Thursday, 28 February 2013

One I found on a different camera

Here's one picture I found on an old camera I was trying out, then put down and forgot about.  It's a skittlette inspired by Marta from ChitChatNails.  Mine is in lilacs where she used a nude colour.

This was using Revlon Lilac Pastelle stamped with No Shrinking Violets on thumb, index and ring fingers using Cheeky stamping plate CH1, OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls stamped with a-england Camelot using Cheeky stamping plate ch8, OPI Lucerne-tainly Look Marvellous and Kiko 401 on little finger.

Didn't like the camera so only tried it this once.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Dotty / French / Rainbows

I had an idea growing in my mind of creating a mani with a white background, a stripe of colour across the top and dots over main part of nail.  I was going to line the stripe up using striping tape and leave some white above the line.  Anyhow when I got to doing it I thought it seemed too much like hard work aligning all that striping tape, especially as I'm crap at lining tape up using my left hand.  So instead I freehanded a french tip of colour. 

My base was OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, I used red Barry M Blood Orange, orange piCture pOlish Fake Tan, green W7 Neon Green (dupe of China Glaze Def Defying) blue is Kiko Cerulean Blue and blurple is Barry M Indigo.

After I had done this I found a pin on pinterest showing that Katee of A Girl and Her Polish has done something very similar before!  But I hadn't actually seen it until after I'd done this.

Hubby and I are off to Paris next month, so we decided to invest in a new Fuji compact camera.  This was the first time I tried out the new 16MP camera for my nails, it made me realise what hard work the old compact had become: I was using a 6MP Fuji which is probably five or six years old, I was taking up to 50 pictures per post to choose three worth using.  This camera got them in just five.  It also seemed to have no issues with colours :) Here's what the other British Nail Bloggers are up to:

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

summer ice cream

This mani was put together using my colour spoons, three colours I may not have thrown together if I hadn't been able to line them up on the spoons.  I used Barry M Turquoise, Kiko Lilac and Color Club Earthy Angel.  I started with Lilac, then freehanded the Turquoise.  I was impressed at how straight I'd gotten it, it was almost perfect as though I'd taped it!  I then added a row of dots over the line using Earthy Angel.

This reminded me of summer and ice cream! 

Unfortunately this was done when my Seche was knackered - and I bashed my little finger, cut my cuticle and got a long thin cut down the finger and I got a chink in my polish.  Grrrrr!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Bad Nail Day and Nail Mail :)

I've been a little bit grumpy tonight as I'm having a bad nail day, but I got some AMAZING nail mail to cheer me up.

Firstly: the grumpiness.  I got some Sally Hansen polishes (the cheap ones selling in pound shops) and swatched them yesterday - post will be up somepoint in next couple of weeks, not in any hurry with them as they're everywhere - and wore Fairy Teal today topped with glitter.  On removing it (using foil method) I found some staining.  Too much considering I had worn two layers of base underneath it.  And it stained my skin.  This on top of some terrible peeling cuticles caused by the cold snap we are having. Again.  So my fingers look awful in this post.  

The amazing is my nail mail.  My long term desires for Funky Dunkey and What's With the Cattitude have finally been sated after finding them both in a blog sale (for a very fair price too!)  Sara from The Daily Polish is holding a blog sale, if you're reading this in the UK I would definitely check it out here.  Currently the Royal Mail restrictions mean that she can only send within the UK.  I also ordered some "glequins" and some 2mm square silver studs from The BornPrettyStore which arrived today.  I'd actually forgotten about them, I ordered them when the store was closed for Chinese New Year, so actually they came pretty quick.

Here's some swatches (two coats over a matte base, no top coat)

Funky Dunkey is the best purple ever.  The gloss on this polish is showing reflections and this is without top coat.

What's With the Catt-itude is a blue I have been wanting since I first saw it, I thought Can't Find my Czech-book may have duped it, but they are certainly different.  WWTC is somewhat streaky even after two coats, CFMC goes on almost perfect in one coat.  But this shade of blue means even if it's a 3 coater I'll forgive it.  Looking at these pictures I can see an odd thing happened on my second coat on each nail by the cuticle line - as I said BAAAAD NAIL DAY!


