Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Duri Polishes - Swatch and Review

Today I have something very exciting - my first ever official polish review!

I was a very lucky girl to receive a little package of Duri Polish products from the official Australian stockist PINK TIGER, who were kind enough to let me pick the polishes I wanted!

I chose the Rejuvacote that every one seems to be going mad about (I just had to see for myself what all the fuss is about!) and 2 polish colours. I will be reviewing the Rejuvacote at a later date,  in about 10 days - ish so that I can put it to proper use and see the difference it makes before voicing an opinion, so today is all about the gorgeous colours I chose, Summer Peach and Voodoo!

I chose these colours for 2 reasons, the first being that pinks and oranges are shades that are somewhat lacking in my collection and at the moment I am working towards getting a good collection of all shades, but there is a reason that I specifically chose this particular orange and pink, and it's because even after an extensive Google search I couldn't find existing swatches of these 2 polishes online anywhere!

So I am presenting you today -  with what Google search leads me to believe are... the first ever swatches of Duri Summer Peach and Duri Voodoo! (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong but I couldn't find anything!)

So first we have Summer Peach and the name says it all, a gorgeous pastel peach creme polish.

This first picture is taken outdoors in natural light, it was quite a cloudy overcast today but I think the cloud cover was just a thin veil as it was still bright enough to take this picture which shows the colour perfectly! This is undoubtedly a pastel colour but leaning on the darker side and quite strongly pigmented with colour.

 This second picture was taken indoors in artificial light and makes the polish look slightly lighter in colour with a cooler tone, but oh so creamy and delicious! The reason I don't have so many oranges in my polish collection is that it's not really up there amongst my favourite colours, but I am totally in love with this polish! It is definitely my favourite of orange shades and a welcome addition to my collection!

The next polish is Voodoo and it had a couple of surprises for me, the first being the colour. From the image of the bottle on the website you can see that it is a bright pink, though it's unclear how bright as it also looks quite dark, well... it's bright! It's a super blinding neon colour and the most neon pink I have ever seen! I thought I already had a neon pink in my collection but let me tell you, my ''neon pink'' looks like murky bath water tinted with hair colour compared to Voodoo! It is so bright it practically glows on it's own without a UV light!
The second surprise it had for me which was completely unexpected, is that it's a matt polish! There was no way to know that it was a matt polish, it said nothing on the website and says nothing on the bottle, but it is absolutely gorgeous!

This picture was taken outdoors on the same grey overcast morning that I took the pictures of the Summer Peach, there was no direct sunlight in sight and look at how bright it is!! It leans ever so slightly on the orangey side and the quality of the matt effect is just flawless!

This second picture was taken indoors in artificial light and though it does dampen the brightness a little, it allows you to see properly and appreciate the gorgeous orangy pink colour without being blinded by the neon, and again, how cool is this colour in matt?

As much as I love the matt effect I couldn't help myself, and had to put on a glossy top coat too to see what this baby looks like when it's shiny! 

Again, this first picture is taken outdoors and as you can see the glossy top coat doesn't effect the neon brightness at all, it's still absolutely stunning!

This is the second picture taken in artificial light and still looks gorgeous with the top coat. This polish is beautiful with or without the top coat but I have to say that I prefer the matt finish, it's like having day glow velvet on my nails! I love this pink and I really don't know why I don't have so much of pink in my collection!

Now, looking past the gorgeous colours let's evaluate the polish itself. The first thing to note is that the polish goes on the nail slightly darker than it appears in the bottle, I think the thick glass makes it look lighter, so keep that in mind when choosing your colours.

The application was a litte tricky, these polishes have quite a thick consistency and is quite streaky when you apply it with the brush, the streaks do even out nicely as the polish settles and spreads on the nail though, but you really need thick coats to make sure the streaks even out, they are much more visible with thin coats and don't even out so well. The trick is to apply thick coats with as few brush strokes as possible.

For the Summer Peach polish, a good base coat and top coat made a really big difference and really brought the best out of the polish. With Voodoo obviously a top coat removes the matt effect, but the matt effect was nice enough without needing a top coat, as long as it had a good base coat underneath it.

For these pictures I was wearing 3 thick coats of polish, both base and top coat for the Summer Peach, and base coat for the matt Voodoo.

So there you have it, the first proper swatches of these gorgeous colours! If you don't own them already then be sure to visit Pink Tiger and snap those bottles up before they disappear, they are too stunning to not own them! I will be back next week with a full review of the Duri Rejuvacote, and I will also let you know about the durability of the colour polishes and how well they last as I will be wearing one of these beauties on my tootsies for the rest of the week!!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Nail Art Challenge, Inspired by an Artist - Georgia O'Keefe

Today I got my Llama nails challenge mani which due to all my work stuff I almost missed! The challenges run from Wednesday to Tuesday so I am just in time! Phew!

This weeks artist is Georgia O'Keefe, She does beautiful floral images, some of which represent the female form! She has done so many beautiful images it was considerably easier to chose an image from which to work than it was for Michelangelo last week! This is the image I have chosen for my nailspiration:

As you can see there is a vague resemblence to a ladies secret garden, and the resemblence was very much intended! I didn't go quite so far as to include this imagery on my nails, I have just tried to replicate the colours and the beautiful red petals, so here it is!

The yellow base is Sinful Colours 'Unicorn' (which has come in useful for many designs since I bought it not long ago!)  and the petals were painted using acrylic paints and nail art brushes.

I started by painting the lightest base colour on the nail, all over the area that was going to be covered in the general shape that I wanted, then I layered each colour on top of the base, so orange base, red shading, burgandy edging, and I added some yellow to the corners to brighten it up a little. Using a brush I dabbed some pale orange over the yellow area to give it some texture, and I also added a hint of lilac but it didn't come up very well with the other colours.

