Wednesday, 30 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - tutorial

The penultimate prompt! We're definitely in the home straight now.

For this prompt I followed a Bokeh Circles tutorial by HG Nail Design.

I painted my nails white, diluted some blue acrylic paint with water, and dabbed it onto my nails in dots before using a cotton bud to mop up the excess water/colour. 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - inspired by the supernatural

Despite the fact that we don't celebrate Halloween in Australia, I have a fair number of Halloween-themed stamping plates... such as the one I recently bought from MoYou. Slightly odd! But I love the whole lot of Halloween imagery.

For this manicure I painted my nails using Peita's Polish in Ghost Gutz, a lovely lurid green holo. I then stamping using MoYou's Festive plate 16.

Monday, 28 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - inspired by a flag

Am I the only one who finds this a bit of an odd prompt? Although I did love seeing everyone's take on the theme last year!

A few days ago I went on a tour of the US Embassy here in Canberra. We saw some beautiful buildings, including the inside of the ambassador's residence, and toured the grounds. It was great. At the end we all got a show bag with a bunch of American themed items (American flag pen! American flag fan! American flag grill glasses!) and I just had to pay homage to America's enduring love affair with its flag. And it was a good chance to use some of my unused stamping plates... ;)

I painted my nails white with Essence's Wild White Ways, then stamped using plates BM-H25 (for the abstract flag and the eagle) and Winstonia W114 (for the Statue of Liberty). I used Mundo de Unas stamping polish - originally I used "Red" on the stripes, but it was a bit thin so I switched to "Reddish" instead and got a better result.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - inspired by art

A while back I saw some very cool manuscript nail art from Break Rules Not Nails. I wanted to try something similar for this challenge. A while back, I'd stumbled on an article about a popular and charmingly odd medieval manuscript theme: knights fighting against snails. I found an image I thought I could fit on my nails from an article about knights and snails called Snail Jousting. The article talks a bit about the role of knights fighting snails, and the blog Hunting For Snails has more images and more information if you're keen to learn more.

Here's the image I chose:
Knight jousts snail, Frontispiece to Le livre des enseignments des visces et des vertus France, N.(Picardy)(From the British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts)

I started by painting my nails white, as the decals are a bit transparent. I took the water decal I'd printed earlier of the illustration, cut it to fit on each nail, and then topcoated it to stick them on. I finished with OPI's matte topcoat to match the pages of a book.

Because my nails are so curved the image is not a smooth from one nail to the next as I'd hoped. Still, medieval knight vs. snail art on my nails = sweet.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - pattern

Some straight-up stamping. I love having matching patterns on all my nails.

This is Sally Hansen's Golden-I stamped with Born Pretty plate BPL-003.

Friday, 25 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - Inspired by fashion

I was going through my stash of nail art supplies earlier this month and came across a bag of little Chanel logos, purchased so long ago I forgot I had them and can't remember where they came from. Possibly from Emily de Molly? #mystery

They totally inspired my for this challenge, so I did the classic black leather Chanel bag.

I painted my nails black (Revlon's Black Magic), waited for them to dry, and then used striping tape to mark out a grid on my nails. I then used Nails Inc's Leather Look polish in Noho (another black) and peeled off the tape - this gave it a great quilted look. Finally I used a wax pencil to position the CC charm on the end of my nails.

So boss! The charms were rather precarious and didn't stay on for very long, since they weren't top coated on. However, I think some nail glue would have fixed that if you wanted to create this look yourself.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - inspired by a book

I couldn't resist. For this prompt, I unwrapped my MoYou Pride and Prejudice plate from the Literary collection.

I have mixed feelings about the plate. I love the books, and I love putting writing on my nails. Yet the way the typography is laid out makes it hard to actually get the full line of the quote to fit, and because everything is squished up together, it means you get a lot of excess stamping on your fingers (and even a bit on your nails). And the main image was hard to stamp - it wouldn't fit on one nail, but was laid out in a way that made splitting it challenging.

