Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Come Back Mani - Advanced Stamping

No, you are not imagining things... this is a real, live post, with actual words, and pictures and everything. I know it's hard to get your head around, I know that it doesn't feel real, but yes, I have actually done a blog post for the first time in almost a year!

For those of you who don't know my blog all that well, or haven't chatted to me in various FB polish groups, I'll break it down... I used to live in Australia, I married a Brazilian man there, a new government in Australia then changed all the immigration rules and kicked us out, and then I discovered that my home country the UK had also changed their immigration rules, and I wasn't allowed to bring my husband home with me because he was a hard working student aiming towards a very specific goal of one day being a rich man, but not actually a rich man *yet*. Yes you heard that right, my right to a family life in my own country hangs entirely on how filthy rich my chosen foreign partner is because they don't want to risk letting in welfare spongers instead of hard workers. Shame on me for marrying a non EU, highly qualified, higher education student who was still a step away from achieving his career goals. How bloody well rude of me!

Our only way home was to take advantage of his Italian ancestors and claim Italian/European citizenship for him so we went to Brazil for 6 months, he got all his paper work, and I got a massive stash of awesome nail polish. (Scroll through my older posts to see them, you won't have to scroll that far, that was basically the last time I was able to post semi- regularly.) After that we went to Italy, where the long, time consuming, arduous and expensive process of claiming his citizenship ensued, and that was the death of my blog because I had no spare time anymore. :(

The good news is, we got it sorted, we are finally in the UK, my husband has every right to be here regardless of the lack of flthy richness, we won. It's just that now we are poorer than we have ever been, actually quite a bit in debt with family members, and sponging off my parents as we cram ourselves and our belongings into their tiny spare room. So thank you UK immigration, we weren't as filthy rich as you had insisted we should be, but we had savings and were comfortable until you stuck your nose in, now we are broke and in debt, and starting our adult married lives in the same financial position that we were in when we were 18 years old. AWESOME

The real joke is that the new law was put in place to prevent British citizens from illegitamately marrying poor foreigners who would then come to the UK and claim benefits, well we didn't need to do that. Our marriage is legitimate, we weren't poor and had substantial savings, just not quite the absurd amount that they insisted on, but thanks to them now we are poor and did need to claim benefits, but we never claimed them because the joke just get's funnier, and it turns out we would never have been entitled to them anyway!
So yaaahhh, great system ya got there, really, top job.

 It's a bitter sweet victory really, made tastier only by the fact that within 3 months of being here, my darling hubby had walked right into an amazing job for one of the biggest companies in the country, in a position for which they had been desperately searching for the right person for over a year. So suck on that immigration, welfare sponger indeed, I sincerely hope you don't choke on the 40% taxes you'll be taking fom his wages within the next 5 five years.

Needless to say, after all that my head has not really been in a blogging frame of mind, hell, my head hasn't even been in a paint my nails frame of mind, and it has taken me a while to get myself out of this funk and back into my passions. Christmas helped when a bunch of family members got me lots of new nail goodies for gifts, including a few stamping goodies from MoYou and Born Pretty that I requested, because my entire plate collection had gone missing somewhere between Australia and Brazil and I haven't been able to stamp since. (Would I be justified in blaming the A-holes in immigration for that too???) So since christmas I have been getting back into my nails, slowly slowly, and have recently come up with something that is actually blogworthy.

I am not going to make the mistake of committing to X number of posts a week, I want to be realistic about what I am actually able to achieve with all my other normal life commitments and so I will just post as and when I can manage, but the fact of the matter is that I need my blog as my outlet, it's my safe space and helps me pull my head out of the darkness, so I do need to make an effort, if only for the sake of my mental health. (If I start to disappear again, maybe come and remind me of that...? lol)

Let's just say that my come back mani has certainly helped to do that. This is my first attempt at advanced stamping, and for a first attempt it was pretty damn ambitious, but I personally feel that I have pulled it off quite spectacularly and this has definitely made the top 3 of my favourite designs ever done! Here is a quick pic before I go on to explain how I did it, then I will show more pics as I couldn't decide if I prefered this design in gloss or matte, so I did both!


 Ahhhh, I look at this picture and think maybe it was worth waiting a year to post again if this is what I got out of it! I think this design has got quite an oriental feel to it, which I wasn't expecting but absolutely adore!

So, down to the ins and outs of this mani. The base is a cheapo UK brand called La femme, but annoyingly the polish doesn't have a name or number. I got it from a local sales group on FB from a nail tech who was closing shop, and bagged myself 16 bottles for £5. Winner. For a cheapo it has a pretty nice formula too, and cherry reds/pinks are some of my favourites.

For the stamping I used Born Pretty Plate BP-L002, the gold stamped outline is WJCon from Italy, I think its number 428 but the middle number has rubbed off a bit, so the 2 could be a 3? I have a whole bunch of awesome polishes that I got whilst in Italy, hopefully I will get around to swatching them all for you soon, and I also bought a bunch of Kiko's for a giveaway which I really need to get on with organising! Anyways, I digress. The Polishes I used to colour in the stamp were: Nfu-Oh 354, OPI You only Live Twice, and 3 bottles that I got in Italy - Shaka Holographic Violet and 2 colours of a brand called Caiuro, which I bought in a chinese store in Italy and then discovered is also available here in the UK, I couldn't tell you the names of these Caiuro colours though, as the labels are pretty messed up, I have 3 botlles all totally different colours, and they all have the same label that says 'Bluberry', go figure. If you haven't seen this brand yet go find it, the formula is a PITA for painting your nails with, but they are awesome for stamping and small bold details.

I used the standard technique of painting in the spaces while the stamped design was still on the stamper, (for the partial designs on my thumb, index and little fingers I used a clean up brush with acetone to cancel out the parts of the design I didn't want) and then painted a layer of topcoat over it once I was done. At first I peeled it off the stamper then attached it to my nail like a decal, but for some reason I kept having issues with huge air bubbles getting trapped under the decal and ruining the design, so I changed up my application method, and after topcoating the final design instead of peeling it off the stamper I left it on there, I painted a coat of clear top coat (non fast dry) on my nails and let that dry for a minute to get tacky, and then I just stamped the design straight from the stamper onto the tacky nail and it went on as smooth as a babies bum!
With this method the whole image comes off the stamper in one piece, so I still had to trim off the excess from around the edges of my nails just as I would have done with the peel off decal.

I loved the glossy look of it but have recently been a bit obsessed with my matte topcoat and so had to try both, let the enslaught of pretty pictures begin...

Gloss Finish:

Matte Finish:

I really cannot decide which finish I prefer more, I just love this mani and that's it! What do you ladies reckon?

If you like what you see please my help my blog to grow by becoming a follower! Knowing that you all appreciate what I do helps keep me going on those days where I feel like everything I do is poo! :)
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  1. Gorgeous mani! Welcome back!!!

  2. What a crazy, backwards story that is! Sometimes governments really know how to hurt the very people they are trying to help!! Your nails look gorgeous and it's lovely to see you post again.


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