Friday, 31 May 2013

Happy Hands- The worst is over

I cannot tell you how excited I am to try this polish, I got it in late April and I have been saving it for my final exam. So I have had one exam every day this week and today is my very last and these are the exams which determine my degree grade which is terrifying. When I was looking at swatches of this and waiting for it to come in the post I decided that I would save it until Friday the 31st of May and then I would put it on and say the worst is over.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Fourth May Tricolour Challenge

I know I said I was going to do a striping mani and I did but it came out so unappealing that I did another mani instead. So here we have a gradient with stamping. I don't think that I've actually done stamping over a gradient before but I definitely will be doing it again, it looks amazing. Lets just pretend that I intended the houndstooth on my little finger to be on the other diagonal rather than it being a mishap of stamping.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Designing nails for an outfit

Last week I did a friend's nails for an event. She sent me a picture of her outfit and I did a skittle mani of five different designs that she could choose from based on the outfit. Here are the designs I came up with:
Click the jump to see the outfit and find out what design she picked

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Third May Tricolour Challenge

For my third may tricolour mani I have gone for the cloud mani (my A England version here). I can't remember where but I saw someone who had done a beautiful cloud mani using white in between the colours to give it a different look (if you know who this is please let me know so I can link to them). I decided to use the grey for this function. I started with a black base and built the colours up on top of this.
I love this so much! The stark contrast against the black and the ruffled effect make me think of a curtain coming up in a theatre.
This mani gets very thick on the nail tips as there are 6 layers of polish there but I don't even care. If I had had free choice of colours I might have used a dark grey as the base (like A England Dorian Gray) instead of the black but of course you have to play by the rules of the challenge. I think this mani has a very different feel to the previous two probably due to the inclusion of the black.

I have a striping idea in mind for the next post but I'll have to see if it works out how it looks in my head.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Hot Air Balloon

I drew a hot air balloon on my nails! There's something really endearing about hot air balloons, they have this feeling of freedom and they've been used multiple times throughout fiction to embody this, most notably in The Wizard of Oz where the balloon provides escape for both the wizard and Dorothy in turn.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Sally Hansen Nail Stickers

In the second of my nail sticker posts I bring you Zip It! Real nail polish strips by Sally Hansen. I got these for half price at TK Maxx to try out because there is one of the full price designs in Boots that I absolutely love but I'm not willing to spend £8 on unless I've seen how they fit on my fingers. Again these are incredibly long (really- who are they designed for?). My first impression is that the smallest one is probably the right size for my little finger which is a massive plus. I've done a two accent nail mani with these to make the most of the zip motif. These are very different to the Model's Own stickers in that they're not actually stickers at all they are sheets of polish which you peel off the backing and place on your nail then rub with a cuticle stick to get them to stick down. Again with these I just couldn't get a flat finish but seen as they're metallic it doesn't really matter as the slight texture adds to the effect and over the course of a day these did flatten down beautifully,

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Happy Revolution Flip Flip Flipadelphia

When I saw the Happy Revolution collaboration between Happy Hands and Polish Revolution there were two that really caught my eye, Flip Flip Flipadelphia and Aluminium Monster. Flip flip flipadelphia caught my eye mostly because I've been thinking about the May tri polish challenge quite a lot and I really love the combination of red and grey. I decided to layer this polish over a coat of Mavala Berlin for opacity and then applied two coats of the polish. The formula was very easy to work with and the hexes came out very well I also had no problems with glitter clumping on the nail. This is a grey crelly base with small red and grey glitter and red and grey hexes. The red is sparse enough that you see mostly grey with flashes of red but at the perfect density that there are many flashes of red per nail. I apologise for my nails being so short, this is my right hand and my nails were becoming so flaky that I decided just to cut them all down and hopefully they will grow out again a bit stronger. Some things are much easier to do with short nails though so if it didn't look so weird having one long hand and one short hand I might be tempted to keep them this way.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Forgotten Friday-Magnetic polish gradient

For my second forgotten friday post I will use three magnetic polishes which I have had for about a year- Barry M Magnetic Burgundy, Violet and Blue. It kind of feels like the nail blogging community in general has forgotten about magnetic polishes but I think they are the easiest way for non-nail art fanatics to create a consistent impressive nail art effect. I'm trying something a little different with these a gradient manicure. I had a scout around on the net to see if someone had worked out how to do this and lo and behold Dressed Up Digits had. I'm so excited to show you this manicure ;).

