Thursday, 30 August 2012

Autumnal Colours

Autumn is definitely here in middle Sweden. The trees are turning yellow and the air is really crisp in the mornings.

I fancied a mani with warmer colours, and decided on Nina Ultra Pro Burnished Bronze as my base, and OPI Designer… De Better dabbed on with cling film (saran wrap).

 

 

 

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Stamping Sunday: Pulsating Pink or Purple

I saw this week’s theme purely by coincidence while wearing Purple Panic the other day, and what better polish to fit the description than one that is called purple, but actually is pink? So, in a very time efficient way I simply made my design on top of my existing mani. Clever, eh?

I wanted to do something with a slight 60s vibe, with flowers and bright colours, so I did a little water marble on my ring finger using various oranges and pinks, and stamped white flowers on top with an image from Bundle Monster BM321.

 

 

 

Friday, 24 August 2012

Blue Saran Tape Design

I normally call it cling film, but “saran” technique seems to be the term used for dabbing your nails with, well, saran wrap, cling film or whatever you want to call it!

I did a simple design with some criss-crossed striping tape over a base of China Glaze Frostbite, and dabbed on Nina Ultra Pro Caribbean Blue.

 

 

 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

China Glaze ~ Purple Panic

Do you ever feel the need to wear obnoxiously bright polish? If you do, and if you like pink, then China Glaze Purple Panic is definitely for you.

I just love this neon pink, shot through with very pretty microshimmer. As always, with a neon, I have used a top coat. The formula was really nice. Two quick drying coats was what it took to get a nice finish for me.

 

Monday, 20 August 2012

Nina Ultra Pro ~ Leaf Me Alone

Maybe it’s just me, but when I read this polish name I can’t help but to put on a Greta Garbo voice, and flick out my green tipped hands towards some unseen person. In my head of course. I’m not totally insane after all.

I love this sap green crème, the colour is so spring-like, and since spring is quite possibly my favourite season it’s always a good thing in my book. The colour is just like fresh leaves on the birches in spring.

The formula is decent, but not amazing. It took 3 coats to make it opaque and even, which might translate to two coats for most people.

 

 

 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Holo Stamping over Fyrinnae Immortality

Have you ever seen Robin Moses on youtube? I think she is pretty amazing to be honest, and when she used eye shadows in her manis, I knew that was something I had to try. I have tried the method of dusting it over topcoat, but I’ve never been really happy with the results. So when Robin talked about using glue, I was intrigued.

I have quite a few eye shadows, because for some reason I’m drawn to little sparkly pots like a magpie to silver. I just love them. They make me so happy when I look at them. But. And here is the big but, I’m not exactly comfortable wearing them on my face. I just don’t feel I can pull it off. It’s partly an age thing, but most of all it’s just not in my comfort zone, and I feel a bit like this when I wear them:

[Image Source]

Now this look may be exactly your cup of tea, and if so, more power to you. I prefer a slightly more neutral look myself, and so my shadows have mostly been sitting in my drawer.

Until now! The combination of The Best Glue Ever (yes, that’s what it’s called) and loose eye shadows works SO well. I’m absolutely thrilled by this.

Finally time for the mani? Yes, I think so.

 

 

 

Step-by-step

  • Paint the nails with black (a-England ~ Camelot)
  • Brush the Best Glue Ever over the tips, let dry (it becomes clear and stays tacky)
  • Dust a loose eye shadow over the tips, making a gradient (Fyrinnae ~ Immortality)
  • Seal with a top coat
  • Stamp with a holographic polish (GOSH ~ Holographic) and pattern from Bundle Monster 319

 

Do you ever find yourself buying things you like the idea of, rather than the use?

Monday, 13 August 2012

Tutorial: Home-made Vegan Lotion

I got a few questions about my home-made lotion when I posted my little Nail Restoration series. The lotion is so easy to make I almost feel silly for posting it, but sometimes we pass up on the simplest things because we haven’t thought of them, so I still hope this little tutorial will benefit some of you.

The idea for this lotion came to me a couple of years ago, when I had bought a bottle of avocado oil. I had heard so much about the wonderful benefits of the oil for the skin, but when I used it my skin felt just as dry, but with a greasy film on top. I felt that I needed some moisture in there, not just fat. On the other hand, I had used aloe vera gel on my hair, and liked it, but never found it good for the skin, since it hardened and made my skin feel very uncomfortable.

