Well, would you look at that. A whole week without posting...
In an attempt to clear the backlog of pictures that I have stockpiled over the last few weeks, I'm just going to spam you tonight.
Here's an update of my nail growth:
Yes, I went back to using this serum again (click here to see my review of this product). After originally complaining that I didn't get talons within a two week period, I did continue to use this serum...and I found that I'd been a little hasty in my critique. Okay, so it didn't do much to make my cuticles feel moisturised, but I did notice faster growth. I don't how it works, but I do believe that it actually does. I've had a few occasions recently when I've looked at my hands and been pleasantly surprised.
Notice anything strange? I have three nail extensions on. I cut my thumb nail right down to practice my tip application and acrylic overlay technique. I did this with my left hand (obviously) and I don't think I did too badly. The pinkie fingernail has an acrylic extension and the ring finger has a gel extension on it - both of those were applied by a classmate of mine.
And now, a little glitter spam...
Studio M's 'Purple Medallion'. I know it's a little random, but I LOVE this polish!
Can you see the change in nail length?
Okay, that's all for now. Have a happy start to your week and I'll be back soon.
I'm really behind with my manicures. I have about four different ones that I've taken photos of but have yet to edit.
I was wearing the very lovely Catherine Arley '805' holographic polish recently:
This was taken by artificial light at night.
The holographic qualities are far more striking in real life but the camera couldn't capture it.
Later that night, I got the amazing idea to stamp the living daylights out of this polish. It looked alright before I went to bed, but in the harsh reality of daylight, it was a DOOZIE. It was fine until I put the black and white feather-looking images over the flowers. Why didn't one of you stop me?!
This is a prime example of over zealous stamping. Sometimes, you just have to leave things alone.
See? This is my right hand. Perfectly fine and not busy and crazy looking like her counterpart.
Oh well, I'm glad I could share my doozie with you :)
I'll tell you what, nail/beauty bloggers are highly influential. Back in November last year, I bought a few magnetic nail polishes by 17. I swatched two and didn't bother with the third because it got lost in a haul of other things. You know what that's like; you pick up a few bottles, swatch some, buy some more, forget a couple from the first haul, swatch some of the second haul, buy some more, forget some from the first and second hauls.... Don't pretend that this hasn't happened to you!
As always, I digress. Every time I look at my blogger dashboard, I see that someone has written a post about a magnetic polish they are currently in love with. This then makes me want said polish in my stash (so that I can swatch it once and then banish it to my already groaning Helmer...don't pretend you don't do that either).
Well, I'm not buying any more magnetic polishes yet, so tonight I have a swatch of the poor, neglected and extremely gorgeous Lilac.
This was strictly a 'one-coat' affair.
Nope, I'm not trying to disguise any tip wear after forgetting to take pictures on the day of application *cough, cough*.
Tonight I have a swatch of a OPI's 'I don't give a Rotterdam' for you. Now that I'm a student again, for the millionth time *insert cheesy grin here*, I am now able to shop at trade stores. My bottle of OPI was under £6 and I was pretty happy with my purchase.
This is not the greatest picture (I'm so sorry), but the silver shimmer particles in this polish are so subtle and beautiful.This took three thin coats before it became sheer and I wasn't best pleased. This may sound silly and wasteful, but I always apply three coats unless I'm working with a polish amazing enough to be sheer in just one. Call it a mild obsession if you will. The fact that I HAD to apply three necessary coats as opposed to two and then one indulgent third coat, annoyed me.
Excuse the tip wear (and dodgier photo) - this was after two days of wear. It had only JUST occurred to me to take a picture before removing it.
I've had a stressful week back at work (seriously, everything that could have fallen into my lap did) and I swung from phone calls, to conferences, to emails, to reports, to interviews...
I'm sure I'm not the only one to feel the relief that Friday brings (even if it IS just psychological!)
Here is a manicure I did the other day.
Now, I was actually going to try and do something like THIS by professional DQ, so I started with a sponged neon gradient over a white base. I then decided against animal print because I didn't want to copy the design completely.
I was then left with a gradient and wasn't sure what I was going to put on it. I couldn't find a stamping image that was right, so I got out the acrylic paint. By the way, I got this set of polishes from Primark for £2!! I can't express to you how good the quality is. They are eye-wateringly bright AND they have a light shimmer to them. I'm really impressed because I thought they'd be mediocre.
