Sunday, 1 March 2015

February Round-Up

It's March already! Where on earth is the time going?

Here's a quick round up of my nails this month. There weren't many designs were there?

Which ones do you like? I think my favourite was the gold water marble.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Gold Chrome Water Marble!

I was intrigued to see whether the Models Own Chromes were any good for water marbling, and I wasn't ready to take off yesterday's Barry M Lychee, and I wanted to do something subtle and non-gaudy for once.  I ended up with this look:

This is a base of Barry M Lychee, and then a water marble created just using Models Own Gold Chrome and a clear polish.

I really love how this came out!

At arm's length, this just looks like a nude polish with perhaps a sheen of metallic shimmer. Then when you look closer, you can see the swirly pattern, which I think came out really nicely.

The colour and the pattern reminds me of wood grain, or the gold-edges pages of a fancy old book. 

The Models Own Chromes seem to work really well for water marbling - they spread out nicely on the water and still cover really well. I tested out a few of the other colours on some test nails too, and they all look great. I'm sure I'll have more coming up over the next few weeks. 

Incidentally - I had a moment of brain freeze here. I used latex for clean up on nine of my fingers. It's easy and clean and quick, and means hardly any actual clean up. But I forgot to use it on my right thumb, and spent five minutes trying to find the edge of the latex to peel it off, before I realised that there wasn't one, and that I'd managed to dip almost my entire thumb into gold paint. That took quite a bit of cleaning up!  

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Barry M Lychee

I was all set to do some more water marbling tonight, and wanted to start with a base of Barry M Lychee. But then somewhere along the line I realised how lovely Lychee is on its own, and that I'd never worn it alone, or posted it here without it being a base for nail art.  So I decided to water marble tomorrow, and just wear Lychee for now. 

I was surprised when I checked and found that Lychee was released in 2013! I had no idea I'd had it for that long. This is two coats, without topcoat. 

Lychee is lovely - it's a fantastic formula, and the colour is so nice. It's subtle and work-appropriate, and very flattering, I think. 

It's a great base for nail art - it has featured on this blog in several posts, but never on its own.


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Pink Shimmer Water Marble

I've been off sick today (just a bad headache, nothing serious) so just a quick post of the nails I've been wearing since Sunday. I wore these glossy for a day, and then made them matte.  While the water marbling isn't perfect, and there are a couple of smudgey bits, I still think it looks pretty nice!

I used a base of Barry M Cotton, and then marbled using Pink Punch, Rose Hip and Dragon. I then covered up the worst of the smudges with a topcoat of China Glaze Travel in Colour for the shimmer. Then I used Barry M Matte Topcoat for the matte effect. 

This reminds me of ice cream!

Even my right hand came out quite well! (Although I found it harder to tidy the edges!)

I'm a total convert to water marbling, especially now I know about using liquid latex to keep the skin clean for it - see my post here

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Thermal Red-Black with Secret Stamping!

I've showed you this Dance Legend thermal polish before (see post here), but last time I wore it, my nails were very short. While the polish looked good, I was looking forward to seeing what it looked like now my nails are longer again. 

The answer is - pretty damn good!  There's some tip shrinkage here from the Seche Vite topcoat, as I'd been wearing this for a couple of days when I took these pics. 

This is two coats of Dance Legend Termo 181, with topcoat for shine.

This is a red to black jelly polish, full of red and gold glitter. When it's cold it's a glossy black, with some of the glitter hinting through. When it's warm, it's a gorgeous orangey-firey red. 

This is immediately after holding my hand under the hot tap...

And this is the polish gradually cooling down on the tips...

And this French mani look is the appearance it's had for most of the last two days - warm fingers, cool nail tips. 

This morning, I wasn't ready to take this off yet. So I stamped over the polish with Konad Black and MoYou London Pro XL 14. 

When cold, the stamping isn't at all visible. It's just black polish with a few bits of glitter. 

But when I come inside from the cold, the design starts to appear!

And a bit more...

And a bit more... 

And a bit more!  I touched up the tips slightly with the Konad Black to cover the shrinkage. 

I'm thrilled with how this turned out! I think it looks really cool and quite elegant. It sort of reminds me of posh damask wallpaper or something.



Monday, 16 February 2015

Liquid Latex - Bargain Nail Art Clean-up Help!

I'm quite excited about tonight's post!  I've been lusting after something called Liquid Palisade over the last few months, having seen it on other blogs. It's a paint-on rubbery substance that protects cuticles and skin on your fingers before messy nail art, and which then can be peeled off. However, it's quite pricey (about $22 US), comes in very small (10g) bottles, and is quite hard to get hold of in the UK. Then last week I saw someone posting about using cosmetic liquid latex for the same thing (if you know which blog it was, please do let me know, and I'll credit!) and I thought it seemed a brilliant idea.  

At the weekend, I was near a Hobbycraft, and popped in. In the fancy dress make up section they had these little bottles of liquid latex for £3!  It's designed to make warts and wrinkles and fake skin for wounds and so on, but it's perfect for nail art! 