Once the acrylic paint had tried I added some top coat and I was done! the petals took quite a while to paint but I think it was worth it, what do you think?

Monday, 29 July 2013

Spectraflair Holographic French Tips

I'm sorry to have abandoned you all over the last 3 days, work will do that! I've been attending an exhibition for my modelling work and it's an all day affair, up in the morning - make up, hair, outfits etc, prancing around at the exhibition for hours and then home at midnight with aching bones and sore feet from 10 inch heels all day! Then you gotta wake up early the next morning and do it all over again! I am exhausted!

I would have liked to have shown you my exhibition nails yesterday afternoon when it was all over, but of course, despite being gloriously sunny when I was too busy with the ehibition to take a picture, it was grey and cloudy when I finally had a moment free yesterday afternoon, and as I'd done fabulous holographic nails to match my birthday shoes, sun was a must!

It did peek out from the clouds for about 10 minutes this morning though before disappearing behind a thick cover of darkness that stuck around for the rest of the day, so I managed to get a couple of pictures done that give the mani justice! Considering I've had these nails on for 4 days now they are still looking pretty good too!

I chose to do the french tip again because I really wanted to use the spectraflair with black to match my shoes and outfit, but I didn't have a lot of free time to do my nails and so a french tip was quick and easy to do.

The black base is Sally Hansen Lacquer Shine No 7 'Lustrous', and the tips are painted with the pure spectraflair solution that I wrote about HERE. The pure solution was a litlle difficult to manage as it dries up very quickly and with the spectraflair powder in it, it turns to a paste which was a bit lumpy to apply so I had to freshly dip the brush in the bottle for each stroke. I think next time I play with the specraflair I will mix it with a bit of polish thinner to see if it's any better.

The crazy holographic glitter topper (which is so much more sparkly than in this photo!) shall remain a secret for now as there will be a great feature all about it later on this week, so make sure you keep an eye out for that!

I will spend the rest of the week making up for the 3 days I missed by bringing you lots of nail awesomeness I promise! x

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Autumn Colours French Tip Art

So today my antibiotics are truly doing their business, my ear still hurts but Im feeling better and my shakes have gone! Time to enjoy my nails again! In keeping in theme with the warm rich tones of yesterdays post and the southern hemisphere's season in which I live, I tried my reduced level of hand shakiness out on a little free hand painted pattern to jazz up a french tip design.

For the base I used a gorgeous polish my friend bought for me from a market in France, (I'm totes lying, she bought it for herself but I needed it in my life so I made her swap me for something else, I can be persuasive like that! Nooo, persuasive, not pushy at all!! lol) the brand is Anafeli colour number 72 and is a beautiful metallic antique rose. For the tips and the decoration I used Revlon 480 'Autumn Berry' and gave the tips some sparkle with Sinful Colours 'All About You'.

I just did the little swirl design as I wanted to keep it simple after the shakes as I wasn't sure how it would go, and it would have sucked to have spent all that time painting the french tips just to ruin it all with a crappy pattern cos I overestimated my free hand painting abilities after being struck down with infection fever!

It's not a bad attempt, and I think I am at least ready for this weekend where I am working at an exhibition as a model Friday and Saturday, so you knows I gotta do something bad ass with my nails! I still didn't get a chance to wear my birthday holographic shoes either, so I reckon that together with a matching mani they will be making their debut this weekend! Exciting!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Jelly Layering with Gold Leaf

I did it! I got my nails did!! I was feeling shitty but I couldn't resist, I was looking at my nekid nails and the nail mail I got from my nail store supplier and it was making me too sad! So I had an idea, if I was feeling unwell and my mani would end up looking a bit messy, then I should do something that is supposed to look a bit messy and nobody will ever know! (Unless I go and write about it on my blog like a douche lol) 

I also realised that despite it being winter here in Australia, my body is trapped in the northern hemisphere's clock and I've been doing mostly bright and summery colours lately, instead of taking advantage of the season I am actually in to wear gorgeous dark rich colours. So I decided to do something about that too!
Wanna see the result?

So my supplier nail mail included some lovely gold and silver leaf, a very fine and delicate metallic foil and I decided to cut it into little pieces and attach it to the nail in a random and messy round about way.
I had to mix it up a bit though, nail art is just never that simple! and I decided to layer the foil between coats of a gorgeous jelly polish I have.
I'm really glad I decided to do layers of foil and this gorgeous burgundy jelly polish, I love the different tones that are achieved from the varying layers of jelly, a lovely cherry colour, deep rose gold and yellow gold.

The foil was easy to apply, I cut it into tiny pieces with my nail scissors and dabbed a few random spots of clear top coat onto the nail, to pick up the foil pieces I dampened the bristles of a nail art brush very lightly and then smoothed the pieces out on the nail with the brush over the dots of top coat. Then I painted a layer of jelly polish over the foil before applying another layer of foil, I repeated this twice before covering the last layer of foil with top coat to keep its original colour on the surface.

The jelly polish I used was LA Girl Fruity ''Blissful Blackberry'', it's a scented nail polish and this is the first time I've used enough of it to actually catch the scent (so far I only used it for accents in nail art) and it's quite strange! You can smell the blackberry but it still has a strong overtone of lacquer, so it seems almost like a berry liquor! Its a spectacular colour too and has a lovely gold shimmer to it. I think this is one of those colours just perfect to bring you warmth in the cold season!

So there it is my messy mani that hides the messy job I did cos I got the sickness shakes!

