Monday, 9 September 2013

Day 7 of 31 Day Challenge: Black and White

I had a little time at the weekend to play nail varnish and was generally quite pleased with these.  I always find black and white a little tricky though as the colours are so stark and any smudge is really obvious.

I used Barry M Black and Barry M White for the bases, and stamped with Konad Special Polish in Black and White.

What do you think? How do you get on with black and white?

Bye for now x

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Day 6 of 31 Day Challenge: Violet

Another simple one today as I am running a little short on time.  I did two coats of Accessorize Amthyst and then used a nail art brush to dab on a very small sparkly silver tip in Essie Beyond Cozy.  I really like this design actually, it's simple but quite smart.

What do you think? Is simple sometimes best?

Bye for now x

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Day 5 of 31 Day Challenge: Blue

Credit to The Nailasaurus and Nailz Craze who have both done beautiful blue and white versions of this.

I hope this counts as blue, I needed something a little bit subtle today!

I have seen this design on The Nailasaurus's blog a while back.  I think her designs are absolutely awesome and decided to attempt one of my very own.  I did a bit of investigating and found that the plate has been designed by Natalie of Nailz Craze and you can buy them here.  So I promptly ordered one.....  It arrived so quick, was very reasonably priced and I was really pleased on first impressions.  The designs looked well etched in and it was a lot bigger than the Bundle Monster plates that I already have.  I was not disappointed... 

I used Barry M White as a base and then used Barry M Gelly Blueberry to stamp on the design.  I was quite impressed with how the Blueberry stamped, it was very opaque but that just be because it was straight onto white.  I love this design.  It reminds me of blue and white china plates.


I can't wait to try the rest of the designs.  I have had a go with the super cute Russian dolls but wasn't overly happy with my colour choices so I will have another attempt at that one. The only slight problem I encountered was that this plate is not backed with paper like my other ones, which means it can scratch a nice wooden table (ask me how I know?!!) - however this is my own silly fault and of course next time I will put a mat down before painting my nails on the coffee table!

What is your favourite stamping design?

Bye for now x

Day 4 of 31 Day Challenge: Green

I just cant leave these mint colours alone.  I totally love them.  This is my latest design continuing the mint theme.

I used Essie Mint Candy Apple, Barry M Gelly Greenberry and Barry M White. I also used a cheapy make-up sponge and a  small dotting tool

I painted my pinky in the BarryM Greenberry and my pointer finger in the Mint Candy Apple.  I did a gradient of the two colours on my thumb and ring finger.  I was really pleased with this gradient, I have tried several before but because these colours are so similar I found that I got a really good blend on them.  To be honest I don't think these pictures show the gradient in it's full minty wonder.  I finally did my index finger in the BarryM White and added the polka dots.

What do you think?  Do you go through phases of loving a particular shade or do you like to mix it up?
Bye for now x

Day 3 of 31 Day Challenge: Yellow

I used my Accessorize Miss Sunshine (I only have one yellow!) and stamped a Bundle Monster swirly design over the top.

What do you think about the colour yellow? I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of all yellow nails.

Bye for now x

Day 2 of 31 Day Challenge: Orange

Something simple today.  I used my Barry M Satsuma and did a stripy accent nail on my ring fingers using Accessorize Miss Sunshine. I did take this pic the day after I had done them so they are a little battered.  I had a long day and did A LOT of cleaning!

Bye for now x

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Essie find and Day 1 of 31 Day Challenge 2013: Red

Two things:

Firstly I popped into the shops earlier to pick up some trousers I had ordered and these accidentally fell into my shopping bag. 

Now for the even better part... LOOK at the price ticket! I couldn't possibly leave them.  I saw some other ladies eyeing them up but I managed to grab them before they did :D

Buying Essies in the UK is a bit of an expensive hobby as they are about £8 each but these work out at a crazy £2 each! That's cheaper than Barry M!

Essie colours in: Over the Edge, Snap Happy, Wrapped in Rubies, Fair Game and Beyond Cozy

Secondly... I have spotted this 31 Day Challenge thing doing the blogger rounds and (foolishly) decided I am going to attempt it. I may not do one a day as I just don't think that will be possible for me with everything else I have to do, but I will try to do 2/3 a week and if I fall along the way... Oh well - never mind!

Here is today's effort in RED:

I used two of my new polishes. I did the main colour in Snap Happy and then sponged on some sparkles in Beyond Cozy.

Are you taking part in 31DC2013? What's your red design?

Bye for now x

Review: Nailtiques 2+

Since starting to paint my nails more often I noticed a deterioration in the strength of my nails and they started peeling horribly.  I had to file them right down to the bottom so I ended up with no white tip, just to stop them breaking all over the place.