I sponged on the gradient using the Nailasauruses technique, I think this is three rounds of sponging and then top coated with a regular non fast dry topcoat one by one and used the starburst magnet to make the pattern. I then top coated again with Seche Vite.

Magnetic nail polish has a depth to it that other polishes just fail to achieve and I just love it. Being able to do a gradient with them  just pulls them to a whole other level. They are not the polishes I would reach for when I'm trying to do a freehand mani but for something a little bit different these are perfect

I love the red, it's very deep and sexy, the whole look came out a little gothic but I think the blue saves it from being too moody teenager esque. It's one of the ones where you can't stop looking at your hand

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Second May Tricolour Challenge

For my second mani with red, blue and grey I went for a fish braid. The first time I tried this style I didn't like it very much (pastel fish braid) however, I think I have been won over by this colour combination, it's very intriguing and I can't stop staring at my nails. I have used the same polishes as last time (NYC Water street blue, Nails Inc Hampstead Heath and Mavala Berlin) plus a clear based glitter NYC's Gramercy Glitz because I felt like having glittery nails. I have done this as an accent nail mani for simplicity but if I were going to do it across my whole hand I would have started with different colours on each nail so the plaits would look different on each nail.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The living daylights versatility post

So I'm still on a recycling manis kick and I decided to add to my MSMD mani from Monday with some glitter namely, OPI's The Living Daylights from the Bond collection. This was the first polish I owned which had hexagonal glitter in and I was drawn to it because it looked so different (this was in the days before I even knew that Indie polishes existed). When I decided to make this post I went for something different, it's a skittle mani designed to show you the versatility of these clear base polishes with regularly shaped glitter. Besides the striping tape I used yesterday to get the shape on my ring finger I have only used a dotting tool (you could use a toothpick) to make this. I put some polish onto a bit of scrap plastic (I use an old lid from a cotton bud box) and then use the dotting tool to hand place the glitter onto my fingers where necessary. If you are starting from scratch apply your base colour and wait for it to dry then apply another layer of base coat and stick the glitter to this while it is still wet. If you are recycling an old mani just put a layer of base coat over it and get going. I use base coat not top coat as it is thinner and tends not to ooze up between the glitter. I'm going to show you the matte pictures because they came out so much better.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

My first tricolour challenge!

I recently joined the Crumpet's Nail Tarts and have decided to participate in the tricolour challenge. The idea of the tricolour challenge is that you pick three polishes in three specified colours and then do four manis using these polishes and you can also use black, white, silver, gold and clear based glitter. 
The colours for May are grey, blue and red. This is a great colour combination- I wouldn't normally wear red and blue together but grey acts as a sort of buffer. The polishes I chose are Mavala Berlin (grey), NYC Water Street Blue and Nails Inc Hampstead Heath (red). I decided to start with a multi coloured leopard print:

Monday, 20 May 2013

Cubic Nails

Today I have a guest post on The Crumpet so head over there and check it out. Debbie was kind enough to let me write this post for winning the April Nail Art Competition and I did a cubic new style of nail art similar to this one done on a false nail but better :)

