Category Archives: Nail Art

Waterfall Nails

Hello ladies (& gents),

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend in the sun? It’s just started raining here which is welcome as I was so busy today and the clammy heat was the last thing I needed. I thought I’d share with you a manicure I tried out midweek (and it’s still going strong).

 

So I first saw this manicure on thenailasaurus and had to give them a go. I wasn’t in love with my first attempt, but I did get some lovely feedback so tried again.

Waterfall thumb nail

It’s actually a really easy technique – anyone with a striping brush can easily achieve great results – and as I hadn’t shared my results here on the blog I thought I’d better give it another go.

Plum Waterfall

The colours I chose are perhaps more Autumn/Winter but I was a little bored of all the bright neons and pastels. I felt like I’d neglected my purples so I used Estee Lauder Insolent Plum as my base with a dramatic metallic combination of No Place Like Chrome and Nothing Else Metals both by Essie.

Waterfall Manicure

So what do you think? Are you a fan of the waterfall mani? Are you bored of the summer colours yet (or is that just me)?

Stars and stripes

Hello there peoples,

I’d like to start by saying a huge apology to all you lovely readers. The eagle eyed amongst you might have noticed I’ve been AWOL for the past week. Unfortunately I’ve been fighting off a throat infection (even the absence of tonsils couldn’t save me from this one) but I just want to reassure you that I’m back and keener than ever to show my dedication to this blog and all you lovely people.

So it’s a day early but I thought I’d share my 4th of July nails in tribute to all my lovely nail fans from the US of A. Instead of doing a traditional stars and stripes manicure I thought I’d do some red, white and blue concept art.

 So here it is;

The pictures here are without a topcoat. I’ve used nail art pens for both the blue brush strokes and the white dots.

Ola Amigo!

So England’s out of the world cup; boo! But that doesn’t mean we have to stop with the football themed nail art; yay!

 

My offering today is less literal than many of the Brazil manis I’ve seen out there. I just took three polishes – yellow, green and a flakie topcoat – to produce a Brazil-esque carnival manicure.

World Cup Nails

The colours are representative of Brazil and the pattern and shimmering flakes are in homage to the dynamic, carnival spirit.

Brazil Nails

If anyone’s looking for a sunshine yellow polish with good coverage, I’d highly recommend Rimmel Mellow Yellow.

Carnival Nails

So what do you think of my Brazil nail art? Have you painted a World Cup manicure of your own yet?

Announcing the full list of themes for the OMD2 Nail Art Challenge

Check out this awesomenail art challenge. Anyone can join in and there’s even prizes!

Ciate Feather Manicure Kit

 

Evening nail lovers, I hope you’re all enjoying your weekends so far? I’ve been busy with chores today so what better way to unwind after a busy day than try out a new manicure.

A few weeks ago I posted the Ciate Feather manicure kit as my Weekly WANT and for once I actually bought it. The kit was on sale at ASOS and had free shipping so this box of loveliness cost me just £10.50 -bargain!

Ciate Feather kit

I had been wanting to try the feather technique for a while but couldn’t decide what kind of feathers would work best. The great thing about these Ciate kits is they take all the guesswork out of things; with their ‘how-to’ guide and every item you could possibly need all in one place. I have a few other Ciate kits now: Caviar and Chalkboard. I love keeping them in their original boxes because they’re easy to store and keeps everything you need for the manicure in one place.

Feather box contents

So here it is, my very first attempt at the feather manicure. Like many of these creative kits I am sure practice makes perfect and after a little fine tuning this manicure could be looking much sleeker so please bare with me.

Feather overhang

Step one – I painted my nails with two coats of Ivory Queen. I did consider choosing another base colour from my own collection (white maybe?) but for ease I tried out the polish that came in the set.

Step two – paint over the polish with a generous helping of top coat.

Step three – Whilst the top coat is still tacky lay a feather over the top and gently dab into place. This part was a bit of a struggle. You want the coat wet enough to stick the feather but dry enough not to smudge the polish as you smooth the feather down – tricky!

Pink feather hang

Step four – trim around the sides of the nail to neatly fit the feather onto the nail.

Feather fan

Step five – and this step is just my own; dab a little more topcoat under any edges of the feather that may be lifting at this point. I found the denser feather at the nail edge took a little more polish to fully stick down. I also spent a few extra seconds this time holding the edges in place.

Step six – use the buffing block to shave off any smaller feather pieces by running across the nail edge. This part worked perfectly as the harder block buffed away the tiniest feather pieces to create a really smooth finish

Final feathers bright

Step 7 – more copious amounts of topcoat help to seal the feathers down. Just make sure you run the brush the same direction as the feathers; the opposite way to what you usually paint. This is another difficult one to get your head/hands around and I ended up with A LOT of polish over my cuticles and fingers, Clean up most definitely required!

Feather fingers

So here is it, the finished feather manicure. I love all these bright feather colours but especially the green feathers as the smaller green dots were more defined. You get four different feather colours in the box – I can’t help thinking if only it was five there would be a different colour for each nail.

