Sunday, 22 April 2012

Stripey accent

Hey folks.

Can I just say that this new blogger dashboard takes a lot of getting used to. Those of you who don't blog probably won't notice any difference (correct me if I'm wrong) but I, on the other hand, am squinting and scratching my head right now. Okay, it's not that bad, but this is my first post with the new layout...

I have a beautiful polish for you tonight - OPI's 'Bogie'. I think I need to invest in more OPI's because the finish is so glossy without a top coat. I've used this polish many times, but I guess I haven't really noticed it's real beauty until now *sigh*!

 Look at that black cherry colour. I LOVE it!

I was going to college the following day and I know that my friends there are always interested to see what I'm wearing. One asked me (whilst I doing doing a full set of pink and white gel nails) how many hours I spent on my nails per week. I couldn't tell her, for fear of embarrassing myself!

I made these simply stripes with acrylic paint but as a family member was over on Friday night, I didn't want to spend the whole night in the kitchen painting my nails, so I left them as you see them here.

So, much time do YOU spend on your nails in a week? Or is it another one of those questions that no-one wants to answer because you might actually find that it's far too long and you may just have an obsession? Come on - indulge me!

Happy a great week :)


Friday, 20 April 2012

New nails and glitter

Happy Friday folks.

Yesterday I told you that I'd changed my nail shape. I did it partly because I thought my square shape needed updating and partly because I could never get the square I really wanted.

 My 'square' nails wearing Essie's 'St Lucia Lilac'. I don't file the side walls at all - they just curve inwards and I hate it.  Only when I've been in the shower or washed up without gloves do my nails uncurl and have the shape I like.

 They curved inwards so much that they practically looked almond shaped. I took the plunge and got my file out...

 Observe the MEGA shrinkage on the index finger courtesy of Seche Vite. I love it but hate it so. It doesn't seem to set nicely when it's slathered on. I'm just too heavy handed with my polish :(
They look a lot shorter too!

For now, I like them. Knowing me, I'll slope back to the square nails again at some point though.

Thursday, 19 April 2012


Hi friends.

You may not be aware, but I do swap polish with other bloggers - on a regular basis in fact. For some reason though, I haven't really shared what I've received. I'm not even sure why.

Here are a few of the items I've received this month.

Beautiful Essie's from Marisa - my first ever!

Part of the Starry Temptress collection (2011) sent to me by Munchy, along with:

These beauties.  I can't wait to try them all and in fact I've already started!

 Essie's 'Tart Deco' with a little bit of glitter. I've had such a busy week, I've had zero time for nail art! By the way, I've changed my nail shape. I've been getting increasingly fed up with my nails curling inwards at the edges and it order to alleviate the curling, I've filed them into an almond shape (pictures to come).

I'm off to bed now, lamenting the fact that I have to go to work tomorrow even though I don't usually work on Friday's. I've got deadlines coming out of my ears and to ease the stress of next week, I'm going to try and do as much as I can tomorrow. Wish me luck!


Monday, 16 April 2012

Models Own Green Grass

Hey folks, I hope you've all had a good start to your weeks.

Tonight, I don't have any 'art' for you; quite frankly I've been uninspired this weekend.  Instead, I have a straight up block colour for you:

 Models Own 'Green Grass'.

For a long time I hated the colour green. I used to wear a bottle green uniform to school and to me, the colour signified all that was dull and dreary. There were other schools in our vicinity who wore lovely uniforms. Another girls school near us wore a beautiful royal blue kilt with red and gold threading...and then there was us. In green. Green was not a cool colour, it was the colour of bogey. When the girls at school were rallying for the introduction of trousers to our uniform repertoire, I kept my gob well and truly shut - can you imagine...bottle green polyester trousers?! In the SUMMER?!! Thank goodness our Head Master (who held an MBE from the Queen, don't you know) threw that idea out of the window...along with allowing boys to come to the school!

Years later, I've come to like green quite a lot although I do not own a stitch of bottle green clothing. I just can't do it.

As I look at these pictures, I'm quite disappointed that I didn't have the time or the gumption to get my stamping plates out. I think I will this week.  In fact, I'm off to paint my nails right now!

