Category Archives: Hints and Tips

Painting Rainbows

Hello lovelies,

How are we all today? I hope you’re enjoying the last of this warm weather while it lasts because soon we’ll be back to cosying up for nights in. I am not too worried about being confined indoors for the winter as a lot of my favourite activities involve sitting quietly at home; painting my nails, blogging, reading and crafts! It seems like a lot of fellow lacquerheads are crafters too, whether it’s knitting, jewellery making or cake decorating.

For those who do enjoy polishing and do enjoy crafting today’s post might be right up your street, as I’ve tried my hand at a polish painted jewelled necklace.

Primark necklace

The necklace itself was a Primark bargain at just £4. I chose this one as I liked the jewel design (there was plenty to paint on it) and I also thought the light pink would be a good base colour to paint polish over.

I’d seen similar chunky necklaces painted in a rainbow array of colours and thought it’s exactly the effect I’d want in my own hand-painted jewellery. So out came all my brights and neons for a colourful painting bonanza.

Painting a jewelled necklace with nail polish

Rather than using two or three thinner brush strokes (as I would if painting my nails) I opted for a quicker option of thick polish strokes. This does call for a steady hand but thankfully my years of polishing have honed this skill nicely. However if you are worried you’ll wobble you could always start with jewellery with bigger jewels/stones.

Lacquer painted necklace

Starting with one bright colour, then moving on to the next and the next, the rainbow design gradually built up. I did choose to leave the ‘pearls’ polish-free though because I’m a bit of a sucker for pearls (although I much prefer the real ones!)

And here it is, the finished necklace…

Rainbow painted necklace

If anyone would like to have a go at painting this necklace themselves just let me know via the Contact Me section of the About Me page and I’ll post it on to you (UK only sorry). I would love to see everyone’s artistic interpretations!

Do you have any craft projects on the go at the moment? Do any of them involve nail polish? Is polish painted jewellery something you’d like to try?

Stamping Saturdays

Hello lovelies,

I’m so sorry I’ve been away so long. The big move happened and it took such a long time to finally get the internet installed in the new house, but I’m finally back! I’ve really missed blogging so much, however I’ve still been polishing and writing and have lots of lovely posts coming up for you over the next few weeks so stay tuned (subscribed)

 

This evening I have something new for you; Stamping Saturday! So this may not actually be new to many of you as the concept has been around forever (…not technically true. See oflifeandlacquer‘s site for full info), but I have never actually posted a stamped manicure on a Saturday before. I have also only ever stamped with the polish that came in the Konad stamping kit I have (white, green and red) but low and behold you can actually stamp with many different polishes.

My choice of polish to stamp was easy peasy; LacquerLust’s Aquamarine is a stunning blue with full rainbow holo. It’s a totally dreamy polish so I knew it would look just as beautiful stamped over another polish.

LacquerLust Aquamarine

 

The other polish choice was trickier. I wanted a contrasting muted blue so as not to take away the limelight of the holo stamp so I chose NailsInc‘s Holland Park Gardens. I got this mini polish in a flower decal set and had only used it once previously so thought it was about time it had an outing.

The plate I used was This Circus plate (NC05) by NailCraze. The only thing better than holo polish, is holo polish stars.

Star stamping plate

Rather than go for a full stamped mani I decided instead to just stamp over the tips. To do this I applied these white tip marker stickers and stamped over the top.

Tip stickers

And here is my final design…

Holographic polish tips

 Finished stamp mani

Holo tips

What do you think? Will you be joining in the Stamping Saturday Phenomenon? 

Trophy Blogger

So I’ve only been blogging here a relatively short amount of time and today I noticed something for the first time – Trophies.

Here on WordPress your likes, posts and follows are all quantified and celebrated with colourful graphics in your ‘trophy case’. Although the gamer in me would love nothing better than to collect as many of these trophies as possible (more, more, more!) there’s a part of me that thinks ‘Hang on there a minute. You mean I could just post any old sh*t and still ‘achieve’ the next level?’

Trophies shot

Like many bloggers out there I put off starting my blog for a long time as I was worried I didn’t have anything original to say and even if I did write something interesting, who would read it?

Thankfully you are reading. Some of you are even coming back and liking and commenting multiple times. To those people (you know who you are) I’d like to say thank you. It means more to me seeing people commenting thoughtfully on my posts time and again, than any trophy ever would.

