Wednesday, 27 November 2013

33 Day Challenge: Favourite Pattern

Day 29 of the 33 Day Challenge is here. I seem to have gotten on the 'creating OK nail art bandwagon' again and I'm pretty glad because I'd been looking forward to the favourite pattern prompt for a while. I didn't even have to think about this one. I  love houndstooth anything, even this Lady Gaga ensemble (I wouldn't wear any of it but it's cool) and I'd been wanting to do a nude/neon houndstooth manicure for ages after seeing it in a blog (the name, I cannot remember and I can't find it on Google) and thinking it was the coolest thing in the world. However, I didn't own a good nude or an opaque enough neon colour to recreate what I had seen but thanks to my little haul last week, I have finally created a mani inspired on that one I saw many moons ago.

I started with two coats of My Island Home (MIH), a great-nude-for-my-skin-tone, textured polish from Face Of Australia, and let it dry for about an hour before I started stamping. It didn't need to dry for that long but I find the texture shows a lot better when the polish has fully dried. And I wanted to be absolutely sure I wouldn't have to redo the base from stamper pressure smudges. I have ruined bases many times that way and it looks like I have learnt a lesson. :)

For the houndstooth pattern I used the BM-322 plate and one coater polishes. From green to orange I used: 

  • Essence in The Green & the Grunge
  • Sinful Colours in Blue By You
  • Max Factor Mini in Purple Haze
  • Konad Special Polish in Red
  • Essence in Flashy Pumpkin

Hold on, wasn't this supposed to be a nude AND neon manicure? Well, yes but... The one coater-ish neon pink I have didn't stamp that well and it looked like a greyed out pink over MIH. Plain black houndstooth was gonna be boring so I created a sort of rainbow effect with two of my new polishes and some old ones I knew were one coaters and had the potential to stamp well over the nude. I even gambled a little and brought out the shimmer Blue By You because I wanted sparkle. Look at it below, it worked and it looks so pretty in the sun.

Sun. I finally had the opportunity to do my mani early in the day and come out to the sun to take photos. I get to sit on the grass, enjoy the birds singing, the wind in my face, listen to the peace and quiet of the outdoors and not feel guilty that I'm procrastinating uni work. Yay for summer holidays!

On with the manicure... I didn't use any topcoat because I LOVE the texture of MIH but it makes me sad the stamping will come off quicker because of that. 

Did anyone notice that the pattern on the index finger is upside down compared to the rest of the fingers? Applying the colours to the plate to create the rainbow was sort of automatic but when I thought about it and was about to stamp the index finger, I thought I had it the wrong way on the stamper and redid it. I only noticed it when I was taking photos. I'm gonna say that's an accent finger. That'll work. ;)

I also noticed this mani fitted that prompt for Friday very well but I have no idea what I'm gonna do for that one. I'll have to do some brainstorming. Until then, check out the other ladies' manicures.

Till next time, 


Monday, 25 November 2013

33 Day Challenge: Lines

Day 28 of The Crumpet's Challenge called to create a 'lines' mani. A line mani could be anything and seeing some of the manis that have been done with this prompt, I figured it'd be good to get myself inspired. After some (quick) online research, I decided to create a tangent lines mani with some new polishes I got last week. I was almost gonna use a very similar palette to the geometric mani from last week so I figured I better change it to keep things interest in this blog. I'm a bit undecided in the end result, it looks good from afar in real life but the colour scheme doesn't rock my boat that much. Plus there's no oomph element to it... And I just didn't know what to add to it.

So, I started with one coat of Essie's Good as Gold (got it for $12; about six months ago they retailed for $19 in AU) and let it dry completely. I put on a circular sticker on my index finger and used striping tape to create the tangent line. The green polish is Essence's The Green & The Grunge and the coppery one is Mister Rusty by the same brand (paid $1.65/each which is SUPER cheap for polish anywhere, yeah?) and tried to be really quick at taking the sticky bits off my fingers. I continued to repeat the process one finger at the time and topped it all off with one coat of Seche Vite when I was done colouring my digits in.