Finally, heres a bonus pic of my first attempt with the glequins.  I used silver, pale pink and brighter pink.

flowers in spring time

I had a green gradient on my nails using W7 Khaki, China Glaze Def Defying and Budding Romance but felt it was missing something.  I considered adding flowers using my dotting tools, but then remembered some flower water decals I had been given for Christmas by my mother in law, they are all flowers so I figured I'd give them a try. 

I haven't used anything like these for quite a few years, I think the last ones I had were Special FX which used to be on QVC back in the early 2000s.  Special FX also used to do things like duochromes and heat sensitive polishes as well as nail foils.  Wonder where they went?

Anyhow I didn't follow the instructions in any way.  The way they recommended to apply was to place on the nail then rub the back with a damp cloth or sponge.  I put some water in a saucer, dropped the transfer and backing into the water then placed onto nail and gently rubbed.  Once I'd done all my nails I allowed any surface water to dry then used W7 Diamond topcoat over them.

I did have a problem on my middle finger and managed to split the design.  I also found that a couple of them were slightly too long for my nubbins and the bloody things were then stuck to my skin and didn't want to clean off!

After showering the decal on my little finger came off (despite topcoat) and the rest were not far behind, so I was left with a swampy green gradient and no flowers :( next time I use these decals I must try a couple of topcoats and see if a good layer of seche keeps them on!!!!

Sunday, 24 February 2013


Today my topic is my usual subject: my nails (how I care for them and some general ramblings!)

Many people who read my blog will have heard that I broke the middle finger on my left hand last year.  For those who didn't know: a computer monitor fell onto my hand and crushed the tip of the finger, there was massive bruising and my finger resembled a ripe plum.  The nail had some awful bruising, the nail bed and cuticle took the full impact.  As my nail grew I spotted a hole in the nail which must have been caused by the break.  This hole took around 4 months to grow out from base to tip.  I am lucky that my nails grow like weeds.  

The nails on my thumb, index and middle fingers are prone to peeling (my main grabby, grippy fingers, I guess) so I have to keep an eye on this.  Generally if one of those nails has chipped then it is actually the nail below it which has peeled.  I once tried OPI Maintenance Envy for peeling nails but it didn't work for me, I now stick to Original Envy as a strengthener.  I do swear by nail envy, last week I posted a memory in pictures showing how my nail shape changed.  That very day I went out without anything on my nails, not even Nail Envy and lost a corner of my nail. I filed them all right back but had a rally bad wonky bit on middle finger. Across the week it has either evened up or I have just got used to seeing it!!

I used to use clippers whilst I was changing the shape of my nail to a squarer shape, I found it easier to get them straight across.  Since achieving this shape I haven't been needing to unless some weird growth spurt makes my nails a funny shape!  Generally I keep my nails in shape by filing once a week, although I do have a mug kept on the coffee table with cuticle oils, creams, nippers, pushers and a file and will occasionally grab that file and drive hubby mad see sawing (oooooooh a sin.......) at my nails.  As for files, I once had a couple of glass files but I hated them, I don't even know where they are.  I use a pack I grabbed in Asda most of the time, as this is what is in my desk drawer: I must look like a steretypical image of a receptionist in a film as I sit at my desk, talking on the phone whilst filing my nails!  My favourite file is an OPI "one use" file which I have been using since August and doesn't leave the house!  It came as a freebie when you bought a number of polishes from nailpolishdirect, I recently got two more of these with orders from them.

In October of 2012 I started to keep cuticle oil at work along with my normal handcream.  I suffer with eczema and the skin on my fingers was awful at the time, I thought the extra moisture would be helpful.    My job is sitting at a desk so I have found it really easy to incorporate regular daily use of the oil (until then I only used Avoplex before I went to bed) so now some five months along the line I am starting to feel the benefit of the oil as my cuticles seem less likely to get ragged and I'm less likely to pick at them, also the peeling on my nail tips is much better.   As a serial cuticle picker I'm getting better, I think rubbing in oil is a distraction!  I had to have a strong word with myself about picking at my cuticles, as this in turn would lead to me peeling my polish off and of course picking polish didn't help my peely nails.

