Sunday, 26 January 2014

well hello 2014!

I knew I hadn't blogged for a while and had been putting off looking at how long ago it was, but jeezo - October 2013! That's shameful and I apologise wholeheartedly to my followers - if I still have any left! In my defense the last part of 2013 was ridiculously hectic with exams (I passed!), exotic business trips, turning 30 and of course Christmas taking up a lot of my free time. The next few months aren't looking to be any different either as we prepare to try and sell our home....must hide my nail polish collection so as to not put prospective purchasers off!

While I haven't been blogging I have still been dabbling in nail art, so thought for my first post back I would show you what I've been up to with a few pics and none of the detail (mainly because I can't remember what polishes I used :) ).

To start off with... I had some friends round a couple of months ago for food, wine and films (as girls tend to do). One of my friends (Mae) is really into nail art too so she took advantage of my collection to try out this lovely tropical gradient. We had planned for her to do a 'guest post' but we'll get her to do another one so she can make her blogging debut in style :)

Excuse the shadow!
 Next up is a vertical gradient I dabbled with in October, adding a glitter decal for effect. My thumb has matte topcoat to see what I preferred (still undecided!)

short nails :(
Thirdly, for my 30th I had a joint party with my mum for her 60th. As it was early November we decided on a Halloween theme, and I decided to go with matte spider webs using my trusty Barry M nail pen. It was very quick to do and I quite like it, if only spiderwebs were acceptable throughout the year!

 Next up is the first of two xmas manicures. This one was PAINFUL  to do as my husband (A.K.A chief helper) will attest to. I do love it, but my goodness never again!

Remember Xmas trees? Only 10 months to go :)
 And finally, a sparkly reindeer mani for a xmas night out with friends. I will admit this is my second try Rudolph but I'm pleased with how he turned out!

Rudolph the sparkly nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose...
And that's really it folks! My favourite nail polish of late has been Mariah Carey's 'I Snow You Love Me' from the OPI 2013 holiday collection. Alas, January does not have much need for oversized glittery sequins.

What has everyone else been up to? Have you tried any good polishes or manis lately?


Thursday, 10 October 2013

Cartoon nails

Nail art is a fascinating hobby to have - it's amazing what some ladies can do with their nails with a bit of inspiration! I'm nowhere near the level of most bloggers and have yet to design a completely unique mani, but in the meantime it's good practice trying out some of the popular manis that everyone has in their repertoire.

One of the popular manis I like best is the ever fun 'cartoon mani'. I've seen so many variations on this and different techniques, so I decided it was high time I had a go myself!

with flash inside
 I actually purchased the red nail polish on my thumb nail specifically for this mani, but decided to use a variety of colours at the last minute. The polishes are;

  • OPI 'Big Apple Red' - red polish
  • Sally Hansen 'Fairy Teal' - teal polish
  • Barry M 'Shocking Pink' - pink polish
  • Sally Hansen 'Grass Slipper' - green polish
  • Rimmel 'Marshmallow Heaven' - purple polish
Inside light
I started by painting on a few coats of each colour and let them dry. I then used my Barry M black nail art pen to draw the outline on each nail - although I have tried painting on black polish before which worked equally well. I then used my Barry M white nail art pen to draw on the accent.

front on view
After everything was dry I applied a coat of Seche Vite for strength, then used Rimmel 'Lycra Pro Matte Polish' top coat for the matte effect. I must admit I was torn between a matte or glossy finish, but my husband was adamant the matte was 'better' and 'more authentic' (like he knows anything about nails?!).

polishes used (sans matte top coat)
What do you think, do you like these kinds of manis? Have you tried them before?

My next post will be the guest post I mentioned before - it should be a good one!


Monday, 7 October 2013

Jigsaw nails

So, as predicted I haven't been posting much lately due to prolonged study. I still haven't sat my exam (long story!) but have a few manis up my sleeve to post over the next week or so.

