Thursday, 31 May 2012

Sh*t Nail Polish Addicts Say...

Today is the last day of May! Hooray! For making it to the end of the month here is a little gem that I found on YouTube. I could relate to most of this, so I'm sure you will too. Enjoy!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Dressed In Lace

First off, I just want to do a quick update on the last design I did. I was SO surprised at how long my polish lasted! Because of the thickness of the polish on the tips I was convinced they would chip after a couple of days. Alas, they lasted 5 days without chipping. I was in shock. None of my little pearls fell off either which surprised me after so many of the diamontes fell off my Crown Jewel design after just 24 hours. Guess I just got lucky with that one, which I was so happy about because I really did feel very pretty with that design on my fingers. I had minimal tip wear, but that was to be expected.

So on to my next design. You might remember back in April I did a post on water decals and mentioned that in addition to the swirl design that I showed in the photo that I liked layering a lace design over my lilac purple polish. Well since last night I needed to do a design that wouldn't take too long to dry before bed, here it is!

This time I've taken step by step photos so that you can understand a bit better how the decals work. The ones that I've used are from this seller on ebay, but if you search 'lace water decal' there are are lots of other ones available. Some of them work slightly differently, so make sure you check the instructions before starting.

Step 1: Choose your nail polish colour based on what colour your decals are. If your decals are a dark colour pick a light coloured base, and vice versa. My decals are black, so I've picked OPI's 'Do You Lilac It?'.

Step 2: Cut your decals out individually, cutting as close to the edges as possible. Then cut each one down to size for the nail you'll be placing it on. Make sure you do this before you paint your nails, because I guarantee you'll smudge them if you wait. At this point I also suggest filling a glass or small bowl with water, and keeping that and some tweezers close by.

Step 3: After applying your protective base coat, apply your coloured nail polish. Wait for it to become touch dry (or completely dry if possible) before continuing.

Step 4: For the next two steps, I highly recommend doing this one nail at a time. Using your tweezers, pick up a decal by the top corner and dip it into your water for 20 seconds or so. Place the decal onto your nail and slowly slide off the backing paper. If the backing doesn't come off easily, dip the decal into the water for a little longer. While the decal is still wet, slide it around your nail until you're happy with it's placement.

Step 5: Once the decal is dry enough that you can't freely move it anymore, use your nail file to gently file away the excess. I suggest using more of a 'swiping' motion and going from top to bottom rather than side to side, as going side to side can cause damage to the design. I find that once the design is sort of perforated at the edge of your nail you can gently tear the excess away without much trouble. (I hope that made sense, if you're still unsure please leave a comment and I'll try and explain it another way!).

Step 6: After repeating steps 4 and 5 for all your nails, make sure there is no water left on your nails and that the decals are dry, then apply your clear top coat. Make sure you cap the tips to really keep the decals in place.

So that's it! Very easy, so it's great for beginners. The first time I did this was back in November last year, I was just starting out and my nails were fairly short, so it works on short nails too. On short nails though I found it looked better with the decal placed just on the very tip for a french tip effect rather than having it cover the majority of your nail. Enjoy, subscribe, and if there's anything in particular you want me to try please don't hesitate to ask :)

UPDATE: One of my nails broke, so here's a picture of what the design looks like on short nails compared with long nails:


Thursday, 24 May 2012

Sugar And Spice And All Things Nice...

...That's what little girls are made of! As you may have gathered I'm a real girly girl, so this design is sugary sweet.

I've used OPI's 'Happy Anniversary!' (silver), 'Got A Date To-Knight' (pink), and 'Do You Lilac It?' (purple). I've also used some 2.5mm half pearl embellishments that you can buy on Ebay. Try searching 'nail art pearls'. Once again I have to apologise for the poor lighting in my photos. My light bulb blew again. I'll have to experiment with taking photos in another room of the house sometime.

Step 1: Apply your protective base coat and then paint your nails in your silver colour. Let it become touch dry before continuing.