The index finger turned up pretty crisp on my first go and that's what got me going with the rest. I had to redo my ring finger twice due to ripping the base off with the sticker and a smudge. 

I'm thinking I could have done some stamping on the gold base or used different colours.  I really don't know; I could say I'm a little stumped creatively. :(

I just had a thought of putting tiger/zebra stripes in the circles and did try it but I just made it worse... Not a good nail day for me. Is that worse than a bad hair day? Thought for you. In the meantime, check out the other talented ladies' manis for today.

Till next time, 


Friday, 22 November 2013

33 Day Challenge: Mani with Three Patterns

I'm back on the challenge after neglecting it for the last week. It's not that I haven't wanted to do it, my inspiration just went out the window and I haven't been able to catch it back. Anyway, I didn't want to miss another prompt that I would have to do later so I gave myself a deadline for today's prompt of a mani with three patterns. I wanted to do some free-handed nail art but I knew it was not gonna happen within my time limit and that frustration would be likely to get the better of me so I opted for stamping. 

So here it is, my three patterned mani. I used three coats of Butter London's Disco Biscuit and a coat of Seche Vite as a base. I actually wore this beautiful pink jelly for a whole day by itself before I added the nail art. I tried taking photos of the scattered holo glitter it contains but my camera's battery died as I was pressing the shutter button. :( While the battery was charging, I went on with the mani and taped up sections of my fingers and started stamping chevron, brick and triangle patters from the BM-422 and BM-423 plates with Essie's Penny Talk.

I had a lot of trouble getting the brick pattern to stick to the pink base and had to redo it A LOT of times, however, I didn't have to redo the base because I discovered that I could use fresh sticky tape to remove the half done job of the base. I would just put the sticky side on the nail and it would remove the stamping polish in no time and no acetone. Phew! I don't think it would work with all polishes but it's a handy thing to know...

When I finally managed to get the patterns on my nails (almost) wholly, I used my trustworthy Topshop black stripper and to frame the nails and create lines along the edge of the patterns. They weren't very clear to begin with and I thought the line would make it look better. I'm undecided on that one. I topped it all off with a coat of Seche Vite.

Overall, I'm not blown away by my nail art but this is the first time I have successfully managed to frame my nails with a striper. I'm aware the lines on the inside of the frames are uneven but I know practice would help me out with that one. Maybe if I had a different picture to frame, I would be happier. :)

Check out the other ladies' manis for today's prompt.

If you've been on this blog before, you may notice I have different background and a slightly different layout. The thing that bother me the most with my last background I used was the lack of continuity on mobile devices, like tablets, and bigger, higher resolution  computer screens. I also wanted to add social media buttons to the side bar and the free icons (found here) looked better with the multicoloured chevron pattern. :) I'm not web designer but I'm trying to learn to learn little bits as I go, including what looks good and what doesn't. I really like feedback or suggestions so if you have any thoughts on my layout, please let me know!!!

Till next time, 


Friday, 15 November 2013

33 Day Challenge: Art With The Colour You Own The Most

The colour I own the most? I thought it was gold. I always assumed gold was the most numerous in my collection so I went ahead and created the mani below. After I had a red stage a couple of years ago and after I started this blog, I moved onto gold and then to blue. Well, turns out the gold phase lasted less than the blue one and I have about three more bottles of blue than I do of gold. Considering I have over 350 polishes, I figured that a .09% margin error wasn't a big deal, right?

Once I had eyed my collection and decided that gold was the most prominent one, I took my trustworthy Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Golden-I. I've used up about half the bottle but surprisingly (for me, at least), I have only shown in in the blog once before this post and only as part of nail art. 

I wanted to keep this mani simple and I've been wanting to do stud-framed nails for a while so I figured today would be the day to do it. I started with two coats of Golden-I and one of Seche Vite before applying nail foil glue on the edges of my nails. I let it dry and got myself sticking some gold 'laser' studs (I got them from this eBay seller) and luckily they fitted nicely enough around the perimeter of my nails. 

I got a bit photo happy so I'm gonna leave you with some photo-spam. Enjoy.

I know it's nothing spectacular but this was a fun mani to wear for as long as the 85-odd studs stayed on their place. Check out the other participants' manis for today's prompt.

