
For this mani I painted my nails with 3 coats of Revlon's Grape Icy. Then I stamped over it with Pale Purple by Barry M using Konad plate m70.



Friday, 22 April 2011

China Glaze ~ Ruby Pumps

I know we have all seen her before, but she is well worth a second look, don't you think! Ruby Pumps by China Glaze is one of those "can't stop admiring my nails" kind of polishes.
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves! All shot in natural light.



Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Glitter Tips and Fern

I like trying new things when decorating my nails. The beauty of nail art is that it's so temporary that you can afford to mess around a bit and see if that idea you had works or not.
The only thing I knew when I started this mani was that I wanted to try glitter powder somehow.
I painted my nails with a clear base coat and dipped my tips in a franken Dazzle Dust from Barry M. Then I stippled Lincoln Park After Dark (regular finish) by OPI in a gradient from below the tip towards the cuticle with a nail art brush. After that I stamped the two fern like patterns from Bundle Monster image plate BM11 with White on White by China Glaze over Lincoln Park After Dark.



Tuesday, 19 April 2011

French Tips and Pink Stripes

My freehand French tips need some work! I love the look of a neatly done French, but a bad one looks so tacky! I kind of liked how this one turned out, but I do think it has more than one tentative little finger tip over the tacky line! Fun none the less, at least I think so :)
I painted my whole nail with Cotton Candy by Revlon - one of those scented polishes - not sure yet if I love or loathe them! This particular polish was an absolute PITA to apply. It went gloopy and streaky and all around horrible. I painted four layers of this to achieve a somewhat even result. Big fat fail! Then I painted my tips with White On White by China Glaze. I used a nail art brush to add the pink stripes. The colour I used was Shocking Pink by Barry M.
Finally I covered the whole thing with Opal Elegance glitter top coat from Nina Ultra Pro.


Monday, 18 April 2011

Barry M ~ Cyan, with Glitter Gradient

I wasn't particularly impressed with the Katy Perry collection OPI released earlier this year (or was it end of last year? I can't remember!).
Last Friday Night is the only one I have picked up - at least so far. It may not look like much in the bottle - just your typical jelly base with glitter floating around - but I love it on the nail!
Here I have layered it in a gradient over Barry M's Cyan Blue, with the first coat covering about 2/3 of the nails, and the second coat just on the tips.
Cyan Blue is a lovely bright blue crème that covers in two coats. The Barry M polishes do tend to thicken up, but it's nothing a few drops of thinner can't solve.
All pictures are taken in natural daylight.



Sunday, 17 April 2011

OPI ~ Russian Navy Suede

I really really hope OPI bring back the suedes! They are so pretty and the formulation is perfect.
Can you believe that this is only one(!) coat of Russian Navy Suede. I find the suedes so much more interesting than a regular matte. The only downside I suppose is that they turn satiny quite quickly, but for me that's not really an issue as I change my polish close to daily anyway.



What do you think of suedes or mattes? Do you have a favourite finish?

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Lots of Colours!

This design is my take on Love4Nails original. She is one of my favourite youtubers, she seems like such a sweet person!
I love how colourful and fun this is, and super easy to do as well.
Let me know if you want me to list how I did this - I made my design in a very similar way to Love4Nails, but if you want I can write down what polishes I used.



Friday, 15 April 2011

Floral French

I love the versatility of a French tip. I especially like the look of one that is slightly embellished. I'm not very good at freehand tips, so I stamped these.
I painted my nails with one coat of China Glaze's Innocence which is a very sheer pink polish - perfect for a French in my opinion. Then I stamped my tips with white using Konad m19, and added a little floral pattern from a fauxnad plate I got in an ebay set.


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Who Let the Cows Out?

This mani is just for a bit of fun! I'm not a huge animal print fan in general, but I have been known to make the occasional exception :)
I painted my nails with White from ELF. This polish is truly awful! Can you believe that I have five coats on!? And it's still not streak free. Whites are difficult, but five coats, no that's taking it too far!
After getting a semi decent white cover I used a dotting tool and added black (Black by Nina Ultra Pro) and pink (Shocking Pink by Barry M) blobs. Top coat and done! Very simple.
I don't know about you, but I think cows look better on your nails than on your plate :)



The Funkiest Smelling Polish Ever!

Every now and then newspapers and magazines will have freebies to give away if you have a coupon or two. A while back Buzz had one where you could get a little Barry M set from your Superdrug. In the set was this polish, a pale pink lip gloss and a black eye pencil. The polish doesn't have a name, but buzz is written on the front of the bottle.
I'm a really big fan of Barry M's nail polishes. The quality is excellent and they are very affordable. The colour range is a little bit limited, but some of my all time favourite polishes are from Barry M.
When I tried this one out I was astounded by the smell! This polish smells like no other polish I have ever tried. It has a very strong "paint" smell, and reminds me of the little tubs of hobby acrylics you can buy for crafts.
I think the colour is really quite pretty, and the finish is nice, so apart from the smell I have no objections.This is three coats, but I think you could probably get away with two (well applied) ones.


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Nina Ultra Pro ~ Powder Puff

If I had to list my top 10 polishes chances are high that Powder Puff by Nina Ultra Pro would be on it.
It's not terribly unique in any way, but I love it just because it is so unassuming yet pretty.
This is the kind of polish that is ideal when you just want to slap something on quickly rather than go naked, or if you know you won't be able to take it off in a couple of days and will likely get tip wear. It's even ok to just paint it on without doing any cuticle tidying.

The pink tone prevents this pearl finish from looking too granny-ish. As with any pearl or frost polish you will most likely have visible brush strokes, but I don't think it detracts from this one at all. I have used two coats, and although there is a hint of VNL I don't mind it with this kind of polish.
One of my favourite bloggers The Lacquerista, posted about palate cleansers, and this polish for me falls into this category. It would be equally suitable for a day at the office or at a wedding!

Do you have any go-to palate cleansers or fail safe favourites?

Spring Daisies

The last days' weather has been gorgeous here. Blossoms and flowers are coming out everywhere, so what is more appropriate than a spring inspired mani :)

I started off by covering the nail with Mermaid (a very sheer light green with darker green shimmer - hard to capture on photo!) from Nina Ultra Pro, then I sponged the tips with Leaf Me Alone by the same brand. After a clear top coat I added the daisies by using Nina Ultra Pro's Like Butta and China Glaze's White On White with a dotting tool.

This may not be the most technically advanced design, but it makes me smile every time I look at my nails! I hope you like it too :)