Monday, 31 August 2015

Aztec Blue

This design contains two of my favouroite things in nail varnish, Aztec patterns and cobalt blue! In the background is my work bag which is making me feel pretty sad after a lovely week off. Who knows what horrors I will return to tomorrow! Not quite sure how my hands came out quite so pale in this picture but I think it goes quite well with the nail varnish so never mind!

For the Aztec pattern I took inspiration from Pinterest and amended a little. I outlined the pattern in black nail art pen on a plain white base, and then filled in the spaces with black polish and a small nail art brush for a stronger colour. The blue used is Nails Inc's Baker Street which is one of my favourite nail varnishes, they have captured my favourite shade of blue well. I have almost finished my first bottle and have another lined up!

Colours used: Baker Street - Nails Inc, White - Barry M, Nail Art Pen in Black - Barry M, New York Noir - Nails Inc

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Nailbox Review: August

Today I am reviewing Augusts Nailbox, which I've been very excited to get my hands on! I ordered the box as a one off to try it out, but can definitely see myself going back sooner rather than later! The box can be ordered here and there are a number of subscription options, the cheapest being £13.50 per month for a years subscription. There is the option to sign up on a month by month basis for £15 if you just want to try it out first like I did.

So unfortunately I don't have any nice artistic picture of the products neatly arranged on/in the box, as the postman left it in our glass collection box behind the bins in the rain, so after a few hours of floating the box wasn't really fit for photos! No christmas card for you Mr Postman! Still, the polish was all safe so thats all that really matters! Below is the contents of this months box, minus the picture card (it was too soggy!), the sweets did not last long!

I was really impressed with the colours in this box and their quality. Perfect colours to finish off the summer, especially for those of you who are lucky enough to be going away in September. The box also included some handy nail clippers and a yummy mini pack of love hearts. I was impressed by the quality of the brands included, and that they were all reasonably sized bottles (all 14 or 15ml).

Nails Inc's Seven Dials (yellow) is a fun sunshine yellow, but is still a nice soft colour, so not too bright or harsh for those of us with pale skin. The polish has a great consistency, and I really really like the brush. Not only is it wide for easy application, but it is a contoured shape (longer in the middle) which makes it fit the nail better.

I was super excited to receive China Glaze's Flip Flop Fantasy (neon coral) as I've been aware of it for a long time, it seems to be a blogger favourite. Definitely the perfect shade for a beach holiday. The colour goes on well and is super bright.

CND Vinylux's Wisteria Haze (purpley blue) was the dark horse of this box for me. the consistency is amazing! I used two coats for the design I'll show you below, but this is also a pretty good one coater. It's quite liquid but without pooling or feeling like it will drip of the brush, and just glides on perfectly. From my experience this is definitely one of the easiest polishes to use.

I finished of my design with CDN Vinylux's Weekly Top Coat. this dried fairly quickly but I did think it was a little runny. To get enough on your brush you have to work fairly quickly to stop it dripping. Easy to get used to though. I think it could maybe benefit from a slightly wider brush to hold more polish.

Now onto the design! I wanted to do something that would involve all three colours so went for this carnival design. not my neatest to date, I think I need some more practise with my nail art brushes, but pretty happy with is as an end of summer design :) I added OPI's Alpine Snow as a white base for the bunting nails, but for those of you who were lucky enough to receive July's Nailbox the white in there should do the trick!

Colours Used: Wisteria Haze - CND Vinylux, Alpine Snow - OPI, New York Noir - Nails Inc, Seven Dials - Nails Inc,  Flip Flop Fantasy - China Glaze, Weekly Top Coat - CND Vinylux

Friday, 28 August 2015

Nostalgic Triangles

So I suppose this is a Throwback Friday... Wanted to put this one up today as it makes me feel nostalgic. I've just got back from a holiday with my boyfriend and his family, and when I returned from this same holiday last year I tried out this nail design. Inspiration found on Pinterest. As it was a while back unfortuntaly I am not sure where from, so if anyone knows do let me know!