Anyone else have this plate? How would you fit the text onto your nails?

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - inspired by a movie

Earlier this year I went to see Mad Max: Fury Road, and I absolutely loved it. So I knew exactly which movie I wanted to do for this prompt!

I made a water decal using a promo pic of the two main characters, Imperator Furiosa and Mad Max, then painted the other nails black and stamped a chrome mechanical pattern using Born Pretty plate BPL-022.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - inspired by a song

I've been looking forward to this prompt! I chose to do a mani inspired by the Box Tops song "The Letter":
Give me a ticket for an aeroplane,
Ain't got time to take a fast train.
Lonely days are gone, I'm a-going home,
My baby just wrote me a letter.

I painted my nails with Ciate's Sugar Plum, then stamped using plates:
Winstonia "On The Road" (aeroplane and tickets)
Cici and Sisi 01 (the clock)
Born Pretty Store BPL-021 (the couple)
Winstonia W102 (the love letter).

The train was a water decal which I made myself, and the heart on the letter was coloured in with Kleancolor Be Wild With Class.

I love having the colours of the stamping decal but I struggle with getting the topcoat thick enough to peel the decal off without getting too thick - i got some bubbles with this, frustratingly.

and here's a YouTube video of the song.

Monday, 21 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - water marble

So I was putting together my post for today, rather late at night, when I suddenly twigged that today was not in fact Inspired By A Colour, but rather water marbling. Cue record screech moment!

Fortunately I had in fact done my water marbling a day in advance so that I would have time to properly clean up my fingers. *sweatdrop* I got back up, did a little more clean-up, and took some photos.

For this marble I used some polishes I made myself! :D It was a lot of fun. I really need to go to sleep so I'm not going to go into details tonight but I might update this post later - comment if you're interested.

My polishes! It's amazing his much you use in a marble mani.

31 Day Challenge - inspired by a colour

Inspired by a colour - this time for real!

I was rustling around in my untried polish stash a while back and found Enchanted Polish's May 2014, an orange holo, and thought to myself how great it would be for Halloween nails.

I pulled out my MoYou festive plate 16 and stamped a Halloween design. I'm a fan!

In the sun

In the shade

Saturday, 19 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - galaxy

Galaxy nails today! I like that it comes directly after half-moons: very thematic.

I was gathering my polishes for this prompt and I noticed that two of them had food in the title, so I decided to only use colours that were food related. I love having little twists like that when I do my nails, like an inside joke with myself... and now with all of you. :)

I started by painting my nails black with the holo Brain Freeze by Glitter Gal, then used a little piece of sponge to add white (Celestial Cosmetics' Snow Clouds), purple (Ciate's Sugar Plum), pink (Ulta3's Fairy Floss), a dark maroon (Ulta3's Mulberry) and pale green (China Glaze's Re-Fresh Mint).

I finished it off by adding a constellation using a dotting tool and a nail art brush - Leo, my star sign. (Diagram from here.)

Friday, 18 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - Half Moon

used hole reinforcements to mark off the half moon, then painted my nails with China Glaze's Grape Pop. I finished off with some freehand outlining (Sally Hansen's Golden-I) for this look - I'm always a bit nervous to do any free handing! But it pushed myself for this challenge and it turned out fine (what a relief!).

Thursday, 17 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - Glitter

Glitter! I wanted to show off the sparkle by contrasting it with a matte finish. 

I painted my nails with Wet 'n Wild's SaGreena The Teenage Witch (love the name) then mattified it with OPI matte top coat. After it dried fully, I used some vinyls from Bundle Monster to mask off the matte part of the design, and used an unnamed China Glaze glitter polish to finish it off.

31 Day Challenge - Geometric

I got a nice water decal sheet from Born Pretty Store (QJ-247) which I've been waiting to use, and this challenge is the perfect time.

