Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Flip Flop #24: Rainbow

So I had this amaaaazing idea of doing a rainbow across all my nails, with a pot of gold at the end.  It would've been epic.

However, time is something I seem to be constantly lacking recently.  Plus I couldn't bring myself to spend all that time doing it only to have to take it off for work in the morning (Although apparently my nails have been noticed...they were discussing in a meeting possible jobs I could do, and one suggestion was something involving drains and yuckiness - as if that's happening - and one of the women just said 'Have you seen Sam's nails? I don't think she'll want to do that..').

So anyway, I did these super lazy rainbow nails instead.  Sorry.  All of my manicures have been a bit poo lately.  To be honest, I'm looking forward to the challenge being over so I can go at my own pace a bit more.  If I ever say I'm going to do a month long challenge again, please stop me.


From left to right, I used Barry M Bright Red, Max Factor Bright Orange, Barry M Lemon Ice Cream, Max Factor Cactus Green, Barry M Spring Green, China Glaze Man Hunt, OPI Roadhouse Blues and Barry M Vivid Purple.  Phew!

I really love my middle finger :)  My index finger didn't photograph very well did it?  You can't even see the red!  I like the ring finger as well, although it's very subtle.  Maybe it would've been good with a little green on that nail as well?  Oh and apologies for the tipwear, I decided it was a good idea to do dishes (must be coming down with something).

Monday, 25 February 2013

Flip Flop #...23?

Ugh, Monday.  Monday Monday Monday...  Today was looooong.

But anyway, we are now one day closer to Thursday :)  And on Thursday my lovely boyfriend is back from 6.5 weeks at sea.  Yay, I can't wait!!

Today I have lightning nails for you :)

I thought I might end up loving them as much as I love galaxy nails.  But, alas, I do not.  I think I should have used some lighter colours, but there we go.

I used a base of Barry M Black, and then sponged on some Barry M Vivid Purple and Berry Ice Cream and China Glaze Man Hunt.  Then I drew on the lightning with a white nail art pen.

Have you tried lightning nails?  Any tips for making them prettier?

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Flip Flop #22: Plaid

Last post of the day - I shall never catch up lol.

The choices for day 22 were plaid or moustaches.  I opted for plaid because I haven't tried it before, and it seemed like a good opportunity to use some pretty pastel colours :)


I used Barry M Matt White, Berry Ice Cream and Blueberry Ice Cream.  The stripes were freehanded on with two different size striping brushes.  The lines aren't perfect, but I think it looks quite pretty :)

Here's a reminder of what's left in the challenge:

Let's see if I can finish on Thursday like we're supposed to!

Flip Flop #21: Dots

The other option for today was flames - this is something I want to try using the needle drag technique (actually I saw a tutorial for this on YouTube, so I could do that for one of the other challenge days), but I had a dotty idea that I wanted to try out.


I used OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons, and then dotted with Max Factor Bright Orange and Cactus Green, and Hello Kitty Play Ya.

I'm really pleased with this :)  I love the bright colours on the nude base.  If I was to do it again though I think maybe I'd either do all the nails the same or have it so the pattern joins up across all the nails.  what do you think?

Flip Flop #20: V-gap

I swear all I did yesterday was paint my nails, how am I still 4 days behind??  Oh well, here's day 20 for you!

The choices were Flowers or V-Gap.  Since I haven't tried a v-gap before, I decided to go with that.  Looking at other people's day 20 manicures though, there seems to be a lit of difference of opinion of what a v-gap manicure is.  I may have got the wrong end of the stick, but I've stuck with what I originally thought it was.


Unfortunately it's one of those incidences of Seche Vite just being too darn shiny, but I think you can make the design out alright in this picture  I used Layla Ceramic Effect Green Galaxy (purchased from Sally Magpies).  Then I taped off triangles down the middle of my nails and painted two coats of Barry M Black.

Now for some Layla porn.  Soooo pretty!


It's a gorgeous forest green squishy jelly, that almost looks black in some lights (or rather, not in direct light).


The base is seriously packed full of microglitter. (I don't know why it looks lumpy in the picture, I didn't notice that irl at all).


