Saturday, April 28, 2012

Black and White Challenge - Day 10: Manicure of your choice with B&W

Hello everybody, so we've made it through the challenge, and today the last day being a manicure of choice. However we decided that between us we'd choose a manicure from one of our challenge buddies to re-create. Now there were some fantastic manicures done by all of the ladies and it was so hard to choose which to do so.....................

........... I did my favourite one from each of the ladies! To be fair I only did on one hand for four of them and the end manicure I really wanted to keep on, so did both hands. The ladies have given me lots of you lovely new followers and this is my sort of thankyou. :-) 

Here are the polishes used, left to right: GOSH - Nero, China Glaze - White on White, a-england - Merlin, Revlon - Blue Lagoon - Boots 17 - Go Go, a-england - Morgan Le Fay/Lancelot/Dragon and Camelot, Pretty and Polished - Jawbreaker and lastly Butter London - The Black Knight (all finished with a topcoat of either Revlon or NYC). At the front is the nail art pen, ring reinforcements and the striping tape used:

                                                                              * * * * * *

First up is my favourite from Cris at Let Them Have Polish, I loved the half moon manicure she did for Day 2 - White on Black (click for link).

I used a base of GOSH  - Nero and then using ring reinforcements to mask off the black area, I did a thickish layer of China Glaze - White on White followed by a-england - Merlin dotted along the seam. This turned out well and I will try with different colours again.

Next up is Rie from Nails and Noms, she did the cutest little bumble bee manicure for Day 5 - Colour Base with Black - (click for link).

I think my bee was a bit drunk on nectar judging by the flight path but I can assure you the manicurist wasn't! (Being left handed doesn't help when I have to use right hand to work camera and therefore have to take photos of left hand!)  I used Revlon - Blue Lagoon as I don't have the Sinful Colors - Cinderella that Rie used. Boot's 17 - GoGo was used for the yellow part of the bee and for the wings I mixed a tiny bit of a-england - Morgan Le Fay with some of the China Glaze White. I then used the black nail art pen do outline bee and do the dashes on the other nails.

Following on from this I re-created the manicure Sammy from The Nailasaurus did for Day 3 - Black base with Colour (click for link).

I hadn't done any stamping for this challenge as I am very new to it and still need a lot of practice but I thought I may as well try, I loved the combination of the two a-england polishes and Sammy was right you can see the red of the Lancelot flashing through the Dragon. It was almost impossible to capture but it looked stunning, you should try it! 

For the stamping I used Cheeky Jumbo Image plate A:

As soon as I saw Stephanie from Sincerely Stephanie's manicure for Day 2 - Black base with White (click for link), I knew straight away this original and beautiful look needed to be copied, we all know I like dots and it'd have been rude not to try this!

For the look I used a-england Camelot and China Glaze White On White: 

Finally for my main manicure I chose by Emily from The Lacquerologist - Day 7 - Black and White with glitter (click for link).

This was a very striking look and I had to invest in some striping tape this week ( £0.99 - Ebay, thankyou very much!). For the base I used 3 thin layers of Pretty and Polished Jawbreaker, a beautiful glitter filled milky polish, followed by a thick layer of Butter London's The Black Knight. Unfortunately the Butter London polish had gone quite thick and so when I pulled the tape off the lines weren't perfectly straight. 

Sorry the middle picture is out of focus, you can blame my husband! He had come in from celebrating his last day at his place of work and was a bit tipsy, actually I'd like to thank him for taking all the two hand photo's for me through out the challenge, thankyou Leigh! 


As with all manicures it looks much better in real life as our eyes don't have macro facilities to see the detail - thankfully. Once I invest in some polish thinner I will try this again but perhaps with a plain creme as the base or top colour. The amount of glitter everywhere cleaning up wasn't even funny!

So what have I learnt doing this challenge? 

