Thursday, 19 December 2013

Review: Sparkly Nails

Hello everyone!

I have a few products for a new-to-me e-tailer tonight.  Sparkly Nails sell a huge range of nail art products, and even better, they're based in the UK!  That means no waiting 6 weeks to get your goodies :)

I was sent two products to review.  First up, some lovely Christmas water decals.

Now you all know I love a good water decal and these are no exception.  There's Christmas trees, baubles, "Merry Christmas"s and some pretty squiggles.  There are 20 decals in the pack, and I don't think you'd want to use one on every nail so you'd get a fair few manicures out of this.

I used OPI Flick Chick Cherry and Barry M Gold Glitter.  I didn't have any problems with the decals crinkling or the like, although I did find they needed more like 30 seconds soaking than the 15 seconds stated on the instructions.  I like that they're so delicate :)  That's exactly what you want from decals - something that you can't do freehand!

This pack costs £1.65 and you can see it here.

Next up, Father Christmas fimo!

I've never used fimo before so I don't really have anything to compare these to.  You get absolutely loads in the packet - I don't think you'd have to worry about running out of these!

I used OPI Flick Chick Cherry again, with a white nail art pen for the tips.  As you can see, the fimo pieces aren't all the same size.  Whether that matters or not depends on how you want to use them I suppose (or how OCD you bothered me a little lol).  The thickness also varied a little - the one on the right was really thin and I had problems with it curling.  They are cute though, they make me laugh.  They look like little baby Santas...

These cost £1.20 and you can see them here.

There's still time to order them before Christmas as well!  UK Priority or Express will get them here in time if you order by 3pm Friday or Monday respectively.

I've just about finished packing to go home to my parents' for Christmas.  Unfortunately, there is no way my laptop's fitting in my bag, so I'm afraid I won't be blogging over Christmas.  I shall be back on 6th January.  So, I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and a fabulous new year!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Christmas Robins


Finally some Christmas nail art!  Honestly, I am rubbish.  I'll do better next year...hopefully.

Anyhoo, I have for you today some Christmas robins :)


I know, they're adorable, even if I do say so myself.  And yes, I know that robins don't actually have yellow beaks, but shhh...

I used...umm...lots of polishes.  China Glaze Call of the Wild and Hits Folk Rock for the robin's body, OPI Flick Chick Cherry and Barry M Red Glitter for his red chest, then a few dots of Barry M Matt White and Black, and Rimmel Sunshine to finish them off.

If you'd like to have a go at these yourself, just follow my penguin tutorial and change the colours!  Because robins and penguins look exactly the same, honestly...

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Top 10 Products for Christmas

Evening all :)

You may have seen a little while ago that some of the British Blogger ladies posted their Top 10 Polishes.  I decided not to join in, because how could I possibly choose??  When I read everyone else's posts though I was sorry I'd missed out on the fun, so when Rachael from Rachos Nail Love suggested we do a Christmas Top 10, I was in!

So, in no particular order, my top 10 nail goodies for the Christmas season...

1.  Full Coverage Glitter Polish

 And lots of it.  I completely adore creme finish nail art over a glitter base.  As you can see from the fill lines on these, I've had quite a bit of use out of them!  The China Glazes are all from last year's Holiday Joy Collection - now THAT is how you do a Christmas collection.

2. Nail Art Pens

Essential for all that Christmas nail art!  Unless, you know, you're skilled enough to paint things with a brush...  Barry M's are my favourite (I actually don't even know how I did any nail art before these wonderful things were created), but there are plenty available a lot cheaper on ebay :)

3. Holographic Polish

Now, I don't want to hear any of that rubbish about holo polishes being for Summer.  No, we don't see any sunlight in December, but artificial lighting will do the job.  This is Layla Gold Idol.  Gold + holo = Christmassy wonderfulness!

