Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Blue-White Gradient with Stamping

Tonight I've got one last post for June. I don't usually do nails or post them this late in the evening, but I was in the mood for a gradient, so here I am.

This gradient started with a base of Barry M Coconut, the off-white Gelly. I then sponged on a gradient of Barry M Huckleberry and Blue Grape. Sadly, I switched to bargain pound shop sponges, and they're rubbish - there are lots of little lumpy particles stuck to my nails!

After the gradient, I used Konad White and MoYou London plate Mother Nature 14 to add the stamping. The design is actually branches and blossom, but I think its abstract-looking enough to look nice in this colour scheme.      

Sunday, 28 June 2015

French Mani with Freehand Florals

I toyed with the idea of keeping my French mani plain for a day, but I just couldn't do it!

I used a fine paintbrush with China Glaze Mingle with Kringle and Jacava Blackberry Fool in order to do this design. It's only simple but I do like it. 

The gold lines are a bit thicker than I meant to do, but I suppose that doesn't matter. 

What do you think? 


Classic French Manicure

Just a quick post for now to show you what I've just put on my nails. I realised earlier that I'd NEVER worn a classic French tip mani, so I thought I'd try it.

This is Essie Blanc and Essie Mademoiselle. I used tip guides to get a clean line. 

I like how this looks! It's very plain though, so I'm going to do some kind of nail art over the top.  

Friday, 26 June 2015

Opi Color Paints: Glitter Rainbow Curves!

This morning, Emma from Em's Little Corner spotted this gorgeous mani by PiggieLuv and shared it with me because she knew I'd got the OPI Color Paints recently.... and wow! What a fantastic design! I knew I had to have a go at doing my own version.

I did mine a bit differently, as I didn't want to paint white over the top of glitter and end up with it lumpy, and certainly didn't trust myself to do neat lines freehand. Instead, I started with a base of white (Barry M Cotton) and use curved tip guides to tape off the central section of the nails. 

Then I painted a silver glitter over the curved central section. This is 2true Sequins Christy, which is a lovely dense one-coater but with small particles which won't overlap the tape too much.

I topcoated over the silver to make it smoother (Christy has a rough finish to it), and then used the Color Paints to paint my rainbow. I removed the tape, added more topcoat, and there you go.

It's not as fantastic as PiggieLuv's, but I'm pretty damn chuffed with this! The Color Paints look fab over glitter, and I love the contrast of white and the colours. I included this blurry photo because it shows how glossy and juicy these colours are!

What do you think?

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Born Pretty Feathers & Bird Stamping

Today I have another Born Pretty Store stamping plate to show you. This is plate BP-58, which is available here for $2.99. As you can see, this plate has lots of cute birds, and some lovely individual feathers.

I did two looks with this plate, one with a full nail design and one with an individual feather. 

This first design has a grey base of Nella Milano Mercury Haze. I then stamped using the birds on a wire part of the plate and Barry M Silver Foil.

The plate stamped really well, apart from that one spot on the tip of my index finger - that was my fault though, not the plate's.  

The second look I did was with the peacock feather in the centre of the plate. I started with a base of Chanel Peridot, which is a polish I just love for its gorgeous greeny gold finish. I had initially planned to stamp using a bright turquoise metallic blue, but apparently none of my polishes were suitable as they just didn't show over the gold. Nothing to do with the plate, it was just the polish wasn't pigmented enough. 

Instead, I used China Glaze Don't Make Me Wine, which is a gorgeous dark metallic reddy purple. This stamped beautifully, and I love how this looks! Don't look at my poor stumpy thumbnail!  It broke badly across the corner a week ago, and is still not really presentable.

This looks fab in the evening sunshine!

I think this is a really nice stamp, and I can definitely see this one getting a lot of use. I think the cute cartoon birds in the heart would make a lovely spring or Valentine's mani.

The plate is currently $2.99, but you can get 10% off using my discount code.  