If you would like some of this amazing foil for yourself, it comes in a pack of 12 pots, 6 gold and 6 silver, (and I really only used a very small piece from one pot to do both hands so it will last a good while!) and you can purchase it from my nail supply store via my Facebook page for only $10 HERE.

Also, if you are loving what you see on my blog, please show some support by becoming a follower through the  GFC or BlogLovin options on the right side bar here! It would be much appreciated! x

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

My Mani-Care Routine

Unfortunately with this ear inection wreaking havoc on my body I haven't felt well enough to do my nails again just yet (they are naked right now can you believe it!?). My head feels like it's drowning, my jaw aches, it hurts to chew, I have swollen glands and a very stiff neck, it's just not a fun time!

So because I don't have any pretty pictures of fab nails to show you all, instead I decided to share my nail care routine which you can find in a new page on the blog tabs above titled ''Manicare Tips''.

Lots of my friends are always asking how I keep my nails so nice, so there you are bitches, all my little secrets on display for you to learn from!
There is everything from how I clean my nails, how I file and shape them, how I take care of my cuticles, how I apply my polish and a couple of tricks I use to make sure my mani's have lasting power!

I did receive a litte nail mail this morning, which would be exciting if I didn't feel too shit to use it, so hopefully soon! Keep your fingers crossed for me that these antibiotics start taking effect soon so I can bring you more pretties!!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Retro Circles with Marker Pens

So I apologize for the slight absence over the last few days, I have got a bit of an ear infection going on and my head feels like it's permanently under water, I haven't felt much like doing my nails and spent most of yesterday afternoon stting in the doctors reception waiting to be seen. Not. Fun.

I had to do something though cos I was bored! So whilst lying on my couch trying to rest as my head felt like it was swimming I did something simple to answer a question that was asked in a comment on one of my previous posts about using the marker pens.

The question was, do the marker pen designs smudge once you apply the top coat? This was a good question that I couldn't answer, as I had done my previous designs using the freezer bag method, by painting a layer of top coat onto the bag, letting it dry and then drawing the design onto that. Once I peeled the top coat off with my design on it the piece had 2 sides, one side which was pure top coat and the other side which had the ink from the drawing, and the inked side I stuck face down onto the nail, so technically the design was already protected with a layer of dry top coat and couldn't be smudged.

So I decided to play with my pens again and put them to the test. This time, after I had applied my polish and let it dry completely, I drew a retro circles design directly onto my nails and then painted over the fresh drawn design with top coat, and this is the result!

As you can see no smudging at all, and I really dragged that brush quite heavily over the design just to make sure it wasn't going anywhere, it didn't smudge even the tiniest little bit so the permanent markers are quite permanent! (Until you get the acetone on them!) 

I apologise for the quality control, for the base I used Revlon 370 ''Smoldering'' (which I must swatch at some point as it's magic!) and it wasn't the greatest of applications, it was quite streaky and got a couple of bubbles in it too, and then it was difficult to get a crisp image of the design when I took the photo's, but that's what a lovely infection will do for you - shaky mani ruining hands! 

I'm on antibiotics now so hopefully in a couple of days I will be feeling better and won't have such shaky hands that effect my work badly anymore! Here's hoping anyways cos my head hurts! Ouch!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

My First Nail Art Challenge - Inspired by Artists - Week 1 Michelangelo

So this week I have participated in my first ever nail art challenge! I have seen a few around that I have been vaguely interested in, but this one I just had to be part of! The challenge is inspired by artists, and there are 12 weeks of pre selected artists to be inspired from, ranging from classic, to contemporary, abstract, and a lot more besides, there is a really great variety. There is also a final 13th week for an artist of your choice. My favourite of all time is not on the list so he will be number 13 and no I'm not telling you who, you have to wait for the surprise! The nail art challenge has been organised by the facebook group Llama Nails and if you want to join in you can find the group HERE.

So week number 1 of the challenge is Michelangelo! What a tough one! His art is so incredibly intricate and detailed, he painted the Sistine Chapel for god's sake! How are you supposed to live up to that?!!!

I wracked my brain for ages trying to figure what would be the easiest thing to do considering all the fine detail that wouldn't fit on the nail anyway, and after much deliberation and searching of google images and I finally chose one and came up with an idea! So this is my image of choice...

And here is the mani I came up with!

For the Index and and little fingers I created a marble statue effect on my freezer bag. I had to mix a couple of polises to get the colour I wanted, and one of them is an Italian underwear store brand that they give you free with your knickers so you will never find it anyway! The middle and ring fingers are the blue clouded sky like the background of the Sistine Chapel images. I used Sinful Colours 'Cinderella' as the blue base, and with a cling film ball I did a white cloud pattern with the Sinful Colours 'Snow Me White'.

The Angel thumb is my little custom made mixture, and the wings are mainly LA Girl Fruity 'Blissful Blackberry'', and I painted it using nail art brushes. It obviously isn't an exact replica of the image but I think it's a pretty good effort!

I'm just glad I managed to come up with anything at all, after having lived in Italy (Rome of all places!) for more than 5 years and having had the fortune to see much of Michelangelo's work in real life with my own eyes, including the Sistine Chapel 3 times! It would have been tragic to have not done anything for this challenge!!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Beach Nails with Dry Marbling

After my first attempt at dry marbling last week (a rather successful one even if I do say so myself!) I said that I had a couple of ideas for the dry marbling technique now that I have it down, and today I bring you one of those ideas!

I have been inspired by a lot of the beach mani's floating around on line and this technique was perfect for it, I love the beach and now that it's winter here in Aus I miss it! So this mani is a reminder of whats to come in a couple of months and will get me through the rest of the cold weather!