I painted this mani a few weeks ago while watching 'The Faculty' one Friday night - which is a truly awful film I have to say!!! I've seen quite a few variations on this type of design and decided to have a go.

I started with a few coats of OPI 'Did You Ear about Van Gogh' and let this dry thoroughly. I then painted and dotted on OPI 'Anti Bleak' and let that dry. Finally I dotted on some of the beige to make more obvious jigsaw shapes.

inside light
After all of that I finished off with the obligatory coat of Seche Vite. I'm really happy with how it turned out, except for my thumb nail which is a little messy!

side on view

I quite like doing an accent nail as well - generally on my ring finger (although need to mix that up a bit I think!

Have you tried any new nail designs recently, or watched any daggy films?

Keep tuned for a guest post from my friend later this week - she doesn't have her own blog but loves nail art too - she better not put me to shame though!


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Leopard print fun

I promise I haven't disappeared or given up on nail blogging - I've just been reaaaaallllyyy busy recently. I also unfortunately have an exam in a few weeks, so any manis I manage to blog about until that has passed are likely to be quick 'n' easy - although that's surely never a bad thing??!! Nail art still provides a welcome distraction though - there are only so many times I can read about earned value formulae and stakeholder management theories (zzzzzzzzzzz).

I decided to continue with the animal theme this week and try out a leopard print mani - plus I knew it would be quick to do which was a definite plus :)

with flash inside
 One big downside of the colder weather and shorter days coming in is the lack of natural sunlight to take nail pics in - I may have to think about investing in a lightbox for pictures (what I really mean is I might need to bribe my husband to make one ;) ).

without flash
 I do love the cool weather though - I sleep with the window open so the crisp night air always clears my head (although the mornings can be a bit nippy and that means a dash to the warmth of the bathroom)!

flash again
For this mani I started with two coats of 'A Butterfly Moment' from the OPI Mariah Carey collection, then used 'You Don't Know Jacques' for the brown blobs. Finally I finished by using my Barry M nail art pen in black to make the outlines and adding a coat of Seche Vite top coat.

side view
 I quite like it and will likely give the neon or pastel variants a go too at some point, especially when my nails get long again!

What do you think, are you enjoying the cooler weather? Have you ever tried a leopard print mani?


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Foxy baby!

The unthinkable happened - I broke two of my lovely long nails :(

I don't think I had properly cut them (apart from shaping) for a few months, and was feeling pretty pleased with myself and smugly self congratulatory. So when two broke within as many days I was surprising upset - and very, very annoyed!

Having short nails just feels weird - I can't pick sellotape on the roll, can't drum my nails loudly on my laptop (annoys my husband greatly, one of my pleasures in life ;) ) and I'm able to type without making a multitude of errors - ok well maybe the last one is a bonus.

The biggest annoyance of all though is how much is restricts what designs I can do with my nails - I know plenty of bloggers have short nails by default and they do a fantastic job, but for me I'm used to having that extra canvas to work with. So - it will be simple nail art for a while I think!

And with that it's on to today's post! I saw this design months ago and for the life of me can't find it again (always like to give credit), and as it was fairly simple while being a little different, I felt now was the time to do it.

In sunlight

I started with 3 coats of MUA 'Fever Red' as my base, then used OPI 'You Don't Know Jacques' for the 'fur' of the fox. Ideally you would use a lighter colour of brown or even dark orange for this, but it's not a colour I have  a lot of so had to make do.

partial shade

I then used a nail art brush for the white on the fox using NYC 'Pinstripe White' and finished off with some black dots for the eyes and nose using China Glaze 'Liquid Leather'.

side view

You could do this design on all of your nails, it's really easy to do and not too fiddly, but I decided to stick with an accent nail :)

We get a lot of urban foxes round where I live as we're really near to some woods - I might need to ask them what they think!

What do you think, have you used animals in nail art before? My next attempt is sure to involve bunnies!