Step 2: Using your pink colour, paint the section of the tip of your nail like I have in the photo below. I didn't use any tools to do this, just the brush that comes with the nail polish bottle. Depending on the formula of your polish you may need to do 2 coats for opacity. Let it become touch dry before continuing. (Click the photo to enlarge it if necessary).

Step 3: Using your purple polish, repeat the shape you painted with your pink polish but on the other side of the nail tip. Once again, apply 2 coats if necessary.

Step 4: After letting your nails dry a bit, apply your clear top coat. While the top coat is still wet place a pearl in the centre of the purple section. Follow with another layer of top coat just over the part of your nail where the pearl is to secure it in place. Alternatively, use nail glue to glue it on. Do this before applying your top coat.

So that's it! Very easy, although somewhat time consuming because you need to let the colours dry before applying the next one. This design will look good on short nails too :) If you want to know a trick for picking up the pearls and other rhinestones check out the 'rhinestone picker' in my Tools section. Love it? Like it? Hate it? Let me know by selecting one of the Reaction boxes below :)

Monday, 21 May 2012

The Crown Jewels

Hello! I told you those cat nails wouldn't last long. Besides the streaking annoying the hell out of me there was a small incident with an Emu at the zoo wanting to eat the bows, along with my sapphire ring. So here I am with a new design. It's a royal theme this time, purple and gold. I wanted to try combining a few things that I've done so far, and this is the result:

You might recognise the half moons and stripes from my earlier posts. Combined they've created a sort of elongated crown effect.

Before I start this tutorial, there are 2 ways you can go about this:
1) Follow the half moon technique using the reinforcement stickers that I showed you in this tutorial.
2) Free hand the half moon shape on top of your base colour.
I did option 2, simply because I thought that the gold would apply better over the purple than the purple would over the gold. It all depends on the formula of your polishes. If you're doing option 2, follow along with this tutorial. If you're going to do option 1, follow my previous tutorial and join us back here for step 3 onward.

Let's begin!

Step 1: Apply your protective base coat and then paint your nails in a single colour (in my case, purple. I used OPI's 'Plugged-In Plum').

Step 2: After allowing your first colour to dry, use a fine paint brush to paint a half moon shape at the base of your nail using your second colour (in my case, gold. I used OPI's 'Glitzerland').

Step 3: Using your paint brush and your second colour, paint 3 lines from your half moon up to the tip of your nail.

Step 4: Allow your design to dry a bit and apply your clear top coat. While your top coat is still wet, place 3 small coloured stones onto each nail. Place one on each line, staggering them slightly. Alternatively if you want a bit of extra staying power, you can use nail glue to glue them on before applying your clear top coat.

Once again I've found a reason to not like my new top coat. 24 hours after doing this design I've already lost 12 of the 30 stones I put on my nails. Normally I can get away with not gluing small stones in place and they'll last at least a few days. If anyone can recommend a good top coat PLEASE let me know! I'm sure the Queen doesn't have this problem with her jewels...

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Chococat? Is That You?

According to my boyfriend I need to do 'more cuter nails' like my Easter nails. So today I have cat nails for you!

I did these up on my practice wheel, and then realised that the cat looks a bit reminiscent of the Sanrio character Chococat. Don't you think?

Maybe without the bow and my dodgy painting skills...
Anyway, I've done a step by step tutorial for this design if you want to try it. I'm not gonna lie, from a beginner's perspective the cat was a bit of a challenge getting the proportions right. I definitely recommend getting a friend to help you, or at least doing a few practice ones on a bit of paper or something before getting started.

For this design you'll need dotting tools, and polishes in a minty pastel green, light pink, magenta, white, and black. I used OPI's 'Mermaid's Tears' (green), 'Got a Date To-knight' (light pink), 'You're a Pisa Work' (magenta) and 'Peace Baby!' (white). For the black I used Ulta3's 'Midnight'. I've never used Ulta3 before, but I've seen quite a few tutorials that have used the brand. You can get it for $2 a bottle from Big W (in Australia). I figured for $2 I didn't really have much to lose if it turned out to be horrible. As far as using it for detailing goes it does an alright job. Don't know if I'd use it on my whole nail though.