I then decided to outline the entire nail with acrylic paint, similar to a design I had seen on Nailporn's Tumblr some months back. The actual pattern I had seen was a nude colour with dark blue outlines (but blue wouldn't have worked with neon, so I had to go with black), some of which sectioned the nail into two halves. Am I making sense? I don't think so...have a look about half-way down the page on the left hand side.
I then added a few black lines in in the middle and also some dots because the nails still looked bare without anything in the middle. The whole thing was covered in some glitter polish.
It's amazing how what you have in your head can end up looking completely different on the nail!
I've told myself that I should try designing a manicure before starting to paint my nails, but I never do. I like the fact that it can you can end up with a masterpiece (or a disaster!)
Do you give your manicures a bit of thought or just slap it all and hope for the best like I do?
For those of you who may not be aware, it's Mothering Sunday on 18th March (for us here in the UK and Ireland). If you are going to be celebrating next week, what will you be doing? Spending time with your mum and/or other women you hold dear to your heart, or will you be the one being pampered by your own family?
2 x Water Decals
2 x Stickers
1 x Water Decal Nail Wraps
2 x Acrylic Colours
1 x Orange Sticks
2 x Dazzling Sticker Paper
2 x Rhinestones
1 x Rhinestone Picker
1 x Super Glitter Dust (Neon)
1 x Glitter 1mm
All this is worth a very generous £29.95!
This contest is OPEN TO ALL. To enter, all you have to do is this:
1.'Like'Viva La Nails on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/vivalanails)
2. Comment on theViva La Nails blog post and answer the following question: "How has your mum inspired you?"
3.Go toTwitterand Retweetthe phrase: "How has your mum inspired you? Enter the @vivalanailshttp://www.vivalanails.co.uk/blog.asp contest "
The contest is open to anyone.
All 3 steps MUST be completed
The contest starts from today (7th of march) and ends on 12th of march 2012 (midnight).
Would you laugh if I told you that this post is four months overdue? Well, you'd better get your giggle on then.
I sat on these swatches for a little while because frankly, I didn't want the beauty of them to be overshadowed by 50 million other polish-aholics swatching them the same week they were released. The Models Own Beetlejuice collection actually came out in November 2011 and was highly coveted to say the least. So much so that the complete sets (comprising of 5 gorgeous duo-chrome polishes being sold for £5 each or less if bought in a set) were sold out instantaneously on the Models Own website. I had heard that ASOS were selling sets of three for less than £15, so I went over and had a look at the sets. Unfortunately, out of the 3 polishes I really wanted, the set only had one. I bought the set anyway because the other two colours still looked intriguing.
This is Golden Green. Yes, it is golden and also green at the same time! The formula is smooth and it took three coats to get this level of coverage.
In real life, this polish is all the more striking. With a bit of sunshine this will burn your retinas!
Emerald Black. These photographs do not do this polish justice. In one light it looks like black ink, but then in another, the emerald is clear to see. It's a very pretty polish, but I doubt that I'll get much wear out of it simply because I want the other colours. I know, I'm such a spoilt child!
Ah...Pinky Brown! Now this one is definitely a looker. The dual colours are blatant and nowhere near as subtle as the two colours before.
Here you can see the brown (which looks more like bronze to me) and also the dark pink.
Aqua Violet and Purple Blue are still on my list to buy and if you buy from the website, you can get a discount on either three or five bottles. You can't say fairer than that can you?
I don't know how many of you have ever created your own 'zipper' manicure either by way of free-hand paint or with embellishments, but I have been meaning to try it for ages. I actually have TWO zipper images on some stamping plates, but up until now, I haven't used them. I'm not about to go into how many plates are sat here covered in the same blue cellophane wrapping I received them in.
Anyway, I digress. I was contacted a while ago by Maggie at KKcenterHk and asked to review one of their items. Of course, I accepted...and guess what I chose?
Gold zipper water decals by N.Nail. Ahhhh yeaahhh.
I used the very beautiful Tristam by a-england as a base colour (two coats). This polish was actually bought exactly a year ago and is still the only a-england polish I own. If only the photographs could actually convey how lovely this shade it. The holographic qualities are amazing and it was PERFECT for denim manicure. The pink polish was from a nail art pen and I added a little glitter too.