Of all the beach theme mani's I've seen around I haven't seen one quite like this, so I like to think that even if the theme is not very original the method I have used is. Rather than the whole beach this is just the shore line where the water laps the sand. For the sandy base I used Sinful Colours 'Unicorn', with a very thin coat of the gold glitter, Sinful Colours 'All About You'. 

For the dry marble sea which I painted onto a freezer bag before transfering it to my nail I used Sinful Colours 'Snow Me White' and 'Cinderella, and the turquoise from my Satin collection, seasonal number 2.

Once I had applied the marble pieces to the nail my husband suggested that I needed to create the foamy effect that the water edge has when it laps the sand (clever boy!), so I did this by adding some white dots to the edge with my dotting tool. I also added a couple of pink irridescent stars as star fish to add an extra bit of sparkle and colour. I am super pleased with how it turned out and think it looks really awesome!

Now I just to have to have the patience until I can actually go to the real beach! GAH!

UPDATE: After posting a pic of this mani in a facebook group I got chatting to a fellow nail blogger all the way over in Canada, who had the idea for a very similar mani and right at the same time! It turns out that we have very similar minds and soooooooo much in common it's actually quite creepy, cosmic forces have brought us together! So I would like you all to head on over to her blog and check out her beach mani too! I'm talking about the lovely Alyssa at Beautyfull Lacquer!

We have decided to tag our manis - Random stanger trans global coincidence bestie twin manis! Say that 5 times and fast if you can! lol

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Striping Tape Mani with Dots

A recent polish purchase was the Sinful Colours 'Unicorn', the mellow yellow featured as the base in my multicoloured henna pattern a couple of days ago. I'm not much of a yellow polish fan and I dont have many, but I really love this colour and couldn't wait to use it again. I thought it would look really nice teamed with a nice bright pink, so I did a striping tape mani to combine both colours on each nail.

I painted the nails alternate colours using the Unicorn and YSNY no18, and then when they were dry I applied striping tape in this 3 stripe splayed pattern and then painted over the tape in the opposite colour to the base. So if the base was pink I painted over the tape with yellow and vice versa. As I had to apply a couple of coats over the tape to cover the polish below I had to wait until the polish was completely dry before I could take the tape off otherwise it would have stretched out the tacky polish and ruined the clean lines. 

Once I removed the striping tape I used a dotting tool to create the spots following the lines and that really jazzed it up a lot, and then covered everything in a top coat. 
This is actually the second time I attempted this mani, the first time I made the mistake of using a coloured striping tape, and when I removed it all the colour from the tape had stained the nail and smudged in with the polish, so you couldn't see the original colours and the lines looked messy and blurred, so I had to take it all off and start again with a colourless tape!

I do really love this colour and was glad to be proven right about it looking awesome with bright pink! Another wonderful addition to my collection me thinks!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Satin Colour Swatch - Holographic Rainbow Glitter

So here it is, the final installment of my Aussie budget brand Satin as promised, and todays is a gorgeous holographic rainbow glitter topper! This is colour number 3.

 Even in the bottle you can see all the lovely shiny colours, the clear polish looks a bit dull and murky but it does go on perfectly clear. The glitter is a combination of small magenta and blue dots, with medium size holographic hex and bar glitter, The magenta and blue dot glitter really make a difference in this polish, in the light the magenta comes up in tones of violet and purple, and the blue lights up in tones of turquoise and royal blue, mixed with the holo glitter it's pretty spectacular!

 As usual the sun was hiding so I had to do these pics indoors, these first 2 pics are in artificial light with no camera flash, and I layered the glitter over a black creme polish so you could see the full colour effect as much as possible in this crappy light.
The application of this glitter was so easy, I didn't have to fish around the bottle to gather them up, and they went on the nail with nice simple strokes and no dabbing. Index and little fingers have one coat, middle and ring fingers have two coats.

The next 2 pics are done with the flash and you can see the magenta and blue dots a lot clearer. You can also see the great coverage you get with just 2 coats on the middle and ring fingers, and the pretty colours from the holo glitters.
These pics still don't do this polish any justice though. To the naked eye the glitter was incredibly sparkly and colourful even in artificial light, and I felt like I had a disco on my nails! In natural sun light this glitter topper would without a doubt be absolutely blinding!

If you love glitter toppers and don't already own this polish I suggest you go out and find it right now, you will not be disappointed! I've seen this brand in a lot of different aussie chemists, and at only $5 for 3 bottles they are an absolute bargain. I didn't see any of these for a while and then found them again in another chemist recently, and they have now added neons to the collection too! Unfortunately I wasn't very flush at that moment in time, but I will be going back at some point to get my hands on those new neon polishes too!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Patterns with Holographic Hex Glitters.

I'm waiting for some nail goodies to be delivered including some special glitters that I have a great idea for (all will be revealed at a later date) so I figured I should get some practise in at individual glitter piece placement! Placing glitter pieces on your nails to make specific patterns is very time consuming, so I settled down in front of a good movie and cracked on with it! 

I was going for a star shape with the glitter and then realised that my 'stars' actually looked a bit like the British flag, so I may have to try this mani again with different coloured glitters and actually do the proper Bitish flag!

For the base I used La Girl ''Mermaids Lagoon'' and it's a really strange polish. When I applied the polish last night sat in front of the TV it was exactly the same blue as you see in the picture above (the thumb detail came out a bit darker), not just in the picture but blue to the naked eye too, but when I woke up this morning it was green! You couldn't even call it a greenish blue, it was just green! I mean a whole different colour! So either I need my eyes testing or the shade of this polish changes completely depending on the lighting!