To prep for the transparent decals, I painted my nails white with Essence Wild White Ways, which I bought after Gelic recommended it - it's amazing, I only had to use one coat! And so cheap! :D

I then used Revlon's Black Magic for the other nails.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Monday, 14 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - flowers

Just a quick one tonight because I burnt my finger yesterday - it's a lot less painful today, but I'm a bit
tired because I couldn't sleep until late last night.

I painted my nails with Sally Hansen's Brisk Blue then stamped Born Pretty plate BP-28. I really like their plates - they're generally quite well etched, have nice designs, and are pretty well priced.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Animal print

Keeping it simple with some flamingo stamping (MoYou tropical 05) over Kester Black's Periwinkle. I mixed things up with a new claw hand pose.

Not sure how I'll get on tomorrow because I burnt my finger cooking dinner. :( hopefully it heals up quickly.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - stripes

I bought two new polishes today from the Face Of Australia Iconic collection, so I put them to good use with a French themed manicure. I used Miss Congeniality to paint my thumb and two middle fingers white - i used two points but you could possibly get away with one. I then used Not Just A Pretty Face for the index and little fingers.

I then used a striping brush to freehand the pink stripes, and stamped on the Eiffel Tower (Winstonia W114) and the Fleury de Lis (Born Pretty BP-L007). C'est magnifique! 

Friday, 11 September 2015

More dot than polka dot - I attempted a dot-and-negative space mani but it didn't work out, so I went to an old favourite.

I painted my nails white using OPI's Alpine White, after Buff & Polish suggested it on my mani for the Black and WhiteBlack and White challenge - I realised I already had it in my collection. It definitely worked better, at two coats instead of three. I'm also going to check out some of the other suggestions; both Gelic and Buff and Polish suggested Essence polishes so I'm going to head over to Priceline tomorrow and try to snag a bottle.

I then used my dotting tools to dot on orange (Face of Australia's Some Like It Hot), grey (OPI's Embrace the Grey) and black (Ulta3's midnight). Done! 

Thursday, 10 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - gradient stamped with MoYou Illusion

I made a gradient using Ulta3's fairy floss, OPI's Houston We Have A Purple and Ulta3's mulberry. At first I tried to do a scaled gradient buuut it really didn't work. So I did a straight-up gradient and then stamped over it with MoYou's Illusion 01. I'm a big fan of illusion stamping over gradients.

I used a different pattern on my right hand.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - rainbow

I'm trying to continue branching out from just plain stamping, so today I made some stamping decals using Lily Allen plate 07. I then coloured it in using Essie's Twin Sweater Set (red), Face of Australia's Some Like It Hot (orange), OPI's I Just Can't Cope-a cabana (yellow), Sally Hansen's Just In Lime (green) and Brisk Blue, and China Glaze's Grape Pop (purple).

In hindsight, I wish I'd used brighter colours - the purple in particular is too dark. Ah well. I might try using some smaller decals later in the challenge instead of trying for a full nail look, as clean up was a bit of a pain.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - metallic

I knew I wanted to do foils for today, and I decided to challenge myself and do some foil stamping! So I painted my nails gold, got my purple foil out, stamped my nails aaaand - nothing. It would not transfer. :'( 

I tried changing stamping polish, making a decal, nothing. And then I changed to a silver foil and bam, instant success. Lesson learned: purple foil from kmart should be avoided. (I think I got my silver foil from eBay.)

After all that, it was a pretty straightforward process. I painted my nails navy with Kester Black's Periwinkle, stamped a chevron design on using silver konad polish, and pressed the nail foil onto the still-damp stamping design to transfer it. Really pleased with how it turned out in the end!

This silver foil has holographic highlights - here's an out of focus shot to show it off!

And here you can see the foil after the pattern has transferred.

Monday, 7 September 2015

31 Day Challenge: black & white

I love black and white - it's very striking - but it's also so unforgiving! No matter which white I use, I always seem to wind up doing 3 coats, and it takes a while to dry. Maybe I've just psyched myself out about white? Which white do you use?