4. Loose Glitter

 All the glitter!  Find any glitter you can and put it on your nails!  Some of my favourite Christmas nails that I've ever done were just glitter.  It was before I started my blog; I just bought a pack of craft glitter from Wilkinsons and used it on wet polish to cover my  nails.  Looked amaaaazing!  Just be prepared to wear it for the whole Christmas period...removing it almost broke me as a person...

5. Red and Green Polish

Goes without saying you need red and green!  Can't go far wrong with Barry M (again).

6. Foils

These are great for glam, shiny nails in a hurry.  You could even just randomly dab on a few bits to liven up an old manicure if you don't have time to redo your nails completely.

7. Snow!

Well, technically flocking powder.  But if it looks like snow and it tastes like snow...  Perfect for adding a little fluffiness to Santa's beard, or sprinkling on a snowy manicure.  Ooh and with black as well you could do little fluffy penguins!

8. Tutorials

There are SO MANY Christmas tutorials out there, and some of them are just so adorable.  It's a great time for trying out some new nail art - they're usually easier than you think! (Shameless plug: you can see my Christmas tutorials here).

9. Tacky Stickers

I'm all for the classy nails normally (ahem), but frankly you need a bit of over the top tackiness at Christmas.  Christmas stickers are a really easy and quick way of spicing up a plain manicure as well.  I should add though, these stickers were from Poundland and were particularly awful (see here) and I am not in any way, shape or form suggesting you buy them.

10. More Glitter

This time in the form of toppers.  Put them over everything (even glitter) and spaaaarkle!

Don't forget to take a look at all the other Top 10 posts!

Guest Post at The Crumpet

Pop on over here to see my contribution to the Crumpet's British Blogging Christmas :)

Sunday, 8 December 2013

In Keeping With The Late Theme...

Hello lovelies :)

So 11th November was a little while ago, but today I have some poppy nails to show you.  These are water decals that I was sent from KKCenterHk.

I foolishly forgot to take a picture of the decals before I used them, so here's a picture from the website:

It's one of these full sheet ones that you just cut out the bit you want.  Shall I start with the negatives and end on a high...?  The sheet isn't big enough for all 10 nails.  I think you'd be lucky to get 7 nails maybe.  And I think I have fairly average width nails, not particularly wide.  Also they're very long - obviously that's a bonus if you have very long nails!  But it does mean if your nails are short or mid-length you're not going to fit the full design on.  That being said, I think the length of the design I managed to fit on my nails looked good :)

So here's the manicure I did!

 I used the decals over Barry M Matt White.  The decals were great to use, as always from KKCenterHK.  I used Barry M Red and Red Glitter for my accent nails, with a few splodges of glitter on the poppies as well.

You can see these decals here.  They cost $2.54 (about £1.55), and don't forget you can use the code polishedart for 10% off all orders.

I have something quite exciting coming up this week...  You may have seen the Crumpet's British Blogging Christmas, and I shall be making an appearance!  Keep your eyes peeled :)

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Belated Breast Awareness

You'll notice a theme here in the titles of my posts...late, late, late.  But shouldn't we be aware of breast cancer all the time?  Yes indeedy, so why the heck not have breast cancer awareness nails in November?


I wanted to keep it quite simple, so I just went for Butter London Rosie Lee (which has come out a bit of a funny colour in this picture - definitely more of a light pink IRL) with a ribbon drawn on with my Barry M Nail Art Pen in White.

This is the first Butter London I've tried.  I was in town one weekend and saw that there was a new make up shop in the shopping centre.  They had loads of Butter London and Bad Apple (and I got excited when I saw lots of China Glazes but they were all, so I definitely paid over the odds for this, but I was so darn excited I just had to buy something.  And it is super pretty, so it's all good.  I do love full coverage glitters...sigh.