I know this a green tinted blue, leaning on the teal side, but when it seemed green in the daylight it didn't have a blue tint at all! I'm gonna have to do proper swatches of this polish and find out whats going on! Anyways, I applied the glitter using my trusty dotting tool, I wet the end with my tongue and then stuck it in the glitter to pick a piece up before placing it on the nail, I must have looked quite crazy- lick dab dab, lick dab dab, for hours on end! When I was done I sealed everything with top coat and viola!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Vampy Shoes Need Vampy Nails!

I went to a friends party last night and got to wear a fabulous new pair of shoes that I got on sale from Windor Smith during my trip to Harbour Town a couple of weeks ago. They are black PVC open toe sandals with awesome spikes covering the heel, and being as fabulous as they are a suitable mani & pedi was in order! I wasn't planning on anything special, I decided a bright red creme polish by Mud ''Passionight'' would be best with the PVC and I was right! It looks amazing with these shoes! 

It was nice to take care of my feet, I'm usually as obsessive about my feet as I am about my hands but as it's been quite cold lately they spend most of their time hiding in slippers and I haven't given myself a nice pedi in so long! I admit to having a bit of a foot fetish, noooo, not the toe sucking sole licking kind, but I've worked for years as a model and done many foot based shoots for shoes and stuff, and it's helped me have a special appreciation for feet and to recognise how beautiful they can be (if well cared for!). A great pair of well cared for feet and toes in a nice pair of shoes can be sooo sexy. I don't care how nice your shoes are, the feet inside them make the shoes, and if you've got manky feet then a nice pair of shoes are wasted on them!

Obviously once I had beautiful red toes I had to have matching red nails on my hands too, and I was going to leave it at that, keep it nice and simple and understated...  but I couldn't help myself!!! I couldn't just leave my nails plain red, I was going to a party and wanted to do something as fab as my shoes!  So I did!

I got my stamping plates out and did this snakeskin pattern with plate BM215 and a black creme polish by BYS. Once the stamping was done and the protective top coat was dry, I used some round stickers as french tip guides and painted the tips too. It came up really nice and I think this was the perfect mani to match my shoes! My only disappointment was not having the time to give the same decorational treatment to my toes before I had to head on out to my party! Boooo!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Henna Patterns with Coloured Markers

I was loving yesterday's mani with that bold fish scale pattern and couldn't wait to see what else I could do with my new coloured markers! I wanted to take it to the next level and do something multicoloured, and this time I didn't trace a printed pattern I went totally free hand! I was looking online at different patterns and in the end was inspired by the gorgeous henna designs. They were difficult designs to do really because they are so intricate and there just isn't enough space on the nails to do them justice, but I gave it a try anyway!

 I am pretty pleased with the outcome and really love the colours, I used Sinful Colours ''Unicorn'' for my base and used the purple, blue and pink markers, though in the pictures the purple looks a bit blue, and the blue looks a bit green! The markers are great for doing really small dots, but I'm still convinced that I would get much nicer pattern definition with a finer tipped pen. Until I find those finer tipped markers I will continue to experiment with the ones I have, and I think I need to go find some in silver and gold too!

What do you think of the marker pen idea, is it something you would try?

Friday, 12 July 2013

An alternative to nail stamping?

I love nail stamping and I have a great selection of stamping plates. It's fun, simple (most of the time!) and really decorative but not without it's drawbacks!

It can be quite cheap until you realise you need all the millions of collections of plates available and then discover that you only really like half the designs in the collection you bought, the stampers are cheap too, but another expense is buying so many polishes to figure out which work as not all of them are opaque enough end transfer well. For me it is a  constant challenge finding colours bold enough to achieve what I want and I have read stories from girls who even with the best polihes and stamps can't seem to get it to work at all (a bit like me with the water marbling!).

I bought a gorgeous sparkly green polish in my birthday haul and wanted to do some pretty purple stamping over it, but I don't have a purple polish that works well for stamping and I didn't have the patience to wait until I found one, and then I found some fine tipped coloured permanent markers at Big W that gave me an idea.

I decided to make some DIY transfers using the usual freezer bag with a layer of clear top coat, and then with my coloured markers I traced a printed pattern onto the layer of clear nail varnish.

These are the coloured markers I bought, and are Bic brand ''mark it'' pens, they come in a pack of 5, and there is also a second pack available with pastel colours. These are fine tipped and the colours even have fun names just like nail polish, such as ''playful purple'', ''Key Lime'' and ''Fandango Pink''.

I chose a fish scale pattern and printed it on normal paper in 3 different sizes so I could choose which fitted best on my nail without having to reprint if it was too big or small. I painted a layer of top coat onto the freezer bag, and when it was dry I placed it over the pattern and traced it with the pen.

The top coat has to be completely dry before you can draw on it, otherwise the pen will drag and smudge the polish and your pattern. You also need to hold the frezer bag firmly as your tracing so it doesn't slide around and ruin your pattern, I placed my finger and thumb above and below the area I was drawing on and stretched it out lightly as I pinned it down so it wouldn't wrinkle. It's also a good idea to cut the freezer bag down the sides so you can open the bag up and only have one layer of it over the pattern as you trace, 2 layers of bag slides around a lot too. Once the top coat is dry and you've traced your pattern you can just peel the top coat off the freezer bag with tweezers, cut pieces to fit your nails and then stick the pieces onto the nail with top coat.  It was a bit fiddly at first and you need a pretty steady hand to draw the pattern neatly, but in the end I love the result and I think it was totally worth it.