Enough about nail polish brands, let's get started!

Step 1: After applying your protective base coat, paint all your nails in your green colour. Allow this to dry (or at least become touchable without denting it).

Step 2:  Taking your black, use your dotting tool to draw an oval shape in the centre of the nail on your middle finger. Fill the oval in so it's solid. Then add 2 triangles for ears and 2 short lines on either side for whiskers.

Step 3: Using your dotting tool and white polish, put 2 dots inside the black oval for eyes. Let this dry a little and then using your black place 2 smaller dots inside the white dots for the pupils.

Step 4: Using your smallest dotting tool and your light pink polish, place a small dot between the eyes (and down a little) for the nose. Paint a small pink triangle inside each ear (if you wanted to do Chococat for real you could use a light yellow instead of pink inside the ears, and red for the nose).

Step 5: On you're other nails you're going to paint paw prints. Start with your light pink. Using a large dotting tool do one dot on each nail for the 'palm' part of the paw, then using a smaller dotting tool place 4 dots around the larger dot for the 'finger' part of the paw.

Step 6: Repeat step 5 using your magenta colour. If your nails are longer you could do 3 or 4 paw prints on each nail instead of 2. I did more on my thumbnails than my fingernails.

Step 7: This step is optional. I just wanted to use my bow embellishments again. If you do want to add a bow to your design, just pop a bit of glue just below the cat's head and place your bow into the wet glue. An alternative if you want to add a bit of colour is to paint a stripe under the cat's head to create a collar.

Step 8: Allow to dry for a bit and seal with your clear top coat. Finished!

So that's it! I'm very disappointed in my top coat, it's completely streaked all my hard work! Not so much on the hand in my photo, but the nails on my other hand are embarrassing to look at >.< If anyone can recommend a good top coat that doesn't streak your designs I'd love for you to let me know. Just leave a comment below :) I've tried a few and they all have the same effect! This design probably won't last long because the streaking is annoying the hell out of me, so look out for a new design in the next few days or so ;)

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


500 Visitors!

Thankyou to everyone who has visited my blog, it means alot to know that what I've written has actually been read :)

Want to keep up with my posts? Become a follower by clicking the 'Followers' link on the left. I might even post more often if I had some followers ;)

To celebrate, here's a bit of kitten cuteness! (And a clue for some nails I'll be doing in the near future)


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Aztec Chevron

Here's my take on a Chevron design. Has a slight Aztec feel to it too. Aztec seems to be a pretty major trend at the moment, doesn't it? This design is pretty simple, so even for complete beginners this is a good starting point if you want to practice painting lines :) Also looks good on shorter nails!

The colours I've used are OPI's 'Are We There Yet?' (coral), 'Do You Lilac It?' (purple), and 'No Room For The Blues' (blue). I used a size 000 brush to paint the lines. You can get fine paint brushes from newsagents and art supply shops. I think I got mine from Eckersley's in the Brisbane CBD (Australia).

Step 1: Apply your protective base coat, then paint your nails in your main colour (I used coral). Let the colour dry a bit before continuing.

 Step 2: Taking your paint brush and second colour (I used purple), paint 6 lines on your nails in a similar pattern to the ones in my photo below. I found it easier to start with the lines that meet at the centre of the tip of your nail, and then painting the lines on either side of those lines. I chose to do this just on my pointer and ring fingers, but if you have more time you could do this on every nail.

Step 3: Taking your paint brush and third colour (I used blue), paint 4 lines to fill in the spaces between the lines you painted in your second colour. I chose to let my main colour show between the set of lines closest to the base of my nail, but you could fill those in if you wanted too.

Step 4: Apply your clear top coat. This step is important for this design as your lines will probably look a bit bumpy and segmented before your top coat smooths them out.

Alternatively, instead of using a paint brush you can use striping pens if you have them, it will achieve the same effect. Sorry for the dull step-by-step photos, one of the lightbulbs in my room blew last night >.< I also apologise for the glare on my nails in my final photo. Apparently my top coat is just too shiny! Going to have to do something about that...

