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!


Friday, 9 August 2013

Understated OPI saran wrap mani

I haven't managed to post anything this week (or even do anything fancy with my nails) as I've been feeling a little under the weather - I know, get the violin out eh ;) - so was determined I would do a mani and post tonight, albeit something relatively simple.

I decided to have another go at a saran wrap mani with colours I wouldn't normally choose to use, just to see what happened. It turned out fairly well but I'm definitely not in love with it! Never mind, I'll do a better one tomorrow :D

natural light

I started off with two coats of 'A Butterfly Moment' from the spring 2013 Mariah Carey collection. This is a pinky peach with gold shimmer, and is surprsingly quite likeable when you have it on.

I then put on one coat of 'Are We There Yet' from the autumn 2011 Touring America collection and dabbed it off with clingfilm. This is a really nice peachy orange shimmer, and while I would never, ever choose orange - I would seriously think about wearing this on it's own.

partial light
 Finally I applied a coat of 'Play The Peonies' from the spring 2011 Nice Stems collection. This is a very pale oyster pink with a pearl finish, and is one that I love as I wore it on my wedding day (awwww).

artificial light
 For a little accent I applied an owl decal and finished off with Seche Vite. I really like decals at the moment and have quite a few to play with. This is one I'll use quite a lot in autumn I think - I don't know why but owls mean autumn to me!

L-R: A Butterfly Momemnt, Are We There Yet?, Play The Peonies, Seche Vite

What do you think, do you like the colours together? Do you have any of these? I'm off to enjoy a friday night Amaretto and lemon :)


Saturday, 3 August 2013

Nice mani, but rubbish topcoat!!

After my first go at a gradient mani (I won't post that, it's not worth the two minutes of your life you'd waste reading it ;) ) I decided to have another go combined with a dot manicure. I was really pleased with how it turned out until I put on topcoat - and subsequently ruined it :(

I decided it was still worth posting though, if for nothing else it warns others not to use that particular topcoat!

in sunlight
I started with three coats of NYC 'Pinstripe White' on all of my nails, then waited for it to dry completely. I then applied the gradient on to my thumb and ringfinger using the following colours;

  • China Glaze 'Below Deck' (dark purple)
  • NYC 'Downtown' (reddish purple)
  • Sally Hansen 'Fairy Teal' (teal)
  • MUA 'Ameretto Crush' (peachy pink)
before the gradient

 I then dotted on the same colours in a random pattern on my other fingers with a mixture of large and small dots.

You can see the mess a gradient manicure makes in the pic below, total nightmare to tidy up but worth it :)

Indirect sunlight
 The next step was to add white dots on to the nails with the gradient pattern carrying the theme through all of the nails.

Finally, I added topcoat. Now, normally I use Seche Vite but my bottle has less than half left now, and as anyone who has used it before knows it starts to get a bit thick and gloopy about then, and causes some major shrinkage on your nails. So I decided to give another top coat I have a go - OPI Rapidry.

BIG mistake - as you can probably see in the pic below the dots all bled after I applied the top coat. At first I thought I hadn't let everything dry enough (although I was sure I had), but tried using Seche Vite on my other hand and it was absolutely fine. Therefore I can only blame the topcoat and won't plan to use this again!

 What do you think, have you ever used this topcoat before? Did you like the mani before it all went wrong?

I'm away to take this mani off now and put on some plain polish *sob*


P.s. if the mani was staying I would clean up my cuticles a bit more as there is some staining, but didn't see the point really :)