  • a-england polish really is the best but I knew that anyway!
  • I love seeing the manicures that all bloggers, not just my challenge buddies have come up with - you are a constant source of inspiration people!
  • Although this is my first challenge undertaken, it is good to have a few days between manicures to allow for time.
  • I really don't like white polish much due to it's application!

Anyway let's see which of the manicures the other ladies chose shall we?
Below are the links to the other ladies blogs so you can see the manicures:

Emily at The Lacquerologist 

Rie at Nails and Noms 

Sammy at The Nailasaurus 

Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie

Normal service will be resumed in the next week, I will be doing a few Fab Favourites and showing some nice new polishes I have received in swaps. Thankyou for looking everyone. xxx

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Black and White Challenge - Day 9: Water Marble

Morning everyone, so we're nearly done on the challenge now, but today's 'effort' by me is water marbling! I vaguely managed to get one hand done ok, but ruined my other hand - after about 3 attempts I gave up!

For the manicure I used Barry M  - Black, Barry M - White and a-england - Lancelot:

Normally I like doing water marbling but I was having problems with most of the black and white polishes I tried. Some were too thick I think and didn't spread properly. Also when I tried some of the other black polishes they went grey, I found letting the polish sit for a moment or two in the cup stopped the colours merging to become too grey.

This is the one and only picture I managed to get right as my camera really is going dodgy!

The patterns were quite nice and on the little finger there is a tiny bubble but I like how it sits between the stripes, looks like a bit like the storm on the planet Jupiter, well that's what it reminds me of anyway!

Let's see what the other ladies have done shall we? 

Links to the other ladies blogs so you can see the manicures:

Cris at Let Them Have Polish

Emily at The Lacquerologist 

Rie at Nails and Noms 

Sammy at The Nailasaurus 

Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie

The last day of the challenge is nearly upon us and it is manicure of choice, however what we are doing is to choose a manicure to re-create which one of our fellow challenge buddies has done! Oh decisions, decisions!! I bet no-one choose water marbling for sure...

To be honest it's very hard to choose which I want to do as all the manicures have been great!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Black and White Challenge - Day 8: Sponging

Hello everyone, so I'm back today with the next part of the challenge which is sponging. I haven't really done much of this technique, so not really great at it. I was fairly pleased with how todays manicure turned out but I definitely need more practice! 

Saying that it looks much better in real life than on the photos, isn't that always the way?! I used these polishes for the nails - from left to right, GOSH - Nero, China Glaze - White on White, No7 - Grey Matter and a-england - Merlin:

I did one coat of GOSH Nero which is a very pigmented black (but I don't think it's available in the UK anymore), which I then sponged the China Glaze onto lightly started more heavily at the tips and working up towards cuticle a bit more lightly. I then went over for the tips to about halfway up the nail with the No7, which is a lovely dark grey. To brighten this all up and add a bit of interest I then sponged a tiny bit of a-england's sparkly Merlin and added Revlon topcoat:

Here's a close up of one of the nails from the photo above, look at the a-england Merlin, you can see it is actually small rectangular/bar shaped glitter and a nice change from the ususal round or hexagonal shaped glitter, also slightly different from bar glitter in that it's not as long or thin.

Here is the nail I thought turned out the best, my little finger on the right, also in the sun you can see the Merlin sparkling away!

Now I've tried sponging a bit more I might experiment with some different types of sponges to see what effects they create. For this I used some triangular makeup sponges, cut up into tiny bits and held with tweezers. 

(You can buy cheap makeup sponges anywhere quite cheaply, I don't use them but the lady in the MAC makeup store gave these to me when I bought some foundation. Unfortunately I used and came out in a rash, this was a few years ago when I didn't know I was latex intolerant.They've sat in the bathroom cabinet in a bag ever since - knew they'd be handy one day!!)

Right enough of me, lets see what my other challenge ladies have come up with....

Below are the links to the other ladies blogs so you can see the manicures:

Emily at The Lacquerologist 

Rie at Nails and Noms 

Sammy at The Nailasaurus 

Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie

Next part of the challenge to be posted on Wednesday will be water marbling, it's fun but messy and time consuming, but the finished look is beautiful. 

