Monday, 30 July 2012

Holo-stripes and a Fantasy Fail

A little while ago Mimi at Make-Up Withdrawal did an amazing striped mani using several colours click here for amazing pictures. I pinned this on my Pinterest board which got thousands of repins, it is amazing how quickly it spread.

Inspired to try this with my recently received striping tape I fancied some holo too. Patience is not a gift I was blessed with, so I decided only to use it as an accent nail.  There's quite a list of layers on here, I'm surprised my nails aren't an inch thick!

I started out with two coats of Nail Envy.  Then I used a layer of a-england Excalibur (opaque one coat silver) on all nails apart from accent nail, on which I used a layer of a-england Bridal Veil.  I layered the Seche onto Bridal Veil and then went over all other nails with two coats of Ozotic 533, topping with Seche.  By time I had done all this the accent nails were nicely ready to start the striping tape mani.

As my nails aren't as long as Mimi's, and I only wanted to use 4 colours, I firstly put the stripe in the middle, then halved the remaining space.  It was easier to get right on my left (non-dominant) hand.  I used red Holo Ozotic 518, pink mish mash holo Ozotic 531, lilac OPI DS Original and silver OPI DS Shimmer, then peeled off the tape with tweezers and left about 5 mins before adding another layer of topcoat (this time I used a-england Shield.)






I got some red on my cuticle on left hand which will not come off (and I have very little acetone in the house either, certainly not enough to dip a cotton bud into, must buy some tomorrow!)

Not having any remover led to nails getting thicker, tip wear left my nails needing freshening up, so I decided to "Saran wrap" them with Max Factor Fantasy Fire.  Fantasy indeed, as although the layering worked, it was nothing amazing.  The following pictures are same layers as above, plus Fantasy Fire, plus The Shield top coat.



The colour looked great, but wasn't the effect I wanted so... bearing in mind I can't remove, I added... I tried the "Saran" thing again using a-england Lady of the Lake.  Only did thumb and couldn't get what I wanted still.  So in the end I reached for the sponge and did a gradient mani using Lady of the Lake and Morgan Le Fay.  Then topped it with W7 top coat!  The gradient mani I ended up with looks fab, but as my fingers are covered in polish which I can't remove, I haven't bothered to point the camera their way!  If the polish comes off with showering and moisturiser I'll try to grab a photo!




I won in Llarowe's huge giveaway!!

After a day of seeing Picture Polish all over blogs (and lemming Orbit!) I have just had an email saying I won a Picture Polish in the generous giveaway hosted by Leah-Ann on her Facebook page...

I won Fake Tan, which is Neon Orange, not something I would normally buy!  It'll be great for nail art as a base to stamp over.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Inspired by The Nailasaurus (but not as neat!)




I decided to stamp my nails today using the Red Angel stamping plates from Sammy at the Nailasaurus.  As I have striping tape I decided to do an accent nail in the laser mani tutorial found here striping tape I decided to do an accent laser nail.


I started with two coats of nail envy, on my ring finger I topped this with color club base as I found this helps the Enchanted Polish I was about to use stick.


On all my fingers except the ring I put on one coat of a-england Camelot, on ring it was one coat of Enchanted Polish Marge's Blue Beehive. This was topped with Seche Vite.


Then I stamped using Red Angel plates RA109 and RA113 with Marge's Blue Beehive over the black polish, this is a great stamper images transferred well.  On the already blue ring finger I used some striping tape and then painted a layer of Camelot.  I peeled the tape off straight away using tweezers and added a layer of W7 top coat to finish.










Fail....


my colour inspiration


I started out with OPI Black Cherry Chutney, I love this shade, not only is it a dark vampy purple with hints of red and gold, but it can be a great base for Max Factor Fantasy Fire.  But I decided not to use fantasy fire, and so the disaster began!

work in progress


In my mind I had a great idea for doing a corner of each nail as a tape mani, so after my two layers of nail envy, two layers of Black Cherry Chutney and a layer of Seche (yay! big smiley face!) 

I taped off the corners and used Zoya Maisie flakie polish on each corner (should have fantasy fire'd!) then the tape peeled off and I had sharp lines, it looked great.  At this point I should have stopped.  And took pics, but I didn't.....  

I hate this...