There are also medium and large green hexes.  All these pictures are two coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

Layla-Ceramic-Effect-Green-Galaxy's beautiful.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Easy Gradient?

Hello lovelies.  Yes I'm going on a posting frenzy today.

I received this colour changing nail polish from Born Pretty Store to review.  When I was younger I used to have Special FX Fickles (I wonder if anyone else remembers these?) which were the same sort of thing, and I loved them, so I was very excited when I discovered similar polishes are still available!  I also thought that, since I'm pretty rubbish at gradients, this would be a good cheat's way of getting a smooth gradient.

The polish comes really cutely presented (and didn't get destroyed by customs - always a bonus) in this little box.

Interestingly you can see two colours in the bottle, although neither of these are the colours it goes on your nail lol.  It doesn't say the volume on the bottle (well...maybe it does, but not in a language I understand!), but by comparison with some other bottles of polish I reckon it's 6ml.

And then it all started to go wrong.  I opened the bottle and the polish was seriously gloopy, and seemed a little lumpy too.  It was not pleasant to apply.  That being said, I didn't make much mess applying it, and one coat of Seche Vite smoothed it out perfectly fine.

I do recommend waiting a few minutes between coats so you don't drag the polish.  All pictures below are three coats, but you could probably just do two if you waited a little longer.

This is the colour when it's cold.  Sorry for the rather pink fingers - my camera hates purples so I had to adjust the white balance to capture the purple.  This is pretty colour accurate though.


I had no problem getting the polish to change to the cold colour.  The warm colour on the other hand...

I have pretty cold hands.  Apparently too cold to make this polish work lol.  So off to the bathroom sink I went!


Sorry they're still wet.  I tried drying them before taking a picture, but that was long enough for them too cool down again!  Beautiful colour though don't you think?

Here's a picture as my nails were cooling down again.  It is really really pretty when it works.

Born-Pretty-Store-Ylin-colour-change-nail-polish-review conclusion?  Don't buy this if you have rubbish circulation.  Or maybe just don't use it in winter.  I did a little google to see if other people had the same problem, and they didn't.  Other people had much more success with it (for example: Rebecca Likes Nails).  So if you don't have rubbish cold hands, then I think it's worth a go.  Both of the colours are really lovely, and in the last picture you can see that it gives the perfect gradient without all the sponging faff.

You can take a look at this product here.  There's a few different colours available and they cost $7.84 a bottle.

Don't forget, if you do decide to purchase this, or any other products from the Born Pretty Store, you can use the code below for 10% off!

Day 19: Outline

I do believe these are also referred to as framed nails?  Anyway, this is something I haven't tried before, so I decided to go with this over the other option wings.

The way I've seen this done in the past is to paint your outline colour first, then tape of your tips and paint your second colour, leaving a little bit of a margin around it.  I sort of did it like this, but minus the tape - I just freehanded tips on in my outline colour.  Not as neat as you'd get with tape, but I really hate the stuff lol.

Naturally what little sunlight we had disappeared when I went to take pictures of these!  I used Jessica Ruffled Bottoms and Layla Gold Idol.

My nails are really curved, so you can't really see that there's an outline at the sides as well!  So here's a side shot just to prove they are there lol.


Thanks to the rubbish British weather, Gold Idol looks like a rather poor scattered holo here.  It's actually an AMAZING really strong linear holo.  Here's a picture with flash that shows it much better!


 Have you tried outline nails?  Or would you have chosen to have a go at wings instead?

Flip Flop #17: Delicate

So finally my day 17 manicure!


I used OPI On Stranger Tides (I love this polish so much, it's the only one I've ever bought two bottles of!) and then used a white nail art pen to freehand on the little lace half moons.  Quick and simple, but quite cute I think :)

Friday, 22 February 2013

Jigsaw Tutorial

Hello ladies :)

This is a tutorial for jigsaw nail art!  I'm sure you've seen plenty of examples of this around the blogosphere, but you can see the version I did here.

I think there's probably a few different ways of doing this, and you could probably get cleaner lines using tape, but this is how I did it and the way that I find easiest.

