Saturday, 27 April 2013

Retro nail art; Back to the '60's

I have to say this manicure is probably one of my favourite manicures I have done. It will be a sad day when the nail polish remover comes out and I have to say goodbye to this one. I'm not too sure about the reason behind my fondness, but I just really, REALLY like it. I like the colour combination, the way it stands out, and I think it just looks really pretty. The best thing about it is that it is so easy to do.
The design on this manicure reminds me of the 1960's. Now, I wasn't around then, and I doubt I was even a twinkle in my parents eyes, as they were just kids. However, it does bring back fond memories of my GCSE Textile project, as it looks like the prints on dresses that would have been worn by the likes of supermodel Twiggy & Co. If you are around my age or older, you'll also remember a TV programme called 'Heartbeat'. This manicure would fit in nicely there.
What you'll need:
Three nail polishes of your choice.
From left to right:
Black Taxi - Nails Inc
Matte White - Barry M
Lilac Pastelle - Revlon UK
Fast drying top coat - Seche Vite
Two different sized dotting tools and a stripping brush.

Paint your nails with your desired base colour. I chose the Lilac Pastelle colour, which is quite a soft pink/lilac rather than a true lilac. It is very pretty. I used two coats as I prefer an opaque look; paint them to your own personal preference. Top it off with a coat of SV and allow to dry. Once dry, using a stripper brush,  paint lines with the black and white polishes, alternating them so the pattern continues throughout the entire ten nails (yes, I always paint both hands!).
Now using a dotting tool, place large size dots along the thin strips. Use the contrasting colour to place a smaller dot inside the larger ones. Top it off with a top coat and you're done. See, simples!
I really love the contrasting colours, and the way it has turned out. I shall definitely be doing this manicure again; I may experiment with different colours, but I have to say this combination is probably going to remain my favourite.
What do you think? Will you be giving them ago? Let me know in the comments box below.
If you have any nail art suggestions, let me know too, and I'll try my best to do them for you.
Until next time...

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Dripping in Diamonds...

I was feeling in a very girly, glittery, pink mood when I came up with this new design. The beautiful blue skies and sun across London today also adds that extra sparkle. The pictures really do not do the glitz any justice at all.
I also used some techniques I haven't used before and I am very pleased with the results. Instead of using polish for my base coat, I used an array of different dazzle dusts by Barry M to create my desired colour. I used different shades of pink and added a touch of silver and bronze to add the extra sparkle.

I mixed the dusts together in a glass pot and kept adding colours until I got the shade I wanted.  Before applying the dust to my nails, I diluted PVA glue (mixed with water) and began to draw grass-like stands from the base of the nail to the tips. With a light feather brush, I gently dabbed on the sparkly pink dazzle dust. I then allowed to dry to complete the next step.
I then reapplied some diluted PVA glue to the dips of the fingernails, and packed on the powder to add impact and a pop of colour, which is quite like a gradient effect. I topped this off with Seche Vite's top coat.
Whilst the top coat is still wet, you need to add your rhinestones. I did one nail at a time, as Seche Vite dries VERY fast, and by doing it individually it allowed me to stick the rhinestones on without having to reapply wet polish, which would result in wasting the product. I used a selection of rhinestones from Cheeky-Beauty, which I received as gifts for Christmas. I opted to use diamond coloured stars and circular 2mm rhinestones in the same colour to complete the look.
I wanted a starburst effect, so I placed the stars in their desired place then added sporadic circular rhinestones to give that effect. I placed some close to the star shape to give the vision of a cluster, and then spaced them out to resemble a bursting effect. Make sure you do not place rhinestones too near the edge of the nail, as these will just pop right off with the slightest of touches.

Once all the rhinestones were in place, I then gave all my nails another coat of SV to seal them onto the nails and avoid them pinging off.
With all nails complete they look very nice together and they really do dazzle in the sunshine, giving the manicure an eye-catching look. To me, they also feel really nice to touch, as it has a bumpy feel to them and I can't help but touch them. I often catch myself doing this whilst daydreaming, and then have to remember not to or my manicure would be ruined.
What do you think? Let me know in the comment box below.
Have you used any alternative materials to create a manicure other than nail polish?
Until next time...

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Surf's up...