I really like the colour combination as it's not one that I would have thought would work. Please excuse the messy edges, this is before my blogging days and these pictures were taken towards the end of the manicure's nail life.

Colours Used: Passion Fruit - Barry M, Wardour Street - Nails Inc, Nail Art Pen in Black - Barry M

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Tropical tuesday: Double pineapple!

Today I have something bright to compensate for all this rain! I'm very fond of fruit, and think that pineapples are a excellent subject for nail art as they are so interesting to look at. Therefore for this design I am practicing freehand pineapples. The fruit were painted with a small nail art brush (from ebay!). I like the look it's created, but would like to be able to achieve those beautifully neat designs I've seen on Instagram, they may or may not be stencils, but I think I will need much finer brushes and a bit more practice!

Below I've included a picture of them with my awesome pineapple t-shirt (still available from H&M), because lets face it, who needs double denim when you can have DOUBLE PINEAPPLE!!

Colours Used: Sunny Days - Rimmel, Alpine snow - OPI, Cappuccino - Barry M, Key Lime - Barry M

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Pigeon Feet

This design was actually meant to be something a lot fancier, but when I started it and it turned out a bit shabbier I rather liked it so decided to keep going! The pigeon feet were done carefully with a nail art brush, and then the gold was applied somewhat less carefully around the edges. It's a good job i like the artfully messy look!

I enjoyed wearing this as i like having a bit of a pattern going on on my nails to catch my eye, and if nothing else they were good practise!

Colours used: Bramble - Butter London, Cyan Blue - Barry M, Limited Collection Polish in gold - M&S

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Tropical Tuesday: Five A Day!

Fantastic Mr Fruit for you today! This one is from a couple of months back, I'd been in quite a long phase of wearing plain colours, and decided I wanted to go all out on the nail art again, glad to say I've not stopped since! The design was done freehand with a little help from a nail art pen for the seeds on the melons, kiwi's and strawberry's. It was great fun to do and I liked the kiwi's expecially as for something so simple to do it looked quite striking. Inspiration was taken from a wide variety of different fruit nails on Pinterest.

When I do this design next I think I will switch the watermelons and strawberries around as it would suit the nail sizes better. That was the orginial plan but I got carried away and started the watermelons on my ring finger without thinking!

Colours used: Passion Fruit - Barry M, Key Lime - Barry M, Coconut - Barry M, Yellow - Barry M, Cocoa - Barry M, Block Your Green - Rimmel, Nail Art Pen in Black - Barry M

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Lazy Sunday: Woodland Wonders

Todays nail art picture is probably a little bit autumnal for August, but I think it works for summer or spring too! The mushrooms were done freehand with a small nail art brush and dotting tool. A nice simple one for my untrained nail brush hands! Just paint a few semi cirles onto each nails, some thick white lines for stalks, and then splodge on the white spots. Ta-da!

I went for a low key look with a neutral background colour but reckon this would also look good over a pale blue or green, or black if you're feeling dramatic!

Colours used: Basil Street - Nails Inc, No 19 - L'oreal Resist and Shine, White - Barry M

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Dark Daisies

This design was inspired by one I found on Pinterest, which looks like it was pinned from the Beauty There website. Unfortunately I'm not sure whose design it is orginally but if you know please let me know. I love this one as it's an excuse to bring dark shimmery colours into summer!

I used Nails Inc's Kabaret for it's deep subtle shimmer, I think it's sits nicely against the daisies. For the daisies I did the initial shapes in white acrylic paint, but as this was quite watery topped it up with white nail polish once the basic shape was in place. I remember these particularly fondly as I did the design on my lunch break while sat on a park bench!!

Colours Used: Kabaret - Nails Inc, White Acrylic Paint, White - Barry M, Yellow - Barry M

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Throwback Thursday: Tribal Print

Todays throwback picture is of a tribal print I tried some time ago. I've seen this sort of design all over the internet in all sorts of colours, and love how bright and eye catching it is! Apologies for the picture quality, as it's quite an old one it was taken with my old phone. Will definitely have to try it again and get some better pictures!