Super short nails... boooo

So I decided to do some research into how to fix this.  I tried the Sally Hansen Miracle Cure but it didn't work for me, and after watching ArcadiaNailArts video on nail strengtheners I ended up buying a bottle of Nailtiques 2+ from a seller on Amazon

The bottle is quite small but I have had this one for about a month and a half now and you can see how much I have used - it is filled up to the bottom of where it says "Nailtiques" on the bottle.

I have be super impressed with this. It does exactly what it says it will and it literally has stuck  my peeling nails back together. I was prepared to file back to nothing but decided to give it a go on slightly longer peely nails and I noticed an improvement in about three days. I haven't used it exactly as it says to (the instructions are a little confusing and I had to google them), I ended up  using it as a base coat under coloured polish which I normally end up re-doing about three times a week.  So basically I re-applied it three times a week.

This stuff is like magic.  I have been using it for about a month and a half and have already had to file my nails down twice as I like them to be just long enough to peek over the top of my finger - but I am sure they would grow much longer if I let them. I will definitely buy another bottle of this but I am tempted to go for the Nailtiques 2 this time as they have improved so much, and I think this one is less strong.

Here are my natural nails now. You can see there are no peels! They are a little stained but that's from the polish I have just taken off. They have also been filed down twice since I started using the Nailtiques

Here is a picture with the Nailtiques applied - it gives a slight shiny finish so looks good on bare nails

So a winner I think :D

What do you think? Do you have trouble with peeling nails? What do you do to fix it?

Bye for now x

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Mint Candy Apple Stamping

Mint candy apple stamped nails

I love the mint candy apple colour and I wanted to try some subtle stamping. I didn't think anything too colourful and wild would work so I went with a simple white design.

Mint Candy Apple by Essie and Konad Special Stamping polish in White

I used plate 314 from my Bundle Monster stamping set and used the small geometric design in the top right

I did two coats of Mint Candy Apple, let them dry then stamped on the design at an angle.  I used a coat of SecheVite to finish the design.

I also think this would look good with some silver stamping.
What do you think? What colours work with Mint Candy Apple?

Bye for now x

Friday, 30 August 2013

Blue Stripy Tips

A different version of the red stripy tips I did.

I used Barry M White for the very tips of the nails and Barry M Gelly Blueberry for the second part of the tips.

I enjoyed the red stripy tips I did but I wasn't too impressed with the striping tape so I decided to give it a go with using just polish and I was really pleased with the results.  I used striping tape to tape off the tip of my nails and used a nail art brush to fill in the tip blue.  I waited for it to dry completely and then used more striping tape to tape off a smaller section of the tip.  I used a nail art brush to fill this in white.  I topped the whole thing off with a coat of Seche Vite and I was good to go :)

This lasted much longer than the version I did with the striping tape.

What do you think about variations on the classic French manicure?

Bye for now x

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Summer Skies

I love summer and one of the things I love the best is gazing up at blue skies with fluffy white clouds.  I did this manicure by firstly doing a gradient in blue using Barry M Cobalt Blue and Barry M Gelly Blueberry (can you tell I'm a Barry M fan yet?!  :P  )  There are lots of ways to do gradients but I favour The Nailasaurus's technique of using a make up sponge and gradually building up the colours.  Surprisingly the clean up wasn't too bad.

When it was completely dry I stamped the clouds on using Konad Special Stamping Polish in White (from amazon) using plate 312 from my Bundle Monster collection. I then topped it all off with a coat of Seche Vite.

I certainly enjoyed creating these nails but I'm not sure how fond I was of wearing them.  The blues are pretty intense...

What do you think - do you like bright bold nail colours?

Bye for now x

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Review: Essie Mint Candy Apple

I am aware I am a little late coming to the Essie Mint Candy Apple as it has been doing the blogging rounds for a while now.  But I am from the UK and Essie have only recently launched their collections in Boots and Superdrug.  Before that they were a little hard to get and too expensive for me to justify buying.  I have three other colours in my collection: Vanity Fairest (which I LOVE - it is a subtle pink shimmer), Not Just a Pretty Face (which is a peachy pink jelly that is nice but doesn't really suit my skin tone) and Allure (which is a great very pale pinky nude that I actually wore on my wedding day a few months ago.  Apparently Kate Middleton wore it on her wedding day too although I am not sure how correct that information is!). Anyway... it's nearly the end of the month and I noticed I had a few pennies going spare so I decided to treat myself to a new Essie and I had to go for Mint Candy Apple.

I just LOVE the Essie colours. I do occasionally find myself on their American Website just drooling over all the different colours.

I really like the formula of them too and the super wide brush makes it really easy to cover your whole nail in two strokes.

So here it is....

I love it. It's a really wearable colour.

What do you think? Are you a Mint Candy Apple fan or do you have another favourite Essie?

Bye for now x