MSMD- Nailside Double V

There's something very sexual about black nail polish, as opposed to red which is the traditional sexy nail polish colour, black suggests that you have an edgy side and even better than plain black is a black with a slight holographic flash. I am talking about Bridal Veil by A England, not the colour you wold expect from that polish name but as it's meant to signify the veil worn by the princess sent to be sacrificed to the dragon in the tale of St. George it does make sense. I have a couple of other polishes in "The Legend" collection; Ascalon and St. George and they are both beautiful. Therefore I was unsurprised when I put on Bridal Veil and it was the perfect black, incredibly pigmented and also with a silver shimmer in the shade and a slight holographic scattering in the sunlight. I never wear plain polish because there are so many nail art options to try and I saw this Double V design by Jane at Nailside and decided to copy it. I have made one tiny change- which is that I haven't done the final gold triangle, I wanted this look to be about the black so the gold is only being used to outline black triangles.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Crumpet inspired Dragon Scales

I've been looking at this mani by the Crumpet for weeks in her header but I wasn't able to find the actual post until now. Once I found the post I discovered that I have the plate (BM 313) with the giraffe print on and I knew exactly which polish I was going to use under the stamping- Happy Hands Am I Not Yours. Rather than just copy the Crumpet though I mixed things up a bit by doing the full pattern on three of my nails in gold.
The base on my nails is Barry M Racing Green which hasn't been on their shelves recently but is a gorgeous deep forest green, opaque in two coats

Saturday, 18 May 2013

I've got mail

My parcel from Happy Hands came :). I've Vined opening the parcel so you can share my excitement. This is Aluminium Monster and Flip Flip Flipadelphia. I want to put them on my nails immediately but my current nail art is amazing, decisions decisions. They'll have to wait a little longer.

Model's Own Nail stickers

I have somewhat of a love hate relationship with nail stickers. I love the complex looks you can get on your nail without multiple layers of polish and hours of time but nail stickers do not like my nails. I have tiny tiny child hands and as a result very thin, very curvy nails. This means that the nail stickers buckle and curve and I have to trim them and all in all it's a huge faff. But I've been seeing them pop up all over everyone else's blogs and they look so good therefore I have three different brands of nail sticker to show you over the course of the week followed by a round up post.

Today's manicure will star Model's Own Pow nail stickers. These are their awesome stickers based off comic book styling however these are sooooo long. Seriously how many normal, average people have nails long enough to fit on more than half of these stickers? Which is really unfortunate because when I wear these I lose most of the coloured polka dot bit and the words look a little strange by themselves.

Anyway I soldiered on- I have vined my process (love vine) so you can see what I did to apply these. Click on the jump to see my video :).

Friday, 17 May 2013

Forgotten Friday-Picture Frame Stamping

Introducing a new feature on my blog- Forgotten Friday. The purpose of forgotten friday is to use some of my older polishes which I haven't used for a while, the only rule is that I can't have posted about the 'forgotten' polish for a month. Today's polish is No. 7 Sing the blues.

Now that I've done one stamping mani I wanted to do more. I put my back up dark blue polish on which is No. 7 Sing the Blues (my fav. NYC Ink Stain is at home :( because my Mum wanted it). I didn't really have a plan for this mani I just went with my inspiration- I put Lush Lacquer Seas the moment as an accent on my ring finger and then stamped on these empty picture frames with NYC Magic Earth from their new foil explosion collection (this is my first time using it but foil polishes tend to stamp well). This had an insane amount of shrinkage away from my cuticles overnight before I took the photos so I cleaned up the weird thin remnant and it just looks like I wanted an enormous cuticle gap which actually makes my fingers look longer (I have teensy tiny hands)

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Stamped clouds

Last week I showed you clouds made with the polish brush, today I am showing you stamped clouds. I was playing around with glitter over black the other day and ended up wearing A England's Bridal Veil (more about this on Monday) under two coats of Jessica Platinum Wishes. This combination looks great and in fact looks very much like Butter London's The Black Knight only with red glitter instead of pink. I was reading The Canadian Nail Fanatic's blog and I realised that I haven't done any stamping in a really long time and hers was so awesome that I was inspired. Stamping is of course the holy grail of nail art- quick, easy and incredibly detailed but does take practice to get right.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Review of Revolution by piCture pOlish

I purchased Revolution by piCture pOlish a couple of weeks ago and have been putting it through it's paces with different brands of glitter in my manis and I thought I'd share my findings. piCture pOlish advise using two coats of the base and when it's dry it feels like a rubber coating on your nails (it smooths out nail ridges as well). It drys quite quickly so you don't have to wait for a long time between coats. It wears just as well as any other of my base coats (although I never wear a mani for more than three days so I can't guarantee any longer than this).

