Thursday, 22 August 2013

Pinwheel nail art

Today's manicure is probably my favourite nail art I have ever done. I am so in love with it. I often ask the boyfriend what colour I should paint my nails, and he always give me the same answer, pulling out all the coral type colours out of my nail polish stash. So I thought I would try to do some nail art to incorporate all of the colours, just for him. Here is the outcome:
I started by prepping my nails with OPI's base coat. Then painted my nails using Barry M's 'matte white' polish.  I topped this off with a coat of SV and allowed to dry. Once this was dry I used four pieces of stripping tape per nail to divide my nail into eight sections; to create the pinwheel effect. I did one hand at a time, so before I started painting my nails again, I made sure all pieces of tape were sectioned off on one hand and the lids of all the polish were unscrewed.
The polishes I used:
The corals from dark to light:
Instyle coral - Rimmel London
Iisie Street - Nails Inc
Summer Fizz - Leighton Denny
Peach Melba - Barry M
The pinks from dark to light:
Miami - 17
Pink Flamingo - Barry M
Petite Pink - Sally Hansen
Strawberry Ice cream - Barry M
I painted each individual section with one colour starting from the darkest coral to the lightest, and continued the circle with the lightest pink to the darkest. On each nail I started the darkest coral in a different section so all the nails were different, which I think gives quite a nice effect.  
As soon as I had completed each nail, and before the nail polish was completely dry, I removed the tape and gave it a coat of SV, before I moved onto the next nail. I waited until all the nails on my left hand were completely dry before I started the process again for my right hand.
Once all ten fingernail were complete and dry, I applied another coat of OPI's base coat. Whilst the polish was still wet I used an orange stick to place a little diamond stud in the middle of the pinwheel and sealed in with another coat of SV to complete the look.
I shall definitely be giving this manicure another go in possibly cooler colours using blue/green tones or reds/browns for autumn.
What do you think? Will you be giving it a go?
Until next time...

Friday, 16 August 2013

Water Marbling nail art

So after watching a ton of water marbling video's on YouTube, I thought it was about time I gave it a go myself. The pictures in this post is actually my second attempt at water marbling. The first attempt worked out well, but when I attempted to take off the tape I smudged a few of the nails, so decided to have another go. I also changed the colours at the last minute, as my original attempt was a coral and red combo, but I opted for a more contrasting combination which was inspired by one of the female tennis players dress worn on the road to the US Open and actually picked out by the boyfriend.
Here is what you'll need;
A small plastic container with a small opening (the smaller the better)
At least two different colour polishes
Room temperature water
Cotton buds
kitchen towel/napkin
Dotting tools
base and top coat
I first filled my container with water from the tap (some YT video's advise you to use bottled water, but I found tap water to work just as well.) Whilst this was acclimatising to room temperature, I used this time to prep my nails. First applying my base coat by OPI, then painted the lightest colour I had planned to use in my design on top of the base coat to create my base colour (Pink Flamingo by Barry M). It is advisable to do this so if you do have any mishaps when water marbling you can hardly notice them when you have finished. Some YouTubers suggested painting a white base colour, which you can also do and would advise if you are using neon colour, so you get the true colour, but it is not totally necessary. I then applied a top coat of SV to speed up drying time and allowed to dry.
Once my nail polish was dry I taped around my nails to prevent excessive polish on my fingers and cuticles and so I didn't have to do a massive clean-up afterwards. Just make sure you do not tape over any part of the nail as the polish shall not apply underneath the tap. Another tip is to use a lip balm or Vaseline around the nail to help prevent the polish sticking to your skin. Again make sure you do not put it on the nail, as the oils shall prevent the nail polish from covering the nail. Use which ever technique you fell comfortable with. I opted for tape.
Once this is all done I was able to start creating my design. First of all you need to create a bulls eye effect in the water using your polishes. I did a test polish drop to make sure both polishes would work and found the formula of the Barry M polish too thick to spread in the water so changed it to 'Pink-ing of you' by OPI at the last minute. Although this is a runny sheer pink, I knew it would be able to spread but I would also get the pop of pink in my finished design due to my base coat I had painted earlier.
I started off by dropping one drop of 'Pink-ing of you' by OPI very close to the water, once this had spread I dropped one drop of 'Belgrave Place' by Nails Inc, again, close to the water and allowed this to spread. This polish does have a very thick consistency, but it still worked for me. you need to alternate each polish until you are happy with the bulls eye effect. You need to make sure you work quite fast when creating this, as the water will naturally start to dry your nail polish. It is best to be prepared by shaking the polishes and unscrewing the lids of both polishes before you begin this process. Please note that all brands of nail polish can be used for water marbling, but not every colour of every brand can be used. It is just trail and error, so don't give up if you find your polish either doesn't spread or just sinks to the bottom. The polish may have been dropped from too far a distance to the water or is just too thick to spread.
Once you have finished dropping your polish you need to grab a toothpick or needle to create your design. Lightly drag the toothpick in the polish from the inner circle to the outer circles or vice versa (the inner circle shall be the most wet, so less likely to ruin if you start there.) You can create many designs and can either swirl the polish if you like. Have some fun and just play around with it. Just make sure if you drag from the outer circle in, do not start with the first ring of polish as this is probably almost dry by now and shall just attach itself to your toothpick and lift off the water, ruining your bulls eye.
Once happy with your design you need to choose the section you would like on your nail and dip one finger into the water at a 45 degree angle and submerge it slowly into the water, and leave it there. Blow onto the surface of your container to dry the leftover polish and insert a cotton bud to pick up the remaining polish. This is very important as if you do not remove all of the polish you will end up applying more polish to the fingernail when you lift your finger out of the water, which shall probably ruin you manicure, unless you are looking for the double dipped effect. Once polish has all been removed, slowly remove your finger at the same angle you entered them into the water. blow softly onto the nail so any water droplets filter off  to the side of the nail, which shall prevent any water bubbles ruining the end result. you can also use a corner of a tissue or kitchen towel to gently soak up any water droplets. Nail one is now done.
Now it is time to repeat all of the above steps for each individual nail. You can dip more than one nail in at a time, by as a newbie water marbler, I wanted to play it safe and opted to do each fingernail individually. Once I get more comfortable with the process I shall probably venture into the two/three finger submersion. If you do choose to do more than one finger at a time, be carefully not to knock or damage the polished nails when entering and removing your fingers into the water. You also need to make sure all fingers enter the water at exactly the same time. This is a must!
Once your nails are dry, remove tape, apply a top coat, and let it dry fully. I had quite a lot of blocks of colour on my nails, so I used a dotting tools to create some small dots in the areas I wanted to break up and add a little extra design. I then sealed it with a topcoat of SV.  I cleaned up the manicure using a small nail art brush dipped into 100% acetone.
I really like how every nail is different and some of the patterns are really beautiful. I have to say I even impressed myself with how my first attempt at water marbling went, and I shall definitely be trying it again with some different colour combinations.
What do you think? Have you every tried water marbling before? Have you got any more tips/tricks you would like to share? Will you be giving it a go?
Until next time...