You will need:-

  • Four nail polishes
  • A dotting tool
  • A Sharpie (or nail art pen, or polish and a striping brush)
I chose to do a monochrome jigsaw, but you can of course do any colour combinations you like.  I recommend, however, that you choose one-coaters for this.  If that's not possible, then just make sure you use your polishes in order of lightest to darkest.

Here's the step-by-step picture tutorial.  I haven't used any nail art brushes for this, just the brushes from the polish.


1. Prepare your nail as normal and apply your base colour.  My black polish wasn't a one coater, so I used that first!

2.  Take your second colour and paint over half your nail.  Get the line as straight as you can, but don't worry too much, we can sort out any wobbles later.

3. With colour number 3, carefully paint across the nail, making a section halfway up your nail.  This doesn't need to go all the way to the edge, and the second edge doesn't need to be tidy because we're going to cover it up.  Just make sure you paint over the edge of colour 2.

4. This is the fiddliest one.  With your fourth colour, paint in the last quadrant of your jigsaw.  Just do your best with the edges (you can see I didn't quite get into the middle!), we'll tidy it up in a minute.

5.  Take your dotting tool and add a dot of colour 1, just on the edge where it joins with colour 2.

6.  Repeat this with each of the other colours, until you have a full jigsaw!

7.  This step is optional.  I didn't do this in my original manicure, but it's great to cover up some messy lines.  Just take your sharpie and draw over all your lines.  Give it time to dry, add your top coat and you're set!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Flip Flop #18: Galaxy Nails

I'm being naughty and posting out of order. Clearly just such a rebel...

My day 17 nails are on the process of being completed, but I did my day 18 nails yesterday, so you're seeing those first!

I've done galaxy nails before, which you can see here.  I absolutely adored them, although I didn't think they came across as lovely in the photo as they were.  I wanted to do something slightly different this time, that is after all the fun of doing challenges!  So I tried to do one big galaxy that spans across all my nails, instead of all the little galaxies that I did last time :)


I love them again...

I used Barry M Black, and then went sponge-crazy with Barry M Matt White, OPI On Stranger Tides, Barry M Bright Pink, Jessica Ruffled Bottoms and China Glaze Man Hunt.  I didn't have any silver glitter on me, so I added a few dots with the white polish.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Flip Flop #16: Animal Print

The other choice for today was stripes, but as is I was going to choose that over animal stripes!

Now I had a long hard think about this.  I've done a lot of leopard print and zebra print manicures, I've had a go at tiger and poison dart frog.  So what to do this time...

Well, after mulling it over, coming up with some new ideas, I finally settled on....leopard print!

Yeah ok, so not exactly new and exciting. BUT it does have a little twist.  Flocking powder!


I used Barry M Gold Foil, with OPI Warm and Fozzie for the spots.  Then I outlined my spots using a black nail art pen, and sprinkled on some flocking powder.  I think this is a pretty awesome idea, and how good would fuzzy zebra stripes look??  However, I think it needs more fuzz.  Maybe brown fuzzy spots as well?  I shall have to try it!  Maybe when I'm back in my flat though, I've got more than enough flocking powder on the hotel carpet.  And bed.  And chair.  It's their fault really for only having teeny little sheets of paper...

Anyway, I believe I'm currently three days behind.  I'll definitely catch up at the weekend if I don't before then (assuming I'm back in my flat by then!).

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Flip Flop #15: Stamping

Hello ladies :)  I hope you've all had a lovely Sunday!

I'm now settled in my hotel for the next few days.  It has a four poster bed and it's so high I have to jump onto it.  AMAZING.  I'm suddenly far more okay with being kicked out of my flat for a few days.  I just wish I could have my cooked breakfast now though, yum yum yum.

So for day 15 the choices were Stamping or Jelly Sandwich.  I still haven't tried a jelly sandwich, but I went with stamping because I already had an idea that I'd been wanting to try out.

When I received my stamping plate from Born Pretty Store (you can see the review here) I had the idea of doing multicoloured stamping with the apple image, so that's what I attempted today!  Be warned, this is my first attempt at using more than just one colour!