This bottle is 28ml, so not huge, but bigger than Liquid Palisade, and £3, so much, much cheaper! 

There is no brush, but I just used a small paintbrush.

Step 1: paint a coat of latex round your finger, getting close to the nail but not touching the polish. 

Step 2: allow to dry - the latex turns almost clear. This is where Liquid Palisade looks better, as it's coloured, so you can see it more easily. But maybe I could add food colouring to this?

Step 3: do your nail art. In this case, I stamped using Models Own Chrome Cerise and a MoYou London plate. 

Step 4: Allow polish to dry, and then peel off your latex. It comes off in one big stretchy piece. 

Step 5: You're done!  This was the nail immediately afterwards - but you can just rub the skin a bit and any extra bits come right off. 

This was the result immediately after removing the liquid latex. I didn't do any clean up at all! The reason for the random colours and patterns is that I was just experimenting with different polishes (these are all Models Own Chromes) to see if it made a difference - it didn't seem to!

It was a bit tricky to clean up the brush afterwards, as I left it quite a while and it had gone all gummy. I think next time I'd wash it straight away, or maybe try using a cotton bud. But I can't wait to use this for water marbling, as it's ridiculously easy and practical!



Sunday, 15 February 2015

Models Own Chrome Green Stamping

My nails for tomorrow are a combination of two of my latest purchases - Barry M Fondant and Models Own Chrome Green. 

This is two coats of Fondant. This is a really nice, pale lilac colour, one of the new Gelly releases. Formula is like the other Gellys - really good and highly pigmented. I like this one a lot.  

I then stamped over Fondant using Models Own Chrome Green and the MoYou London Tropical XL 11 plate. 

The Models Own Chromes stamp really well. I love the high shine metallic finish in contrast to the creme base, so I didn't use topcoat. 

What I did use for this mani, which is new to me, is something that was really exciting (at least, in my opinion!)  I will tell you all about that tomorrow! 

Barry M Coconut vs Barry M Cotton

As you may have noticed over the last few months, I'm a huge fan of Barry M Coconut, from the Gelly range. It's really good for nail art, and has become my white polish of choice. It's not actually white though, it's a very slightly off-white.  We've just had a few new colours added to the Barry M Gelly range, including Cotton, which without seeing them together, looked very similar. 

On the left here is Coconut, with Cotton on the right.

As you can see, there is a difference, but it's a pretty subtle one! So, do you need both? 

I've applied them here on alternate nails. Thumb, middle and little fingers are Cotton, index and ring fingers are Coconut. This photo is in fairly bright direct light, and shows how Cotton is brighter and whiter, with Coconut being very slightly beige-white. It's not a huge difference though!

This photo is in the less bright light of my living room. The difference becomes much more obvious here, although again, it's fairly subtle. 

This photo was taken outside in daylight, and again, shows the difference between the shades. It's far less obvious outside. 

As far as formula and consistency goes, I really like both. Coconut is a two-coater, definitely (although I know some people like three). Cotton is a bit thicker and more pigmented, and if you're one of those people who does quite thick coats, you could get away with one, especially if you're going to do nail art on top of it.  While I'd never wear all-white nails (too much like a 14 year old playing with Tippex!), Coconut is slightly more flattering and less harsh if you were going to wear it on its own. I have surprised myself how much I do use white polish though - either as a base under neons or sheer glitters, or for stamping, or under water marbling, or for blending into gradients or for freehand flowers or dots or stripes... and so on!  If you're doing that, then I reckon either polish is good, and I think I need both!

If you're still stuck, here's a handy dandy flowchart to help you!

(My colleagues will tell you how much I LOVE a flowchart! They come second only to spreadsheets in the list of things I love.)



Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Dior Rouge Maya & Black Rose French Tips

I've been away to my parents' for a few days, so haven't painted my nails or posted here. But now I'm home and I've borrowed my mum's Dior Rouge Maya. Isn't it gorgeous?

This is two coats of Rouge Maya. One was very almost enough, but one or two nails weren't entirely opaque, so I added a second. I wore this for a day without topcoat, and it was a bit dull on the surface by the end of the day, so these photos are with topcoat. 

This is a really lovely consistency and quality, and I love the flat, rounded brush. 

Tonight I then stamped over the tips with Konad Black and MoYou London Mother Nature plate 11.  

I like the idea of this more than I like the execution - Konad Black always seems to smear slightly and end up looking disappointing. I need a better black stamping polish!  Still, I'm quite pleased with how this ended up. 


Thursday, 5 February 2015

Invisible Stamping Fail!

Oh dear. This seemed like such a good idea at the time, and it did look pretty in giant close up under a bright light. But as soon as I stepped away from my nail painting table with its bright light, and took off my glasses, my stamping became entirely invisible!

I started with two coats of Rimmel Pro Ultra Violet, a fab lilac polish which I really like. 

I then stamped using Barry M Lilac Foil, and MoYou London Pro XL 14 plate. 

It's pretty isn't it? But I really wish I'd stamped using white, or gold, or dark purple. Or SOMETHING other than this! 
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