I hope you've all had a lovely start to the week!  I'm heading into London to do a bit of MRI tomorrow, which means an early start.  Bad times...  At least I don't have to brave the tube though!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Some Very Late Halloween Nails (Ish)

Hello my lovelies :)

Sorry for doing a bit of a disappearing act there!  A few weeks ago I was meant to do my Then & Now nails and then I got a phone call with bad news about the honeymoon (hopefully all ok now!) and then I felt too sorry for myself to do anything other than eat chocolate.  Then since my other half got home it's been pretty hectic.  My friend recently got engaged, so last weekend we went back home so I could go dress shopping with her.  In the same day I also went bridesmaids dress shopping for my wedding and went to try my dress on again, then we had people round for dinner in the evening.  Pretty exhausted by Sunday!  So we're just having a nice, chilled weekend this week.  Did a spot of online Christmas shopping yesterday (figure I just won't look at my bank account...) and think we'll smash it up on Star Wars Lego today.

But, since I've actually got a bit of free time, I thought I should give my blog some much needed attention!

I was supposed to be participating in a Halloween challenge, but that just didn't happen unfortunately, but I did produce one set of nails for it, that I just never got round to posting.  They're supposed to be candy corn nails (whatever that may be) about that later.

The inspiration for these nails actually came from the polish, which has a little bit of a story to it.  I'm a member of the UK Indie News group on Facebook, and a few months ago who should pop up on there but an old friend from school!  Jess is the creator of FatPuss Polish (which you can find on etsy here), so obviously I had to buy some!

Here is FatPuss Ginger Tom over my candy corn nails, with the colours the wrong way around because I didn't google a picture.  Whoops!


For my stripes I used Barry M Matt White, Viva La Nails Garden of Colour 30 and Max Factor Bright Orange.  Application of Ginger Tom was great - honestly as good as a big brand.  I used two coats, and was really happy with the coverage and spread of glitter (no dabbing required!).

And look how flipping cute the labels are!


And just because I's a picture of us on the school bus together!

I hope you're all having a lovely weekend!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Then and Now #2: Mermaids

Hello lovelies :)

I hope you all had a good start to the week (ugh, Monday!).  There was not enough coffee in the world to make getting up this morning bearable lol.  I hate mornings...

Anyhoo, today I have for you my second Then & Now post!  This time I'm recreating this old manicure:

That was with my old camera...check out the quality lol.  This manicure was inspired by the polish itself - OPI Mermaid's Tears.  I spent flipping ages painting that little mermaid (and then wore it for like well over a week, obviously).  I believe it was doing this manicure that finally pushed me over the edge to buying some Sharpies!  You can see the original post here.

Not only have I acquired Sharpies since then, my mermaid has also lost some weight, and stopped being some a little hussy and is now wearing a shell bra.


I stuck with the OPI again, but this time added a gradient with Barry M Aqua Glitter, because mermaids need glitter obviously.

I used the DIY decal technique to make this little lady.  I painted top coat on to a sheet of plastic, then traced a picture of a mermaid with a Sharpie.  I then coloured her in fully with my white Barry M nail art pen so that I wouldn't need to use a million coats of all my colours, and then I went ahead and coloured her in!

I find this quite funny really.  I thought my first mermaid was really good, but looking at her now she looks so rubbish lol.  She doesn't even look like she's got top coat on, what was I thinking...?

Please pop over to the Facebook album HERE to like the manicure you'd like me to recreate next week!  It's currently a tie between quite a few, so it'd be good to have a clear winner :)  You can vote for as many as you like!

So what do you think - do you prefer the old or the new?

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Flip Flop Challenge

This is a round up of the Flip Flop Challenge!  Just click on a picture below to see the full blogpost.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Mica Moma Franken Kit


I can't believe it's only Wednesday!  Argh!  I'm so tired, I can't wait for the weekend and a lie in.

Anyhoo, today I'm showing you a pretty darn exciting product.  I recently came across Mica Moma.  They sell a range of products for making your own cosmetics and bath products, INCLUDING NAIL POLISH.  Yes indeedy ladies, suspension base and all, available in the UK!

In addition to selling everything you need to become an indie polish making maestro, they also sell this Indie/Franken Nail Polish Kit for those of us who just want a bit of a play.  When I let them know how brilliant I thought this idea was, they very kindly offered to send me some products to review.