Bright Ciate feathers

Overall

I love the finished effect and I am positive with a bit more practiced I could create a more polished finish in a quicker time. However, it was a bit of a faff – the dry times, the sticking up bits, and the uneven bit were my finger smudged the polish all make it a lot of effort.

Perhaps if I try this again I’ll just use the feather as an accent nail.

Ciate does describe this manicure as ‘long lasing’ though so depending on how many days wear I get out of it the effort may be worth it. I’ll let you know once I’ve had them on longer.

Feather mani

So what do you think? Have you tried the feather manicure technique? Would you be tempted to get the Ciate kit?

 

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’?

I do…Accent Nail

Happy Friday peeps!

I have lots of fun things planned this weekend. One of them being a course tomorrow morning which I promise to blog about at a later date. It’s a topic I know nothing about so I’m also a little nervous but I’m sure I’ll learn some useful stuff so it’s also pretty exciting too!

So far we’re up to Part 2 of my ‘I do…’ series of posts and today I thought I’d elaborate on one of the wedding nails themes: the accent nail.

This is the perfect choice for anyone who’s wanting to do their own nails for the big day, or if you’re looking for subtle sparkle rather than in-yer-face bling.

NailsInc Accent nail

Here I am using two of my all time favourite polish brands – Jessica Nails and Nails Inc.

 Accent nail bottle shot

If there’s one time when you don’t want to scrimp on a cheap polish it’s your wedding day. Jessica Nails Berry Burst is a lovely dusty, muted pink. This lends itself perfectly to being accompanied by the silver-lilac glitter of Nails Inc‘s Devonshire Street.

 Berry Burst accent manicure

The pictures here show two coats of Berry Burst (it’s fully opaque with no visible nail line) and one coat of Devonshire Street.

 

Nowhere else could we have put the accent nail for a wedding manicure than on the ring finger – if nothing else it’s a helpful signal to your groom where he’s to place the ring!

 Finished manicure

Jessica Nails polishes always have a superb formula which is glossy and self levelling. However I’d still strongly recommend a good base coat and quick dry topcoat.

 Berry Burst manicure

There’s nothing worse than creating a beautiful manicure only to smudge it five minutes later! I have used a generous amount of SecheVite. It smooths out the glitter and adds an extra protective layer to your polish.

 

It’s also worth noting that no two pinks are alike; some lean more red, others have more blueish tones. It’s important you try them out against your skin and not just pick from the look in the bottle. It is doubly important to test if you intend to tan for the big day as what suits you pale may well clash with your tanned skin!

Is an accent nail the way to go on your wedding day? Would you have done something different on your ring finger?

MAY Nail Art Challenge

Another day, another challenge. Today’s #NAILARTMAY theme is Aztec so I thought I’s use one of my So Susan polishes to create a nice summery look.

Aztec blue nailsAztec thumb CUAztec nails holding sunglasses

I began with a base of Smurfette, then added dots, lines, stripes, triangles and wavy lines of white to build up the Aztec pattern.The white pen is from BarryM. I finshed with my usual Seche Vite topcoat.

 

There’s nothing more summery than bright Aztec patterns; it just shouts sunshine and festivals and exotic travel.

Have you tried Aztec print nails? What’s your favorite nail art for summer?

Polish combinations

Hi guys,

As you may have guessed from my post earlier this week I am settling in this evening for a night of awesomeness that is the Eurovision song contest. However I thought I’d take a brief minute to share with you one of my all-time favorite polish combinations.

Essie Mint and Sephora Flakie side by side

For me the ideal mix of colour and pizzazz comes in the form of Essie’s minty green Turquoise & Caicos and the lilac/gold flecks of this Sephora flakie topcoat.

Final manicure

Marriage made in heaven!

Do you like to mix and match your polish? Do you have a favorite combination that you just keep coming back to?

May the fourth mani

Do or do not, there is no try. Thankfully I did. Here is my Star Wars nail art for the Nail Art May challenge.

I started by browsing the internet for inspiration. I have to admit I’ve never been a fan of Star Wars, and it’s been a good few years since I’ve seen any of the films. My freehand nail art isn’t fabulous – especially as I couldn’t find a lot of my nail art pens, brushes, etc. (we started packing already for our big move in the next few weeks. Exciting!) so I started with a few quick sketches to get my creative juices flowing a little.

 Pencil sketches of Star Wars nail designs

Anyway, I settled on some very basic designs that everyone could recognise; Leia, the death star, R2D2 and a light saber.

I used a white base for simplicity and drew on my designs using a pink pen from the Ciate Chalkboard kit. Star Wars nails have been seen year on year so I thought I’d make mine a little different (more feminine?) by using brighter, non-traditional colours.

So here it is – my tribute to the fourth of May.

 Final shot of pink Star Wars Nailart

So what do you think? Did you attempt this theme of the challenge? Are you a Star Wars fan?

 

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