Take care all...


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Moon manicure massacre

I was sitting here completely uninspired the other day and whilst browsing various vintage style links on Google I found an idea I wanted to try. Honestly, in terms of style, I'm a bit of a mish-mash. I like a lot of looks, one of which is vintage. Yes, vintage is such a broad term, but I like everything from high-necked lace blouses and cameos from the Victorian era to the pin-roll hair styles of the 50's. I'll take a good chiffon blouse with a pussy bow tie any day, but I'm far from ladylike. I had thought about posting a pictures of a few things that represent me (aside from nails) but I don't know...would you be interested in a post like that? Let me know?

Anyway, I'm rambling again. I decided to try a 30's (but also popular in variations in the 40's AND 50's) 'Moon Manicure'.  Apparently, the trend was to paint only the part of the nail, leaving the nail tip and half moon area bare. Painting the entire nail was considered to be quite a bold statement...

 Ehhhhh. I'm thinking that this is one vintage trend I should steer clear of. My nails are a little too long and too square for this style. My tips look so white too. This, this and this are better examples of what DOES suit me!

I wore this for one day and then I got fed up of hiding my fingers, so off it came!

I hope you enjoyed my fail. I apologise for the solitary photo - the lighting was poor and this was the only half decent one ;)


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Water marble Easter manicure (late, I know!)

Hi friends, I hope you've had a nice Easter (if you celebrate it).

This is what I wore over Easter - yes, I water marbled for real this time! I also included a step-by-step for those who aren't familiar with the technique.

Before I go on, I am NO expert on this technique. Quite frankly, I can't water marble without a bit of foul language thrown in.  You may notice the air bubbles...can you imagine the vocabulary those invoked?!

I used: Barry M's 'Matte White' (it's not matte by the way), Beauty UK's blue, scotch tape, a beaker of filtered water at room temperature, a cotton bud and a cocktail stick.

Start with white nails. Your base doesn't have to be perfect.

Put some scotch tape on the skin around your nail - this will reduce the amount of cleaning up you'll have to do. I wouldn't skip this step if I were you...

One drop of white....

One drop of blue - yes, that's blue polish. The pigment spread so well.

Another drop of white. Continue until you have a nice 'bullseye'. I reckon that 15 drops of polish may be enough, but you can put in more if you wish.

Ta daaa!

Take your cocktail stick and draw it through your bulls eye. You can go for random patterns or try to make neat, precise patterns.
Draw the stick through the opposite side of the bulls eye.

Make some vertical lines in the polish.

Position your nails over the part of the pattern you like the most, then place them nail surface down, onto the pattern. The excess polish on the surface of the water can be removed with the cotton bud. This step is not pictured because I don't have three hands!

Give those fingers a wiggle to reduce the likelihood of air bubbles. You'll note that it didn't work for me though!
The next step is to remove the tape gently, add some glitter (or not) and that's it!

I hope you like the design.

Have you mastered the art of marbling yet? Do you even want to? Perhaps your polish collection is too precious to waste on such a technique. Let me know either way and thank you, as always, for reading.


Saturday, 7 April 2012

Pictures of my nail polish stash.

On Thursday night I decided to tidy up my Helmer because I couldn't find a thing.  If you aren't familiar with a Helmer, this seems to be a popular nail polish storage choice which can be bought at Ikea. This little cabinet is cute and the drawers are high enough to house tall nail polishes like Revlon's and Peripera's.

I was then left with the question as to whether to organise my polishes in colour order or brand order. I headed to twitter and after the suggestion of one of my lovely tweeps, I decided to organise them by brand...I didn't get as far as putting each brand in colour order because the whole thing took forever.

Click here to see where I was in November 2010 and then laugh heartily.

Click here to see what my Helmer looked like in March 2011.

So, do you want to see what's in here now??

 Drawer number 1.  Yes, I only have 5 OPI's...the shame of it.

 Drawer number 2.

 Drawer number 3. I spy some growth serums in there.

 Drawer number 4. Full of lonesome polishes, nail files, full nail water decals, small decals and stickers.