Friday, 9 August 2013

Vertical pinstripe nail art

This manicure is another one I created with the goodies I got for my birthday from my Mum and is the first time I used stripping tape. I also used my new Nail Inc polishes I got in a lucky dip selection from their website. I was very impressed by their colour selection and very glad I didn't get any dupes. The best thing about it too, was the price, it was a fraction of the cost if I were to purchase them all individually.
I prepped the nails with a base coat from OPI, and once dry I painted on my based colour; 'Berry ice cream' by Barry M.  I used a coat of SV to help with drying time, before I began the task of applying the stripping tape. A helpful hint I would suggest, is to cut LOADS of mini pieces of stripping tape before you begin this part of the nail art, just to make it a little bit easier. I placed the tape equal distance apart on each nail (doing one hand at a time.) Making sure there was some overhang on the nail to make it really easy to remove.
Once this was completed I was able to apply my contrasting colour. For this I used 'Market Place' by Nails Inc , which is a very light lilac colour with small iridescent flecks which give off a little bit of shimmer and adds a bit of texture and sparkle to the manicure. Both polishes have the same hues and in my opinion compliment each other well.
I used one coat of the 'Market Place' polish, until the entire fingernail was covered and then immediately removed the tape to create the vertical lines before I moved onto the next nail. It is very important to remove the tape as quickly as possible, whilst the polish is still relatively wet. If the top coat of polish starts to dry, when removing the tape it will become sticky, which in return shall not create neat vertical lines and shall ruin the manicure if not careful.
Once all the tape had been removed from one hand, I finished it off with a top coat of SV before starting all over again on the other hand.
The boyfriend actually likened this manicure to wallpaper. The more I looked at it, the more I thought it did. What do you think? Have you used stripping tape before? Let me know in the comment box below.
Until next time...

Sunday, 4 August 2013

The classic French manicure

My latest manicure is actually inspired by my sister, Charlotte. Shortly after I came out of hospital from having hip surgery she came up for a little visit. She had recently been on holiday to my parent's house in the south of Spain and had gone and had a pedicure in preparation beforehand. It was only a French manicure, but it looked lovely.

I have to say I do really like the look of a French manicure, I find it looks very elegant, feminine and girly. I also like the look as it makes the nails look very clean and fresh. My sister's nails brought back lots of memories for me too - I have a confession to make; before I got into nail art and painting my own nails, I use to indulge myself with acrylic nails, going to the nail shop on a weekly basis for about six years. Fortunately my nails have come out the other end unscathed, as I have naturally strong nails which have always been in really good condition no matter what I put them through (something I inherited from my mother.) Whilst indulging in this bad habit I always use to opt for the French manicure look. I would change it up from week to week using different airbrush designs, glitter, rhinestones etc, but the tips were always white. I made them extra glitzy just before I would jet off on holiday too, just to make them a little bit different.

So feeling inspired by my sisters feet, and the weather being as nice as it has been recently in London (even the boyfriend mentioned it was "holiday" weather) I decided to hobble on crutches to my nail polish stash and give the French mani a whirl.

To achieve this look is a simple as 1,2,3...

I prepped the nails by using OPI's base coat. Once dried I used a white stripper polish by Frauline to paint a very thin tip (I am not a fan of the large white tips.) I did this freehand, but if your hand isn't as steady or you don't own either a thin brush polish or nail art brushes, you can section off the nail using tape.

To make it a little bit different and to add a touch of colour I used a bright pink glitter polish, again by Frauline, for an extra strip underneath the white. I think it looks quite nice, has a hint of Summer and of course makes it that little bit more girly. Not to mention it also matched the pink dress I was wearing when I painted my nails. Once I had done all ten nails, I then topped it off with a coat of SV.

So there you have it, its a simple design this time, but I rather like it. What do you think? Are you a fan of French manicures? How do you makes yours a little bit different?

Until next time...