I recently saw a number of bloggers taking a 3 day oil challenge, I don't think I could go three days with bare nails, but if for any reason my nail polish is off and I'm not about to paint my nails then I do tend to rub oil into them.

My maintenance of cuticles involves once or twice a week applying a good helping of Poshe cuticle care cream, leave it for 5-10 minutes then push back.  I do have cuticle nippers and will sometimes cut any stray edges on my cuticles, only because if I didn't cut that edge I may go mad picking it and picking it will be worse for the area the a quick cut.  I don't cut all round the fingers though.

Phew I think I've said enough about nails and cuticles for now!  Medal for anyone reading this far!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Leopard Skittlette

This Leopard Skittlette was something I freehanded a while ago, just after breaking my middle finger in Feb.

I used China Glaze Tart-y For The Party on my thumb, Barry M Gelly Dragonfruit on my ring finger and Greenberry on my little finger. The two black nails are one coat of a-england Camelot. My spots are OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls and Camelot. This is first time of trying this so I'm quite happy with the results.

Hits Gato Mia Vs a-england Order of the Garter

This comparison post has been a while coming, it went on the back burner due to the 31 day challenge. 

When I received my order from Sally's Magpies I posted swatches of them and mentioned that Gato-Mia reminded me of a-england Order of the Garter so here are the comparison pictures.

 Side by side in the bottle I think that the a-england looks slightly lighter.  Both have the glass flecks and they do look similar.

On the nail the a-england is the darker polish on my index and ring fingers.  The Hits polish is ever so slightly more green based and on my middle and little fingers.

This last picture is taken under the kitchen lights without any flash so I have oddly coloured skin.

No dupes here :)

Friday, 22 February 2013

My first recycled nails post...

I liked the nails I posted yesterday that - after two days - when I had some minimal tipwear I was trying to think of ways to recycle them.  I made a small new year's resolution to try to do this more often, but generally I prefer a clean slate.

I recently mentioned some nail guides I got from e-Bay.  For the recycling I took the deep curvy V shape and placed it slightly off centre more as a right angle on each nail and filled the tip in using Ozotic 526.  On my ring fingers I painted over the studs with a full nail of 526 as I was feeling so lazy!

I topped the whole nails with China Glaze Fairy Dust, apart from my ring fingers which I used OPI Servin Up Sparkle, topped with Seche and this is job done.  I'll hopefully get around to doing my nails properly after a day of this one!

This isn't my most inspired combination, but I'll defintely be using these guides to recycle and hide tip wear.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

a-england Princess Sabra

I work in quite an easy going environment when it comes to nails, so I'm not massively familiar with "work appropriate" nails, but these nails seem quite work appropriate in my opinion.

When I had done this mani I loved it so much I've worn it for two days and even now don't want to remove it.  After all the polishing for the 31 Day Challenge I guess I'm enjoying a couple of days of not doing much!

This mani is fairly simple. My normal base, two coats of a-england Princess Sabra (Tristam's Eyes) topped with Seche.  On ring finger before top coating I placed 3 round studs, then used 2 coats of Seche.  These are still stuck there now.

Pictures seem to show an appalling lack of clean up, I never even noticed this until now!

This polish is such an amazing colour, olive / gold and in some lights it even looked slightly dusky brown although this was quite dull early morning light.  The subtle scattered holo is great.  

When wearing this polish it has reminded me a lot of "The Lacquer Loving Lawyer" and I have only just realised why.... if you check her Facebook page here, you'll see the profile picture (assuming it hasn't been changed before posting!) you'll see whilst it isn't the same colour, it was just enough to make me think of her!  If you aren't already following her blog, check it out.  Her posts (unlike mine) show her weekly manicures and talk about application and wear time, plus any additions she has made to her mani at the weekend when being "work appropriate" is not an issue.  I paint my nails too often to consider wear times, if I comment on that then it must be poor and work appropriate doesn't matter to me.  But I do think this mani I fairly work appropriate.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Seaside Blues / British Bloggers Round Up

After swatching my Kiko polishes I decided that Cerulean Blue and Barry M Turquoise would make a perfect combination for a gradient.  I also used Barry M Indigo for some brighter colour on the tips.  I then stamped over using Layla Mermaids Spell and a red angel stamping plate in a wavy design.  

