Monday, 30 September 2013

33 Day Challenge: Tribal

Having you own blog gives you the liberty to try out any nail styles you want, discover what you're good at and try a heap of new things you never thought you could do. It also lets you NOT do things you think you suck at and avoid them like the plague if you don't want to do them. Tribal nails was one of those things that I always wanted to do but every attempt turned out disastrous, I even bought a pack of stick on nails so I could wear this pattern. I stayed away from trying to draw tribal patterns on my nails for a while until today. Today's prompt for the 33 Day Challenge called out to do a tribal manicure. I did a bit of research to see if I could avoid the traditional tribal nail but nothing really caught my eye. 

Here it is, my what-I'd-like-to-think-is-acceptable tribal mani. I followed Nailed It's tutorial for tribal nails, which was super easy to follow. From cuticle to free end I used Face of Australia in Boys 'N' Berries, Ulta3 in Honolulu, Ulta3 in Carrot Top and Essence in That's What I Mint. For the black outline I used my Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in, er..., Black. Topped it all off with a coat of OPI Matte Top Coat.

The lines were so uneven and the patterns irregular but that adds to the rawness of the tribal print, yeah? 

I'm think I'll start putting page breaks after two photos to tie up all my posts and make the blog look better as well as let you enjoy photo spamming at your leisure (when it happens). If you like page breaks, they bother you to no end or have a particular opinion about them, let me know. Feedback is always appreciated!

Friday, 27 September 2013

33 Day Challenge: Tape Mani

Don't forget to enter our giveaway here!

A tape mani was my introduction to nail art about 15 years ago and I haven't looked back since. They're easy, quick and the amount of designs that can be created is endless. I even created my first post for this blog with a tape mani. I know I've had to restrain myself from creating 33 different tape manis for this challenge and just sticking to it when absolutely necessary. Luckily for me, the third prompt called for a tape mani. Yay!

I wanted to create a skittlette manicure using Maybelline Color Show Sequins in, er, Sea-Quins as a base and Models Prefer in Midnight Madness. There's a bit of a story about Sea-Quins after the page break but I'll explain how I did the mani first. I started with two coats of Sea-Quins, topped it off with two coats of The Awesome Topcoat to make the glitter smooth, taped my middle and ring fingers and applied one medium coat of Midnight Madness. I took off the tape immediately after, let the two fingers dry and finished them with one coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri topcoat. 

For my short polish story and a matted version of this mani, click on the page break.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

September Tri-Polish Challenge Day 4

Today is the last day of the September Tri-Polish Challenge and I was tempted to skip this post. I did some sugar spinnning for the first day of this challenge last week  but managed to smudge it badly before it was completely dry. I thought I could try it for the last day of the September challenge and there wouldn't be much problem. I went to work on some sugar spun nails again this morning but they were terrible!!! 

I'm not one to give up easily so I had to come up with a new design quickly. I remembered we could used black, white, silver and gold as well as our three chosen colours. I figured I could use a nail art pen I've had laying around for a while but hadn't used. To be completely honest, I have never tried free hand nail art. Today seemed like a good day to start. 

Here's what I came up with. I used two coats of Essence in Absolutely Blue on my index finger and pinky, two coats of China Glaze in Sweet Hook on my ring finger and one coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Sonic Bloom on my middle finger and thumb. I then used one coat of OPI Matte Top Coat on all my fingers. This was mostly done for the black nail art pen to grab onto the base as I have found that it slides right of anything slightly smooth. I taped my ring finger off to create the diamond shape using Layla in Metal Chrome. I used the same polish to create two dots on  my index finger and pinky. Then, my masterpiece (Haha! I wish) came to life. I created two diamond outlines using Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Black but managed to push it a little to far into the base polishes, which created uneven lines. 

I couldn't quite figure how to take photos of my hands upside down and make them look good so I just flipped my normal pose photos on Picasa. I guess that's a skill I'm gonna have to acquire.

If you've ever used a nail art pen from Sally Hansen, you may know they are basically acrylic paint in a handy package.  If you've used it without a top coat, you'll know they can smudge easily or wash away with some soap and water. I had to bring out my clear top coat to seal it as I wanted to wear this for a few days. I also know the black can smudge quite easily if the top coat is not applied correctly so I dabbed on some Sally Hansen Insta-Drip topcoat finish the mani. Unfortunately, I ended up with bubbles from the thickness of the last coat but it's hardly noticeable in real life.