I painted my nails white with Celestial Cosmetic's Snow Clouds (nice and easy to work with) then stamped over it using Cici and Sisi plate 06. I find that it's really hard to clean up my black Mundo de Unis stamping polish, so I used some liquid latex to paint around my fingers and form a peel-off barrier. This makes clean-up for much faster and more effective, but the smell is quite off-putting and you can be allergic to the latex. Happily for me I have a cold at the moment and can't smell anything. (Well, as happy as you can be with having a cold?!) 

Sunday, 6 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - violet

I've been making an effort to use items from my stash, so today I used two untrieds.

I painted my nails with a gorgeous purple from Essie called The Lace Is On. I decided to stamp it with a lace pattern, as a bit of a nod to the name, so I broke out Born Pretty stamping plate BP-02. (I really love peeling the blue film off stamping plates! So full of anticipation.)

Saturday, 5 September 2015

31 Day Challenge - blue

I had planned to do all-blue nails but the weather was so nice I couldn't resist adding some colour to the mix.

I painted my nails with Kleancolor's Sensual Lagoon (what a name!), a nice matte blue, then stamped the orange seahorses on with Born Pretty's BPL-025. I finished with a matte topcoat from OPI. I really like this look! Unfortunately I smudged one finger getting my camera out. Too impatient. :(

Friday, 4 September 2015

31DC: Green apple nail kit from Academy of Color

Today I used a nail art kit I got from Kmart awhile ago (probably over a year... I'm trying to stop hoarding my nail art stuff and just use it! Does anyone else have that problem?)

This is the Acamedy of Color Apple Gloss kit. It comes with a green apple-scented polish and some apple "nail chips" - pretty cute.

The polish is indeed apple scented. It's still lingering even once dry and is a little annoying, but I don't like scented things in general so YMMV. It does smell reasonably well like apples. It dried to a satin matte finish and I used two coats - easy enough. I then used a wax pencil (from Born Pretty Store) to pick up the apple chips, which was very easy. Here's the finished look!

 However, I have quite curved nails, and the chips just don't sit right on my nails! Perhaps I should have curled the chips ahead of time. As it is, I'm glad I'm changing this mani tomorrow because I doubt it will last and it's a bit annoying to have them stick out. I'm a bit meh about the finished look.

Overall this kit is cute but I would recommend it more if your nails are flatter than mine. That said, it may have been discontinued now. If you do find it, I think it was around $4. So not bad value.

Finally, I was amused by the warning sign on the little vial of apple chips: "This is not food." Glad we cleared that up eh!

Hopefully I've got the InLinkz sorted now too. Blogging on my iPad is a little difficult sometimes; I'm not used to it.

31 Day Challenge: Yellow

Here are my belated yellow nails - I was sick and did them a day late. The 3rd of September is National Flag Day in Australia, so I did some patriotic nails.

I painted them with OPI's The "It" Color, and then stamped using MoYou's Traveller 19 plate. I was a bit impatient with waiting for my nails to dry so I stamped a bit too early, and didn't press hard enough to fully transfer the full image. Still, I like how it turned out.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

31 Day Challenge: Orange

I've been looking forward to these nails: oranges! I stamped with Bundle Monster 308 over Kleancolor Boogie Nights.

31 Day Nail Challenge: red.

*gently blows dust off blog*

I've been gone awhile but it's nice to blog again. I got a bit bogged down in perfectionism and it stopped being fun, so now I'm going to take it easy and enjoy it more.

For today I had a lot of trouble with stamping - I was going to do roses but the image was too shallowly engraved. So instead I painted them holo red with a Enchanted July 2014 and added some round studs from Born Pretty. Simple and effective. The lighting isn't the best to show off the holo sadly.

eta: daylight photo! Sadly the sun clouded over before I could take a photo, but the colour balance is a lot better.