Till next time, 


Thursday, 14 November 2013

33 Day Challenge: Geometric

This idea I had of catching up on the challenge this week sort of went out the window and I happen to be running a day late with the prompts that I haven't skipped. Anyway, the prompt for day 23 for the challenge was geometric. I'm trying to stay away from just stamping as much as I can so I was a bit short of ideas. I had this triangular origami box lying around and I thought that would be a good, simple idea to recreate. OK, so the execution wasn't great and I managed to take a chunk of polish of the green part on the index finger as I putting the bottle of topcoat back in its place but I figured it was still decent enough to put it up (and I didn't want to miss another prompt).

I started with two coats of Essence's Piece of Forever, let it dry then used striping to create a triangle. I painted W7's It's Pink, Max Factor's Purple Haze and Ulta3's Frog Prince outside each side of the triangle and used a Topshop black stripper for the inside lines. I topped it all off with one coat of Seche Vite.

This is the box I based the mani on, I couldn't figure out how to photograph the whole box in my tiny lightbox so I'm just showing you the colours. It's also a bit crumpled from handling it for photographs, so excuse the wrinkles.

I wasn't overly happy with the mani but it was fun to wear for a few hours. Yes, I have taken it off already and started on tomorrow's mani, which means that I may be on time.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

33 Day Challenge: 3 Colour Gradient and Pattern

I'm back on the challenge which means I have a lot more free time to play with polishes :). I was a bit conflicted with the three colour gradient and a pattern prompt for day 22 of the challenge because my gradient attempts can be a bit of a hit and miss and I had just done an awesome one a couple of weeks ago. I created a three colour gradient last night but it turned out to be a miss and I couldn't recycle the last one because it didn't have a pattern plus that's not really the point of a challenge, is it?

I stuck to what I knew would work for me and chose three Topshop polishes for the gradient and striping tape. I started with a two-coat base of Queen of Green (QoG), which you may have guessed is the green closest to the cuticle. I then sponged on, from cuticle to tip, QoG, Wisdom and Zodiac and smoothed out the gradient with a coat of Seche Vite. I  wanted to put a little extra effort on the pattern side of the prompt so I tried to create some triangles with striping tape but as I was putting on the tape on my ring finger, I knew the triangles (some just polygons) weren't gonna be regular shapes. I applied one coat of Ulta3 in Black Satin over the tape and sealed it with one last coat of Seche Vite.

I wish I had done the green strip a little bigger so the difference between Zodiac and QoG would a little clearer. QoG is a silver based pastel green shimmer and Zodiac is greenish gunmetal grey shimmer with gold bits in it and they are both beautiful but I couldn't quite capture the beauty of them.

Or did I?

I really like the way this mani looks but it was a pain in the ass to clean up. Have you ever tried to clean shimmer polishes? The shimmer goes everywhere and it sticks to the skin like nothing else. I used PVA around my cuticles to avoid some of the mess but the cuticle lines weren't as clean as I'd like them so I took out the acetone. Bad move. After I managed to get as much of the shimmer of my fingers as I could with clean up brushes and cotton rounds, I still had silver bits all over my fingers. I had to use a nail brush to scrub up my fingers and use some cuticle remover to get rid of the stray shimmer. Lesson learnt: If I'm playing with shimmer polishes, I need to be ready to do a lot of clean up.

I just realised tomorrow's prompt is geometric but hopefully I can come up with something good and get my nail mojo back. Till then, check out the other timely participants of the challenge.

Till next time, 


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Born Pretty Store Rhinestone Bows Review

I've been absent for about a week due to a heap of stuff and missed two 33 Day Challenge prompts. I know a lot of bloggers apologise for absences and explain what's happened but mine is so mostly due to uni (read life) so I don't think it's overly necessary. This blog is supposed to be fun and pressuring myself to post when I just don't have time or inspiration, takes that fun away and it just becomes a burden. Last night, I tried to catch up with the challenge but I just couldn't come up with anything worth posting. I decided to call it a night and thought I would be better off doing this week's prompts next week when I will have a lot more time.