Putting my rough lines aside and top coats bubbles, I quite like this mani. I'll just have to keep practicing this free handing business.

Check out the other entries to this challenge.

Till next time, 


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

33 Day Challenge: Most Used Colour Polish

Don't forget to enter our giveaway here!

After some clarification of this prompt, there was no doubt that a red  was gonna be the feature of this post. Before I started blogging, I mostly only wore red and I would get different brands with different finishes to satisfy my cravings for all things carmine. Then one day, when I was holidaying in Melbourne, I came across this tiny little shop (which no longer stands, I almost broke in tears when I found out) for the Australian brand Bloom Cosmetics. They had all their 80-ish colours of nail polish displayed and I was in polish heaven. Being the red lover I was, I picked out Edie, a slighlty-blue red with a buttery formula. It was the perfect red for me and it was sort of like finding the perfect red lipstick but for my nails...  That was in June 2011 and for about eight months after that, I wore it pretty much non-stop. 

Unfortunately, the formula hasn't hold up very well  and it has gotten thick and unmanageable. I added about 20 drops of thinner and the formula was just good enough to paint my nails without having to drag it on the nail bed. At least, I only needed one coat for full coverage. :) Swatch above is done with one coat of Eddie and two coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri topcoat. 

So this is a challenge, right? A simple swatch wasn't going to do but I managed to get stuck with what to do next as I usually wear red by itself. I took out some studs and caviar beads I got from eBay a while ago and had been sitting in my drawer for a while. I put on the caviar beads one by one on my ring finger and pressed them down with my fingers to dint the second coat of topcoat. They seemed to hold on quite well for a little while and it was a lot easier than trying to pick them up with a dotting tool and clear polish. I then attached the studs to the rest of my nails with some clear polish. 

As you may have noticed, the polish bubbled up like crazy once it dried. I can imagine this happened because of how thick the coat I applied on the nail was. I'm not sure if i'll keep adding thinner to see if it'll get better or just let it go. I still love this colour. I'm just disappointed that I didn't take better care of this baby! The worst part... This shade is no longer on sale...

Even though Eddie might be unusable now, I'm happy with the design and the fact that I'm trying new things that I wouldn't have otherwise. I was almost going to do a safe-for-me tape mani until I realised that's the next prompt. 

Check out other 33DC entries

Till next time, 


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

September Tri-Polish Challenge Day 3 AKA Nail Fail

Don't forget to enter our giveaway here!

Day three of the September Tri-Polish is upon us a lot quicker than I realised. For some reason I thought I had a post ready for today but turns out I didn't. I had to come up with a quick and simple mani that would use all three colours. I haven't done a lot of gradients in my polishing life but I knew they were easy enough to me to tackle in no time and the pink I've been using was perfect for stamping. So a stamped gradient it was.

I started with two coats of Essence in Absolutely Blue as a base and let it dry. I then painted three coats of Absolutely Blue and China Glaze in Sweet Hook with a sponge to create the gradient. This is where it started to turn into a fail. The sponge I used was too rough and left little holes on the wet polish, which after three coats of coloured polish and two of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri topcoat, turned into BIG, chunky bubbles. 

I soldiered on and stamped over the gradient with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Sonic Bloom, which dried a little too quick on the stamper. Lack of foresight from my part there. :( I redid three of my fingers but they still didn't turn out great. Sealed it all off with two coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri. 

Not only are they B-A-D, they are also chunky. All those layers of polish and topcoat aren't making this mani look any better.

I thought of doing a different mani altogether but then remembered I have a life to attend to. Here are other good manis that you can look at after my fail. :)

Till next time, 


Monday, 23 September 2013

33 Day Challenge: Dots

Here we go with the first day of the Crumpet's Nail Tarts 33 Day Challenge. Looking at all the prompts, they look kinda scary but I'm hoping my creativity stretches enough to create good results for a whole 33 days. Or be prepared to browse Pinterest for lots of inspiration. :)

This first manicure was strongly inspired by this manicure from the Polish Chest. I've been wanting to recreate it for a while but hadn't found the opportunity to do it. Good thing  the first prompt is dots. Woohoo!

I started with one coat of Ulta3 in Black Satin followed by one coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri topcoat and then applied a coat of OPI Matte Top Coat. Once it all dried,  I created the silver dots with a larger dotting tool and Ozotic in 509, a silver linear holo which I believe has been discontinued. Of course, I had to bring it out to the sun to show how awesome this polish is.  