The Polish I used for the base is QC ''Gem Green''. I love the boldness of the pen colour and the clarity of the pattern, things that are so difficult to achieve with stamping. 

My only complaint would be that the 'fine' tip is actually still too thick and I would have prefered the pattern to be a bit more delicate, but it said on the markers packet that they are also available with a super fine tip and an ultra fine tip, so I will be keeping a look out for those! I didn't see them in Big W so if I don't find them in Office World I will be searching online!
Another great thing about doing patterns with the pens is that you can do multi coloured stuff too! I will be experimenting with that in the next couple of days!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Guest Hands for Leopard Spots!

Today's is a late post as I've spent a lovely afternoon with one of my closest friends who I haven't seen for a couple of months as the poor girl has been drowning in Uni studies! The good news is I was able to cheer her up and give her a lovely manicure and make her forget about the books for an afternoon! 

You may recognise these guest hands as they were present in my first ever blog post giving examples of my past mani's, they are the hands of the lovely feline obsessed Miss Kitt! She loves orange and anything kitty related so this was just too easy and I gave her some lovely glittery leopard spots!

 For the base I used Sinful Colours ''Hazard'' and with a dotting tool I did the black spots using Sally Hansen Lacquer Shine ''07 Lustre''. For the sparkly coloured dots inside the black I used Sally Hansen Lustre ''Lava''. All the spots are done free hand and I think I did a pretty neat job!

 The most entertaining part of the afternoon was seeing Kitts face when I told her that in our nail addict circles we refer to her type of finger nails as nubbins! She was not very impressed with this term and said it made her feel like she had the fingers of a 5 year old child! She wasn't too happy but I thought it was hilarious, maybe this will teach her to take more care of her nails! They may be nubbins but she has some good looking nails under this polish and nobody could call them nubbins if she put a little effort in! (Yes I'm talking to you Kitty! *AHEM*)

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Guest Post for Polished Criminails

Hello ladies, today I have a guest post mani over on the British nail blog of the lovely Rachel from Polished Criminails!

Rachel is a very talented nail artist with a large following and it's so nice of her to allow me to showcase my work on her space. Because hers is a British blog I've decided to bring a taste of Oz to the UK and have done a colourful dotticure inspired by Aboriginal art! 
Make sure you check it out on her blog, and while your there make sure you take a good look at some of her great inspiring mani's too! Just click her banner here! 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Pink Half Moon Tricolour Gradient.

Inspired by the pink polish in yesterdays post I've gone for a pink themed mani today, something simple but quite fun to look at. 

To do this mani I painted the light pink base that was a no namer from a Kmart christmas gift set. I let it dry completely and then stuck round shaped stickers that I bought from the stationary section at K-mart onto the moon area of the nail. Then I painted the middle colour pink YSNY no.18 all over the nail and let it dry, I removed the stickers revealing the light pink half moon, moved them up my nail towards the tip, stuck them down again and painted the tips with the darker pink, Nail Advantage no. 28. If your are going to try this, it's good to start with the lightest colour and make your way up to the darkest, if I had done it the other way around, the light pink polish would have needed too many coats to show up over the darker colours. If you want to do the colours the other way round and layer light colours over the top of dark colours, you are going to need some very highly pigmented polish!

Just the one picture this time as it's so simple it doesn't require much more, it really reminds me of the cheshire cat from the Disney movie (the original one) of Alice in Wonderland! Soooo cute!

There are a couple of things to consider should you stick stuff to your nails that need taking off again, be they round stickers for half moons, french tip guides, masking tape or whatever. First of all make sure that the layer of polish you stick them to is completely dry otherwise when you take it off it will either peel the polish off completely or ruin the surface finish. One thing I like to do with sticky stuff before I put it on my nails, is stick it to my face first. It sounds crazy I know, but with these K-mart round stickers for example, the glue was super strong and even if my polish had been dry, removing them would still have left sticky residue all over my nail. Your face is the oiliest part of your body, and by putting sticky bits on your face first, your skins natural oils will interfere with the glue on your stickers making them only slightly sticky - enough to adhere to your nail but not enough to leave residue or pull your polish off!

Another thing to remember when sticking things to your nail that you will paint over and then remove, is that there are only 2 moments that you can take that sticky bit off, you must remove it immediately while your polish is still wet, or you must wait until the polish is completely dry. If you try to remove stickers while the polish overlapping them is tacky, the sticker will pull on the polish and make it stringy, ruining your nice clean edge.
Personally I prefer to remove sticky bits immediately while the polish is still wet before moving onto the next nail, that way I also reduce the risk of glue residue from prolonged contact with the sticker.

I want to do a proper classic half moon mani at some point, but these stickers I have are a little too big for that, so I'll have to keep looking for the perfect vintage half moon sized sticker and do that mani later!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Satin Colour Swatch - Magenta Duochrome

So I have been promising to get the last 2 swatches from my Aussie budget brand 'Satin' collection done for a while, but it's been put off with lots of other amazing nail stuff to share! I totally have to do it though as I have saved my favourite 2 polishes until last and I will not sleep at night until I have shared the love! 

So I have 2 polishes left, a duochrome and a glitter topper, and today I bring you the duochrome!

 This is colour No. 5 and easily my favourite pink polish in the collection I have here in Australia (I have another huge polish stash in a storage unit in Europe, but it's been so long since I looked upon those pretties that I can't even remember what's in there anymore!) This is a gorgeous magenta colour with a bright violet shimmer that is extremely visible and flashy! I cannot even begin to describe the lovely consistency of this polish, it sort of reminds me of a jelly, but is more like liquid vinyl or resin and has a super glossy finish.