I used (from L-R) OPI Flick Chick Cherry, Barry M Matt White, China Glaze Manhunt and Jessica Ruffled Bottoms, and the yellow is Rimmel Sunshine.

I'm fairly pleased with this.  I was hoping to get more orange and green between the colours, maybe this could be achieved by changing the direction I was scraping in?  I love the blue into the purple though, I think that looks really pretty :)  I had a little trouble with my scaper though - you can see on my middle finger there's a cheeky little red patch that I didn't quite scrape off.  It's a Konad scraper though so I wouldn't expect to have problems!

Right, well I think I'm going to enjoy a complimentary hot chocolate and read a little more of my book.  I'm sure the novelty of the hotel will wear off tomorrow though lol.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Flip Flop #14: French/Valentine's Day

Right so scrap all that rubbish about it being too late for Valentine's Day, I decided to combine both of the day 14 options and create a quick Valentine's French manicure!

My nails are a little short for french tips at the moment really, so I cheated and absorbed a little of my nail bed into my tip.  By a little...I mean most of the tip is nail bed.  I've only got about a mm of tip at the moment, and I still managed to break a corner off my middle finger!


So here you have my naked nails.  Well...I touched up my ring finger slightly because I've got this massive white spot where I must have bashed it a few weeks ago and it's still got about halfway to go before it grows out.  Boo.  The tips are Barry M Matt White, dotted with OPI Flick Chick Cherry.  Then I picked a few hearts out of KleanColor Twinkly Love.

Twinkly Love is a rather thick polish, and you can see that it's a bit gunky around the hearts here.  I probably could've done with dabbing some of the polish off after placing the hearts, or maybe just another coat of Seche Vite to smooth it all out.

What do you think?  It's weirding me out a bit having such white tips...they certainly don't look like that underneath the polish!

Flip Flop #13: Sponging

I fully intended to spend today getting caught up with this challenge, but instead I spent the day looking at hotels in Paris and didn't paint my nails even once.  Whoops!  I have, however, booked somewhere for my boyfriend and I for next month.  I just need to book the trains tomorrow :)  Yay!  Now of course I need to plan my Paris manicure...

But on to Flip Flop related business.  The choices for day 13 were Watercolour or Sponging.  I really felt I should attempt watercolour...but I didn't want to.  I do love myself a good sponging manicure (in fact, I prepared a tutorial for you aaages ago that I haven't got round to posting!).  I thought I should attempt to do something a little different though, so I had the idea of cutting out shapes of sponge and using these to sort of stamp on my nails.  Much like potato printing!


So I thought some bold colours over nude would look good.  Originally I was going to randomly stamp my circles and triangles over the nail, but in the end I decided to make sort of tips instead.  Which I regret!  Not too happy with how this turned out, but I do like the idea of using shaped sponge.

I used OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons for my base colour, and then Jessica Ruffled Bottoms for the circles and China Glaze Man Hunt for the triangles.

On to day 14!  It's a bit late for Valentine's Day, so I suppose I'll have have to go with French Tips!

Here's a reminder of what's coming up in the challenge:

Friday, 15 February 2013

Flip Flop #12: Matte

Helloooooo!  It's Friiiiiidaaaaay!

I have wine, and I have chocolate, and I've just got some wonderful news, so I'm feeling rather great!

A brief aside...there's some program on the telly and they keep showing really close up of him holding things and he's got proper skanky dry skin around his nails and bruised nail beds.  Yuck.  Get yourself a nail blogger for the close ups!

Anyhoo, the choices for Day 12 were Drips or Matte.  I've attempted drips before as part of my boyfriend's birthday manicure (on my nails, not his!) here.  It is something I'd probably like to have a go at doing as a full manicure at some point, but I wasn't feeling it last night, so I went with matte instead.  Interestingly (or not, actually) literally everytime I type 'matte' (yes, even then) I always type 'matter' first and have to delete the 'r'.  Very odd.  I wonder if it's from typing up too many physics things about the interaction of radiation with matter...  Or perhaps from typing 'what's the matter?' every time my teenage sister begins a little rant (I don't know if you actually read my blog Amber, but if you do, I'm joking of course...).