One light bulb moment later, and I tried mixing some in my hand. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the combination of aloe and oil emulsified beautifully, and turned into a lotion. This has been my go-to lotion since, and I doubt I will stop using it.

 

 

What you will need:

  • A bottle for mixing. I only use a pump bottle, for reasons of hygiene. I don’t add any preservatives to the lotion, so this is a way to keep my lotion contaminant free as much as possible. If your bottle is reused, make sure you wash it thoroughly in as hot water as you can (or boil it if it can handle it), and preferably rinse it out with some pure alcohol as well.
  • Aloe Vera gel. I got mine from Holland & Barrett in the UK, but I imagine any kind of health food store would carry it. It can also be found online, for instance at iHerb.
  • A nice quality oil. The type of oil you should choose depends on what kind of skin you have, and where you want to use it. My favourite oil is Jojoba, since it’s wonderfully nourishing without clogging pores. I can recommend looking at this list if you have problem skin, or sensitive skin, since the oils are listed with an index for how comedogenic and irritating they are. A lower number means less comedogenic and irritating. Grape-seed oil is a nice, light oil, and avocado is a bit heavier and richer.
  • Optional. One or several essential oils of your choice. If you are planning on using the lotion on your face (which I do), I do NOT recommend using an essential oil, and if you do, limit it to a drop or two. The essential oils have wonderful benefits, but they can also be very irritating for the eyes and the sensitive skin on your face. Use your best judgement. If you are only planning on using the lotion on your hands then an essential oil can be a great addition. I would recommend a slightly antibacterial oil, or one that you simply think smells nice.

 

Step 1:
Fill your bottle about half way with aloe gel. I actually ran out, so I have a little less in my bottle, go figure :)

 

Step 2:
Add oil until the bottle is roughly 3/4 full. If you wish, you can change the ratio and have more gel compared to the oil, but it’s limited how much you can go the other way around. More than half oil won’t fully emulsify, and tends to separate. The best thing is to just experiment until you find a mix that works for you. I very much recommend not filling the bottle all the way to the top, as this will make it harder to mix.This is the time to add essential oils if you want to use them.

 

Step 3:
Shake it! Shake it real good!

 

 

Let me know if you try this “recipe” out, and how it works for you!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Stamping Sunday: Two Stamps

The winning theme for this week’s stamping challenge in the Adventures in Stamping group is “Two Stamps”. You have to use more than one stamp, but they don’t have to be on the same nails.

I quite fancied stamping with two stamps on the same nails, as I don’t think I have ever done that before. I picked one stamp for a bit of texture, and one as a pattern. When I got my Bundle Monster plates I was overjoyed to see that there was a paw-print on one of them. I LOVE paw-prints.

For my base I painted 3 coats of China Glaze Knotty, and stamped a pattern from BM312 with Nails Inc Barnsbury Road. I added paw-prints from BM323 in black. Finally I put some black stones on one of the paws.

 

 

 

Saturday, 11 August 2012

a-England ~ Camelot

When a-England offered an amazing sale (polishes for £5 each, with free world wide postage) I obviously couldn’t pass it up. I picked up this beauty, as well as 3 more.

The formula of a-England Camelot is legendary (no pun intended), and I have to say, it did not disappoint. One coat is enough for even coverage and a super glossy finish. It has been dubbed by many as the perfect black crème, and I’m inclined to agree.

In the pictures I don’t have a top coat on, which is something rarely seen here on the Nail Buff, but this polish dried quickly and glossily enough that I passed it up.

 

 

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Revlon ~ Effervescent Opal

Sometimes I really feel I need a break from bright colours and patterns, and go for something classic and feminine. I feel that Revlon Effervescent Opal fills those criteria. It’s very sheer, but has a beautiful iridescent shimmer in a purplish pink tone.

In the pictures I’m wearing 3 coats, no top coat. I don’t know what it is, but I almost feel a bit indecent when my nail line is showing, like I’m walking around with my bra on display or something. Please tell me it’s not just me!

 

 

 

 

ef·fer·ves·cent [ef-er-ves-uhnt]

adjective

1.effervescing; bubbling
2.vivacious; gay; lively; sparkling.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Gilded Wood

That’s what these nails look like to me :) The base colour is Nina Ultra Pro Maple Syrup (love, love, love it!) and the french and accent is done with China Glaze Lighthouse.