In my wisdom I added a row of the pink OPI Past Present and Fuchsia using a dotting tool, then decided the dots when spaced looked naff and filled the gap.  At this point the tops of my fingers began to resemble a shell suit I had as a teenager in the nineties.  Horrible.  I didn't even bother to to take more than the single picture above.

It lasted a day as I didn't have time to start over.

enchanted polish


I have had some mixed experiences with this range, I am finding it doesn't play nicely with nail envy, but it seems to settle longer if I add a layer of normal base coat on top of the nail envy.  Now I just need to figure out what top coat it will play nicely with.  The pix below are some of the colours I bought recently, I never got any pictures of Across The Universe.  I have found that at least two of these are very pigmented and good for stamping and dotting.


Austin Powers and Marge's Blue Beehive


vampire's dessert



this was stamped with vampire's dessert


the bright blue is marge's beehive!  I haven't yet stamped with this.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Some of my recent stamping with cheeky plate CH13.




I have tried Enchanted Polish Vampire's Dessert as a stamping polish as it seems highly pigmented. I love it used this way, it really works well, very easy to use, image transferred to stamper cleanly each time. Normally when I stamp I find that at least one attempt will not transfer cleanly from plate to stamper, meaning cleaning it straight off and wasting polish to start over. Vampire's Dessert produced a full coverage image first scrape every time.



I used CH13 several times recently as I like the image, stamping over a-england Guinevere and Galahad. The images above are after 24hrs of wear. I used 2 coats nail envy, two coats of a-england, one coat of a-england top coat, stamped with Vampire's Dessert, then added Poshe. I am still wearing this as I really like the colours.

I then added China Glaze Matte Magic after 48hrs wear:



I used W7 lime green and a-england St George to get the following images:






I really like the Cheeky image plates, they seem to be crisp images every time. I have the second series Bundle Monster plates, a large stamping plate A by Cheeky and a couple of Konads but keep going for Cheeky plates at moment.  I have just got my mitts on the Red Angel plates, but am yet to try them.

My favourite dotticure


I recently made a long comment on a post about nail art and realised that I haven't tried out much myself for a while, mainly just stamping.  I last broke out the dotting tools about about six weeks ago.


direct sun


indoor lighting


indoor lighting



what I used


My original plan was to use a-england Bridal Veil as the base colour, but I switched it for a-england Guinevere.  I then created a random pattern of dots using Enchanted Polish Marge's Blue Beehive, a-england Bridal Veil, Perceval and Avalon.  My base was two coats of  Nail Envy.  The pictures above are without top coat apart from the direct sun shot, I finished off with a layer of the dreaded Poshe after the photos, and the direct sun picture was grabbed today in my lunch.  The lilac in Guinevere looks so neutral on the indoor pictures, just could not capture it!

I really like the dotticure, must do them more often.

a-england Camelot, Excalibur and Morgan Le Fay

I used the nail mail I got yesterday to create the following manicure


 Direct sunlight


Direct sunlight

For this I used base of 2 x Nail Envy, the black I used is a-england Camelot, then applied a layer of Seche to hurry things along so I could tape of the corners on each nail.  I used Morgan Le Fay on the taped off section and a variety of different sized dots with Excalibur on each ring finger as a contrasting design.  I finished off with W7 clear topcoat on each nail.

The three Mythicals I got were part of the recent offer for a fiver each, they were the last of the Mythicals that I REALLY wanted.  There is now only 3 a-england polishes which I don't own!  I almost didn't bother with Camelot as I have OPI Black Onyx, but I am so glad I did!

The biggest surprise was how well Camelot went on - one coat and it was opaque black, no streaking or imperfections.  Amazing!  I had not ordered Morgan Le Fay previously and I can't understand why!  It went on with almost a blue hue over the black - I can't wait to try it over other colours and see what it produces - in direct sunshine it took on a slight holographic finish.  In indirect lighting it had micro glitters, pink and blue being most visible.

The following picture is after a day of wear, when I received my Nailasaurus prize I added the blue striping tape and love how this finishes the manicure.




This is my first time using striping tape for about six years, I used to have some sold in strips rather than rolls by Special FX, who used to sell on QVC.  This seemed easier to use, although it wasn't until I was cropping the pictures that I noticed the middle finger didn't seem to be properly attached at time of taking pictures.  The pictures above don't do justice to how well the blue striping tape went with the silvery blue and black.

I can't wait to try a "laser" mani using the striping tape and the opaque black one coater Camelot.