Click on the page break for more sunny photos.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

The Crumpet's 33 Day Challenge

So a while back (here to be precise), I wondered how one would get involved on a nail art challenge with other lacqueristas. Luckily I seemed to have found my answer when I came across the 33 Day Challenge created by the very talented Debbie from the British blog, The Crumpet. I thought this challenge is perfect for me mostly because I would have to post only three days a week and I would have a day leeway, if I happened to fall behind. 

Basically, this post is my pledge to start AND finish this 33 Day Challenge, which starts from tomorrow. I'm also aiming to take 1.5 hrs max preparing each post and plan ahead to avoid changing my mind at the last minute. Simple as that... I think.

See you guys tomorrow with my first official entry to this awesome challenge.


Thursday, 19 September 2013

September Tri-Polish Challenge Day 2

Don't forget to enter our giveaway here!

I'm trying to keep this challenge simple so I don't end up frustrated and quit before I even begin. For Day 2 of the September Tri-Polish Challenge I decided to go with some easy chevrons after my base got smudged. Yes, I have a problem with smudging my polish because of impatience and lack quick drying topcoat!!! 

For this attempt, I used two thin coats of China Glaze in Sweet Hook, let it dry and then used striping tape to create the chevrons with Essence in Absolutely Blue. I finished it all off with a coat of Ulta3's Clear polish.

I've noticed that pastel colours can look my hands look a bit lobster-ish in photos and in real life but I'm still loving the softness of mani. 

Hold on. Aren't I supposed to use three colours for this challenge?  Well, I am but the third one is hidden. I've been wanting to do Louboutin nails for a while but my nails never reached a workable length. I know I won't be able to grow them much longer than these as I will be going back to work and when I go back to work, they tend to break. I also figured the pink I was using was close enough to red, right?

They required a bit of preparation, patience and clean up but I love the way they look. I only wish I could have taken better photos but they were so tricky to capture correctly!

So that's my entry for today but don't forget to check others below.

Till next time, 


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

September Tri-Polish Challenge Day 1

Don't forget to enter our giveaway here!

My attempt at this challenge didn't work out quite as good as I was hoping as it was done in a rush after my first attempt got majorly smudged. I had thought of doing a saran wrap with the blue, pink and lilac colours for the first day of the September Tri-Polish Challenge so I stayed with the idea as it would be quick and easy. 

I used Essence's Absolutely Blue as a base and then added Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Sonic Bloom and China Glaze in Sweet Hook with some cling wrap. It didn't quite have the oomph! factor I was looking for so I added a coat of OPI's I Juggle... Men. Still didn't look great so as a last resort I added a coat of Ulta3's Stop The Press. 

This is what this mani looks like. The pink looks redder than it is and the lilac is too sheer to stand out against the blue. They kinda remind me of zombie nails with the wrong colours.

This is pre-Stop The Press and it looks plain as anything.

Check out the entries from the other ladies participating in the challenge.

Till next time, 


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

100th Post Giveaway!!! *Closed*

Woot! Woot! We got to a hundred posts! Even though it may not be a big number, I'm so glad we have reached it. It's been an awesome experience where colours have been drooled over, bad and good polish formulas have been tested, studs and rhinestones have been  discovered and of course we've had the opportunity to share it all. We all know the best incentive for a blogger to blog is all those amazing people that have ever clicked on our posts, may have read all our words and even posted comments about our polishing.


As a token of our appreciation, we are hosting a giveaway for not one but two gift vouchers! The first one for Born Pretty Store with a value of US$30 and the second one is a voucher of AU$25 (or closest equivalent up to AU$35) for the online store of your choice. This means there will be two winners. As this is open internationally, I decided vouchers were the best way to go to avoid all those pesky post regulations and it would ensure everyone, including me, would get the best bang for their buck by paying for polish not postage. 

The lowdown.

1. You must be 18 or older to enter. 
2. Winners will be announced on the blog and notified by email. They will then have 48 hours to claim their prize. 
3. If the prize(s) is (are) not claimed in 48 hours, a new winner(s) will be drawn.
4. This is open internationally.
5.  The giveaway will run from the 18th of September, 2013 from 12:00 AM AEST until the 8th of October, 2013 12:00 AM AEST.
6. Make sure you're honest as entries will be verified.
7. You can enter by filling in the Rafflecopter widget questions below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

These are just suggestions of the some of the stores you can choose.