I received this product for review purposes, but words and opinions are entirely my own. I do not receive anything if you use my discount code, although when it's been used ten times, BPS will let me host a giveaway for my readers! See my Disclosure page for more details.


Sunday, 21 June 2015

More OPI Color Paints!

Following on from yesterday's big post about the OPI Color Paints (click here if you missed it!) here are two more quick looks I did this morning while I was experimenting with them. 

This is my first attempt at leadlighting. It's not the tidiest, but I do love the effect! I started with a base of Silver Canvas, then stamped using Laqa & Co Black Gloss and MoYou London Holy Shapes XL 04. Then I used a fine paintbrush to add the Color Paints in the spaces. 

This gradient look was done with a white base. I then added a stripe of Color Paints down each side of the nail (yellow and pink, and yellow and turquoise) which I then dragged sideways using the polish brush. Where the yellow and turquoise meet, they make green. Where the yellow and pink meet, they make orange. I love this effect!


Saturday, 20 June 2015

OPI Color Paints!

Ever since I first saw the press release for these, aaaaages ago, I have wanted the OPI Color Paints polishes! They're described as "blendable nail lacquer" colours that can be combined for all sorts of artistic effects. Officially, these aren't on sale in the UK until July 1st, and will only be available in Selfridges. However, they are available on Amazon from lots of different sellers. I bought a set of the minis, as I couldn't decide on what colours I wanted, and didn't want to spend a fortune buying several and then be disappointed. 

This set has Silver Canvas, the 'undercoat' polish, and then 5 of the 8 colours: Primarily Yellow, Chromatic Orange, Pen & Pink, Purple Perspective, and Turquoise Aesthetic. 

How sheer are they?

They're sheer, but very pigmented, so they're nowhere near as sheer as polishes like the Sheer Tints.  Depending on the colour, some are more sheer than others. They are beautiful, glossy and pigmented jellies.

Here are, left to right, Primarily Yellow, Chromatic Orange, Pen & Pink, and Purple Perspective with one coat each.

Here they are with two coats each.The yellow is obviously more sheer than the others. The purple in particular is almost opaque. But I love how juicy and glossy they all are!

Do I need the silver base?
Well, it's going to be up to you. You probably don't need this specific silver base. Do you need a silver base? No, but it does do something different to the polishes. 

Here is Turquoise Aesthetic left to right over the silver base, no base, and a white base.  As you can see, the polish is less streaky over the silver base, and the colour pops much more. On its own, you have the sheer effect and less colour-pop, and over white you get the colour-pop but have some streakiness. Which you prefer is going to be a matter of personal taste.

How does the silver compare to other silvers?

Left to right, I used Models Own Chrome Silver, Barry M Silver Foil, OPI Silver Canvas, and OPI Push and Shove.  These are all one coat, except the Models Own, which is two. 

The Models Own Chrome Silver is good for stamping, but I find it hard to use as a polish on its own as it is quite thin, and drags a bit on application, so ends up streaky unless you're really careful. As you can see, it's a bit uneven in application. The Barry M Silver Foil is excellent for stamping, but nothing special to wear on its own.  Silver Canvas is nice and even. OPI Push and Shove is really nice as a shiny chrome, and is definitely shinier than the others here. I found the two OPIs very similar in application, although Push and Shove is more of a mirror-shine. Silver Canvas is really nice to apply, and isn't nearly as brush-strokey as many metallic polishes are. If you already have a silver chrome/metallic that you like, then you probably don't need Silver Canvas too. 

I tried  the Color Paints over all the silvers. As you can see, they're much of a muchness, so if you already have a silver you like, I wouldn't buy another just to use with the Color Paints.

How do they compare to the OPI Sheer Tints?

Very well! I was really excited when the OPI Sheer Tints came out, but they were so disappointing. Formula was gloopy and thick, and the colour was far more sheer than I'd hoped for. The Color Paints are what I hoped the Sheer Tints would be. 

