Monday, 30 July 2012

Sherbet Sparrow

First, an update: I've now added tutorial photos to my last post, Watercolour Faux. If you're thinking of giving the technique a go, check it out.

Now for my current nails:

The first photo is taken in the shade, the second is in full sunlight and the third is indoors.

I hadn't done pink nails in awhile (shock!). I'm surprised I haven't had pink withdrawals, but I guess everything I own is pink so I hadn't noticed. These two colours together remind me of sherbet. In particular the sherbet ice-cream cones you get from Wendy's (in Australia, I think the Wendy's in America is something entirely different). It reminds me of when the sherbet starts to get wet from the ice-cream and starts to turn a darker pink.

This gradient technique was done using a make up sponge. I'll admit that the transition between the two colours didn't turn out as smoothly as I'd hoped, I'll have to keep practicing. I'll point you in the direction of the Nailasaurus' blog (click here) for instructions on how to do this, hers turned out much smoother than mine did.

The colours I've used are OPI's 'Got A Date To-Knight' and 'You're A Pisa Work'. I then stamped the birds from Konad plate Q1 over the top with white Konad polish (I've yet to try experimenting with polishes other than the special Konad polishes when stamping, but I'll get around to it soon enough!).

On another note, for those of you in Australia who are fans of ORLY polishes, they've teamed up with Colette and they currently have 50% off all their full priced polishes online until August 29th 2012.  Just enter the code COLETTE at checkout. There's a maximum of 5 bottles per person and I believe shipping is a flat rate of $5.50. Check them out here. I've never tried their polishes, but at 50% off I might just give them a go. Does anyone recommend ORLY? Any favourite colours? Comment below!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Watercolour Faux

I have a simple design for you today. I love things that are simple yet effective. This look is inspired by the watercolour nails that are popular at the moment. This is the waterless/acetoneless version using plastic. While it doesn't look exactly the same, it certainly has a very similar sort of effect, and is much easier/quicker/cleaner. I love the way the colours blend and overlap so that no two nails are ever the same.

To achieve this:

Step 1: Start off with a protective base coat followed by a coat or two of white polish ( I used OPI's 'Peace, Baby!').

Step 2: Once your white has dried, take a few of your favourite colours that work well together (I've used China Glaze's 'Secret Peri-wink-le', and Revlon's 'Flirt' and 'Minted'). One nail at a time, place a couple of random blobs of each colour on.

Step 3: This bit is the fun bit. Take a small square of cling wrap or other plastic, and gently place it on your wet polish and squish it down a bit, then carefully lift it off. This will cause your colours to run together and overlap a bit, creating the watercolour effect (I recommend pre-cutting your plastic squares before you start painting your nails). You need to do this step quickly before your polish starts to get tacky, otherwise it won't work.

Step 4: Finish up by cleaning the area around the nail and applying your protective top coat. Done!

Have a great weekend, and if you have any designs you want me to try or colour schemes you want to see please let me know in the comment section below and I'll see what I can do!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Crystal Caves

University classes start back tomorrow. Depressing. Where did the holidays go? I'll have to make an effort to keep posting as much during the semester as I do during the holidays!

Today I have a more natural design for you (with a bit of glitz of course). Tada!

The first photo is taken in full sunlight and the second photo is in the shade. I included the third photo even though it's blurry because it picks up some of the rainbow effect that the glitter has in the sunlight that the camera just refused to pick up when it was in focus. Blerhhh...

This is the first time I attempted a real french tip, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I used french tip guides (those slightly curved pieces of tape you use to mask off the tip of the nail) to get a perfect line. I got mine off ebay for a couple of dollars for about 500. I'll admit that placing the tape on your nails takes a bit of practice. It can be hard to get the curve even on both sides of your nail. I recommend using tweezers to place them on. As far as polishes go, I used OPI's 'Peace, Baby!' and 'Barre My Soul'. For those of you who haven't done a french tip before, place on your tip guide and do your white tips, then peel the guides off and do your nude colour over your whole nail (yep, even the tip).