 Drawer number 5. Stamping polishes, acrylic paint, striping polishes, practice fingers, more files, fimo canes, rhinestones and glitters (all in the same box) and a few metal utensils.

 Drawer number 6 - the junk drawer! Mainly full of false nails, rhinestone wheels, old art brushes and items that I rarely use. Oh, and my creepy practice hand. You'll note the red nail on it. My daughter painted that. The other nails on it were sculpted with clear and white acrylic.

There you have it - the entire contents of my Helmer.  Can I be honest though. I have another box with a handle in which I keep my college kit. I have SEVERAL polishes in there (and scattered around my home), along with tens of files, buffers, a UV light, polish remover, acetone, a box of nail art pens, my decent brushes; the list goes on. I have another couple of boxes in my wardrobe in which I keep my giveaway polishes.

Are you surprised about the amount of polish I have? I was. I honestly thought I had a lot more than that. I think there are about 350 bottles there - give or take a couple. In comparison to where I was last year, I've made steady progress.

Okay, that's it for now! If you know how much polish YOU own, let me know in the comments box if you aren't too embarrassed to disclose!


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Gems and glitter.

Hi everyone, happy Hump day (the hump being the middle of the week, just in case you didn't know. I'm not being condescending...I'd never heard that phrase before until last year. I kid you not!)

I was hankering after a bit of embellishment last week and came up with this. I even rocked this for a couple of days at work - hence the tip wear.

Sally Hansen's 'Red Carpet' in it's glittery goodness.

 I used Swarovski crystals here, so even after putting on a layer of Seche Vite, the shine wasn't dulled.  I have found, in the past, that some of the cheaper rhinestones can be dulled by clear polish. I put some holographic glitter polish on the area joining the black and red and then stuck the stones into it whilst the polish was still tacky.

My right hand thumbnail was slightly different.

All in all, I actually enjoyed wearing this, but did experience some evil staining underneath the stones :( I know it's probably more fitting for a night out than a week in the office, but since when has that ever stopped me?

I'm not the only one who likes a bit of 'grrr' on their nails am I?

Monday, 2 April 2012

Water marble water decals.

Hello friends!

I've reached over 800 readers via Google Friend Connect and I'm so chuffed. Thank you all so much for visiting, reading, viewing, commenting and following (in whichever way you do so). It really means a lot to me. 

Okay, to the nails we go!
As another demonstration of my love for water decals, I've decided to show you how I use them.

Now I know that some of you will be perfectly aware of how to use water decals, but I'm sure that there are some other readers who aren't so familiar with them.
 The decals are basically transfers that are attached to cardboard. These were sent to me for review, but you can buy them and other designs here at KKCenterhk.

I started off with a gorgeous pearl shimmer polish by Hard Candy. Sorry, I don't know the name of it because the label has come off!

 I cut off the pattern I wanted and let it soak for about 10 seconds.

At this point, I was able to press the card between my thumb and index finger and slide the transfer off the card. I personally only like to slide off half of the transfer and remove the rest of the card after I've positioned it where I need it; if you slide the whole transfer off the card, you run the risk of it folding up on itself. If does do this to you, put it back into the water and you may be able to straighten it out again.

 Place the transfer where you want it...

 Et voila!

These decals are quite clever. They look like intricate water marble patterns and I managed to fool a few people into thinking I'd created them myself with polish (only for a few seconds though - I'd NEVER try to fool people like that!). The only thing that annoyed me was that they smudged and nearly disintegrated when I used my Seche Vite top coat. I don't know if it was the polish or the quality of the decals, but I could only wear this manicure for a day because I could see where the pattern had been destroyed and I had started to obsess over it. Just a little.

Oh, and I bought this 'glow in the dark' top coat recently too.

 Erm. The polish glowed quite a bit after I 'charged' it by holding up to an artificial didn't do too well on the nail though.

Probably not a polish I'll be using again in a hurry, I must admit.  I like the concept, but the formula was gloopy and took ages to dry. I chose not to use Seche Vite because I didn't want to dampen the 'glow' effect.

I hope this post was of use to someone and not just me trying to teach grandma to suck eggs (sorry).

Have a good week.