The design was done partly freehand and partly with a nail art pen. The blue and white were easy enough to just splodge onto my nails, and the beauty of the black lines it that they are supposed to be a bit messy!

Colours used: Papaya - Barry M, White - Barry M, Cyan Blue - Barry M, Nail Art Pen in Black - Barry M

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Tropical Tuesday: Guest Hands!

Today I am showing a design I did on my friend Jessica's nails before she went on holiday last year. She was an excellent hand model! Here I am again showcasing the delights of a nail art pen! The gradients were done lightly with some sponges, a top coat added to smooth it out, and the design drawn over the top. As I've said previously, you definitely need a top coat over the nail art pens, or they rub away pretty quickly.

The design was based on something I saw on Pinterest. Unfortunately as it was a while back I can't remember who, but if anyone knows please let me know. So all in all this is a pretty simple one, if you have the patience to sit and do the little drawings!

Colours used: White - Barry M, Cyan Blue - Barry M, Berry  - Barry M, Nail Art Pen in Black - Barry M

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Fun With Feathers!

Today I will be showing you how I got on with BHS' Colour Couture feather set, which was a gift from last Christmas' Secret Santa! I waited a while to try it out as it's such a spring/summery style. The set includes all the things you need, including nail scissors, three polish colours and a top coat for sticking the feathers down. I'm hoping that the feathers can be bought in a craft shop somewhere too, as I'd be keen to try it again with less pink!

First I painted my nails using the colours provided in the set and let them dry. I then added a top coat, and carefully applied the trimmed feather peices while it was still wet.

Once the feathers are on your nails they need to be trimmed down as closely as possible to the nail, and then filed for extra precision. The final step is to add a top coat again to seal the feathers in place. I'm in two minds about whether they actually looked better before the top coat, as I think the colours where a bit more vibrant when dry. I've included final pictures below, and above that what they looked like pre trim and top coat.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Brilliant Blue

Is what this shade should be called! This nail art didn't really turn out as it was supposed to, but I'm posting it anyway as I think the colours are so lovely it almost doesn't matter what you do with them. The blue is from Nails Inc and is so very shiny! (shinyness topped up by their gel plumping top coat).

Inspiration was taken from Hannah Rox It ( who is insipirationa! (and somewhat more experienced than me!) My mistake was getting the sizing a bit wrong and then having to work around that. Still they were so shiny that I kept them anyway!

Colours used: Bruton Place - Nails Inc, Coconut - Barry M, Sloane Avenue - Nails Inc, Indigo - Barry M, Kensington Caviar Gel Effect Plumping Top Coat - Nails Inc

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Throwback Thursday: Cheats French Manicure!

So it's not often at all that I do a french manicure type design. I'm more of  a nail art or block colour girl, but I'm quite fond of this throwback from a couple of years ago, and want to share the easiest french manicure!

As you can see I haven't gone for the classic french mani colours, and started with a Barry M lilac. Instead of painting a stronger colour along the tips in a curve (and having to faff about getting the widths right!) I simply applied the blue polish in two thick diagonal lines accross the top, and finished with a nail art pen. Easier than pie!

Colours used: Berry - Barry M, Cyan Blue - Barry M, Nail Art Pen in Silver - Barry M

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Tropical Tuesday!

Today's tropical Tuesday picture is a little more subdued! It was one I did for my trip to Ibiza which must have been two years ago now, hence the odd lengths of my nails! (they used to break a little more then because of my job). There is a light gradient going on here though it can't really be seen in the picture. I used white a base and lightly sponged some mint green over the top.

The birds were done with black nail varnish and a small brush, and the leaves were in metallic green with the same little brush. I painted the leaves on lightly with the brush, allowing them to get messy round the edges, and then went over them again through the middle of the leaves to give them more texture.