To add some glitz (I may have been watching too much 'Toddlers & Tiaras') I did a coat of China Glaze's 'Fairy Dust' over the top and glued on some different sized rhinestones. I also got the rhinestones from ebay, they came with about 4 or 5 different sized stones in the packet.

For those of you starting back at uni tomorrow best of luck for the semester, and try and stay awake in your lectures. A trip to the campus lolly shop should cure that!

P.S. Thanks to my boyfriend for playing photographer today. I think he secretly had more fun than I did...

Thursday, 19 July 2012


Hey guys, I'm back! Unfortunately my holiday didn't go to plan. Because I'm a nice person who likes to share, I shared my sickness with my boyfriend and we spent the whole time stuck in our accommodation feeling sorry for ourselves. I think my boyfriend now understands why I'm so picky about where we stay though. If you're going to be stuck there, it might as well be nice!

So here's the nail design I did last night. I'm calling it Rockstar (for obvious reasons).

For some reason, this was incredibly hard to photograph. I spent an hour (I kid you not!) snapping away in different lighting trying to get the colours to look right. Every time the gold looked right, the orangy/coral didn't, and vice versa. It's still not quite right, but I've given up so this is what you guys are getting. The gold on my thumb and ring finger is OPI's 'Glitzerland'. On my remaining fingers I used OPI's 'Are We There Yet?', followed by the stars on Konad plate Q1 (using Konad black polish), and topped it off with a fine coat of Essie's 'Golden Nuggets' glitter.

I absolutely love Konad plate Q1. Here's what's on it:

This was apparently a special edition plate released only in the UK, which explains why I had such a hard time finding one. The only place I found that posted to Australia was a seller on ebay. I ended up paying about $25 for it including postage, which is far more than I ever thought I'd spend on a stamping plate, but it's so cute that I knew I'd get a lot of use out of it. If you really want one I suggest doing a search on ebay for 'Konad Q1' every so often. I had to check a few times before this one popped up in my search, but I persisted and now it's mine! All mine! Muahahahahahaha! (Sorry, I think I might have gone a little insane from being stuck inside for so long).

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Make Me A Sandwich!

Hey lovelies! This will be my last post until Thursday or Friday as I'm going on a short holiday :) Unfortunately I've been sick, but I used all the energy I could muster to do one last nail session for you before I leave. This is something I've been wanting to try for awhile, and since I've been low on energy I thought this would be a good time to try it since it's super easy. Say hello to glitter sandwich!

I've typically seen this done with a polish that has a 'jelly' consistency. If you're not sure what a jelly polish is, check out some swatches of OPI's New York City Ballet Collection as all of them except 'Pirouette My Whistle' are jellies. I did some tests with my jelly polishes, but the shades that I have tended to make the colour of the glitter look a bit gross. So instead of using a jelly as my sandwich topper I've used a creme polish that goes on fairly translucent and has a slightly more watery consistency.

The idea of a sandwich is layering. For this sandwhich I used Revlon's 'Blue Lagoon' as my base colour, Technic's 'Carnival' glitter, and one coat of Revlon's 'Powder Puff' to finish.

I bought Technic's 'Carnival' because I missed out on OPI's 'Rainbow Connection' from the Muppets Collection and had heard that Carnival was a good dupe. I don't have RC to compare it to, but Carnival is a very decent glitter polish. It's packed full of sparklies and the brush picks up so much glitter than I only need to dip it in the bottle once to do my whole nail. It mainly consists of red, blue, green, gold and silver glitters, in both chunky hexagon shapes and smaller round pieces. I paid about $4.50 including shipping for Carnival off ebay. In order for me to have obtained OPI's RC (since it's been about 8 months since it's release) it would have cost me over $30, and I'm sorry but I'm not going to fork out that much money. Some sellers were charging under $10 for the other polishes in the Muppets Collection but then charging over $30 for RC. I'm not buying in to that.