Today is also Earth Day where all the people on the planet are urged to do one act in order to help the planet and the environment, over at The Phalanges Files you can see some manicures dedicated to species of plants and animals that are directly affected by the damage to the environment, please take a look and have a little think about what we can all do to make a difference however small, it's the small things that make the big difference.....

Thankyou for looking. xxx

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Black and White Challenge - Day 7: Black and White with glitters

Hello everyone, hope you are ok and enjoying the weather, (at least it goes some way to filling the very low reservoirs round here).

We are now into the latter stages of the black and white challenge and today is black and white with glitter. I originally did a ruffian type manicure for this but the amount of polish on the nail from a million layers of white to get it even and then the glitter with topcoat made it look so thick and caused shrinkage by the time it had dried properly. 

So like the last day of the challenge I had a total re-think (aided by a glass of red) and came up with this quite simple manicure, I ended up really liking this the longer it was on. I used the following colours.

From left to right: China Glaze - White on White, OPI - Mad As A Hatter, Essence - 03 Applause, Applause (from the Circus Circus collection) and black striper pen.

I did 2 thickish layers of the white followed by the red glitter side of the Essence on one half of the nails (in random order), I then used my striper to do a straight (but deliberately not perfect) line down the middle of each nail. The other half of the nail had a thin layer of Mad As A Hatter and then on which I also put one black rhinestone where there was less coverage. I can perfectly cope with this level of rhinestones, no Sammy Syndrome today! 

I still look forward to what my challenge ladies have come up, who wouldn't be? So take a look...

Below are the links to the other ladies blogs so you can see the manicures:

Emily at The Lacquerologist 

Rie at Nails and Noms 

Sammy at The Nailasaurus 

Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie

The next part of the challenge will be 'sponging' which I am not great at but it'll give me practice! What I am looking forward to is water marbling, it's fun but time consuming however totally worth all the effort.

Thankyou for looking people! xxx

Monday, April 16, 2012

Black and White Challenge - Day 6: Colour base with something White

Hello everybody, todays part of the black and white challenge involves colour base with some white. I did try my hardest to do some stamping last night but am still a total novice at it, so was looking pretty poor!! By the time I'd given up trying it was quite late and I was totally lacking any inspiration by then. Even a glass of wine didn't help!

So I went back to dots which I do love! Using the following China Glaze colours I did a base of Riveting, and then dotted the other three colours (Turned Up Turquoise, Flying Dragon and White on White), I then went over all of that with the orange Riveting using  a smaller dotting tool to get a bit more of that stunning colour back.

Left to right - Riveting, Flying Dragon, Turned Up Turquoise, White on White:

Here is the result (excuse poor clean up job it was about midnight!):

It was nice and sunny when I woke up this morning so I decided to try and get some photos to show the stunning shimmer in Riveting and the blue glitter in the purple Flying Dragon:

Here's a bit of a close up, not totally in focus, as my poor camera is really on it's way out, but it'll do for the time being!

Thankyou so much for looking and thankyou to my challenge ladies who have given me a lot of new followers in the last two weeks! Let's see what beautiful looks they have come up with...

Below are the links to the other ladies blogs so you can see the manicures:

Emily at The Lacquerologist 

Rie at Nails and Noms 

Sammy at The Nailasaurus 

Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie

Next part of the challenge will be black and white with glitters, I have enough glitter polish to keep a tranvestite satisfied for a lifetime so who know's which one to choose!!!

Till next

Friday, April 13, 2012

Anyone Caviar for a Fish Egg Manicure? It's Fish Egg Friday!!!

What's this, another post? Two in one day? ....... (excuse the awful title, it was that or Fish Fingers.)