Yes, I could probably find something to post every day of the week and rack up a higher volume of posts but I hope you’ll bare with me whilst I compile posts that I’d actually like to read, and enjoy writing, instead of the endless swatching many nail blogs seem to have been reduced to.

                                                                             What are your thoughts on trophies? Do they motivate you to blog more or are they unnecessary   graphics and nothing more? Is a blog with more posts better?                                      

 

 

 

Does my Lunula look big in this?

So my lunula are pretty big – I’ve had comments.

 

From my thumbs to my pinkies the light pink moons circle around the bottom of each nail. My thumbs are the largest by far and stretch approximately 1/3 up the nail bed.

 

Is this a problem (you may ask)? I asked, and found my answer on the ‘health’ pages of the internet. Some people have no moons. Some people have little moons. Some people have large moons.

Thumb lunula

Searching the internet produced a number of possible causes ranging from Overactive Thyroid and High Blood Pressure to Calcium Deficiency and Renal Failure!

 

However, rather than drag myself off to the knackers yard just yet there is one very important fact for me to remember – this is nothing new. If my lunula had suddenly become larger, discoloured or uneven I might start to worry but mine have always been big. More to the point so are the moons of all the women in my family. My mum, nan, sisters, aunties all have ample lunula. It’s a genetic trait passed down and NOT signs of a serious medical condition (as the internet would have me believe).

Nail Moons

I personally have no qualms with lunula – large or small it’s all fine by me, but I just wondered what your thoughts are on the matter…

 

Do you have large lunula? Do you ever worry your nails don’t look ‘normal’? Do you find yourself stressing about nail health articles you read online?

 

10 Money saving tips for Lacquer Lovers

 

Dosh

  1. Back to bases. By using cheaper polish as your base for expensive polishes, you’ll still get the colour you love but with just one coat instead of three (saving you over 1/3 of your nail polish costs!)

  2. Use cheaper polish for nail art. Don’t open up your Deborah Lippmann to paint those little daisies. When your working on small designs any polish will do. No need to worry about fancy self-levelling, high-gloss or fast drying polishes when painting intricate designs

  3. Invest in good tools. If your going to spend a little extra, spend it on a quality clean-up brush and a set of quality nail art brushes. Shedding bristles will not only ruin a good manicure but buy sh*te and you will certainly buy twice

Fan brush

4. Invest in a good topcoat. Hours of hard work spent creating a masterpiece can soon be undone by a poor topcoat – smudging, streaking, bubbling, etc. Your nail art will not only look better with a quality quick-dry top coat but will stay looking good for longer hence less need for you to redo your manicure so often

5. Messy manicures. Water-marbling, Sugar Spun manicures, Paint Splatter effect, and sponging are just a few of the messiest manicures you’re likely to encounter, and therefore use a huge amount of nail polish. If you do decide to do these manicures make sure you once again use cheaper polish and not your high-end, limited edition, favourites.

Messy Sponging cu

6. Blogsales. Why pay full price and high shipping charges for nail polishes on their release. Many bloggers will swatch the polish once and then sell it on days later for a fraction of the price. It’s so easy to be persuaded by new releases but if you can hold out and be patient you can grab yourself a bargain

7. Shop around. Many brands will introduce nail techniques and trends that pertain to be new out. However a search on Ebay, Etsy or Amazon means you can find the same decals, feathers, shells, caviar beads, etc. much cheaper than if you buy them off the bigger brands

Caviar Clear

8. Get friendly. Having fellow polish-addicts as friends can bring untold happiness, not least because of the opportunity to swap polishes or exchange gifts. This is even more mutually beneficial if you have polish friends all over the globe as what is an expensive import in your country may be a discount, drug-store polish in theirs, and vice-versa.

9. Get creative. Instead of throwing away your half used nail wraps save them to do some embellishment on your next manicure. Or how about using the very last drops of polish in the bottle to create a saran wrap manicure. Or even keep hold of that freebie eye-liner as an outliner for your next nail art.