So I've been enjoying chucking some matte top coat over everything recently.  Buuut since it was the theme for this manicure, I felt it should be a manicure that was based around matte-ness rather than just any old manicure mattified.  I'm not sure I'm making sense.

But here's what I did anyway.


I used a Special FX polish that sadly has no name, then topped it with the Rimmel matte top coat.  And THEN...well.  I tried to stamp with normal top coat, but that didn't work.  I thought maybe it was because it was cheap and the formula wasn't great, so I Seche Vite'd all my nails, and then tried to stamp with the matte top coat.  That didn't work either.

SO, I re-matted everything and decided to do dots.  Although by this point I couldn't be bothered dotting all my nails, so I just went for the index and middle finger nails.  The dots were bigger than I intended...I think my little topcoat pool was too deep!  Then on all my other nails I added a stripe of top coat down the middle.  I'm not sure this really shows up in the pictures, but you can see it if you know it's there lol.

All in all, a bit of a faff.  A nice way to have some subtle nail art though, if you're going somewhere bolder nails wouldn't be appropriate :)

I realise I'm not yet caught up with the challenge, but just a little advance notice that I might get further behind next week!  I'm being kicked out of my flat for the week for some building work to be done, so I'll only have a limited selection of my pretties with me.  But I'll do my best.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Tiger Print Tutorial

This is a tutorial for tiger print nails, which I used in this animal print manicure.

To create this look, you'll need:

  • Orange polish (Max Factor Bright Orange)
  • White polish (Barry M Matt White)
  • Black nail art pen (or black polish and a striper brush)
  • Sponge (you only need a tiny bit - I just break bits off this make up sponge)
As always, have a go playing around with colours.  Neon skittle tiger print nails would look awesome...

Here's the step-by-step picture tutorial:


1.  Prepare your nail as normal, and apply your orange polish.

2.  Taking a little bit of sponge and your white polish, pick an edge or corner of your nail and sponge away.  Try to vary where you do this on each nail.  To achieve an even look, you might find it helpful to do your first dab onto a piece of paper before your nail - this removes the excess polish so you don't end up with a big blob!  Also, start at the edge and work your way towards the middle of the nail, so that the white naturally fades.

3.  Using your striping brush, start at the side of you nail, and gently flick your brush across.  Don't try to hard to keep your lines straight, just let them curve with the natural curve of your nail.  You want your lines to come about 2/3 of the way across your nail.  Now do the same starting on the other side, a little further up.  Keep alternating until you've covered the length of your nail.

4.  Now on each side of your nail you have gaps between the stripes.  Go back in with your striper brush and shorter lines.  You can angle these slightly to avoid joining them up with the lines on the other side!

5. Time for a bit of clean up (if you've been as messy as me!).  Apply your favourite top coat, and you're good to go :)  Please remember to give your stripes time to dry before you top coat, so you don't end up smudging it all like I did!

Flip Flop #11: Splatter

So today I learnt that I can't to splatter manis.  Absolute disaster.  I don't get it...I have no idea what I was doing wrong.  And then I got a bit light headed from all the blowing lol.  So in the end I went for blobbing polish on and blowing it across the nail.  Didn't really work at all because it spread out far to nice and evenly.  But here's what I ended up with anyway!



I used Barry M Grey, then 'splattered' with Jessica Ruffled Bottoms and GOSH Holographic Hero.  I've probably managed to take the only photos in existence of this polish where it doesn't look holographic...that's an achievement right?

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Flip Flop #10: Half Moons

I've had this manicure in my 'ideas' folder for aaages, and I finally got round to trying it!  I pinched the idea from Top Coat It - you should check her blog out, there's some fantastic nail art on there.


CRABS!  And sparkly disco crabs, at that.

I used China Glaze Kalahari Kiss (the colour isn't very accurate here!) then I freehanded on the half moons and claws using Barry M Bright Red and Red Glitter, then added eyes with a dotting tool and Barry M Matt White and Black.

Aren't they adorable?  So glad I finally got round to trying this!  And yes, the fat claw on my thumb crab is totally intentional...