Beware When Buying OPI Polishes...

A quick note to those of you living in Brisbane, Australia:
As some of you may know, Price Attack at Chermside have recently started stocking OPI nail polishes. However, I've contacted the people at OPI to make sure that they're legit, and they've told me that Price Attack are not an authorised seller of OPI. I quote: "The product they are selling is of questionable origin, discontinued lines and has batch numbers scratched off the bottles". I've bought a few bottles from there, and they seem to check out ok and have batch numbers, but there are so many good fakes these days that it's nearly impossible to tell what's real and what's not. I'd prefer to spend my money on the real thing, so I probably won't be buying any more bottles from them unless there's a shade I struggle to find elsewhere. I guess what I'm trying to say is unless you just like the look of the bottle and don't care much for the quality of the contents, beware where you buy your OPI polishes from. OPI have told me that the only authorised stockists in Brisbane (that are open to the public) are David Jones and Hairhouse Warehouse (I think HW might only stock the Nicole range though?). If you're outside of Brisbane or in another country, just jump on the OPI website to find out which sellers are authorised in your area.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Frostbite Gradient

I've been wanting to try out a gradient effect for awhile, so last night I gave it a go. I gotta tell you, it's super easy and very striking if you pick the right colours. I used China Glaze's 'Frostbite' for the base, and OPI's 'Glitzerland' as the second colour.

Unfortunately, I was so eager to get this done that I didn't even think to take progression photos. I'm sorry! But I promise you it's very straightforward. I'm sure I'll be doing a gradient design again, so I'll make sure to take photos next time. I used these eye shadow applicators, but anything with a spongy texture should work, I just prefer these because the stick handle on them meant I could use them without screwing up my already finished nails.

Step1: Start by doing your protective base coat.
Step 2: Paint your nails in your first colour (blue in my case). Let that dry, because you don't want to screw it up when you're putting on your second colour.
Step 3: Take your second colour and your sponge. Brush some of the polish onto your sponge and then lightly dab the colour onto your nail. Start about 2/3 of the way down and go right to the tip. You might need to remove some excess off the sponge first, as you want the first layer you do to be very light.
Step 4: Repeat this step, but starting about halfway down your nail, continuing right to the tip.
Step 5: Finally, dab a third layer onto the very tips of your nails. If you find that the colour still isn't solid at the tips (which is inevitable as the sponge naturally absorbs some of the colour), use your nail polish brush to apply the colour here.
Step 6: Apply your clear top coat.

Personally I think my colour combo would have looked extra special with a coat of fine gold glitter polish over the whole nail to pull the whole look together, but I don't have one so I'll have to try that some other time. Remember once your nails have dried to wash out your sponge so it doesn't harden up, mine is now useless, oops! So give this a go, it's super easy! Let me know if there's any other colour combos you want me to try :)

Friday, 4 May 2012

Lilac Butterfly Bows

Some of you might remember back in March I bought some nail glue to use with my rhinestones, but I had some issues with removing it because I didn't have an acetone based nail polish remover? Well I bought some remover and finally got around to trying it again. Once again, here's the glue I bought: Nailene Ultra Quick . If you want to read my post from when I first tried the glue, click here.

I still stick by what I said about just sticking smaller rhinestones into your clear top coat, having the acetone based remover did help quite a bit, but there were still some small bits of glue that just refused to be removed that I had to file off. The glue does have excellent holding power for larger objects though, like these 5mm butterfly bows that I used.

Sorry for the uninteresting design, I just wanted to do something quick (still time poor thanks to my study) to try out the glue again. The polish I used is OPI's 'Do You Lilac It?' and the bows and striping tape are from ebay. Search 'bow rhinestones' and 'striping tape'. You'll have to excuse the bubbles in my top coat, it was a new bottle and I didn't anticipate it applying so thickly >.< So overall a low success rate this time, but hey, you can't win them all!