Saturday, 24 August 2013

Blog your heart out award nomination!

The last week or so have been crazy busy for me, so I haven't been keeping up with my blog reading (although will rectify that today). Imagine my surprise when I see a comment on my blog from The Nail Snail saying she had found my blog from my 'Blog your heart out' award nomination from ProcrastiNails!!! Squeeee! How exciting!!!

If you are nominated you have to answer 5 questions (below) and then nominate 5 other blogs you follow that have less than 100 followers. It's a great way to help these ladies get some new followers, and to share blogs you find inspiring that perhaps aren't widely known about.

My answers and nominees are as follows;

1. What/who encouraged you to start blogging?
I've always liked painting my nails and had followed quite a few blogs for a while. When I was on a recent holiday with friends I realised my nail polish collection was a bit excessive compared to theirs (although still paltry compared to proper bloggers), and so I thought why not turn this into a proper hobby! I had never tried any kind of nail art or anything like that, so my posts are generally the first time I've tried a particular design or technique - I have no doubt I'll look back one day and laugh at my attempts!

2. How did you chose what topic(s) to blog about?
I was torn between blogging about food and restaurants as I find that really interesting too, but decided nails would probably be cheaper in the long run and definitely better for my waistline ;)

3. What is something that most people don't know about you?
I love bunny rabbits! Well ok maybe 'most' people don't know that (I bore my friends to death), but I have two bunnies and I just think they are sooooo cute. They're my fur babies :)

4. What three words describe your style?
If relating to nail style - easy, fun and evolving!

5. What do you like to do when you are not blogging?
Spend time with husband, friends, family and aforementioned bunnies, cook, read and watch cheesy 80s films!

My five nominees:
Looks 2 B Loved - not just nails but fashion and beauty too - I really enjoy reading her blog!
The Polished Fangirl - have loved some of the manis she's posted
A Mani Maniac - she enters quite a few challenges, and I really enjoy seeing what she comes up with
Little Night Flower - LOVE some of the designs she's posted recently
The Sparkle Queen - another blog with some great inspiration!

So that's it! Thank you so much to ProcrastiNails for my nomination - you can see the actual post here

I'll be posting some nail art later today - I've had a couple of broken nails *sob* but I'm soldiering on bravely with my nubbins....


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Pastel galaxy mani

I've been dying to try out a galaxy mani for aggggeesss and finally decided to attempt one at the weekend. I particularly like pastel versions, and a quick search brought me to a tutorial posted by The Nailasaurus here. I pretty much followed it to a T using the list of polishes below.

artificial light

I used the following polishes for my 'basic' colours;

  • OPI 'Thanks a Windmillion' (sea foam green) - used as the base
  • Sally Hansen 'Yellow Kitty' (yellow)
  • MUA 'Bold Blue' (blue)
  • Rimmel 'Marshmallow Heaven' (purple)

artificial light
 I then used the following colours for little splashes of shimmer to make it all look more ethereal;

  • OPI 'Not Like The Movies' (shimmery green/silver)
  • OPI 'Play The Peonies' (pale pink pearl)
  • OPI 'Significant Other Colour' (sheer lavendar/yellow duochrome)
natural light, partial shade
 Once that had all dried I dotted on some NYC 'Pinstripe White' to make the stars, and topped with a coat of Seche Vite for strength. Later I then applied two coats of Rimmel 'Matte Finish' to give a matte effect.
Partial shade
 My favourite nail polish in this line up is 'Not Like The Movies' from the January 2011 Katy Perry collection, which is a silvery green and light purple duocrome with some silver microglitter mixed in. Its one of the first few OPI polishes I bought and I haven't even looked at it for at least a year - I'll definitely be using it again in the near future!

all of the polishes together!
What do you think, do you like galaxy manis? When I try this next time I'll vary the pattern across the nails I think, but I'm very pleased with my first attempt!