Flip Flop #9: Plastic Wrap


This is day 9 of the Flip Flop Challenge (well, today is technically day 12, but shh...I'll get there...).  The choices were Abstract or Plastic Wrap.

The only idea I could think of for abstract was a bit too similar to the colour block manicure I posted yesterday, so I decided to go for a pretty, work-appropriate cling film manicure instead.


Yuck, I hate taking photos in artificial light.  Come on summer!

I used OPI Gouda Gouda Two Shoes, then cling-sponged on some Barry M Gold Foil.  Indeed, I sponged on too much gold foil, so I went back in with the cling film and added a little more of the OPI.

There are two ways to do a cling film manicure (well...there may be more I'm unaware of!).  The first time I tried it, I went for the painting on the second colour and using the cling film to dab some off.  This time I used the cling film to dab the second colour on.  It could all be in my head, but I think they give different effects?  (You can see my first go here).  The first method is definitely tidier though, I'd recommend that if you're in a hurry!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Flip Flop #8: Colour Blocking

You may have noticed that the URLs for some of these posts say flip flip instead of flip flop, because I type flip flip in the title every flipping time!  Sometimes I notice before I publish, sometimes I don't lol.

Anyhoo, I shall be playing catch up today and tomorrow!  I had a lovely weekend back at my parents, although they fed me far too much and I left 3 pounds heavier than I arrived (that can't be good in a weekend can it?).

So here's day 8 of the Flip FLOP Challenge.  The choices were Colour Blocking or Black & White.  Since I require far more guidance for inspiration than colours, I went for colour blocking.  I'm not sure if colour blocking has to involve tape, I suppose anything involving block of colour counts, but I always think of tape manicures, so that's what I did.

If you're an older follower of this blog, you may know that tape manicures are a bit of a nemesis of mine.  Nowhere near the level of water marbles, but they give me grief none the less.  I just can't get my lines clean!

However, I am very pleased with myself on this occasion.

I couldn't face the faff of painting, drying, taping, painting, drying, taping...etc etc.  So I just painted my nails white, taped off sections with striping tape, and then painted these sections, leaving me with white borders when I removed the tape.


I love them.  Definitely something I'd do again, and they were relatively quick to do.  The only faffy bit is getting the tape to stick to your nail instead of your finger (presumably tweezers are a solution to this...).

I used Barry M Matt White as my base colour, then filled in my sections with Max Factor Cactus Apple, Jessica Ruffled Bottoms and Hello Kitty Play Ya (cutest bottle ever...).

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Flip Flop #7: Sugar Spun

Ugh, what a day! Well, I had a good day, until the journey home. I had to get a bus and four trains, which I was okay with, I've come to terms with the fact that the rail networks in the South East are such utter shite that you can't get anywhere on less than three trains. BUT every single one of my four trains home was delayed, and by just enough for me to miss my connection. Lots of time standing on train platforms in the freezing cold. And none of the trains had the heating on, because, you know, you only pay a small fortune for train tickets, so why should they spend money making your journey comfortable? I am freezing. I've been home an hour and a half with the heating on and wearing multiple dressing gowns and I'm still so cold :( The thought of having to get more trains tomorrow makes me want to weep.

I'm feeling rather sorry for myself, in case you couldn't tell.

But on to other matters. The choices for today's manicure were sugar spun or pattern. After the success of my first sugar spun manicure, I was feeling pretty confident about doing this again. Well...a little smug to be honest.

Oh how misplaced my confidence was.

It was so much harder this time! I guess the polish you use makes a huge difference - which does mean that if you've had a go of this before and not had much luck, it's definitely worth having a go with a different polish! 

Here's what I ended up with anyway. I think it looks quite good in the end, but I wasn't getting the really long thin strands like I did last time that I could just whizz back and fore across the nail. I could only get strands long enough to go across my nail once!


I used Barry M Black and Gold Foil, and then added a couple of studs to finish the look off.