Surprise Nail Mail

Today's nail mail was a surprise when I walked in from work.   A while ago I won one of the prizes in a giveaway by Sammy at Nailasaurus blog to celebrate 4000 followers.  I won a  set of Red Angel stamping plates and lots of striping tape.  My prize came today and I was so excited that the striping tape was on my nails quicker than you can say "Nailasaurus giveaway prize" (pix of what I did to try the tape out will follow!)


I haven't tried the stamping plates yet, but can't wait to test them out.


I'm going to start transferring some of my posts over from Tumblr over the weekend, put some of my older attempts on to this blog.  I think it will probably be a tedious affair but once it's done it's done :)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Today's nail mail!

My £5 a-england polishes arrived today, Morgan Le Fay, Excalibur and Camelot.

Hi there...


Hello there…. If anyone reading this: I guess I’d better give a small about me.
I’m a thirty-something wife and stepmother to four kids, I live in East Midlands, work full time and I’ve had a slight obsession with nail varnish for most of my life! For some women it’s shoes or handbags, for others it’s clothes shopping, some like to buy make up and others like to be pampered. My thing is nails (painting or trying nail art)
I think my obsession started when I was about five or six, some time in the 1980s when neons were first around, a neighbour gave me three very bright colours. Then when I was 16 - I had something of a mohawk and lots of different coloured neon hair going on - I found myself wanting black nails. The only place black was readily available then was from a market stall in Derby! At that time I found an array of colours for 60p a bottle and ended up with loads of them: as long as they were not a safe pink or red. I even mixed a few colours myself, but what put me off such franken polishes back then was thinking I’d never manage to recreate this colour so once it was gone, it was gone.
My nail obsession died down a bit when market stall more or less doubled cost, bet they got greedy and wanted more profit from me! I threw the majority away as they became gloopy. I did venture into some of ranges in boots, vampy burgundys and dark blues, but these always disappointed me: I remember a particular duochrome purple / green colour by rimmel which looked great until you went out and at some point across day a whole nail “pinged” off and you’d look down and have 1 bare nail! I had a maybelline something similar happened with. Then I had some stomach problems and I’d read about formaldehyde in nail varnish so I stopped the nail painting at that time.
However I started working, I had spare money and at some point in 2003 I fell in love with QVC, the ease with which it sucked me in, the moment they say something is limited stock and you panic and buy it…. So my rainbow began again. At first I was dubious remembering whole fingernails pinging off, but OPI won me over. I was working in a hard manual job yet my nails looked great thanks to nail envy! I also discovered nails inc at this time.
Across next few years my collection grew, but I also had some I didn’t like in there thanks to way QVC group them: normally two fab colours and one questionable one which probably wouldn’t sell if not grouped in. Not to mention I probably had four bottles of Victoria. Nails Inc included that in everrrry collection, along with Tate red which I had at least two of. Then I found eBay! This meant I could easily get my hands on single colours, it also meant I could sell ones I had more than one of.
When my stash became too much for the shelf it was on I had been throwing the ones I was less fond off away, eBay allowed me to get something back from those. People at work couldn’t believe it when I said I’d sold several bottles of nail varnish and made £50, I didn’t shatter their imagination and tell them that it wasn’t your £2.99 Boots range.
My nail “thing” cooled off when opi released the Russia, France and India collections, by this time I had their go to burgundy and red and purple in a cream, a shimmer and frost, every collection was too “same-y” so I stepped back a bit. I met my other half a life became too busy to paint, eventually I decided to sell about half my collection. One Sunday evening I listed 35 bottles which was about half the collection I had and wasn’t using. The auctions ended the following week and I was £137 better off! Plus I still had all the colours I REALLY liked, just not all of the finishes.
By the time of the auctions I was following a lot of nail blogs, vicariously enjoying other peoples pretty colours…. And suddenly I was back in my “must paint nails” phase. Rest is history, since then I’ve never had a single day without polish! I’ve also expanded my nail collection now to include Zoya, Orly, China Glaze and Barry M. I also have some of the brands I once regarded with horror and fear of pinging off, but now that doesn’t happen, maybe its my preparation, maybe it is a change in my nails or perhaps formula has improved! And I got around the not enough time to do my nails thing when I remembered my old friend seche vite!
Wow my bit about me became a full biography of nails!