 

 

 

This mani totally made me think of Fingers Polish Mania, with the brown and the funky french :) Check out her blog if you haven’t already, lots of fun designs!

Monday, 6 August 2012

London Olympic Games

I simply couldn’t NOT do an Olympic mani, could I?

I picked the official logo as my design, and let me tell you, those girls with their 1337 freehand skills – I’m in complete awe of them. It’s hard!

The blue and pink colours are from Barry M, it seemed fitting to have such a British brand to paint the London Olympic logo. The blue is Cyan Blue, and the pink is Shocking Pink.

 

 

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Stamping Sunday: Gold & Green Snake

The theme for this week’s Stamping Sunday in the Adventures in Stamping FB group is stamping with “metal” colours, gold, silver or bronze, either as base or as stamping colour.

I wanted to try out my a-England Dragon for the stamping, and picked GOSH Gold for my base, with a gradient tip in OPI Gold Lang Syne. The plate is Bundle Monster BM-208.

 

 

 

 

Have you seen my new nail art gallery by the way? I made a tab with all of my designs together. If there are any of them you like, and would like a tutorial for, please let me know.

I also set up a Facebook page, I would be thrilled if you want to “like” it :) Big thank you to those of you who already have! x

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Hello Kitty (Copy-Cat)

This Hello Kitty design is one I have wanted to try for a while now. I’m afraid I don’t know who to give original credit to (please let me know if you do), but this design has been floating around the interwebs for a while now.

Of course I decide to try it out for myself in the evening, on a grey day, with no lamps whatsoever. Sadly, the same is the case for the photography. I haven’t found a good spot/setup yet in my new flat for taking photos, so it’s not as good as I would have liked. Never the less, it was fun, and I hope you like it.

 

 

 

 

Polishes and paints used:

Revlon ~ Bubble Gum (Bright pink)
Wet n Wild ~ Strawberry Shake (Light pink)
White, yellow and black acrylic paint
Hello Kitty bow sticker

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Glitter Tips and Swirls

I love drawing and painting swirls. It’s one of those things I’m always doodling. Today I have a simple accent nail over a blue-grey base and holo glitter tips.

The polishes used are China Glaze Sea Spray, with Nina Ultra Pro Opal Elegance. The accent is painted with black acrylic paint.

 

 

 

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

KandNail Image Plate Review

The KandNail CK-02 image plate contains contains 42 small images. Small really being the operative word here.

The plate is of a very nice quality. It comes with a protective film like pretty much all plates do. This one is blue, which is a lot better than the transparent films that don’t always make it obvious that it’s there. Hands up if you have ever sworn over a plate that “doesn’t work”, that has the film on it *blush*

The larger images are about the same size as the old Bundle Monster plates, and the smaller images are, well, smaller. In the picture below I have put the KandNail plate next to (from top to bottom) an old Bundle Monster, a Konad, and a newer Bundle Monster (the 2xx series).

In spite of the small size I still really like the plate. The images are very well cut, and transfer easily, even when they have lots of detail.

I stamped one of the larger KandNail images next to ones from the plates displayed above, as a size comparison. BMO stands for Bundle Monster Old, and BMN for Bundle Monster New :)

Now my nails are too big for the old Bundle Monster plates, and certainly too big for the images on this plate, but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. To be honest I suspect that the larger images are meant to be French tips. Most of them have that curve at the bottom, that makes a pretty smile line.

I don’t know if that’s the intended use for the plates, but that’s certainly how I will use them. I have pretty wide nails, so some patterns I will simply have to be creative with, but some work just fine as they are.

To try my French tip theory out, I did a simple mani in purple stamped with silver. The image I used is one of the smaller ones, and it worked great as a tip stamp.

 

The KandNail plates are sold from the BornPrettyStore, and they retail for $8.53. The customer service is really good, and the products always sent out really quickly. There is still a fairly long wait to be expected, as the shop is located in China. The postage is free worldwide.

I know that the items are already very affordable, but the BornPrettyStore is kindly offering a 5% discount code to use if you want to make a purchase. It is LN5X31.
I can recommend their nail art brushes, they are very nice :)

 

~ The product in this post was provided for review purposes. ~