Erm...I'm gonna level with you.  I'm not going to post over the weekend.  I'm off home, and I'm not taking my laptop with me because I can't be arsed carrying it.  I was going to schedule all the posts (the manicure's are actually all done and photographed!) but after my DISASTER with the trains, it's 10pm and I haven't packed...  So...sorry.  But it does mean you get extra posts on Monday :p

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Flip Flop #6: Fan Brush

I saw this technique a little while ago on the Crumpet's Nail Tarts groups, and it looked fantastic!  So it'd been on my to do list for a while, and this challenge was the kick up the bum I needed to get on with actually doing it!

Other versions of this technique I've seen have the polish swept across the nail, either side to side or diagonally.  I thought it'd look quite cool going up the nail from the cuticle instead.  I was mostly wrong, but here's what I ended up with.


They're super pretty...but that's just because there's three different holo polishes, not because of anything I did lol.

I used a base of A-England Saint George - a beautiful teal-y holographic.  Then I used the fan brush to add Nubar Reclaim and Layla Gold Idol.  As for the rhinestones...pretend they're not there.  They looked good IRL but in the photo they just look awful lol - they're too small and the colours look wrong!

I have rather a lot of links for you today as well.  Firstly, there are of course all the other ladies taking part in this challenge.  The other option for today was Glitter Bomb, so there are definitely going to be a lot of drool-worthy manicures!

Also, there's been a bit of a change to the British Bloggers group on Facebook.  Instead of posting a weekly round up, we'll be linking up via InLinkz once a week - hopefully you'll find this a better way to discover new blogs and see more pretty nails :)  Feedback on this would be appreciated!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


That's supposed to be like dotticure, but with hearts...but yeah, just sounds like something to sort out a heart condition. Oh well!

I was sent this fab little stamping plate from Born Pretty Store.  I chose it because I thought the little apple pattern was just adorable, and I prefer full nail stamps to little ones, but since Valentine's Day is fast approaching, I thought I'd share a heart manicure with you!

Some lovely designs on here that I can't wait to use :)  Hopefully I'll be able to get a few of them in to the Flip Flop Challenge, otherwise it'll be a little while before I can try out the other images!

The plate doesn't have a cardboard backing like the Konad ones do, but I didn't find the edges to be sharp (and I tried jabbing myself with them, just to ensure I'd checked it thoroughly for you!)


Sorry, the background on this picture is atrocious!

I used a base of Barry M Bright Pink and stamped using a Konad white stamping polish.  I topped this off with a matte top coat, and then picked out a few hearts to cover in Barry M Red Glitter.

The middle finger didn't transfer too well, but I assume this is down to the face that I drenched the plate in acetone to clean it, and didn't dry it off before putting more polish on...  I'm still learning!  All the others transferred fine :)  And you can see in the image below just how clean the lines were.

I honestly can't tell any difference between the quality of the stamped image from this plate compared to any of my Konad plates.

I can certainly notice a difference in price though!  This plate is only $1.99 (about £1 :o )!  Check it out here :)  Don't forget, there's free worldwide shipping, even if you only order one plate!

And if you do decide to place an order, for this or anything else, you can use the code LKL91 to get 10% off!  There's a huge selection of great nail art products at seriously good prices, so it's really worth a look.

Flip Flop #5 and Polish Days Mash Up

Hello ladies :)  I only have one day left in work this week, happy days!  Honestly, what are they even paying me for lol.  I'm going on a visit to Elekta on Thursday, which is a company that make linacs for radiotherapy, so that should be interesting!  For my new followers, I'm a trainee medical physicist by the way :)  Then on Friday I'm going home for a long weekend.  It was my little sister's birthday last Saturday, so I'm going back to spend some time with her shopping and drinking milkshakes.

So anyhoo, today is day 5 of the Flip Flop Challenge, and the theme was 3D or decals.  (As an aside, my right hand is so cold I'm actually struggling to type...time to put the heating on I think!)  Um...yes, so, as it happens, this theme fitted perfectly with the manicure I'd already done for this month's Polish Days!  Is that cheating?

This month's Polish Days theme is nature.  I've been loving The Polar Bear Family and Me on the BBC (I haven't seen the last episode yet, and god help anyone who tries to ruin it for me *glaaaaare*) so I created these cute little polar bear nails!