I'm off on my holiday now, no doubt I'll paint my nails again while I'm away but I don't think I'll have internet access so we'll catch up when I get back! xx

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Harlequin Blues

I asked on my facebook page what colour you wanted to see in my next design. Thanks goes to Nichole for suggesting bright blue. Every time I use China Glaze's 'Frostbite' it seems to get combined with gold. This time I've used gold diamond/rhombus shaped glitter. I did this last night in a race against time as I was falling asleep, so this could have been a little neater and I apologise for that >.<

To do this I just placed the glitter pieces in to my wet top coat and then did a second coat over the top to seal them in. The glitter is another purchase from the Born Pretty Store. For around $3.70 you get a bottle of gold pieces and a bottle of silver pieces.

The bottles are about 6cm tall with a plug top that's really easy to take on and off, so even if you forget to take it off before applying your polish you shouldn't screw up your work removing the lids. In saying that though, the lids won't just fall off if you accidentally drop it or something. The glitter has a slight holographic look that isn't too overpowering. I think my favourite aspect of this glitter is that it isn't too big, so it sits flat against your nail. As long as you do a top coat over the top to seal them in the corners aren't going to catch on anything. If you want some of this glitter for yourself the link is here. There's also the option to buy just one colour and the Born Pretty Store has free shipping worldwide.

So that's it kids! I'm going away for a few days on Sunday but I'll try and sneak in another post before I leave ;)

Monday, 9 July 2012


I've made some changes to my blog. Good changes. Ones that will benefit my beloved readers.

To start, on the left side of my page I now have links to several ways you can follow me. My facebook page is new as of today, so if you have facebook please click through and like my page! Of course, I would still love for you to subscribe directly to my blog, but if you usually follow your favourite blogs through bloglovin' or hellocotton then the option is now there for you :) If there are any other websites you follow blogs through please let me know. I'm also on pinterest if that interests you.

Secondly, on the right side of my page I've added some useful links to stores that I buy some of my supplies from. Please note, I'm not being paid at all by these companies, they're just companies that I've found provide a good service/product and so I'm passing the information on to benefit you.

So that's what I've spent my day doing! Boring huh? Check back in a couple of days for a new design :)

Saturday, 7 July 2012


I did this design because I'm going to the Abbey Medieval Festival tomorrow for a bit of fun, but every time I look at these nails Lady Gaga's 'Judas' pops into my head. Strange how our minds associate different things with one another.

I apologise for the sub-par photo. It's overcast today and the lighting is not my friend. The red reflecting in the studs is actually my camera haha.

I tried using the tape trick again, this time I used painter's tape instead of sticky tape (thanks to the 'fabulous Sam' for the suggestion. Men do come in handy for something). It worked! So if you want to use tape as a mask when doing your nails, I recommend you go out and get yourself some painter's tape. I got mine from Bunnings for $1, but any hardware store should have it. The label on mine says that it's 'low tack delicate tape'. Seemed appropriate haha.

So here's how I did it:

Step 1: Apply your protective base coat, then paint your thumbs, ring fingers, and pinkies in one colour (China Glaze's 'Custom Kicks' in my case), and your index and middle fingers in another colour (I used OPI's 'Light My Sapphire').

Step 2: Cut your painters tape in to 4mm wide strips (I did this before painting my nails) and apply them on your thumbs and ring fingers in a cross formation.

Step 3: Take the colour that you used to paint your index and middle fingers and paint over the exposed part of your nail on your thumbs and ring fingers. Wait 20 seconds or so and gently remove the tape. Unfortunately, as the painters tape isn't as sticky as sticky tape you may get a little leakage underneath, so touch up any areas with a nail art brush if you need to.

Step 4: Apply your clear top coat, and while it's still wet place your studs on (I'll tell you more about my studs in a second). I found that my rhinestone picker didn't work too well for picking the studs up, so I used one of my dotting tools dipped in clear polish to pick them up and put them in place. Once you're happy with their placement secure them with a second coat of clear top coat.

So now I want to tell you about these studs, because I've fallen in love with them! I had been looking for some studs for awhile, but ebay was for once failing me as they were all ridiculously expensive. Then I found the Born Pretty Store. Finally, studs that don't cost the earth! And free shipping too! Everyone loves free shipping! The studs I bought were the 2mm gold square ones. I'll definitely be buying some more. They're so easy to apply, they just go straight on your top coat and stay secure, and they're relatively flat so they don't catch on stockings or hair or anything else that nail art is notorious for snagging. They're extremely light (being made from aluminium) and smooth too, I don't even realise I have them on.