I have recently been craving a holiday. For those of you who know me (or read my last post) it is one of the things in life I enjoy the most. Maybe it is because of the lack on sun here in the UK, the hectic workload, or the fact I just love holidays, but I really long to just get away and enjoy basking in the sunshine.
As I am waiting an operation date, a holiday doesn't look likely; so to satisfy my craving of the soft white sand, the radiating warmth of the sun on my skin and the gentle sound of crashing waves shimmering under the soft moonlight and stars, whilst taking an evening stroll on the beach, I have come up with this manicure.
To start, I painted my nails with two coats of 'Sweet as Sugar' by Rimmel London, then topped if off with Seche Vite's fast drying top coat.
Once the nails were dry, I could then start the fun bit by creating the wave detail. To do this I used some new nail polishes, which were a gift from my Mum. Unfortunately, they don't have nail polish names, which is a bit disappointing. As in my opinion, a good catchy name of a nail polish is half the fun of nail art. I used nail art fine liner polishes by a company called 'Fraulein'. I got a big box of them in an array of colours and chose the below to create my waves.

The waves are really simple to do. With a steady hand, create an arc shape and fill in with your main wave colour. Then, with different shades of blues, pearls and glitter, blend them together until you have the desired effect. Then top this off with another coat of Seche Vite and allow to dry.
Now, all that is left to do is to add the piece de resistance; the wave breaks. This is the most satisfying, as it really does complete the look. For this I used 'Matte White' by Barry M and a sponge.
The sponge I used was a great find. I bought it as part of a paint set just before Christmas, as I was making some salt dough Christmas decorations. The best bit is that the entire paint set, sponge included, was only £1! The little sponge is just the right size to create some great nail art effects and is also on a stick, which makes handling the tool so much easier. All you need to do is blob some white polish onto your work surface, then with the corner of the sponge, collect a tiny amount of polish, dab off the excess and sponge on the wave break, making sure you cover part of the wave too.
Allow to dry, and complete the look with yet another coat of Seche Vite fast drying top coat.
There you have it. A little bit of ocean on the tip of your fingers. It even makes me want to go surfing, although that sporting activity generally isn't on the top of my agenda when on a relaxing vacation.
April is also Autism awareness month, so the blue manicure ties in nicely (blue is the main colour of their cause). If you would like to read more about this cause, you can do so here.
What do you think?
Until next time...

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

I've been nominated for an award!

I have been very kindly nominated by Cantara from Gymbags & Gladrags for a Liebster Award. The Award is for up and coming bloggers with less than 200 GFC followers, whereby other bloggers can nominate each other, to spread the blogger love. After all, the German meaning for Liebster is a term of affection.
The rules for the award:
Each nominated blogger needs to share eleven facts about themselves and answer the questions put to them by their nominated blogger. Then you need to nominate other blogs that you enjoy reading with less than 200 followers, they then have to link back to your blog, and nominate their own bloggers.
Makes sense? – I hope so!
Eleven facts about me:
1.     I have two sisters.
2.     I have a dog called Tiffany, a Chihuahua (named after Tiffany & Co. She actually use to wear my Tiffany bracelet before she outgrew it.)
3.     I have lived in London all my life, and have only ever lived in four houses, moving in with my boyfriend last year.
4.     My eyes turn bright green when I am really happy, and really dark brown when I am sad.
5.     I work in Sports Development – not very girly, but I do love sport.
6.     My lucky number is seven, but my favourite combination of numbers are 381 – 3 words, 8 letters, 1 meaning. Can you guess what is stands for?
7.     I am slightly OCD.
8.     I love watching live sport, and try to go to watch football and tennis when my boyfriend and I can.
9.     I love to travel, and holidays are the things I look forward to most.
10.  I am a walking cliché when it comes to romance. I believe in happy ever afters, and I am very lucky to have found my Prince Charming.
11.  I am currently on the waiting list to have a hip operation, hopefully it shall be soon (fingers crossed).

