Sunday, 25 January 2015

My First Water Marble!

I am SO excited about this post! Having seen the truly gorgeous water marbled nails out there, I've wanted to be able to do this for so long. I've tried multiple times previously, and just ended up with a huge gloopy mess of revoltingness. I'd given up. Then today I found this wonderful post at Lacquerish, and I felt all inspired to try again. In particular, she pointed out some common errors, most of which I'd been doing!  I tried again, and hey presto!

I started with a base of Barry M Coconut, and then got to work.  I used Mushroom, and 3 Gellys - Paprika, Cocoa and Lychee - to get this look.

While is hasn't come out perfectly (there are a couple of bubbles, and I caught my little finger nail with the tip of the cocktail stick), I'm thrilled with how this came out. It worked exactly as the tutorials say it should! Like magic!

My cleanup on this isn't the best, but I'm not hugely bothered, as I'm so chuffed with my results. The bits round the edges will neaten up after I've washed my hands and used hand cream a few times, and had a night's sleep, so they'll be looking better tomorrow morning. 

On the cleanup note - I do NOT recommend PVA basecoat as a shield on your fingers! I did most of my fingers using a good dollop of handcream as a barrier to stop mess, and it worked well. Then I wondered about PVA peel off glitter basecoat and tried that on the last couple. Oh dear oh dear! Not a good plan. Very messy. I suppose it's because it's water-based, so doesn't go well with dipping in water!

Another happy thing about today - the sun was out!  And it was out long enough to take some photos outside! It's starting to just about feel as though spring might be on the way one day!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Rose Stamping

After my previous ugly yellow and black stamping, I really wanted to make pretty nails!  I did these on Monday night and have been wearing them for the last two days.

I know this base looks white, but it is actually pale pink. This is two coats of Barry M Rose Hip.

I stamped on top using Barry M Blood Orange and MoYou London Mother Nature 11. I love how this turned out, it's so pretty! There was a tiny bit of bleeding from my topcoat in places, but it's hardly visible, so I can live with that. 

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Very Imperfect Stamping

I couldn't decide what colour to do my nails, so I left the choice up to my friend Kate.  She picked yellow and black (aargh!) and this is what I came out with.

The yellow is Barry M Mustard Gelly.  This is two coats. I really like Mustard - as yellows go, it's quite a flattering shade, and the formula is really good.   I then stamped over it using Konad Black and MoYou London Pro XL 01.  

Now, I think I'm about ready to give up on Konad Black! I have never once had a successful stamping experience with it - there is always at least one nail where the stamp either doesn't transfer properly (middle finger) or where it smears with topcoat (several nails today) or where it goes all weird and peels off before I can add topcoat (middle and thumb especially here).  This doesn't happen when I stamp with anything else! So that's it, no more stupid Konad Black! I'm buying something better. 

I'm not particularly happy with this at all. However, I'm leaving them on, as I want to go to bed, and the right hand is much better, and they don't look too bad at arm's length.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Nella Milano - New Brand Review

Today I have another new brand for you!  Nella Milano is a new company - you can see their website here, where all their polishes are for sale. I love the range of colours on offer - they look so bright and zingy and pretty!

I have two to show you, Mercury Haze and Chestnut Road. Strangely, out of all the colours I already have, both of these are sort of unique in my collection! First up is Mercury Haze, a pretty grey.

This is really nice grey. I think it has a greeish edge to it, which makes it quite different to other greys I've tried.  It's a very slatey grey, which I like!

This is two coats of Mercury Haze. I added topcoat, because I wore it to work for a day, but it didn't really need it, as it's really glossy already.

I also wore this for another three days with stamping over the top (see my previous post), and I can confirm it wore really really well, no chips, peels, tip wear or anything else. 

My second colour is Chestnut Road. I first thought this would be a blood red vampy colour, but with the second coat it's definitely more of a rich chocolate brown, with reddish tones. 

Isn't it gorgeous? This colour really is right up my street!

This was almost a one coater, although I did two for perfection. This is with topcoat, but again, it really doesn't need it. 

The bottles are nice - they look elegant and simple, and I like the swirly pattern on the lid. The brushes are really nice - narrow (which is definitely my preference) and quite firm, and comfortable to use. The formula on both of these was excellent - thin, without being runny or streaky, no pooling round the cuticles, no lumps, bumps or splodges. Both were beautifully even and smooth, and dried very quickly. I'm really impressed!  These sell on the Nella Milano website for £8.95 each, which is in the OPI/China Glaze price range. They don't have the colour range of either of those brands (yet) but of course, this is a brand new company.  I think the quality of the polish is just as good though, and the brush is definitely far nicer for me than the OPI one, which I find far too wide. 

You can follow Nella Milano on Facebook here, where they have just released a special offer! For the next 5 days, you can get 50% off any order! I think that's a total bargain, so I've got my eye on quite a few colours there!