Here I've compared Purple Perspective and Don't Violet Me Down from the Sheer Tints range. Left to right is one coat of Don't Violet Me Down over silver and on its own, then Purple Perspective over silver and on its own. This is typical of the difference - the Sheer Tints are very pale, just a hint of colour, where the Color Paints are very pigmented. The formula of the Sheer Tints is also really difficult to work with as it's so thick and sticky.  The Color Paints have a much better formula - it's much less thick, and not at all gloopy. It seems strange to me that the formula can be so much thicker on the Sheer Tints, and yet the colour less visible, but I suppose that was what they were going for. Anyway, Color Paints beat Sheer Tints hands down for me.  

Do they water marble?

Yes. I struggled to get the mini bottles to drip well, which meant that the colours dried more quickly than I could work with, but the actual spread is really good, and they look really zingy. 

Left is over silver, right is over white. I think my issue was only because the mini bottles are so small that you need to be careful with the brush, so the dripping takes longer and leaves time for the polish to dry on the surface of the water. With full size bottles, I think this would be fine. 

Do they stain?

Generally, no. But you probably need to be very careful with Turquoise Aesthetic!

Can you stamp with them?

No. But you can stamp with black over a base, and then use them for leadlighting. This is my next mani plan for these - I'll add a link here when I've tried this!

What can you do with them?

Lots of things! Here are two designs I did. 

This ruffian design uses the Silver Canvas base. I then painted on Chromatic Orange and Purple Perspective on alternate nails. I also added a stripe of another colour over the original - Primarily Yellow over the orange (which doesn't show) and Pen & Pink over the purple (which does!). 

I wore these for a day, and loved how glowy they were. 

My second design was this freehand flower art, which I did using all the colours and a fine paintbrush. I don't have the green one, so I used yellow and turquoise together. 

I love how this looks! 

It really glows in the evening sunshine!

What's the formula like?
It's good. Even and smooth, and not too thick and gloopy like the Sheer Tints, but not so runny that it floods the cuticles. Application is nice and easy, and drying time is normal.   

Overall, I LOVE this collection. I am definitely going to buy the red one in a full size, although I'm not sure I need the darker blue or the green. I may well also buy some of these mini colours in the full size, although I need to wait til after pay day!


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Subtle Pink and Rose Gold Stamping

Today's nails were very subtle! I was hoping for more contrast between the base colour and the stamping, but I do think the final effect was very pretty and work-appropriate!

I started with a base of China Glaze Pink-ie Promise, and then stamped using Barry M Caspian, a pretty rose gold from the Aquarium collection, and MoYou London Tropical plate 11. 

The stamped design is actually part of a tropical leaf, but I like how it looks sort of Art Deco here. 

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Diamond Luxe Gradient

Today I had a play with two of the Models Own Diamond Luxe polishes, and came up with this lilac to purple gradient. 

The Diamond Luxe polishes work really well for a gradient - they're nice and thick and opaque, and the shimmer is so pretty. 

I was going to stamp over these with something gold, but then I broke another nail, so I ended up taking everything off so that I could fix it. 

Still, I was pleased with how the gradient turned out.



Saturday, 13 June 2015

Sunset Gradient with Stamping

For a while now, I've been wanting to do a sunset gradient. But unlike most of the sunsets out there that I've seen, I wasn't interested in doing palm trees in silhouette against the sunset. I'm not a beachy person, and sunsets with palm trees don't say 'summer' to me! So what does? ELECTRIC GUITARS of course, haha!

Not that I've been able to do it for the last couple of summers, but there is NO better way to spend a summer evening in my opinion than at an E-Street Band show. Those of you who know what I mean will understand!

Anyway, on to the gradient! I did this using OPI Play Til Midnight, Barry M Pink Punch, and Barry M Full Throttle. I then stamped using MoYou London Rockstar 01 and Laqa & Co Black Gloss. 

I love how these came out! The clean up was a bit of a nightmare, but I think it was worth it!
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