Here's what I got:

This is just a little sample of the franken kit.  The actual kit contains a looooot more (details at the end of the post).  There's suspension base, mixing balls, scoops, a funnel, pigments and glitters. Phew!

So I began by looking at all the pretty things and thinking 'umm...I have no idea how much pigment or glitter I'm supposed to use...'.  Fortunately, there's a helpful video on that advises you to use 2 big scoops of pigment and 1 of glitter.

The bottles of suspension base were full to the brim, so I tipped a little out so I had room for all the pigments and glitters.  First up I went for the blue pigment.  I added a scoop of green glitter and one of those mini scoops of the copper glitter.

I'm not gonna lie, this was pretty darn exciting.  And equally as messy (I'd recommend laying down some newspaper and ensuring your other half is out of the house so you can scrub all the polish off the bathroom sink before he sees!).  The mixing balls are super big, so apparently you only need one.  So one is what I used, and it mixed seriously easily.  Like a few shakes and it was good to go.  Seriously impressed.  I'm thinking of buying a few of these to pop into some of my other polishes that settle (OPI Teenage Dream, I'm looking at you).

Anyhoo, I was very pleased with this, but felt it needed more glitter.

SO!  Next up I went for the purple pigment, and this time added two big scoops of the copper glitter.

This is my favourite :D  Packed full of glitter, and I think the colours are so pretty together.  Apologies for the lobster hands, but this is colour accurate!  Woohoo!  I've finally beaten the camera.

All that suspension base that I tipped away, I actually tipped into an old empty bottle (because I'm not crazy) so I could make a third polish!  This time I added equal amounts of blue and purple pigments, and a good helping of the magenta glitter.  Check this beauty out...

How gorgeous is that colour?  I just want to show everyone my masterpieces...  I went into town with the purple polish on on Sunday and I so wanted someone to comment on my nails so I could tell them I made it lol.  I'm such a child.

Right then, final thoughts.  This was GREAT fun.  I shall definitely be getting myself some more to play with.  Oh I should also mention that these have sat untouched since Saturday night and they haven't settled in the slightest.  Slight negative - the finish was a little bumpy, so I'd go for two coats of top coat.

And here are all the details!  You can see the kit here.  It costs £19.90 (plus £3.50 postage if you're in the UK) and that includes:

3 x 15ml bottles of suspension base
3 x 10ml empty bottles
2 measuring spoons
10 steel balls
5 x glitter
5 x mica

You can even choose which pigments and glitters you want if you have something in particular in mind that you'd like to make :)  I think this would be great for Christmas presents as well.  Now I just need to work out which members of my family don't read my blog so that it can be a surprise!

What do you think, is this something you'd be interested in?  Let me know if you have any questions :)

Monday, 7 October 2013

Then and Now #1: Elephantastic

Hello all!

Firstly, sorry for all the seemingly random post on the weekend.  I was tidying up my 'Reviews' tab, and it totally didn't occur to me that if you follow via Bloglovin' you'd have got an email with all those posts in!  However, the Reviews tab is all finished and tidy now, so do take a look and let me know what you think of the new layout.

You'll also notice something new at the bottom of my posts!  I've added some pretty buttons to allow you to easily share my posts.  Please also let me know what you think about these, both in terms of how they look and functionality.

Anyhoo, on to the nails!  Aaaages ago I said I was going to do a series of Then & Now posts.  I've seen these on a few blogs, and I liked the idea of revisiting some of my old manicures and seeing if I could do any better now.  However, due to being of the procrastinating nature that I am, I never got round to doing it.  Until now!  So, I present you my first then manicure...

I thought this was like proper awesome at the time.  And to be fair, it did have googley eyes.  This was actually the first ever manicure I posted on this blog!  Aww...  You can take a look at the original post here.

To be honest, I was a bit worried about doing this, because I was worried it would prove what I've suspected for a while...that my nail art is getting worse rather than better.  Here goes...