Nail Wrap Tips

10. Get together. It’s no secret that the best deals come when you buy in bulk. Next time you decide to make a big polish purchase, ask around if any of your polish friends would also like to buy something. Free shipping, massive discounts and free gifts all come with bigger buying power

So there you have it, my top ten tips. Do you have more money saving tips I’ve forgotten to mention?

Down the rabbit hole

Hello peeps, if like me you often find yourself flitting from one blog to another and then wondering where you saw that awesome nail art idea or who wrote that controversial piece about storing nail polish in the freezer (not advisable by the way!) then have no fear. Allow me to suggest the following:

 

1. FOLLOW the blogs you like. Find somewhere to store them altogether so you never have to wandert around the internet again.

If you don’t have a WordPress account but still want to follow me you can do it via Feedburner here

LUSH feedburner

2. LIKE ME? LIKE MY LIKES? If you find a blogger you like why not see who their favourite bloggers are – chances are you’ll like them too.

I have handily put all the links to my favourite nail bloggers all in one place; check out my Blogroll page and see if any tickle your fancy

 

I personally use Bloglovin as I can scroll through all my favourite blogs easily in one place! I also find it’s a quick way to check out current trends and new polish releases.

 

I hope you find this helpful!

Are there any other tips you have for finding your favourites and discovering new bloggers? I’d love to hear them.

 

 

Love him or hate him this should still make for interesting reading

You may love his nail polish. You may want to pry more into his celebrity connections and clients. You might love a story of triumph over adversity. You might wanna pick up some entrepreneurial tips from one of the nail industries biggest successes.

Whatever your reasons for reading I can see Leighton Denny’s biography flying off the shelves.

I predict there will be lots of interest from those inside the industry and polish muggles alike.

image

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00L123RME/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1402926795&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

At just £6.07 I’ll be downloading it so keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming review!

Is this something you would read? Can you recommend any other essential reading for nail polish addicts?

Is choosing a nail polish by it’s name akin to choosing a book by it’s cover?

 

My I do…(Part 2) post featured a lot of polishes with wedding-related names but does that really make them the best/most appropriate polish? Shouldn’t we be screening by colour and not by name?

I know it’s wrong to choose a book by it’s cover because it’s the content inside that counts, but with nail polish it’s the exact opposite! Instead of putting them all in plain glass bottles so we can say to ourselves ‘Isn’t that just the perfect shade of blue?’ the polish makers bamboozle us with words, of all things! Is Rimmel’s Breakfast in Bed any prettier than Barry M’s Mint Green?

Then there are brands like OPI or Essie who can’t resist a tongue in cheek reference that makes us polish-lovers snigger; I’m not really a waitress and Jamaica me crazy being my respective faves.

Just when we thought it couldn’t get better (more difficult to choose) PicturePolish showed us it’s not just the names that make us smile but the tag lines too – ‘naughty girl, nice nails’ accompanying Badass on the bottle front.

Essie Mirror Metallics

Blue Rhapsody, Nothing Else Metals, No Place Like Chrome

Recently I’ve also seen a lot of nail polishes with ladies names (Zoya has definitely cornered the market on this trick though) and the main problem with these polishes is that I find myself drawn to PicturePolish’s Aurora (oh, the lady in work just had a grandchild of that name, I wonder if she’d like it) or AEngland’s Margot (oh, my sisters step-mother-in law might like that one) despite the fact that I’d never ordinarily buy polish for these people, I just like that there’s a personal connection there.

And don’t even get me started on my own name – Anna Sui (yes the whole collection is adorable) or Anna Andre Paris (what a cute logo!) get my attention purely for egotistical reasons.

Eiffel Tower

Another temptation a lacquer lover might find difficult to resist is buying a polish that represents your holiday. For example:

Nails Inc Bond Street – “I had to buy it we were ON Bond Street during our London Trip”

Jessica Nails Samba Parade – “well I had to get it whilst we were on our holiday in Rio”

OPI Vampsterdam – “it was the perfect souvenir from our girls weekend in Amsterdam”

Though in the defence of polish buyers everywhere if there’s one time you can treat yourself it’s on your holidays!

 

 

So tell me, what is in a name? Are you tempted in by polish names? Have you got a polish named after you?

Scholl Night Mask review

Evening lovelies,

I know some of you will be looking for a distraction from the World Cup football so I thought I’d briefly tell you about a new product I tried and LOVED.