My questions to share asked by Cantara:
1.    What made you start blogging?
I Started blogging about nail art because I was convinced by my boyfriend to do so. I love painting my nails, and I love writing (hoping to be a published author one day) so thought why not combine the two?
2.    What's your go-to accessory?
My diamond earrings which were bought for me by my boyfriend for our first Christmas together. They are the most exquisite earrings I have ever owned and I love them. If I don’t wear them on a night out, I feel naked. The piece of jewellery I wear the most is the necklace he gave to me on a trip to Croatia, which was actually given to him by his Dad, and he bought an elephant pendant to go on it when we holidayed in Thailand. I haven’t taken it off since the day he gave it to me.
3.    Skirts or dresses?
I would have to say dresses. They make me feel feminine and sophisticated. It's a shame I don’t get to wear them too often (the weather doesn’t permit it in the UK, and I have to wear a uniform to work. However I do love to dress up, and do have some very lovely dresses.
4.    What's your favourite colour?
I wear a lot of blues and blacks, but I shall go all girly and say my favourite colour is pink.
5.    What is your favourite meal?
Anything that is cooked for me. Although I am partial to Asian cuisine. I am a fan of my boyfriend's Spag Bol too and I do a mean Crispy Chill beef with rice dish.
6.    Have you ever had a fashion disaster?
I am sure I have had plenty of fashion disasters. I look back at photos of when I was a child and often think what were my parents thinking? It was obviously in fashion or I liked it at the time.
7.    Where would you travel to if there were no limits?
I have been lucky enough to have travelled to lots of countries already. However, I have always wanted to stay in those little wooden hut hotels that are on stilts over the sea with glass bottom floors. They exist in places like Bali, Malaysia, Mauritius et al. I think the location and setting are for a really special, romantic holiday like a honeymoon, rather than just a holiday but would be one place I would like to stay if there were no limits. They are very expensive, so would only probably do it once in a lifetime, hopefully for the most romantic holiday of my life, as I hope to one day get married.
8.    Do you have any pets?
Yes, I have a dog called Tiffany, a Chihuahua. She lives with my parents since I moved in with my boyfriend, but she comes for lots of holidays, as my parents love to travel too.
9.    How often do you wear make up?
I only tend to wear make-up when I go out. I don’t wear it to work. When I do, I tend to always stick to the same look, which is quite minimalistic.
10.  What's been your biggest achievement so far?
My biggest achievement so far would have to be my academic education. I did really well academically. I studied like crazy for fear of failing. I probably don’t use it to my advantage with my career choice at the moment. Hopefully that’ll change.
11.  What is one goal of yours for this year?
To lose weight and get in shape. I have been venturing to the gym quite regularly and my fitness levels have improved. I have also tried to eat healthily. Hopefully I’ll start to see the rewards soon.
I nominate:
Ashly from ashly London
Lauren from covershoot beauty
Lauren from Lipstick & Lacquer
Francesca from The Mummy Diaries
Gillian from Wee Gillie
My questions for them:
1.     How would you sum up yourself in three words?
2.     Who is your role model?
3.     If you were stranded on a desert island, what one thing could you not live without?
4.     What is your favourite type of post to write about on your blog?
5.     If you could swap places with one celebrity who would you choose?
6.     If you could name a nail polish what would you come up with? And what colour would it be?
7.     Handbags or shoes?
8.     If you could have a super power what would it be?
9.     How did you come up with the name of your blog?
10.  What has been your best experience in your life to date?
11.  What is your favourite film and why?

So there you have it. Sorry it was such a long wordy post. I had fun writing it, and I hope you enjoyed reading it and learnt a little bit more about me. Thanks once again Cantara for nominating me for the award. I hope you all do check her out, and also the blogs I have nominated.
Until next time…

Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Edge of French Manicure Glory

If you follow me on Twitter (you can do this here), you would have known that on Maundy Thursday I received quite a few gifts of the nail polish variety. One in particular was Nails Inc Matte polish effect named 'Westminster Bridge', which I received from the boyfriend. I got boxes full from my Mummy, which you shall soon see in my up and coming manicures.

I have been after a matte black polish for some time, however this polish is better than a matte black, as it makes every nail polish in your collection to that desired effect. It has enabled me to do this edgy manicure, which I have been wanting to do for aaaaages, ever since I have seen similar manicures popping up on Google images, instagram, pinterest et al.

As you can see from my blog thus far, I am an avid fan of bright colours, eye-catching designs and girly floral prints. However, I have to say I am rather partial to a black nail too. Whenever I paint my nails in a dark colour I always tend to go short, as I think it looks classier, as long black talons just remind me of Halloween and witches outfits. This is just my opinion, of course.

This manicure is really easy to do, you do not need an abundance of polishes, tools and time. This is a quick manicure! All you need is a black nail polish, the matte polish and some scotch tape.

For my manicure I use the following:

Nails Inc 'Black Taxi'
Nails Inc 'Westminster Bridge'
Seche Vite fast drying top coat.

I first painted my nails in 'Black Taxi', then generously coated it in Seche Vite and allowed to dry. If you have ever used Seche Vite before, you will know that it doesn't take long at all. I used this top coat to help the drying process and to also give the tips of the nails that extra shine. Once dry, I taped the tips of the nails (I did all nails individually) and painted the main body of the nails with 'Westminster Bridge'. Whilst the matte coat is still wet, remove the tape to get a perfect line between the matte and glossy nail polish. Westminster Bridge is fast drying too, and you can see the effects of the polish straight away. I have fallen in love with this manicure even more now I have it on my fingertips.

However, a little word of warning, if you are like me and like to use hand cream like its going out of fashion, you'll notice over time that the matte polish tends to go a little less matte. This is probably from the oils and other chemicals in the cream to make your hands less dry and soft. You can always touch up the matte polish if needs be, and shall only take a few seconds of your time.

What do you think? Do you like it? Will you be trying this one out? Are you a fan of the matte nail?

Until next time...