Like a dumkopf I didn't get any pictures of just the gradient.  Poor clean up on these as I hadn't got my clean up brush at time of doing this - but I have a new one now :)

Check out the other British Nail Bloggers posts too.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Shiny and Matte tape mani

I was browsing e-Bay in January for nail related goodies and came across some tape guides.  I got three sheets of 110 guides per sheet for £2.20 including postage (they are £1.10 each and on a three for two offer.)  I got them from this seller.  I went for a zig zag, a wavy and deep curved v shape.  I was very impressed with the seller, I ordered these on a Thursday and they arrived the next day.

For this mani I tried them out using China Glaze Electric Beat (my favourite blue cream!) and Stone Cold, the matte finish gun metal grey which came for the CG Hunger Games collection.

I applied my normal base and one coat of Electric Beat, added a layer of Seche and left it to dry.  About 20mins on I used the wavy guide to create this mani.  My left hand I used the shape vertically on my nail.  As the guides are quite long and my nails are very stubby at the moment, I was able to use on guide twice by turning it around to do the next nail.  

The guides are verrrrrrry sticky, I found my dried blue polish had ripped off when I pulled the guide off on my first nail.  After this I made sure to stick them to the palm of my hand in order to reduce how sticky they were - yet despite this when I got to my right hand I did the same on my ring finger!  The ring finger then became a matte grey accent nail!

Anyhow on to the pics!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Inspired by Nailasaurus

Today's post is inspired by Sammy of Nailasaurus.  I saw a mani she had done a while ago on a Pinterest board, where she had done a gradient and then added stripes of black down the side.  Then more recently there was post she did which inspired me to buy some studs.... And from there I decided to do this.

I used my normal Nail Envy & Rimmel Matte as a base applied two coats of Enchanted Polish Vampire's Dessert (this goes on in one coat, but I used two as I smudged one nail so I did the rest) then topped this with Seche.  I gave it about 30 mins then used striping tape to ensure a nice crisp line, used China Glaze Kinetic Candy for my stripe, positioned my studs then added a futher layer of Seche.

Another brown / pastel mani from me!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Barry M Nail Mail

I ordered the new Barry M Gelly polishes online from Superdrug.  When they came I was really worried that one would have been smashed, they had thrown the four polishes straight into a fairly big jiffy envelope with out any extra packaging.  When I opened them I could smell polish and I was worried that one had smashed, but luckily all was ok.

I have tried editing my pics together for this post so it isn't as picture heavy... May try this again in future.

I broke a corner off my middle finger so my watermark may seem intrusive, but as I can't file the damage out fully I have got a funny shaped middle finger and the watermark is covering it!

All are two coats no topcoat.

 L-R Lychee, Papaya, Dragonfruit, Greenberry

First up is Greenberry, this is possibly my favourite of the new Gelly collection, a vivid green.

 Next is Papaya an orange shade which screams summer and will look fab through the summer months.

Dragonfruit is THE shade of pink I have been missing in my stash, it's not quite a barbie pink but it's definitely a shade I will be wearing again.  This one has a hidden shimmer, making it different to the other Gelly polishes.

Finally is Lychee, a creamy nude shade.  This is very similar to Color Club Nomadic in Nude, but as it is a Barry M I'm sure the advantage of this will be watermarbling, NiN is terrible to try and watermarble with.  The main pic below shows it dotted with Blueberry Icecream, this is how I ended up wearing this polish first from all of the Gellys.

The next Nail Mail also came with some bright make up, the make up was quickly snaffled up by my 14 year old stepdaughter who declared it awesome, but the nail polishes were firmly retained by me!  I recently was lucky enough to win a giveaway from Judes Addiction, which included the following Barry Ms in Mint Green and Blueberry Icecream.  Be sure to check her blog out :)

First is Blueberry Icecream, a fab bright blue, very similar to China Glaze Electric Beat.  This was almost perfect in one coat, but I applied two.
 Mint Green (my favourite shade of late) is a fab cream finish not quite as bright as Greenberry.