I have used Revolution under the following polishes:

  • Paradise by piCture polish
  • B for Butterflies by Happy Hands 
  • Am I not yours by Happy Hands
  • Ray of Light by Deborah Lippmann
  • Confettis by L'Oreal
  • Gramercy Glitz by NYC
  • Abstract Canvas by Emily de Molly
  • Majestic Flight by Emily de Molly
Revolution is noticeably less effective if you use only one coat however, when you use two coats it does make taking glitter off almost as easy as taking off regular polish. There is still some rubbing necessary (especially if there are large glitter pieces present as with Abstract Canvas). After the polish is off it is often possible to rub your nails and pull Revolution off (like the rubbery bits you get off erasers when you rub them on a table). It has not made my nails weaker (and they are often weak and flaky). Overall I think piCture pOlish has done a fabulous job with this base coat, it does what it says on the bottle efficiently and effectively and makes changing glitter polish less of a nuisance.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Majestic Flight Nail Art

I decided to try a little subtle nail art with my favourite new polish Majestic Flight by Emily de Molly. The base of Majestic flight is exactly the same colour as OPI Taylor Blue and as I didn't want to have millions of layers of polishes on my nails to build up to full opacity I started with a simple diagonal french with Taylor Blue and Barry M Racing Green
I then added two coats of majestic flight on top of this

Monday, 13 May 2013

Rainbow Dots

I decided to do something I haven't tried before with dots-a rainbow :). I saw this design here (although I never actually looked at the tutorial just the picture). Instead of starting at the bottom of the nail like Islaay does I advocate starting in the middle so that you make sure you have enough space to get all five colours on.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Dominatrix Dotticure

Sorry for the provocative title but what else would I call a manicure combining shiny black, matte black and flakies. I really expected this to photograph poorly but it looks pretty good apart from that the matt looks really grey in the photos (it looks more black in real life.) It's a really subtle mani and I love that about it. I would never wear solid black nail polish (anymore- we all had a goth stage) but the matt and the glitter makes it less intimidating.

Saturday, 11 May 2013


When I was ordering my Happy Hands polish I also got piCture pOlish Paradise. It's a gorgeous polish- pale blue green shimmer with pink glitter and it reminds me of birds of paradise. Without top coat it has a sort of burnished metal look and the pink really adds to the uniqueness of the polish.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Happy Hands B for Butterflies and Am I not yours?

My two new Happy Hands polishes arrived today. B for Butterflies from the Spring collection and Am I not yours? from the Faint of Heart collection. I wish with both of these that I had put one coat of glitter over a base as the more layers of polish I put on the more lumpy it became. B for Butterflies was particularly bad for this. But having said this I really like the idea of the polish and there were no problems with getting the larger pieces of glitter onto the nail, no dabbing required. So these swatches are not totally smooth but they are still gorgeous. So here is B for Butterflies:

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Clouds in A-England

It's actually been really sunny in England but I painted clouds on my nails and as I write that I realise just how British it sounds. I saw this design over at Nailside and I love it. Nail art which can be done just with the polish brushes is the best- minimal clean up and less expense on tools. I decided to just use my A England polishes for this mani. So here we have my beautiful clouds:

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Pastel fish braid

So I saw the fish braid a long time ago and have been holding off on it. Having done it I'm still not sure I like it but I'll do it at least once more before I decide firmly. I don't think the green and the purple work together at all, the green looks really sickly.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Turquiose Gradient