In Britain it's traditional to eat fish 'n' chips on a Friday but we're (vaguely) healthy in this household and rarely have takeaways. So instead to synchronise with some other nail bloggers around the globe I'm doing what's known as a 'fish egg' manicure! Basically lots of microbeads stuck onto the nail.

I originally bought these microbeads whilst on a hunt for gold bullion to try and copy the nails that Sammy from The Nailasaurus blog did for her now legendary Michael Kors inspired manicure.

For the base to stick the beads to I used ELF Punk Purple, it was the closest colour I had to them. The beads cost me a grand total of about £0.85 if my memory serves me well (from the local art/craft shop) and the E.L.F polish cost me £0.90 on sale. Basically £1.75 for the manicure, but I could probably get 2 or 3 more manicures from the beads so lets say £0.58. Cheap as Chips! (I'm on a roll..)

To be honest the finished effect especially in this colour reminds me more of those pink Bassets sweets you can get: look! rather than fish eggs.
The glass microbeads looked varying different shades depending in which light or angle they were viewed and under artificial bright spotlight almost looked lit from within but this was hard to capture in photos. 

Below in sunlight:

(Or maybe raspberries?)

 Below is a photo using flash:

As to be expected from me I wanted to pick at them by the time I'd done the second nail, however once all nails done I sort of liked it, and by that I mean I liked it better that the rhinestone manicure I did for the B&W challenge! This is the most impractical type of manicure and should only be recommended for those privileged enough for a butler because I guarantee any task undertaken results in the bloody things fallling off everywhere.

Here is the link to the very first Caviar Manicure originating from nail expert Patti Yankee and her team at Dashing Divas for a fashion show last year.

Some of the other ladies involved in Fish Egg Friday include:

Sammy from The Nailasaurus

Salla  from  OMG! Polish 'Em!

Stephanie from Sincerely Stephanie

Jeanette from The Swatchaholic

Emily from  The Lacquerologist

Anna from  Pretty Digits

Susan from  The Subtle Shimmer

Ivana from  Ivana Thinks Pink

A Lacquered Affair from   A Lacquered Affair

Cristina (who as part of the B&W challenge has done a fish egg manicure!) from Let Them Have Polish

Tiffany from 2thelastdrop 

Thankyou for looking people! xxx

Black and White Challenge - Day 5: Colour Base with something black

Hello everyone, another episode of the black and white challenge brings us a manicure with colour base and some black. For this I decided to do a 'cloud manicure', something I've not tried before but I think it turned out ok. Unfortunately by the time I'd got round to taking photos, using the GOSH topcoat over quite thick layers meant there was a bit of shrinkage and so the tips are exposed!! 

For the base layer I used a beautiful blue from Boots 17 called Catwalk Couture, it has a very slight shimmer to it, followed by a layer of Orly Galaxy Girl a stunning purply red with lots of blue shimmer that tied in nicely with the Catwalk Couture, followed by the last layer of a-england Lancelot a blackened red to tie in with the Galaxy Girl. 

It took me quite a while to get even one decent closeup photo for this manicure, the light would shine off the topcoat hiding the Galaxy Girl or to get it at an angle with no light reflection the blue shimmer would then disappear. But trust me, in real life the colours looked beautiful together and were more visible.

Also I broke 2 of my nails (quite painfully) opening the kids toothpaste, just as they were getting to a length that I like, not too long or short, oh well!! I suppose they will at least be a vaguely consistent length for the challenge.

Enough of my waffling, lets see what the other ladies have come up with shall we? I do hope you have been clicking on the links to see what manicures they've done over the challenge, there have been some really beautiful ones! Well done girls! :-)

Below are the links to the other ladies blogs so you can see the manicures:

Emily at The Lacquerologist 

Rie at Nails and Noms 

Sammy at The Nailasaurus 

Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie

Thankyou for looking Fab Followers and hope you are staying tuned for the rest of the challenge! xxx

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Black and White Challenge - Day 4: White Base with some colour

Hello everyone, here we are with day 4 of the challenge, a white based manicure with some colour. I did have plenty of ideas for this one but time constraints meant I couldn't do exactly what I wanted to in the end for this one, but I may do it for another of the challenge days. (Also I quickly want to say thankyou for all your lovely comments so far and will get round to catching up on the rest of my challenge ladies posts asap! Was away for the weekend so not had chance to comment.)

