Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Halloween Nails

This is  a scheduled post ready for when I'm on holiday.

I haven't bought into the Halloween posts which people have been doing, probably because mine would inevitably look shit.  When it comes to nail art I just can't do it.  I can dot and use striping tools, I can sponge and have actually managed some water marbles.  But I can't freehand or come up with anything like the awesome designs I have already seen from early October.

I did consider doing a Frankenstein mani, as I have the green and black and they don't look terribly difficult. But considering is where it ended.  I noticed that between my stamping plates I have quite a few pumpkin and bat designs.

Halloween makes me think of orange in relation to pumpkins.  Orange polish is something I don't have many of, I have Satsuma, pIcture pOlish in Fake Tan which is almost worker vest orange,  and China Glaze Harvest Moon. For this mani I used Barry M Gelly Polish in Satsuma then used the saran wrap method to get a dappled effect with Harvest Moon over the top. This calmed the orange somewhat.  On my accent nail I used the newest addition to the a-england family Beauty Never Fails.

I then stamped these with Halloweeny images.  I thought I had a lot of them in my stamping plates, but when I started going through them the Bundlemonster series 2 plates has the same skull design twice and the same pumpkin twice, they just added a bit extra on the second design but fundamentally the main image is the same.    The images I  used were an evil pumpkin type face from my Red Angel plates, a skull, a witches hat, pumkin and bats from my Bundlemonster.  The witches hat seems not to be etched deeply enough as despite six attempts the full image would not transfer. I stamped the black images with Konad stamping polish and the orange image is using Barry M Satsuma which had been my base on the orange nails.

I didn't like this as the orange makes my hands look dirty.





Tuesday, 30 October 2012

China Glaze Immortal

As it's almost Halloween and this belongs to a Halloween collection I have set up this scheduled post with Immortal by China Glaze.


This is just one coat!


I don't often wear grey, but now I have this in my arsenal I may wear it more often.  Micro shimmers of pink and blue mean the underlying colours remind me of Butter London's The Black Knight - in a subtle way.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Blue Saran Wrap

This is another scheduled post.  If the weather forecasts are correct I'll probably be by the sea in a pouring gale, but it beats being in the Midlands!

This saran wrap mani uses Barry M Gelly in Blueberry, topped with the Nails Inc polish I swatched in my QVC TSV Nail post.

It looked great in real life, but would not photograph so well.





Sunday, 28 October 2012

Best of British 28/12/12

British Nail Bloggers

This week's Best of British is being posted with an unusual sound of sea gulls as I'm away and by the coast, not in the East Midlands.  I've scheduled posts to go out for the rest of the week, but for now I've managed to use my mobile as a WIFI device to post this.  I'm trying to keep up on feeds etc when I get five minutes but maybe a bit behind!

And I'd appreciate it if somewhat told me what f~*king time it actually is as I have three different times across various devices - some have updated automatically (I assume) one I have put back manually and I think it then went back another hour during the night and my kindle has no internet connection and I think it's showing the time in old money!  I have already been on Google and searched what time is it and then resorted to texting my Dad!  Unfortunately where we are staying there are no wall clocks so I can't just go and check.

Hope you all have a great week and I'll catch up properly on my return to civilisation where there is a fibre optic WIFI facility!


Emma's Quest for the Holy Grail continues with some unusually successful watermarbling and other foes to face including this triple colour striping mani at Emma's Little Corner

Claire at nuthin' but a nail thing is getting Halloween started early with a SPOOKY MANICURE! Aroooooooooooooooo!

Jazz at Glitter Infatuation has been having fun with the new W7 Glitters, Mosaic, Glitter Dazzle and Salt and Pepper!Glitter is appropriate no matter what the occasion.

Over at Pie's Eyes Lyndsay shows off her Good Food Show Theme Manicure which she wore last weekend.

Jo at Northern Nails is going to a Halloween party tonight and will be wearing this mani!

This week The Teenage Shopaholic has been... scaring herself silly! She was wearing China Glaze Midtown Magic to a horror movie marathon sleepover!

Sam at Polished Art is 'feeling the love tonight' with her Lion King inspired manicure for the 31 Day Challenge (yep, that's still going!).

Wendy at Wendy's Delights shows us her Green Glitter Nails for Llama Nails A-Z challenge

PishPosh and Polish's Kerrie has been having fun with her new Brazilian polishes this week. Also she has been swatching Pretty and Polished Candy Corn Is it orange? Is It Yellow? This mood changing polish is both!