I went for a slightly different approach this time, but still with the googley eyes of course!  I stuck with Barry M Blueberry Ice Cream for the base, but this time I used Barry M Grey, OPI Skull & Glossbones and a touch of OPI Sparrow Me The Drama for the elephant.

So what do you prefer, then or now?

Don't forget to pop over to my Facebook page HERE to vote for which manicure you'd like to see my recreate next week!  

Saturday, 5 October 2013


Nailtopia is a UK-based nail art store.  They stock the biggest range of nail art stickers I've ever seen, along with all the other essentials like rhinestones, glitter and stripers.

Click on a link below to see the review of that product.

Visit the Nailtopia website here:

BeautyUK Cosmetics

BeautyUK is a (unsurprisingly) British brand.  Amongst their huge range of cosmetics, they produce high quality nail polishes at purse-friendly prices.  These are available direct from their website or from Superdrug stores.

Posh Polish

Visit the BeautyUK Cosmetics website here:

Indie Polish

Femme Fatale Cosmetics
An Aussie brand producing polishes that are jam-packed with glitter.  They do ship worldwide, and they also stock a whole range of other indie brands.

Nelly Polish
A UK indie brand, and the first ever dried nail polish!  That means these can safely and legally be shipped anywhere in the world.

Viva La Nails

Viva La Nails is a European nail art mega store.  It was set up by a nail technician, so you can buy happy in the knowledge that they select only high quality products.

Click on a link below to see the review of that product.

Nail Art Goodies

Visit the Viva La Nails website here:


KKCenterHk is a Hong Kong-based store that supplies a huge range of nail art products at very good prices!  If you fancy treating yourself to something, don't forget to use the code polishedart for 10% off!

Click on a link below to see the review of that product.

Nail Art Goodies


Water Decals & Stickers

Visit the KKCenterHk website here:

Born Pretty Store

Born Pretty Store supply a huge range of nail art products - literally, if you can imagine it, they probably sell it - as well as an ever-increasing range of polishes. If you fancy making a purchase, don't forget to use the code LKL91 for 10% off!

Click on a link below to see the review of that product.

Nail Art Goodies



Water Decals & Stickers

Visit the Born Pretty Store website here:

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Something Fishy...


It's almost Friday - woohoo!  Bottle of wine is in the fridge ready...  I'm currently watching The Wonder of Dogs, and awww they're so flipping cute!  Dogs are literally the best thing ever.  I'd happily replace all my family with dogs :D (I hope they're not reading this...).

Anyhoo, today I have some water decals from KKCenterHk to show you.  Well, a water decal.

It comes as one whole sheet!  You just need to cut out the bit you want, and then the usual soak in water for about 20 seconds, slide off and place on your nail.


I really like the design on these :)  I used them over some white polish to make the colours pop.  I just cut out rough rectangles and then removed all the excess with acetone (just like clean up when you've gotten a little messy with the polish), so you don't need to worry about cutting them out the right size and shape and all that.

A few little things that I had issue with.  I think I have fairly small nails, and they're quite short here, but I needed to use more than half the sheet for one hand.  This might not be a problem if you cut them out a little more closely to the width of your nail I suppose, or you could always use it for a few accent nails!  My other concern was that the design on the sheet is different at the top and bottom, so even if you could cover all 10 nails you couldn't get both hands to match.

That being said, super quick and easy to apply, and a really bold pattern :)  If you're wondering what's going on on my little finger nail btw, I applied my topcoat before the decal had dried, so be careful!

You can see these decals here.  A sheet costs $2.82 (about £1.74) and you can get 10% off with the code polishedart. Happy shopping!