Welcome to!

 Harlow & Co.

Best of luck to everyone!!! Looking forward to another 100 posts!!!

Disclaimer: All prizes have or will be paid with my money and have not been sponsored by any of the mentioned online stores.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sally Hansen Kook A Mango

Quick post to show you a NOTD, thing I haven't done before.

Today I'm wearing Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Kook A Mango, a orange leaning coral with an OK formula. I used two coats with no top coat.

I LOOOOOVE cacti flowers but they ony come out once a year on each cactus for a few hours of each day of the wek or so they bloom. I just happened to be taking photos ou†side (!) of this mani  and thought to include them.

Moral of this post: I lke cacti flowers,coral polishes for quick manicures and spring. I am a hapy woman.

Till next time,


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Friday, 13 September 2013

Born Pretty Store Special Texture Polish in #10

Have you ever thought you had bought a particular product only to find out you actually ordered something else? A few weeks ago, I thought I ordered a textured polish from Born Pretty Store that looked similar to OPI's Stay the Night but when I got my package I got this muddy looking polish. I was outraged!!! How could they mix up my colours?!!! When I checked what I had actually paid for, I realised the fault was mine because I ordered a different colour... So I had to make do and try it on.

Born Pretty Store has come out with a line of 12 different coloured textured polishes, which are numbered instead of named, and contain 15 ml for $3.99 on special or $5.59 otherwise. You can find them here.  The one I got is #10, a goldy, olive shimmer base with dark, almost black, texture particles (you can tell I'm really trying here). This is one coat over PVA base.

The formula for this polish was very thick and when I say thick, it was almost gloopy. The polish hung on to the brush like grim death until I took some off by swiping the brush on side of the bottle. Funnily enough, when it came to applying it on the nail, the formula worked great, the polish stayed where I put it and it was opaque in one coat. It was still thick when wet but once it dried, which didn't take long at all, it looked fine and the texture really come out. The wear was OK, it chipped within two days but for someone that changes her polish almost daily, it wasn't a problem.

I've seen mixed reviews about these polishes but from this experience I can tell you they are worth every cent. I'm sure this will get thicker as time goes by but I'm pretty sure a little thinner can solve that issue. 

Just a quick note about clean-up. Even though the formula spread well, I may have painted my ring finger cuticle and when it came down to trying to remove it with acetone, it was a little difficult. Hence the uneven line on that nail.

If it wasn't for the colour, which doesn't suit my skin in the slightest by making look extra yellow, I would raving about this polish. However, there are other 11 colours I can try and for $3.99, I might get a few more. I've got my eye on you #15.

Remember, you can use the code below to get 10% off on full priced products from Born Pretty Store.

Til next time, 


Disclosure:This product was purchased by me

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Sassy Paints Guest Post

Hello, hello! I'm gonna keep it super short today. I've written my first ever guest post for Sassy Nails as she's starting a Sassy Saturday Guest Post series and I'm a thrilled to kick it off. Yes, it's Sunday in Australia but think of time differences. :)

This is the preview but you can check out the whole post here. 

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Till next time, 


Friday, 6 September 2013

Pastel Stud Wheel by Born Pretty Store

I'd consider myself a fan of Born Pretty Store but I haven't gone past ordering the basic gold studs and glequins from them even though they have a MASSIVE range of nail art supplies and they are so cheap. A month ago, I placed an order for a heap of different rhinestones, a textured polish and colorful studs, all which I believe are recent additions to the website.

Today, I wanna show you the Pastel Stud Wheel, which actually has a much longer name here, that I have fallen in love with. I can be indecisive when it comes to handing over my cash for products, i.e. shopping, and I have to make sure I'm getting the best deal. I was particularly happy with this wheel because it has two shapes in six different colours each for US$7.59. If I was to buy a one colour and one shape I'd have paid  US$2.99 on special (US$4.99 otherwise), but there would be no variety and I wasn't guaranteed to like them. 

I'm loving this idea of doing skittle manicures to show more colors and it almost makes me feel like I have created nail art :) . Here's my latest.

The accent nail was supposed to be covered in the pastel studs but I started to get slightly frustrated so I kept it simple.

I start to believe photo spamming is the way to go for this blog, so please click on the page break for more photos and materials used. :)


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