Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Stamping on Stranger Tides

As I said in my last post, I tried a couple of different stamping looks over my OPI On Stranger Tides and Sensationail Polish to Gel Transformer manicure.  This is the first of those.

I think the lovely muted green of the polish calls for some delicate white and gold detailing, so I rummaged through my plates and settled on this floral design from Konad plate M73.

I then added some little gold dots that you can’t actually see, such is their delicateness, but I assure you they make all the difference.

Then I added Seche Vite topcoat but it had gone all gloopy and smeared my stamping everywhere leaving me with this mess of a manicure, and I probably shouldn’t even admit this but this is actually the third attempt on my ring finger, at this point I just gave up. So yeah...stamping 1, Sam 0.

My second look was marginally more successful, so keep an eye out for that in the next few days!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

On Stranger Transforming Tides

As mentioned in my last post, I was bought a gel polish starter kit for Christmas. So obviously I had a little spree and bought myself lots of pretty gel polishes.  It did seem a shame that all my (hundreds of) normal polished would now be sitting neglected though.

But then! I was reading a post on Mumsnet about gels and someone mentioned Sensationail Polish-to-Gel Transformer. Obviously I had to order it from Amazon immediately.

As the name suggests, the transformer allows you to convert a normal polish into a gel. There are two ways of doing this - you can either mix the transformer with the polish to create a gel polish, curing each coat, or you can just apply your polish as normal and the use the transformer as a topcoat, so only that coat needs curing.  Naturally I went for the second, far less faffy option.

I decided to try it out with OPI Stranger Tides, which is one of my favourite muted shades.

I applied my usual OPI Natural Nail base coat followed by two coats of my colour. The instructions then say to leave your polish for 30 minutes or so to ensure it’s fully dry, so I resisted the urge to Seche Vite them and waited like I was told (convinced the baby would wake any moment and it would be game over). Then it’s simply a case of applying your Transformer, curing and you’re done!

I don’t think they’re as shiny as full gel nails, although I haven’t used any other Sensationail products to compare with, and perhaps your choice of polish underneath makes a difference.  These nails definitely lasted longer than they would have with just Seche Vite, although I did start getting a bit of tip wear after a few days.  With it being a light colour though it wasn’t really an issue.  And to be fair, I had been messing around with stamping on top and removing with acetone...

When the time came to remove the polish, it was so easy.  I used the usual method for removing gels (although didn’t bother filing the surface), and within 5 minutes in foils the polish was clean off. Hurrah!

I’ll definitely be using this again and would absolutely recommend it.  No, you’re not going to get the same wear out of it as you would a full gel manicure, but application and removal are both MUCH quicker, and you can use all your non-gel pretties! I think next time I’ll try applying the transformer top coat straight after my colour though (not that I’m impatient) and see if it actually makes a difference, unless anyone comments before then to say they’ve tried it and it was a disaster.

I did try a few different stamping looks over the top of this which I’ll be posting in the next few days, or you can go to my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to have a sneak peek (links in the sidebar).

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Two and a Half Years Later

I’m alive, hurrah!

I can’t actually it’s been so long since I last posted, although it has been a very busy two and a half years. When I last posted I was living in Kent and was in the last few months of my training scheme. Since then, I’ve finished my training, got a new job, moved back to Wales, moved again when we bought our first house and had a baby!

I don’t know why I’ve decided that now, when I spend most of my day running around after my 9 month old trying to stop her head butting sharp edges on furniture, is a good time to restart my blog, but I have. So there we go.

There’ll be a few changes from back in the day. Firstly, you’ll have noticed the blog has a new look (all feedback gratefully received! - I’m aware of the issues with the background displaying on iPhones and will sort it once I work out how the heck to edit the code). Secondly, I’ll be making no promises about posting several times a week or anything like that, my daughter will mostly be deciding my posting schedule... With less time to write blog posts though, I will be more active on social media.  Some manicures may never make it further than my social media accounts, and you’ll get sneak peeks of any upcoming blog posts, so make sure you’re following me on either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Lastly, my Mum bought me a gel polish kit for Christmas so expect to see lots of gel nails! As well as obviously lasting longer than normal polish, gels have the added advantage of not chipping when my daughter chews my fingers, which can only be a good thing.

So, I think that’s all I have to say for now, now to get on with posting some nail art!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

London Calling

Happy Sunday everyone!  I'm having one of those weekends that feels like longer than two days, so I'm very happy :)  I was intending to post yesterday but I went to the park instead - got to make the most of British summer while it lasts (which could well only be a day or two).

And on the subject of British - today's nail art is London-themed.  I used the MoYou London Tourist Collection 01 plate, which I bought ages ago because it looked awesome but have only just got round to using.


For stamping I used Konad stamping polishes in white, red and blue, along with Barry M Black and Silver Foil.  The polishes used for the base colours are Barry M Cotton, Nails Inc Southwark, Ciate Boudoir and Barry M Red Glitter.


So this isn't a particularly coherent look, and I'm not really happy with how it turned out.  But I did use a few new techniques!  So for the little Queen's Guards I attempted two colour stamping.  The Union Flag stamp that I used on my thumb is all just one stamp, but I wanted to use both the red and blue.  So I made two decals - I stamped in each colour then removed the bits of the image I didn't want from the stamper with a toothpick, then made a decal by applying top coat over the image on the stamper and letting it dry.  I think this shrunk slightly though so it doesn't quite fit my nail, but we'll just pretend that's the look I was going for.


I also didn't intend to stamp 'London' on my index finger, but my London Eye ended up so off centre I had to add something else to make it look intentional.  Think my stamping still needs a bit of work!

If you've used this plate, I'd love to see what you've come up with :)

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Quick Swatch: Jessica Ruffled Bottoms

A long long time ago, I can still remember...I was looking for my ideal purple polish.  My auntie suggested I try Jessica Ruffled Bottoms, and I've been in love ever since.  As an expression of my love for this polish, I thought it was time it had it's own blog post.

It matches my phone and kindle and camera and laptop and just generally makes me happy.  I heart purple.

Great formula as well.  This polish can do no wrong.

What's your go to purple creme?