I've noticed some more views coming to my blog over the last couple of days so whoever you are, thank you for reading! :)

Colours Used: Matt White - Barry M, Mint Green - Barry M, Emerald Green - Barry M, New York Noir by Kate Spade -Nails Inc

Monday, 3 August 2015

Basic Peacock Nails

So this one is a bit of a work in progress, I was tempted not to post it, but decided it's worth putting up the ones that aren't as good as well, so I can compare as I get better! (Besides I do love the Jessica blue!)

The design was done with dotting tools and a Barry M nail art pen. Mine is going a little gloopy at the edges which probably didn't help. Will be trying this design again with striping brushes to see if I can get a better effect. All in all I think it's a good design to try if you want something fairly simple, but would suggest practising the design on paper first to get an idea of what it will look like.

Colours used: Indigo Glow - Jessica, Chelsea Embankment - Nails Inc, Indigo - Barry M, Nail Art Pen in Black - Barry M

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Mo You Stamping Plates - Review and 1st attempt!

Today I will be showing you my first attempt at using Mo You London's stamping plates, and letting you know how I got on. I've used stamping plates a while back and had  a reasonable level of success, but had stopped for some time due to the deterioration of my stamper! (it was a cheap one from ebay and I believe the deterioation is due to cleaning it with nail varnish remover, and possibly leaving it in the sun!). It took me a while to get into it again, I think this is partly due to the type of stamper I was using, and partly because I am a novice! 

So, a friend intoruduced me to Mo You after she got some gorgeous tropical stamping plates, and I thought it was about time I gave them a go. Their website, branding and packaging is absolutely beatiful I couldn't fault it! It feels like you're getting a really beatiful and special product (and in my opinion you are!). I started by ordering two stamping plates (£4.99 each), one stamping polish (Black Knight - £6.99) and a classic stamper (£2.99). See below! 

Unfortunately I couldn't get a good picture of the stamping plates as they are quite reflective, but the ones I chose are Doodles Plate Collection 07 (click here) and Rockstar Plate Collection 10 (click here).

So I started with the doodles plate design, and pretty much just stamped at random! I tried using the black stamping polish and a foil effect polish and had more luck with the metallic at first. I think this is because it is a little bit more fluid. The stamping polishes are good for the opaque-ness though, especially if you want to use a pale colour. See below my first attempt, I will certainly be posting more as they improve! I've also included a list of top tips - all things I've learnt through tiral, error and Youtube! Mo You's insturctions can be found here.

Colours used: Bruton Place - Nails Inc, Foil Effect Gold - Barry M

Top Tips:

  • Prime your stamper! This is the first step you need to take when your lovely new products arrive, and something I initially missed! Using a nail file gently buff the top of your stamper till it looks matte. If it's shiny it won't pick up the image from the stamping plate.
  • Use lots of polish! Be generous with the amount you use so that it fills the design, and you can be sure that the stamp will pick up the image.
  • Use metallics! For black and white you'll probably need proper stamping polishes, but I find that metallics work just as well, particularly the foil effect ones.
  • Cleaning your stamper: Don't use nail varnish remover to clean your stamper as this can be damaging. Instead use tape, or simply stamp the leftover polish onto some paper.
  • Work quickly! When you have scarped the extra nail varnish from the plate, pick it up quickly with the stamper, so it doesn't have a chance to dry.
Thanks for reading :)

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Summer Pastel Gradient

A simple summer design that's very easy to do! I used some plain sponges for the gradient (from shoe boxes at my old job!) but would recomend using proper ones as the shoe sponges can be a bit gappy. The dots over the top were done with white polish and dotting tools (can be found on ebay for a very reasonable price).

Finished with the best evverr top coat, Nails Inc's Kensington Caviar! Quick dring and super shiny. Not much else to say on this one, I'm tempted to try it in lots of other colours.

Colours used: Blue Moon - Barry M, Wardour Street - Nails Inc, White - Barry M, Kensington Caviar - Nails Inc