Turquoise is the best colour- as soon as you see it you think of tropical oceans. As it turns out I now have three shades of turquoise, enough to do a single colour. I sponged on the gradient with OPI Taylor Blue, Can't find my Czech book and NYC Raindrop (dark to light). I then topcoated with NYC Gramercy Glitz to add a little sparkle. If you skip below the jump there's a video of me dancing.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Polish Days- the number five

So I decided to do a Polish Days challenge the Number 5. I went for five different polishes of five
different hues and five dots on each. Whew that's a lot of fives. It's a strange mani- I probably should have stopped before the dots. This is a right hand mani because the nail art on my left hand was amazing and I didn't want to take it off but I really wanted in on the challenge.

Flakie and holographic dotticure

I returned to my favourite style of manicure- the gradient dotticure. This time I used a pale pink base OPI Bubblebath which I got really cheap in a set from TK Maxx. I then dotted over with Ray of light by Deborah Lippmann and Moondance by Topshop.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Hidden holographic tape mani

I decided to do a taping manicure over my Topshop holographic polish Moondance. I went for something very simple, just three diagonal lines but this looks really classy and makes your nails look longer.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Topshop Holographic Moondance

I was really fancying a holographic polish and happened across this one in Topshop. This is Moondance a pale blue linear holo and it applies very nicely in two coats (over a base coat- which I've heard can be a problem with some holographic polishes) and still retained its holographicness after top coat. So without further ado:

Taylor Blue- Paint it Forward

I saw the Taylor's Gift Campaign on another blog (I don't recall whose) and loved the colour and loved the bravery of this family. I believe fully in Organ Donation and am on the Organ Donor Register myself. So this is OPI Taylor Blue with an accent nail of Topshop Moondance and L'Oreal Confettis.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Emily de Molly and Norway Nails

I found a nail store I hadn't heard of before called Norway Nails and they had a few beauties I'd been hankering after in stock. In particular they have piCture pOlish Revolution the base designed to make taking glitter off easy which is sold out everywhere! I also bought two polishes by Emily de Molly; Abstract Canvas (also sold out in most stores) and Majestic Flight. I was so excited by these two polishes that I did it again and put one on each hand. The polish was dispatched within a couple of hours (on a Saturday!) and arrived by Tuesday. It came beautifully wrapped in a black gift bag with a ribbon andI also got a free sample of OPI AvoJuice hand and body lotion which is amazing! So here is my haul:
As soon as I saw Majestic Flight I fell in love. It's a sheer turquoise polish with lime, green, copper, blue and purple glitter and I'm fairly certain that there's some shimmer in there as well. It looks amazing in the bottle, it looks amazing on the nail and it is opaque in three thin coats which is what I'm about to show you.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Cadillacquer- Live Free and Remember Me

My mail from Cadillacquer has arrived! I was so excited to discover another indie brand which is not so far away that shipping is horrifically expensive. Cadillacquer is based in Sweden. I got two different polishes, Live Free from the Such is Life collection and Remember Me from the Do you See what I See? collection. They are absolutely beautiful in a really toned down but unique way. If people just glanced at my nails these polishes look like speckled pastel eggs, if you look closer though the glitters really pop out of the polish. Having small glitters as well as large ones adds complexity and there is some shimmer in there also. I love the circular glitter, it's a new look for me. This is a photo heavy post but I hope you enjoy it, I was trying very hard to capture the beauty of these in the poor English weather (no sun for me).
Here is a combined pic of both bottles
Live Free on the left is not as peachy as this on the nail and Remember Me on the right is a minty green

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Nail art with Orbit

So I added to my swatch from yesterday of piCture pOlish Orbit with some glitter on my left hand and some hearts on my right hand. Left hand first, I added some Girly Bits Eight Crazy Nights on my ring finger and thumb as accents. It was perfect for Orbit.