This polish is a bit sheer, this is 3 coats and it's still not completely opaque but it has such a beautiful finish and colour that I can forgive the sheerness! Ive never worn gel polishes as I worry about the removal ruining my nails (that I have worked bloody hard for!) but I imagine the finish is very similar.

And there they are, those gorgeous violet blue tones that would be visible from space. If it's this gorgeous in a photo done with artificial light, can you imagine how this polish looks in real life? There's not a photo in the world that would do this polish justice!

Now you must run out and buy this polish immediately, you know you want to, I don't even have to encourage you!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Dry Marbling with Neons

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am a DISASTER at water marbling. I have literally tried it a hundred times and each and every time has been a gigantic FAIL. It really annoys me because I think it is an amazing technique with so much potential and I feel like I should rock at it, but it doesn't matter what I do, I cannot get my polish to spread in the water, it just sinks in a lump straight to the bottom of the glass. I have tried everything, tap water, bottled spring water, salt water, (water from 3 different countries!) hot and cold water, boiled and freezing water, plastic cups, glasses, mugs, old and new polishes, thick and thin polishes, expensive and cheap polishes, I've even tried adding polish thinner and polish remover to the water, once I even tried oil! You name it I've tried it, but the result is always exactly the same - a lump of polish at the bottom of the cup. I have long since given up on water marbling as each attempt is more disappointing than the last, and I just can't take it anymore! My last attempt resulted in anguished screams, a temper tantrum and a cup of water thrown across the room, followed by a 3 hour sulk. I am DONE with water marbling.

I may have finally found the answer though! Ive seen a few nail designs floating around online tagged ''dry marbling'' and thought I would have a look into it. It involves the trusty freezer bag DIY transfer technique which has become a favourite of mine, but it does not involve cups, water or sinking polish! So I thought f*ck it I'll give it a try! The technique is basically to paint some lines of different colours however you feel like it onto a freezer bag, then run a dotting tool through the wet polish to create pretty patterns, let it dry, peel and stick.

So I gave it a go, rather half heartedly I admit as I was expecting more failure, I wasn't trying for any specific pattern and it was all done a bit randomly. I basically added dots of polish to the freezer bag and made swirly patterns mixing all the colours together, adding more dots as I went to get a big enough area to cover my nails. I have to say I was quite impressed with the result, and rather wish I had made a bit more effort. But hey, we all have to start somewhere and at least I know what I'm doing for next time, so now I can experiment properly! Once I realised that it actually looked quite nice despite the lack of effort on my part, I decided I should try to do something fancy in the application on the nail, and this is the result!

The purple corners are my marbling attempt, I cut these shapes from the piece I peeled off my freezer bag, and the pieces were cut free hand so are not all exactly the same. For my base I used BC & Co shade 16 layered over Sinful Colours 'Snow me White' to make it pop.
I used the same BC & Co colour for the marbling together with Sinful Colours 'Daddy's Girl' and a bright pink polish that doesn't have any brand name or colour on it! As you can see there is no specific pattern, just a few random swirls, so next time I will try to make a nice pattern too.

It has to be said though, for random swirls this is quite pretty and I really love the colour combination. Most of all I am just happy that there is a marbling technique out there that will actually work for me! Now I have figured out how to do it I have a few ideas to play around with, and you can can guarantee it won't be long before I have this shit down, and marbling will finally be my bitch!

I would love to hear from some of you lovely ladies about your own experiences with water marbling, and any useful tips for this new dry marbling technique!

Friday, 5 July 2013

I'm in Holographic Heaven!

I have been wanting to do this post since my birthday in mid June when my spectraflair finally arrived in the post but the weather has not been forthcoming! You really need direct sunlight to get good photos of holographic polishes, and until now there has only been one day of sun which I had to use for some nail art I had to do on a guest post deadline! After my ''stormy night'' post yesterday lunchtime, complaining about the weather, there was finally a crack in the clouds and we had a little bit of sun! Essentially it was still a cloudy day but once in a while the clouds would part and the sun would shine through for a couple of minutes! So I dived on my nail bar and got cracking with the spectraflair pics I wanted to do before the clouds took my sun away again forever! So far, Australia has not been as sunny as I was promised and I have seen more rain than anyhing else since I got here last year, even crazy flooding!

Anyways, enough of the complaining, and onto the nails (which give me absolutely no cause for complaint!) but you may want to grab a coffee as this is going to be a long post!

So this is the spectraflair that arrived in the post on my brithday, this is a 2 gram bottle roughly about the size of a 15ml polish bottle, and is held in a lacquer suspension base as it is now illegal to put spectraflair powder in the post. It cost $30 plus $10 international postage, or you can buy 1 gram for $15. I bought this little bottle of magic from and they also sell real yellow and white gold flake topcoats which I may have to purchase eventually! The shipping times were spot on and it arrived in exactly 2 weeks.

I decided the most sensible thing to do to begin with was to franken a holographic top coat, and though I admit to making 2 mistakes, I am still happy with the results.
The first mistake I made was the choice of top coat to franken. In my mind it made sense to franken my favourite top coat which is from Revlon, so without giving it much more thought than that I went and bought a new bottle and added it to that. Only once I added it did I realise that perhaps this was not the best choice, as the Revlon top coat bottle is made with thick frosted glass, and I wasn't able to see what kind of effect the spectraflair was making inside the bottle! I couldn't tell if it was enough, if I should add more etc. DOH! Once I realised this I basically had to add a drop, swatch it to see the effect, add another drop, swatch it again and so on until I was happy with the result. In the end I believe I added just the right amount which was about 4 little drops.