The water decals were spaced wide enough so that they were easy to cut and they didn't take long to detach from the card after soaking in water for a few seconds. I was pleased to see that they were sturdy and didn't stick together or tear when I removed them (yay!). There is nothing worse than a thin decal that sticks to itself when you remove it from the card! I am also happy to report that the decals did not disintegrate when I used my top coat either - I hate it when that happens as well.
These decals can be bought from KKcenterHk and they also come in silver (for those of you who prefer a less gaudy manicure). Feel free to use my discount code : BLGA402AS10 to receive a 10% discount if you want to make a purchase.
I was trying to make it look like there was pink underwear under that denim on my nails...I didn't do a very good job. Perhaps if I'd painted on a lace pattern, that might have helped. Not sure.
I actually really liked these decals (and you aren't surprised are you?). I did draw a bit of attention to myself when I wore this, but then I got a little embarrassed and had to take it off. I think the pink underwear idea was at the forefront of my mind when people were complementing me *blush*.
So would you have gone for zippers or something a little more sedate? Let me know your thoughts, as always.
I would love to tell you that today, I am wearing the below, but I'm not. I did this over a week ago, and totally forgot about it until I found the pictures in my camera.
These are full cover water decals bought on Ebay. You may notice that the index and ring fingers looks slightly darker - that's because I used two decals on those fingers due to tearing the first ones.
I can't express how much I love water decals that are big enough to cover your entire nail. They don't take long to apply and because of their size, I didn't need a base colour - only a base coat. To seal the decal onto the nail and add some shine, I used a top coat too. Simple, yet effective in my opinion.
I admit, I did get a little bored with the design so I tried stamping a design over it from BM plate 201 and wore it for another day.
Have you used water decals before? How did you find them? What about nail foils?
Recently, I decided to try my hand at Frankening a glittery top-coat. This is actually one of three that I have tried in my time blogging.
I've had my eye on Lynnderella polishes for such a long time, but due to their popularity and recent events regarding their sale (if you read the more recent posts in that blog link, you'll have a better understanding), I haven't actually bought any yet. Perhaps I may treat myself around my birthday time...if there are any are available. I know those polishes are like gold dust...
I had a few little pots of hexagonal glitters in my Helmer so I thought I'd try customising my own polish to satisfy my hankering for a bit of sparkle. Why not?
Here it is, layered over Rimmel's 'Blue My Mind'.
Can we stop for a second and marvel at how striking this blue is? This is one polish that I will use until it is empty and then replace. This is my baby.
Please don't worry about the 'tip wear' - it's actually shrinkage resulting from the fast dry top coat.
I literally poured glitter into some clear polish. It's not bad is it? Or is it?
What do you think about this blue? Do you have it or anything like it?
Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that I complain regularly about having dry hands. Unfortunately, this is something I have suffered from for many years and the causal factor is simply bad habits and sheer laziness. How I manage to grow my nails without them chipping and splitting all the time is a wonder. That said, my nails are hard and brittle - if they break, they are clean and usually very low breaks too. Two ways I could immediately combat my brittle nails and dry hands would be to use rubber gloves for housework and hand cream after hand washing, but sometimes even that becomes a chore.
My grandmother has always told me that I should use gloves when I'm doing housework. I've never listened to her and I still don't - she's the first person to shove her bare hands into a hot oven without a moment of contemplation! I am realising, however, that she probably IS right because my hands can become so dry that they actually sting (although that could be because I'm using neat bleach to clean things).
I came across some cotton moisturising gloves the other day in Superdrug so I thought I might try to do something about these crusty dogs. The gloves were £2.99 but I can't remember how much the Soap and Glory Hand Food was. I got that from Boots over the Christmas period.
Nice, thick consistency. Oh, and a great big close up of my elephant skin. Meh.
For two nights, I slathered on some Soap and Glory Hand Food (which, I hasten to add, smells absolutely divine), pulled on the gloves and went to bed. Unfortunately, I fought those babies off twice in a row and in the mornings would find them either at the foot of my bed or on the floor. What can I say? I'm just no good with gloves. Luckily, the 'Hand Food' is miraculous on its own so I had soft and very lovely hands in the mornings. It's just a shame that a few hours later, I was back to Brillo pad hands again.
Let me know if you are any better than me. I know some of you readers have beautiful hands...what do you do to maintain their condition?