As a bonus, I just found out that Born Pretty currently have 20% off all their studs so you should definitely go check them out if you've been considering getting some. Click here to go straight to their selection of studs.  I'm not sure when the offer finishes though, sorry! Hopefully not too soon...

UPDATE: Just found out the 20% off studs finishes at 11:59pm CDT on July 10th 2012. For those of you on the East coast of Australia that's about 3pm on the 11th :)

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Ribbons and Kittens

New design! It's Hello Kitty time!

I found these Hello Kitty fimo slices on Ebay. With this design, you could replace Kitty with just about any fimo shape and change your polish colours accordingly. In this design I've used OPI's 'Got A Date To-Knight!' as the base colour and used Revlon's 'Rio Mango' for the red ribbon stripes (painted on with nail art brushes). Rio Mango was one of my Mum's old polishes, and I have absolutely no idea how old it is, but it still works as though it was brand new. I would have to say it's probably at least 10 years old, but I can't find any information on it anywhere. I finished the design with Essie's 'Matte About You' top coat and then glued Kitty on as I found if I stuck her in my top coat she curled a bit strangely. Is that normal for fimo?

By the way, I definitely recommend Essie's 'Matte About You' if you're looking for a matte top coat. I've tried a couple of the cheaper matte versions including BYS, but they just can't compete with Essie. Yes it's more expensive, but definitely worth it. You can buy Essie at Myer (in Australia). Beware though, it does take a little while to dry properly. It doesn't take forever, but I'm used to using fast drying top coats (I don't think there's a matte version of a fast dry?) so I got a bit impatient waiting for it to dry properly and smooshed one of my nails. Lesson learnt.

P.S. My nails match my phone case. Fun!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Retro Splice

Last night I learnt that sticky tape just isn't my nail design friend. This isn't what I had in mind, but I got fed up so this was the final result:

I have no tutorial for this one because it got really messy and I didn't want to get nail polish on my camera, but I started by painting my nails pink (Revlon's 'Sublime Strawberry') and letting that dry before putting triangular shaped pieces of sticky tape on my nails as a mask and painting them blue (China Glaze's 'Secret Peri-wink-le'). I then topped the blue off with glitter (OPI's 'Pirouette My Whistle'). So far so good. Then I peeled the tape off. Well that was a disaster! Half the pink ripped off and the edges of the blue became completely messed up. I fixed the edges as best I could with one of my nail art brushes, but up close it's a bit of a mess still. So no more designs involving sticky tape as a mask for me! There was supposed to be more to this design but I was grumpy with my polish so that was it! No doubt this will be another short-lived design. Bleh...

Maybe I'll try something simple next time. My success is very hit and miss these days ;)

P.S. I've entered my Sugar and Spice design into a nail art competition. If you guys could click here and vote for me it would be much appreciated :)

Monday, 2 July 2012

Fancy Schmancy Wallpaper

I tried using konad again, with a little more success this time:

I actually got the print in the right place! (On the hand in the photo at least). The print reminded me a bit of fancy wallpaper. Just like you would never cover a whole room in wallpaper these days, I thought it might be a bit tacky to do this on all my nails, so I opted for a 'feature wall'. I used konad plate m83, white konad polish, and OPI's 'Light My Sapphire' as the base colour. I then placed some red steel balls in to my wet top coat to finish.

I found that some of my top coats smeared the red colour, so I tested a few and found that China Glaze's 'Fast Forward Top Coat' left the red intact. I found however that the CG FFTC smeared the konad polish, so I used INM's 'Out The Door' top coat over the konad before applying the CG to adhere the balls. Phew!

I'm bored with this design already (it's only been 24 hours!). I wanted to do something a bit brighter and happier, so I'm considering doing my nails again tonight. Check back tomorrow, there's a 90% chance of another design!