Monday, 30 September 2013

Monthly Round Up: September

Good evening all :)  Over the past few months I've quite enjoyed reading posts like this on other people's blogs, so I thought I'd have a go at one myself!  Let me know what you think :)

So September was a pretty hectic month for me outside of blogging, which I knew it would be, so I lined up all these rather lovely guest posters for you.  They shared amazing manicures with you - there were a huge range of techniques, including freehand, DIY decals and the one-stroke technique, and they even wrote a few tutorials for you!  Thank you again to everyone who was kind enough to write a post for me (and if anyone else would like to write one in future, just get in touch!).

I did have time to write a few posts of my own this month though.  I had the opportunity to work with a couple of new brands - my fiance must have been so fed up with going to collect all the parcels I missed!  I reviewed these four beautiful glitters from Femme Fatale, and had the chance to review these stunning glitters from BeautyUK, which I'm sure you'll all agree are really quite unique for a high street brand.  Last but not least, I produced these fun animal manicures with stickers from Nailtopia!

The most viewed posts this month were:

October Sneak Peak: Next month I'm actually going to finally get round to doing the series of Then & Now posts that I've been claiming I'm going to do for months.  Every Monday I'll recreate a manicure from days gone by, selected by your fine selves.  Pop on over to the Facebook album to vote - just 'like' the nail art you'd like me to have another go at.  And you can vote for as many as you like!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Femme Fatale: Noble Garden & Sea Pony

Hello all :)  I hope you've had a lovely weekend (just a shame it has to end!).  I'm feeling a little delicate today...  My parents, sister and friend all came to stay this weekend for us to go to the National Wedding Show, and obviously we had to have a tipple to celebrate and...well...if I never see a glass of wine again I think I'll be happy.  Had a great weekend though!

Anyhoo, as promised, today I'm showing you the other two polishes I was sent by Femme Fatale.  They are Noble Garden and Sea Pony.

First up, Noble Garden!


What a polish.  Super super densely packed with all different size green glitters, with a sprinkling of different coloured large hexes (think pinks and oranges) and a scattering of little glitters that flash bluey-purple.  This is all in a clear base, so you can layer it over any colour you like (bet it'd look amazing over black or white!).


I used one coat of Noble Garden (yep, just one!) over Barry M Spring Green.  Application was great, with even coverage over the nail.  I reckon you could get this to full coverage without too many coats... (Should I have a go??).

Next up is Sea Pony.

Sea Pony has red and pink hex glitters in all sizes right up to those awesome extra large ones you can see, plus some small black and yellow glitters, which I think add a really interesting twist, and I love the depth that the black seems to add.  All this is suspended in a purple jelly base, which is full of these lovely teeny little bronze glitters.  The purple base is warmer than it appears here, but you camera hates purple (makes me sad).


I used two coats of Sea Pony over Barry M Berry Ice Cream.  A little clumping occurred with the large hexes and I had to spread them around a bit to get a more even look, but I think this is fairly standard for glitters like this.  I finished this off with two coats of Seche Vite, just to make sure any bumps from those gorgeous massive glitters were smoothed out.

A really pretty polish with an unexpected mix of colours, and I just adore those large hexes - I think they look so good!  This one got the thumbs up from my other half :)

You can check out the full range of Femme Fatale polishes here.  They cost $10 (Australian dollars!), which is a little under £6.  Please note, the bottles I've shown here are just samples, the bottle you buy are 12ml!

Depending on where you are in the world, Femme Fatale polishes can also be purchased from:

International shipping is available direct from Femme Fatale for any British ladies (or anywhere else not served by these other suppliers!).  It is pricey though, as you'd expect, so it's worth considering group buys :)

If you have any other questions, just ask!  I hope you all enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening :)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

KKCenterHk Ebalay Glitter Polish

Helloooo!  Get on my posting two days in a row, I'm a new woman!

Today I'm showing you a fab little glitter polish from KKCenterHk called EBALAY Charming Bronze Glitter Polish.

The glitter is primarily lovely bronze hexes, with a smattering of medium and small white hexes, and a few white bar glitters (skinny enough to be inoffensive!).

I layer it over Barry M Berry Ice Cream.  I think it's perfect for a glitter gradient like this :)  And although it looks beautifully soft here, it would be really striking over a darker colour.