However, I still wanted to post an idea I've had in my head for a while which meant the brainstorming part was done and I just had to get my hands moving... quickly. I received these rhinestone bows in #1 from Born Pretty Store a couple of weeks ago and goodness, they are pretty. Over a centimetre big but pretty.

I used two coats of Mimco's Jade as a base, applied one coat of Seche Vite to cut drying time, taped all my nails but the ring finger once the SV had dried to create the straight corners with two coats of OPI's Goldeneye. I applied another coat of Seche Vite on all my fingers to even out the polishes (and I got bubbles, arrrrgh!!!). I finally attached the beautiful filigree alloy bow with a drop of Seche Vite and voila! This mani was created.

These bows are big and heavier than your average nail art supply so I should have used some nail glue to attach it but I don't have any on my hands right now. I've ordered some online in anticipation of this mani but it's taken a little longer to arrive than expected. Make do with this one.

Attachment issues aside, I'm loving this mani. I sometimes can be timid when it comes to my manis and tend to keep them  on the conservative side of things. The packet of bows came with 10 units, enough to put one every finger but I figured that would be too much bling for one mani. I was about to keep it simple by just using one bow on plain teal nails but then realised it was too boring. I figured the gold would bring it all together and make the mani a little bolder. That's what I think anyway and let's face it, if I can't say what I think in my blog, where can I?

Back to nails, I brought the nails out to the sun to see how shiny they would show up but the sun was too low to get some amazing pictures, I just got good pics. ;)

I would use this mani for a special occasion and instead of a ring. I have a lot of very big rings that I use on my ring or index fingers so it'd still look similar but closer to my fingertips o_0 . It was still a bit strange having such a big piece of nail jewelry on my fingers and I kept bumping it against random things. I think that's another reason why the bow only lasted about 10 minutes on my fingers. 

*EDIT* I forgot these bows are slightly curved, which means they have more surface to attach to the nail and a more comfortable wear. *EDIT*

3D Nail Art Sticker Colorful Bling Rhinestone Bowknot Nail Decoration - 10pcs

These bows retail for $5.99 for a pack of 10 and there are 8 different designs available. You can use the code LUCKYG10 to get an extra 10% off your purchase from Born Pretty Store.

I'm gonna sit by my letterbox and wait for my nail glue to arrive so I can wear this for longer than 10 minutes. Hold on, I have an exam tomorrow. I better get on to that first...

Till next time, 


Affilliate Link. 
Bow studs were sent by Born Pretty Store for honest review. 
All other products featured were purchased by me.

Friday, 1 November 2013

33 Day Challenge: A Mani Using Two Patterns

Day 18 for the challenge. A few things pop into my mind when I think about that number:
  1. I didn't know I had enough creativity to get through to this day 
  2. I don't know how I'm gonna come up with my own ideas when the challenge is over
  3. I'm posting this the day it is supposed to go up
  4. My right hand is an awkward poser or it needs to find its own poses

I didn't want to take off my last mani (if you're in a desktop/laptop and have a keyboard, press the right arrow key to get to it and the left one to get back to this one, you know you want to try it...), so I brought out my right hand to play. Yeah, that means I have different designs on each hand. :)

I started with two coats of the super-buttery, non-streaky metallic polish called Crazy Fancy Love by Essence. It's actually a greenish rose gold multichrome but all the stamping doesn't really let its greatness shine through. Once I let this beauty dry, I stamped a what-I-think-may-be reeds pattern from the plate BM-406 with Ulta3's Frog Prince. I didn't know this could stamp as well as it did but I wanted a green and that was the opaquest one I had so I gave it a go. I stamped the roses with Konad Special Red Polish and the plate BM-323. I sealed it all off with a coat of Seche Vite before cleaning up.

I usually clean up before top coating a mani but I figured if my left hand strayed, the brush would remove the topcoat and not the stamping. Looks like that was the case but the cuticle edge was messy. Better than a half stamped hand?

I think the above photo is a right hand pose, if I tried it with my left my fingers would be super crooked.

Check out what the other talented ladies have come up with for this prompt.

Till next time, which I know I will be late for.



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