The second mistake I made was thinking that the suspension base in which it comes would be enough to hold it up in the top coat, but I was tragically wrong and the day after found that it had all settled in the bottom of the bottle. I really should have tipped a bit out and added at least a third of a bottle amount of suspension base, but it would have been tough luck anyway because I don't have any, and the only supplier for it I have found in Australia has a $100 minimum order, which I wasn't about to spend just to franken a top coat!
To be honest though I actually don't mind that it settles. Yeah sure, I have to give the bottle a damn good shaking before I can use it, but the plus side to that is that I can control the amount of holographicness I want! If I want a subtle shimmer I can just shake the bottle a little, if I want full on holo madness I just shake it up a lot! Its like having different strength holo top coats all in one bottle, and as I used only four tiny drops of spectraflair I still have tons left to do it properly next time if I really want!

So once I had my topcoat I wanted to test it on a series of different colours, and when the sun came out yesterday I was finally able to do that! The first test was on white and black, and silver and gold.

The colours I used were:
White: Sinful Colours 'Snow Me White'
Black: Sally Hansen Lacquer Shine 'No. 7 Lustrous'
Gold: BC & Co 'shade 23'
Silver: 10 ''Put a ring on it''

The first thing I noticed is that it shows up much better on darker colours!

(which is usually the case with these fancy effect polishes). Even though you cant see the holo effect very well on the lighter colours, it was much more visible to the naked eye. The camera didn't pick up the holo on the white at all, but I promise that in reality it is very visible and super pretty!

Next I tried the holo top coat on some nice bright colours.

The colours I useed were:
Thumb: Sinful Colours 'Hazard'
Index: Mud 'Meet Minty'
Middle: LA Girl 'Mermaids Lagoon'
Ring: YSNY '014'
Little: A no brand name no colour name polish that came in a bottle that looks like a pumpkin! 

You can see the holo effect on the colours in the picture, but the effect was still much stronger to the naked eye.

Obviously I was then curious to see the holo top coat at it's very best, and so I tried it over a few dark coloured polishes too.

The colours I used were:
Index: OPI 'Live and Let Die'
Middle: Rimmel I Love Lasting Finish 'Go Cobalt'
Ring: Ulta3 'Enchanted'
Little: Nail Advantage '28'

As you can see the holo effect is much stronger over darker colours, and even more so in real life, you just cant tell that those first 3 colours are green, blue and purple and instead look like varying shades of black!

To finish I really wanted to try the holo top coat with red polsihes. I read a post somewhere from a girl who was on the hunt for the perfect red holographic polish and hadn't had any luck, because the holographic flecks are essentially gray in colour and made any red polish seem more pink. I had to believe that she might be right as I actually couldn't recall having ever seen a holographic polish collection with a red in it, so I had to put this theory to the test and find out which of my red polishes would hold its true colour best with the top coat. My thinking was that if red polishes tend to go pink, then it would probably be best to use an orange red polish, so I tried it with 3 different orange red polishes, and 2 pink red polishes to make comparison. Here are the reds I used without the holo top coat:

The colours I used were:
Thumb : OPI 'You only live twice'
Index: Sally Hansen Lacquer Shine, colour sticker is missing! (sorry!)
Middle: Mud 'passionight'
Ring: Rimmel 60 seconds 'Red Carpet'
Little: OPI 'Die Another Day'

The first thing I noticed was that all my orangey reds are very similar! The second thing I noticed was that the holo effect comes up really nice on red polishes! YAY! Honestly though, I don't think the holo top coat made them really that pink, a little sure, but the polishes are still quite red.
The pink reds did turn slightly fuchsia, but I think the orange reds did really well in holding their true colour and only leaned very slightly on the coral side. Red, fuchsia or coral I don't really care to be honest, they are all stunning polishes with and without the holo top coat!

 The picture is confusing as it would have you believe that the OPI on the little finger is the most red, but actually when you look at it in person it was the Mud polish on the middle finger that was the reddest red! In the bottle it is slightly darker than the other 2, so I think the deeper and darker your red base is, the more the colour will hold up under the holo top coat  Probably the fact that it is only a top coat has helped a lot as well, I imagine that if you mixed the holographic gray flecks with the actual polish it would more than likely lighten the colour quite a lot which is probably why there are never any reds in the holo collections. Not that it matters now, I can have all the red holo I want with my new top coat!

I now have 2 new objectves to achieve with my spectraflair!
1: Find the most pigmented and perfect silver and gold polishes ever to franken with spectraflair so I can do holographic stamping!
2. Play around with pure spectraflair for nail art painting. I saw something on youtube once about mixing a drop with a couple of drops of polish thinner and using it as a paint, and as the pipette my spectraflair came with now has a dry coat of spectraflair inside it, I think I'll wash it out with thinner into a little bowl and get experimenting!

I just have one last thing to show you ladies, this post is titled ''Holographic Heaven'' and I don't think one little holographic top coat constitutes actual heaven. So what does you ask? THESE BAD BOYS!

Seeing how excited I was about the arrival of my spectraflair, my AWESOME husband decided it was only right that I should have a matching pair of shoes and got me these for my birthday! Literally the only thing in the world I love more than polish is shoes, and I nearly fainted when I opened the box, I have been lusting after these shoes for months!!!! No matter what the light they look wonderful! In soft light they come up with nice pastel colours, add the sun or a flash and you've got super bright holographic laser beams! How amazing are these shoes??? NOW  I'm in holograhic heaven!

Now I just need a complete holographic collection, Im gonna have to find a handbag, with a matching purse of course, I'm gonna need a belt, maybe some holographic jewellry? how about a holographic dress?! Wait... what comes after heaven??!

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