Application was great, no issues whatsoever with the formula or brush.  I used my usual technique of two-ish coats here, and was happy with the amount of glitter and the distribution across my nail.

You can see this polish here.  It's $7.82 for a 15ml bottle (decent sized polishes - yay!), which is about a fiver in British money.  And, don't forget, you can get 10% off with the code polishedart.

I have a bit of a hectic weekend coming up, so I may do a disappearing act again until Sunday.  Tomorrow after work there's a retirement party for one of the ladies, then my parents (plus dog) are coming up Friday night, and I'm off to the National Wedding Show on Saturday!  If anyone knows of any dog-friendly pubs in the Maidstone area, do let me know!

Guest Post: Nail Jems

Hello ladies :)  This week's guest post comes from the lovely Jem of Nail Jems.  Jem has a beautiful bright and colourful blog, with equally beautiful nails to match (and some pretty handy reviews too!), so do pop over and check it out.


Hi all, my name is Jem from the British/Australian nail blog Nail Jems!

I would like to thank Sam for allowing me to be a guest poster, she's a really talented nail artist and it's an honour to be deemed worthy of a spot amongst her own fantastic work! 

The nail design I bring you today is not so much about the design itself, but the technique I used to achieve it.

I'm a bit of a cheap skate and hate to over spend on anything, so I like to get creative with my funds first and foremost, and try and achieve great nail art with whatever I have laying around or can buy at the cheapest price!!! 

So to achieve today's mani, I did home made, hand drawn decals with coloured permanent marker pens, resulting in this funky multi-coloured chess board design!

To make home made decals, I start by painting a layer of clear polish onto a plastic sandwich bag and I let it dry thoroughly for several hours. It must be fully dry as if you try to draw on it, it will smudge, or it wont peel off the bag when you go to apply it to the nail.
Once the layer of clear varnish is dry you then draw your design right onto it.

As nails are so small it is difficult to draw out a precise grid with tiny boxes using just your ruler (believe me, I tried it and it was a mess!), so to do the chess board mani I printed out a grid pattern with small measurements using photoshop. I placed the part of the sandwich bag that had the clear polish over the grid, and then with the aid of a ruler for straight lines, traced the design in 4 different colours for each nail onto the layer of clear polish, and then coloured in alternate boxes. I let the ink dry and colour in the boxes another 2 times to get a nice solid colour.

When its done I peel the layer of topcoat from the bag using tweezers and cut it into nail sized pieces, I paint my base coat colour, or 'undies' if you prefer! (in this photo Sinful Colours 'Snow Me White') then I attach the decals to the nail with a layer of top coat left to dry for a couple of minutes so that it's tacky. I smooth the decals onto the nail with a cotton bud, trim the edges with cuticle scissors, and seal everything with another layer of topcoat.

I really love this technique and the coloured pens are so versatile, I've traced a beautiful fish scale mermaid pattern in one colour HERE (where you can also see what kind of pens I use), drawn free hand a multi- coloured henna pattern HERE, and even drawn directly onto the nail without making decals at all, like in my mani HERE.

I know a lot of girls that don't have great luck with nail stamping (it's certainly always been very hit and miss for me!) so this method can also be a great alternative as you can trace any pattern you want onto a decal to layer over your polish, and you can easily collect a nice selection of markers from thick to fine tips, in gold and silver and even colours like mine. Purchasing these pens has certainly been much cheaper than buying 20 different polishes hoping that they might be opaque enough for stamping only to discover that they aren't!

So I hope you like my marker pen technique and that it will inspire many experiments and great looking mani's, and thank you all for taking the time to read my post! If you would like to see more of my work be sure to visit my blog where I definitely wouldn't say no to a couple of new followers ;)

One last thanks to the lovely Sam for this great opportunity... and I'm out! XXX


What a great post!  I've used this decal technique for a couple of manicures (check out the leprechaun manicure I did for Sincerely Stephanie here), and can totally vouch for the tracing!  I normally use polish though, but using felt tips is a little bit genius!  So much easier to control and such a selection of colours!  And I can't quite get over how clean Jem's lines are and how uniform she's got the colours...I definitely need to give this a go!