You can also follow Nella Milano on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest

These polishes were provided for my honest opinion. See my Disclaimer section for more details.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Grey and Silver Filigree Stamping

Just a quick post tonight - I've been pretty lacking in nail mojo so far this year!

This is a base of a pretty grey creme from a new brand, Nella Milano. This is two coats of Mercury Haze. I'll have a full review of this and another colour coming up in the next few days.   

I stamped over this using Barry M Silver Foil and the MoYou London Pro XL 06 plate, using the pretty filigree design. 

I really loved how this came out, and have worn this for three days. 

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Pink and Gold Negative Space Stripes

This was my first nail design of the new year. I've worn this for the last couple of days - which slightly brightened up my return to work.

I did this with striping tape over bare nails, then painting Barry M Dragon over the side sections, and Binky London Gold Rush along the middle section. 

It's simple and basic, but I really like it!

Friday, 2 January 2015

New Year - New Storage

Well, not NEW storage, but rearranged storage. 

I keep my polishes in some Ikea Benno CD towers. I started with one, and then expanded to two. Recently, my stash has grown (I've got about 400 bottles now) and I was starting to struggle to find things.  

This were my shelves this morning.  I tidied up a big shelf on one of my other sets of shelves (I have two other big sets of Billy shelves and one other Benno) to make space so that I could move these CDs over and free up the mini shelves here for polish. 

I moved my multicoloured glitters across and split them from one compartment to two, and then moved my golds and silvers across. 

This is now the top of my tall shelves. The very top is topcoats and bases, and a couple of Seche Vite kits. Then the blacks, which are still one compartment, the browns, which are now two, the oranges 3 (instead of 2)...

the reds are 4 (instead of 2), and the pink, purple and blue get an extra compartment each. 
The poor yellows don't even get their own compartment! I only have 4, and one of them is a mini.

I'm pretty happy with this for now. I'd love to have my polishes on a wall somewhere, so that they're all lined up and all visible, but I don't have that kind of space! So for now, this is pretty and tidy. 

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

My Favourite Posts of 2014

Everyone seems to be doing review of the year posts, so I thought I'd join in.  So here are my favourite posts of the year - the designs I liked the most, was the most proud of, or which drew the most positive comments from you! Click the links to see the original posts.

In January, my favourite post was my Polish Party January Blues

In February I was really proud of these nautical seascape textured nails

In March I was getting excited about spring, so did these Spring Waterfall nails to mimic spring grass.

In April, my favourite was my Fifth Doctor nails, with matching Who ring. 

In May I used Barry M Gellys to freehand these roses

June was awkward, because I was away on holiday for two weeks, and then had a bad break which meant I wore a nasty fake nail for a couple of weeks too. I did have this pink gradient though, with a matte pink glitter topper.

In July I went to Wimbledon, so I did Wimbledon nails, with a fuzzy tennis ball accent nail. 

In August I made some neon stripes

In September I was in love with this gorgeous 3D nail charm and used it in two different looks, including one with a louboutin gold reverse nail.

In October, I was really pleased with these lightning bolt nails using the Barry M Glitterati collection.   

In November, I liked these silver snowflakes over a white-grey gradient.  

In December I didn't do much! But I quite liked these blue and white chevrons

What do you think? Which of these do you like most? Was there something you liked better that I've missed out? 

Negative Space Snowflakes

Hello! Not only have I not blogged for two weeks, but I haven't painted my nails at all either. I had bare nails throughout Christmas... Plus they've all broken and chipped and had to be cut short.

Today I have a very simple look for my first nail painting in two weeks. I started with bare nails and stamped over them with Konad White and MoYou London festive plate 02.  

I thought this looked really simple and pretty!  

I then thought it was a bit plain, so I added a coat of China Glaze Travel in Colour topcoat, just for a wintry sheen.  I think that looks much prettier!

 What do you think?

Friday, 12 December 2014

Blue and White Chevrons

I recently won a giveaway hosted by the lovely Claire at Kerruticles, and won not one but FIVE different sets of stencils by Smart Nails.  These are the first ones, the chevron design. I decided to make a nautical style colour combination of blue and white. 

This is two coats of Barry M Pearl, from the Silks range. The stencils are really neat little squares of plastic with the design cut out - they're tinted, so that you can easily see where they are on your finger. They stick down nicely to the dried polish, but not so firmly that they lift the polish. 

I used Barry M Blue Plum to paint over the stencils and make the chevron design, and then peeled off the stencil. I really liked how crisp these lines came out - when I've used stencils before, the polish flooded underneath in places and made a blotchy mess. 

I really like how these came out!  I know it's not festive (I'm not feeling Christmassy!) but I'm off to see Anything Goes! at the Crucible tonight, and I know there are sailors in it, so my nails are sort of appropriate. 


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