Danielle has had a busy week this week so drafted in some help from Rachel at Phoenix Nails who created an awesome Halloween Mani for her Guest Post at Totally Nailed

Enigmatic Rambles has been getting her freehand on this week with MEG and MOG do you remember them?

Kerry at JustTalkNails has done a manicure of Ghoulish Ghosts with a host of Barry M nail paints.

Laura at She Who Does Nails had a go at freehanding a pattern she found on Pinterest this week.

Carlyn has spent the week decorating so not many posts but friday she went nail polish crazy Nail Polish Haul Going to have fun swatching all these

Vic's been playing with some of the Orly Fired Up collection for Fall and creating some Autumn Jewels.

Abi at Volatile Varnish experiemented with silver stamping over Gosh Holographic Hero and got some really cool results.

Rachel at Phoenix Nails wore it pink for Breast Cancer Campaign's Wear it Pink Day with a pretty Monarch Butterfly mani

Saturday, 27 October 2012

QVC Nails Inc TSV swatches

This is a post I've scheduled as I'm away on holiday through half term :) 

This is the first time I've sat and done a "swatchathon" and this is quite a picture heavy post.

All are two coats, no top coat, I used a base of rimmel matte magic as it was first thing on hand I could use as a barrier!




First is Southwark a royal blue cream verging on neon



Basil Street, a nude beige



Holly Hill a strawberry red cream



Mirror Metallic Berwick Street Market




Party Glitter Rainbow St



Sprinkle finish Bakers Row




A black holo disco lane.



The surprises for me were Disco Lane (the last one I snapped and I managed to smudge it, see very last picture!)  I expected to love this, it was one of the big reasons I wanted this set.  It just isn't My Private Jet Original. The holo is more a glitter and quite large, not a fine holo through the polish. Also this dries very matte, it would probably be better with a good top coat.

I didn't expect to like Holly Hill or Basil Street, I love the red Holly Hill and could use the beige although it won't be my most favoured of colours.

Berwick St Market looks great and I was a bit uncertain if it might be too pink for my liking before, but I really like it.

Bakers Row is a nice sprinkle, although as sprinkles go I prefer Mosaic by W7. 

Rainbow Street I would like to compare to Barry M Glitters to see if it is same combination of glitters, but it reminded me of something I already have.

Southwark is the biggest winner of the collection for me, gorgeous glossy finish in two easy coats.  Bright and vivid.  Stunning.

This whole set including postage was under £30, so less than the retail price of just three so it was pretty good value.  In fact it's the first thing I've ordered from QVC for over three years, so it must have been good to lure me back!!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Did I Really Do Two Watermarbles in Two Days?!

....  Yes I did!

Buoyed with a bit of success I had another go!

I used a base of 1x OPI Nail Envy and 1x OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls then for the marble used My Boyfriend Scales Walls along with a-england Camelot, Galahad and Tristam, once I'd finished I topped off with a coat of Seche Vite.

I was so excited I had to take some pictures straight away to show I'd done another marble! These are still quite badly cleaned up as I still have the beastie of a cough which just loves acetone.  I'm going away next week so hopefully I'll enjoy a little sea air and it'll blow the cough away!

Here's a few pics.
 Right hand is still quite covered in polish.  Oooops.
 I love the left middle finger, that's the perfect water marble swirl IMO.
 Left thumb
 Left middle finger
Extreme close up of right ring finger

So there we have it, two marbles in two days!

I'm going to try and schedule some posts for next week as I go away tomorrow, but I may not have time.  If we have wifi then there's more chance of managing it, but if I go AWOL that'll be the reason.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Quest for the Holy Grail part 6 - water marbling.

I have previously posted that water marbling is my nemesis and that I shouldn't bother to do it again here and here, but as it is something of an elusive Holy Grail to me I decided to have another try.

The lessons I have learned along the way are that less is more when it comes to the number of polish rings, slow and steady seems to work better for me: only doing one or two nail rather than trying to do a full hand.  I watched a load of videos on you tube a while ago and noticed a few things about patterns people were using, also the to "centre" a line you could press through the polish.  With this in mind I had another go....

I started out with a base of Camelot, the gorgeous shiny black colour.  I used PVA as a barrier on my fingers which I something I have posted about previously on one of the links above.  I used a-england Holy Grail, W7 Metallic Saturn and Color Club Rad Nomad (a possible dupe of China Glaze Jungle Queen.)


The W7 and Holy Grail are very close when marbled over black.

I got so confident that by the time I got to my right hand I did an accent nail and used only Holy Grail and Camelot for this nail! 







I'm really pleased with these!  I may even try to marble again some time soon (gasp!)



Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Quest for the Holy Grail - part 5 double colour tape mani

Ok so the title of this post may not sound like a Holy Grail challenge, not given that I have previously done tape manicures with different coloured stripes in this post and this post.  But for this post what makes it more of a holy grail is that I wanted to try out some double colour blocking tutorials I have seen, these are ones I would normally avoid because of the waiting time for the base and first colour blocks to dry.  This time I layered my Seche, I have a new bottle which seems to be better when used over itself, I normally find a double coat of Seche = major peeling.

This one is slightly different to my other Holy Grail posts as the namesake a-england polish isn't included in this post.  As soon as I saw these tutorials I could see them with a white base of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, a-england ultimate black Camelot and my most favourite shade ever a-england's Galahad.


For the left hand I used this tutorial from enjoychasingshadows blog.  The wording is in French, but the pictures are self explanatory.  I like this design less of the two, as soon as I saw it it seemed a little bit 80s.



For my right hand I used this tutorial from agirlandherpolish blog.  From the two looks this is the one I prefer, but it is also the one I made more of a pigs ear of, the lines aren't as crisp as I wanted them to be.


What do you think of nail art that involves three coats of top coat and three lots of waiting?

Back to normal Holy Grail tomorrow, with quite possibly my most ultimate foe..... a water marble!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Nail Mail....

 Just a quick post....

Well I was on a no buy this month.... and then two things ruined it! Adina released a new a-england colour and there was a Nails Inc TSV on QVC which I couldn't resist.  I tried.  I even ended up waiting until it was out of stock and on advanced orders.   But I caved and ordered  it at the advance order point and despite it's predicted arrival (and being charged) in November, it has arrived today.  If I'd not paid until next month I could have met my no buy with just one slip up.  Oh well.

Today they all arrived at once :)

Firstly the new a-england colour Beauty Never Fails, this is gorgeous in the bottle and is going to be the first of this little lot that I try.  It reminds me of some of the green Halloween polishes of collections gone by that I covet and can't find, a bit darker than It's Alive.  Here's a crap bottle photo, I took about 10 but couldn't capture the hidden amazing colours.

And next up is the QVC TSV, this one had been thrown over the fence into our back garden and left in the rain all day, but luckily the contents were undamaged.  As long as a bottle didn't break I wasn't massively bothered if the packaging was knackered as it wasn't being given as a gift.

The blue in this isn't Baker St, I got all excited thinking I'd got it in here.  It's the green sprinkle polish is Bakers Way and misreading the listing....  But it's still a pretty cool collection.  Which of these to try first.....

The Quest for the Holy Grail part 4 - Fishtail Fail

The next polish "holy grail" is something I have seen on tutorial posts looking so simple, but I haven't attempted as I didn't think it would work out right on my short nails.  

I decided to use a-england's Holy Grail, Tristam and Galahad to create a fish tail accent on this hand as the original accent nail had an accident....
The accent nail on this hand was originally a-england's Avalon topped with Fantasy Fire, but then along came a tea pot and killed it.

To say my first attempt was a disaster is something of an understatement.  So I thought sod it and did the rest of my left hand.  Then I reached for the acetone.  To be fair the fifth one was better than the first one, but none of them were pleasing.  It doesn't help that I love tape manis and crisp lines.

Any way here's the attempts I made, no clean up as it was just about to be cleaned off.



For now this is one Holy Grail which will remain... I may try it again someday but I'm not holding much hope. Nail Fail!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Quest for the Holy Grail part 3 - Saran Wrap

Saran Wrap manis seem to allude me.  I have tried - and failed on three occasions.  One of these I have previously posted here.

Today's Holy Grail was to try and acheive a reasonable one and to use a-england's Holy Grail at the same time.  I started of with a base of 2x Nail Envy, added 1x Holy Grail and then sponged OPIs Rally Pretty Pink over the top for some added warmth.

I got this picture after the sponging (no clean up at this stage as more polish yet to come, still got the chesty cough so avoiding acetone as much as possible) 


If the cling film / saran wrap had failed me, this is where today's post would end.  I opted for OPIs Royal Rajah Ruby as my top colour to be dabbed at with the cling film (Tesco value range of cling film which is pure shite to use as it loves clinging to itself making it useless to cover food with, but ideal for this technique.)  Somehow the Polish Gods were smiling at me and the finished result was this.

Again I have to put a disclaimer at how messy my fingers are, but as I have been saying I'm ill for 12days this is the reason.  

These could be Halloween nails as the red looks so much like blood splatters IRL.





I seem to have managed it on this occasion, will have to try again soon with other colours :)