Thank you again Jem for a fab guest post :)

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Femme Fatale: Lime Thief and Bottle of Infinite Stars

Hello lovelies :)  My fiance went back to work today, so I should be posting a bit more regularly for a little while!  I've got so many photos ready, I just haven't had a chance to write many posts.  Too many weekends away and evenings out :)

I was recently send some polishes to review from Femme Fatale.  In addition to stocking loads of lusted-after indies, Femme Fatale also produce their own range of nail polishes, and that's what I'm showing you today!

First up I'm going to show you Lime Thief and Bottle of Infinite Stars.  Pop back later in the week to see what other polishes I was sent!

Lime Thief is my favourite of the polishes I was sent.  It has a green base (perhaps what you'd call a crelly??) and then is full of all different glitters, ranging from large matte green hexes to teeny tiny red glitters with a holo flash.  There's also teal in there and some matte red glitters too.  I really like the mix of shiny and matte glitters - makes it more interesting than other multicoloured glitters - and I LOVE the pop of the red glitters against the green.

For these swatches I layered two coats of Lime Thief over Max Factor Cactus Green.  The glitter required a little bit of careful placement to ensure an even coverage, but nothing too tricky.  I used two coats of Seche Vite to make sure it was lovely and smooth with those large glitters.


Next up, Bottle of Infinite Stars.  Even just the name is awesome.  This polish contains stars in a blue jelly base, and is jam-packed with various sizes of blue and slightly greenish hexes.  I squealed a bit when I unwrapped this - I do love me a shaped glitter.


Here I used two coats over Barry M Blueberry Ice Cream.  I should say, China Glaze Man Hunt is like the perfect base for this, I just did it over a lighter base so you could see the glitters a little more clearly.  There is no fishing required here, I got tons of stars on the brush!  Almost too many!  And as you can see there's plenty of glitter in the base too.  My only complaint would be that stars from the first coat get almost totally obscured on the second coat.  I think I'd stick with just using one coat over Man Hunt in future :)


 You can check out the full range of Femme Fatale polishes here.  They cost $10 (Australian dollars!), which is a little under £6.  Please note, the bottles I've shown here are just samples, the bottle you buy are 12ml!

Depending on where you are in the world, Femme Fatale polishes can also be purchased from:

International shipping is available direct from Femme Fatale for any British ladies (or anywhere else not served by these other suppliers!).  It is pricey though, as you'd expect, so it's worth considering group buys :)

Let me know if you'd like to see any of these polishes over other undies or commando, or if you have any questions!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Guest Post: Beautylicious

Hello lovelies :)  Today's guest post comes from Roxy of Beautylicious.  Roxy has a whole array of beautiful, delicate nail art (and her header looks super tasty!) so do pop over and take a look!


Hello ladies!

Roxy here, the girl behind the nails on Beautylicious. I have to be honest - I'm excited but also nervous to write here, on this lovely blog; this is my first international guest post and I'd like to thank Sam for the opportunity. Hope you enjoy my manicure and maybe browse through my newbie blog ^^

This design is actually a remake of an older one, I wanted to see how much I've evolved since I've started my blog (over six months ago). I've used the same nail polish Avon - Sea breeze, but I did the flowers on the accent nail with the one-stroke technique. You can check out my old design >here< and tell me what you think :)

Products used
So this is it! If you want to keep following my work, you can do so through the following ways:

Follow Me on Pinterest
Pinterest, Tumblr, Beautylish, Weheartit

Follow on Bloglovin

Or you can follow me through Facebook or GFC

Thank you for reading!

I don't know about you, but I'm definitely thinking I should try out the one stroke technique!  Totally stunning manicure :)  Thank you again Roxy for guest posting for me!