This month’s Glossybox contained, amongst many other summer goodies, a tube of Scholl Velvet Smooth Night Mask. Now I have not mentioned my Glossy boxes previously as this is, and always will be,  a nail-centred blog. However, what I love about this subscription box is you can dip in and out for a month at a time (whenever something featured in the previews takes your fancy). The only downfall, and one I am constantly scuppered by is you can’t tell them what you absolutely don’t want. For me, and my nut allergy, this is a bit of a bummer.

Glossybox

I should also add, for those squeamish about feet that THERE ARE NO PICTURES OF FEET IN THIS REVIEW! I personally don’t mind a pedi pic but I know there are A LOT of feet haters out there.

I loved the look of this box; it was colourful and summery and it was a celebration for 50 years of Superdrug. For some people this was a negative. I saw a lot of people complaining that Glossybox’s original aim was to showcase ‘high-end’ brands. For me the Superdrug box was a winner. Who wants to fall in love with a product they can’t afford or get hold of easily anyway?

Superdrug is one of my preferred high-street beauty stores. It offers all the essentials at a really reasonable price – and that’s not counting all their regular 342 offers.

So the one product I tried the same night I received it was the Night Mask. I did a full at-home pedicure:

  • soak feet in hot, bubbly water
  • trim nails
  • cut cuticles (optional – I actually never do this. 1. my cuticles aren’t very noticeable 2. who’s got time for that?)
  • use a scrub all over the feet (granulated sugar works just as well as expensive scrubs but shh don’t tell anyone)
  • soak again
  • dry off feet on a warm, fluffy towel
  • buff and file nails
  • for stubborn hard skin you can also use a foot file at this point (again it’s optional, some might find it unnecessary)
  • smooth over an intensively moisturising foot cream
  • apply cotton socks while feet are still tacky
  • go to bed (you don’t have to go to bed right away, just leave the socks on overnight)

Another tip here is to do foot treatment and nail painting on two separate evenings. I find that way it helps you concentrate more time and effort on the condition of your feet. Also it means there’s no excess oils lingering on the nail bed that could interfere with polish adhesion.

Scholl Velvet Smooth

So the Scholl Night Mask was lurverly! It had a thick, intensive feel on massaging into the skin that made it feel like it was working to soften the skin right away. The product claims to hydrate for up to 24 hours but I felt the affect days after using – even asking my man days later to ‘feel how soft my feet are’ as I was so impressed with it (and yes, that request was met with the cold, hard stare of indignance).

I’m sure you could skip the socks step but I love to feel my products working hard and the added heat and extra absorption is definitely worth the extra effort.

The 60ml tube costs £7.99, which when you consider how many pedicures you’ll get out of it is a good price for such pleasing results. It’s also the perfect time of year for getting your feet in tip-top condition and sandal ready.

Do you have any pedicure tricks that I missed? Will you be trying Scholl Night Mask?

 

A step too far?

One thing I struggle with is knowing how much is too much. I’ll start with a nailart idea and then think wouldn’t this be great with glitter, crystals, a contrasying accent nail, a glitter topcoat…and before long I’ve gone all OTT and ruined my mani.

The manicure below is a perfect example of this. I began with the idea of bright pastel nails with contrasting coloured V’s – think hazy, festival prisms.

My polishes:

ModelsOwn Pastels

OPI Chromes

My tools:

Top Coat & Tape

Step by step guide:

OTT base

1. Pastel base colours

 

V cut outs

2. Tape of V-shapes and paint centres with chromes

Gravity coat

3. Add a coat of Gravity to the V’s

4. I then painted the whole nail with the Gravity top coat

4. I then painted the whole nail with the Gravity top coat

So, I could have stopped at the chrome V’s, I should have stopped at the Gravity V’s and the full coat of glitter top coat was just way too OTT. If I had been organised and thought ahead I could have used a nail wheel to try out a few different designs before jumping in and painting my whole hand in the design. It’s not just frustrating thinking about the wasted time I spent painting them but also the waste of polish as I only wore this mani for less than 24 hours before changing it!

Green nail CUPurple CUWhite CU

 

So tell me:

Do you ever go one step too far with your nail art? Do you plan your ideas in advance or just go for it? Do you ever hear the voices in your head shouting ‘step away from the glitter’?

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