Take Two

I had so much fun doing the first water marbling that I had another go the very next day! It’s still a bit messy, but the results are wonderful! I may not ever get this technique completely right, but as long as I can keep producing quirky manicures like this, I’ll keep doing it. Again, I forgot to write down all the colours I used. D’oh!

Left hand, natural light.

Left hand, natural light.

Right hand, flash + natural light.

Right hand, flash + natural light.

In sad news, on the third attempt I realised that my nails were an absolute state, so I’ve had to cut them all down, and will be putting them through an intensive care treatment for the next few days. Lots of moisturising, and no acetone! I have a few things in the backlog to post anyway, so I shouldn’t be off radar for too long.

Saturday night’s alright

I had other plans last night; plans to go out and see friends and maybe get a little drunk, but I couldn’t quite muster the get up and go required, so I decided to stay in, pop on my onesie and do silly things to my nails. I used the wikihow tutorial for water marbled nails, but substituted tape for PVA glue, which was still very messy, so I will be trying with tape and vaseline on subsequent attempts.

It’s not perfect, but for a first attempt I’m pretty pleased with myself, so much so that I think I’m going to have another go tonight! I can’t remember all the colours I used, but I used Revlon Timeless as a base, which is a pale grey creme. I took photos of both hands, because the beauty of this mani is that every nail came out different.

Left hand, flash.

Left hand, flash.

Right hand, flash.

Right hand, flash.

Left hand, natural light.

Left hand, natural light.

Right hand, natural light.

Right hand, natural light.

So yes, despite the mess, an excellent result, and tons of fun! I look forward to doing an even better job next time.

Fade to blue

There’s an awful lot of weather going on outside my house, that’s for sure. It’s put a bit of a damper on my social life, but on the plus side, I’ve had plenty of time to faff around with my nails! Alas, the lack of outdoor daylight has pissed all over my photo taking skills, so it’s just the one today, a new blue gradient using Barielle Sky’s The Limit and Rimmel Azure.

Flash.

Flash.

Despite the mess involved, I’m really loving gradients at the moment. I could’ve done better on this one, but I’ve got the technique down, so it’s just a case of luck and practice. Now that my nails are getting really long, I may soon try adding a third or even fourth colour in!

Updated: ZOMG the sun came out!

Sunlight! Huzzah!

Sunlight! Huzzah!

Written in the stars

As soon as I saw this collection, I knew I had to have at least a few shades, but wouldn’t you know it? Only available in the US. So I begged whined and pleaded with an ex-pat friend who was coming home for Christmas if she would grab a few shades for me and bring them over – and she did! By chance, the day before I received them, I saw this post from a fellow UK nail blogger, and I just had to try it out with two of my new polishes.

So here we have it, my first holographic gradient manicure, using Avon Cosmic Eclipse (the dark blue/grey) and Avon Cosmic Celestia (the light blue/grey). I used the same sponging method used in the tutorial linked above, except that I put PVA glue around my cuticles to minimise clean-up, which was a masterstroke even if I do say so myself. Not only does it make clean-up superfast, but anyone who remembers primary school will know just how intensely satisfying it is to peel PVA glue off your fingers. Both polishes are stunning on their own, but I love the way they look together, and I’m chuffed that the gradient came out this well on my first attempt. The formula is a little on the thin side, but 100% worth it, as it dries fast and holds without chipping for days. And they cost me less than $4 each!

Flash.

Flash.

Natural light.

Natural light.

I really love it. I will definitely be doing gradients again. I reckon the next lot will be even better!

Stay frosty!

I got bored last night, and decided to break out the toys. So here it is, my first ever sponged glitter gradient!

DSCF0679

I started off with a base of China Glaze Tongue & Chic (£4.29/eBay seller: nailswestcom), from the new fall collection. It’s a gorgeous deep teal shimmer, which is about as close to a one coat polish I’ve ever seen, though the formula was a little on the thick side. I then sponged over a layer of Model’s Own Southern Lights (£5/Boots), a dense silver holo micro glitter, and then a final layer of ORLY Angel Eyes (£6.79/Beauty Bay), which is a blue micro glitter with slightly larger holo pieces.

Flash.

Flash.

Natural light.

Natural light.

The result is pretty fantastic; I can’t stop looking at it. It’s so sparkly! I will definitely be repeating this one, probably for Christmas. Sponging turned out to be a lot easier than I feared, so I’m keen to try some 2 colour gradients in the very near future. My shaky hands prevent me from doing a lot of really skilled technical stuff, but I’m pretty sure I can get to grips with gradients!

Time to play!

smokeashesFirstly, let me apologise sincerely for the state of my cuticles in this pic. I spent most of yesterday arguing with a flat pack futon and my hands are now ragged and raw, but since I didn’t break a single nail in the process (win!), I figured it was manicure time.

Tonight is my podcast’s Rocky Horror Picture Show anniversary special, so I was going to go for something suitably themed, but I just couldn’t think of anything that I would be able to do with my stupid shaky hands, so I went with this instead. This is Smoke & Ashes from the China Glaze Hunger Games collection (around £4.60/eBay seller: salonsupplystore) a black base littered with tiny green and gold flakies, and Accessorize’s Ultra Marine Green (£3.45/Superdrug), a pale green with gold shimmer from the Oil Slick range on the feature nail. I’ve also decorated it with some round silver studs which were also an eBay grab, though I can’t remember how much I paid for them. I love this look, but now I have to find something to wear with it, argh!

Hope you’re all gearing up for an ace weekend, see you on the flipside.

Summertime Blues

guavadots2No, your eyes don’t deceive you… I’m wearing bright polish! I’ve seen some gorgeous dotty manicures recently and resolved to give it a stab, and am pleased to report that it wasn’t half as tricky as it looked. I won’t bore you with my own interpretation of a tutorial, as Chalkboard Nails has done a great post about it already.

The colours I’ve used here are Guava by Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine (£3.99/Boots) for the base, then Lavender Lies by Maybelline Color Show (£2.99/Boots) and Blueberry by Barry M (£2.99/Boots) for the dots. Unfortunately, my lousy phonecam has washed out the green of the base colour, but in real life the contrast is much prettier. Perhaps it’s time for a new camera…

I’m still waiting on a delivery from Born Pretty, and a couple of things from eBay, but as those are all dark holos and black variants, it’s nice to go bright for something that ought to pass as a summers day. Also, keen observers will notice I have added a Wishlist page to the site. I’m not on the beg or anything, but if anyone in the US would be interested in being a nail mail buddy so I can get hold of some of the stuff I can’t easily get over here, please do get in touch!