I needed cheering up by the end of this weekend so I decided what is more cheering than the sight of tulips growing in these spring months. These are some of my favourite spring flowers and I have seen so many about in peoples gardens - all sorts of bright colours. 

So I decided to do little tulips on my nails, all freehand art using the following colours:

China Glaze - White on White as the base, Illamasqua - Smash for the stems, Boots 17 - GoGo/ Nails Inc - Piccadilly Circus/ Rimmel - Blue My Mind/ Revlon - Tropcana and Red Hot Tamale for the flower petals, and finally Revlon Jaded Night for the leaves.

It took me a fair while to do but was easy I just had to make sure it was all completely dry before adding topcoat. Having to paint 'upside down' as my hands were flat on surface didn't help either!

Once I'd added the topcoat, I ended up quite liking this manicure, I think I will try it again in the future but maybe slightly different, perhaps just two flowers on each nail. 

My hands looked a bit cold and wrinkly as we'd been to Brands Hatch yesterday to watch Bristish Superbikes, it was great fun but, oh my, it was SO COLD and rainy and windy. We left early to make sure the girls didn't get to cold despite having 6 layers on each and good job we did as the rest of the meeting was called off due to dangerous conditions. I still hadn't warmed up by 10.30 last night when I took this photos!!!

Anyway enough of that... I am excited to see what the rest of the ladies have come up with today for the challenge, please take a look!!

Below are the links to the other ladies blogs so you can see the manicures:

Emily at The Lacquerologist 

Rie at Nails and Noms 

Sammy at The Nailasaurus 

Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie

Before I go I want to say a big welcome to all my new followers since starting this challenge and a big thankyou to my 'oldies' for staying with me. xxx

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Black and White Challenge - Day 3: Black base with some colour

Hello again everyone, back with day 3 of the challenge, today is a black base with some colour. I had loads of idea for this one, but I the one I have for you today is quite simple and easy to do. But to be honest once I'd finished it, I really didn't like it (too many rhinestones?) and it came pretty much straight off.  As I was away from home yesterday (Friday), I did not have time to re-do, so this was all I had. It's ok but I hated the feeling of the rhinestones on my nails and I got a bit of 'Sammy syndrome' and wanted to pick them all off! 

For the base it was again my trusty bottle of a-england Camelot and then some added rhinestones By Cheeky (who also do stamping image plates).


By the time I'd added the topcoat over the rhinestones too, they had lost a bit of their sparkle, which was also why I was slightly disappointed. But you need a topcoat over or they get caught and fall off! Oh well.

Anyway, I know the other ladies wil have come up with some beauties so please do check them out:
Below are the links to the other ladies blogs so you can see the manicures:

Emily at The Lacquerologist 

Rie at Nails and Noms 

Sammy at The Nailasaurus 

Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie

Thankyou for looking everyone, and I am looking forward to the next manicure, as I have had the idea in my head for this one since I knew I was doing the challenge. xxx

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Black and White Challenge - Day 2: White on Black

Hello everyone, well I hope you liked Day 1 of the Black and White Challenge and you also took a look at the other ladies manicures via the links I put at the end of the post. Todays offering is a black base with white on top.

For this I decided to have fun with a splatter manicure, using  A-England Camelot as the base and China Glaze White on White for the splatter!

This manicure is so easy to do but messy which is half the fun! Although you really need to tape around the nail area to avoid too much cleaning up I got bored by my second finger and just splattered away! Clean up didn't take too long! I then finished with Revlon topcoat.

For those interested I used a bog standard bendy straw (from Sainsbury's supermarket) to blow down to create the splatter. I quite like the effect it produces, almost reminds of me of when you pour milk into coffee and it swirls about, (well that or bird poo. Sorry).

I think it'd look great done in more than one colour and there are plenty of splatter manicures out there to look at with this done.

Don't forget to look at my other challenge mates manicures using the links below, also don't forget to blow not suck. The straw, people, the straw.

Emily at The Lacquerologist 

Rie at Nails and Noms 

Sammy at The Nailasaurus 

Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie

Thankyou for looking!! xxx

Monday, April 2, 2012

Blue Manicure for World Autism Awareness Day ( Speciallita Hits No Olimpo - Poseidon & P2 Color Victim - Blue's Time)

Hello everyone, back with a quick post and a special blue manicure. Why blue? Well 'Light It Up Blue' is a movement whereby buildings are lit up blue for the United Nations World Autism Awareness Day. We have a family member on my husbands side who has severe autism and requires care pretty much all of the time. It is a very misunderstood condition and so if you don't know much about it why not clink on the link above and have a read? 

Although I can't light my building up blue, I can paint my nails and I know there are lots of other bloggers out there who also have done this including Mihaela at Lacquer Buzz, Cris over at Let Them Have Polish and Jasmine at Colour Coated.

For my manicure I used P2 Color Victim in Blue's Time and then layered two coats of Speciallita Hits No Olimpo in Poseidon. I forgot to take a photo of the P2 on it's own but I love it so will do another post. Check out the holo on Poseidon!

Under artificial bright light:

In bright sunlight:

Hope you liked it, and more to the point will take a few minutes to read up on autism and the condition, how it affects the person, their families and how you can help. Even taking the time to have a read about it will mean you have some understanding should you ever come across someone with it. 

Thankyou everyone. xxx

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Black and White Nail Challenge - Day 1: Black on White

Hello everyone, I have been roped (not really!!) into doing the Black and White nail challenge! For those of you not familiar with this challenge, I believe it originated from a lady called Mateja over at Purple Glitters Blog and I have already seen some people doing the challenge. 

I am doing the challenge with five other ladies, two of whom are new to me amongst nail bloggers (hello Emily and Stephanie!) also Cris, Rie and Sammy who are world famous for doing the amazing 31 day challenge to an unbelievablly high standard. Even to this day I take great pleasure in re-visiting those manicures.

I'm a bit nervous about being up against some of the best but luckily the challenge is done with two full days between each manicure, which eases pressure in our hectic lifestyles, plus we get to wear the manicures for more than a few hours and gives me ample time to sort out my cock-ups!!! 

So what are the manicures?......

So today is black polish on a white base and I have used China Glaze White on White as a base and dotted using Rimmel Black Pearl and finished with a layer of Revlon topcoat. Black Pearl has a hint of silver shimmer in to give a touch of interest without distracting from the pattern. Without furthur ado here are the photos (my poor camera is on it's way out and is not taking close up or macro shots in focus very well):

I really liked the dotty manicure, but I think next time I will use either a black creme or something with more shimmer in, unfortunately when taking photos the subtle shimmer in the Rimmel ended up making the photos look like my mails were dusty!!

Below are the links to the lovely ladies blog's in alphabetical order of their name, so you can see what manicures they have also come up with:

Emily at The Lacquerologist 

Rie at Nails and Noms 

Sammy at The Nailasaurus 

Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie

Hope you have liked all of our manicures and will stay tuned to see the rest of the challenge and what ideas we come up with!

The rest of the dates for the challenge are as follows:

2) 4th Apr 2012 - Black base with white
3) 7th  Apr 2012 - Black base with color
4) 10th Apr 2012 - White base with color
5) 13th Apr 2012 - Color base with black
6) 16th Apr 2012 - Color base with white
7) 19th Apr 2012 - Black & white with glitters
8) 22th Apr 2012 - Sponging
9) 25th Apr 2012 - Water marble
10) 28th Apr 2012 - Manicure of your choice with black and white