More velvet nails!

I used Barry M Matt White under the flocking powder, and Barry M Blueberry Ice Cream with a rubbish Saffron glitter that never dries, hence the state of my thumb nail.

I literally love polar bears so much.  The guy on the program got to hold a little baby one, and I don't think I've ever been so jealous of anything ever.  He did also have a bear having a good go at eating him...not so jealous of that one.  If anyone's interested, the program's on You Tube (as I discovered when I went to watch the second episode on BBC iPlayer and it was gone!  Almost ruined my day!).

I drew the face on with a Sharpie.  I then went and did some dishes (a rare occurence) and both face and flocking powder were still intact.

Monday, 4 February 2013

New Technique: Velvet Nails

This week you voted for me to have a go at velvet nails!

My boyfriend's sister bought me a selection of flocking powders for Christmas (and some adorable owl water decals that I neeeeed to use).


I used one coat of China Glaze Man Hunt and covered it in flocking powder while it was still wet.

For my little finger, I attempted to stick my nail in the tub, which ended bit of a mess.  Had to take that off and redo it.  So for the other nails I picked a bit of powder up and put it on each nail.  I lightly pressed it down, and then after leaving it to dry for a few minutes, I used a fan brush to brush of the excess powder (on to a sheet of paper so I could put it back in the pot of course!).

I'd recommend using two coats of polish underneath.  Or rather, however many coats you need for it to be opaque, as I think these look a little patchy?

I'm a little bit in love with them though...  Will definitely be doing this again!  And I have 11 other colours I have to try :)

Have you tried velvet nails?  Or is fluffy not your thing?

Flip Flop #4: Ombre

Boo for Monday :(  Although my day wasn't exactly bad...was in a meeting this morning (far more fun than sitting at my desk) and then went out for lunch.  But nevertheless, having to get out of bed before 10am is never good.

So we're on to day 4!  The options for today were Ombre or One Stroke.  Although I've never tried the one stroke technique I decided to go with an ombre manicure.  I've only tried this once before, mixing my own shades of grey, so I thought this time I'd have a go at creating an ombre without mixing my own colours.

By the way, being able to do ombre manicures is a definite sign you have too many polishes.

I went for this teal-y sort of ombre,  I think the index and middle fingers should probably have been the other way around, but oh well!  I'll know for next time.


Starting from the thumb, I used Sally Hansen Green Tea, OPI Mermaid's Tears, Barry M Mint Green, Barry M Aqua Glitter (over Mint Green) and finally Barry M Teal.

Ombres aren't something I really do, because I think anything that doesn't involve nail art is a bit boring...  But I actually really loved this on - they're all such pretty colours :)  And it's such a quick and easy way of doing a manicure that's a little bit different.

Here's a reminder of what's coming up in this challenge!  If anyone has any preferences for what they'd like to see me attempt for any of the days, do leave a comment :)

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Flip Flop #3: Dry Marble

So obviously I didn't attempt a water marble.  Water marbling is my nemesis.  And it beats me every time.  It almost broke me last time...  If you'd like to see my attempts at water marbling, then you can click here.

Back in the day when my mum and I used to buy lots of Special FX nail art products (well, she used to buy them, I used to use them - cheers Mum!) we had dotting tools, except they were called marbling tools.  So, on that basis, I used a dotting tool to do my marble today!


On the marbled nails I used a base of China Glaze Manhunt (such a fabulous blue), then added a blob of Barry M Matt White and Black, and marbled away.

I must confess, this was not how this manicure started out.  Originally all the nails were supposed to have a little marbled corner like this, but I'd intended for them to be smaller, and as an accent nail my ring finger was going to be totally covered in marble.  I guess I over marbled because it just ended up grey...

So, I took them off and replaced them with a gradient instead!  I know my gradient isn't very smooth, but I actually quite like the rough effect (although smooth would have been better for this particular manicure!).  Then I added a few rhinestones just to tie all the nails in together.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Flip Flop #2: Accent Nail

I received some nail mail today (pretttiiiiieeesss) - one domestic containing 10 polishes and no hazardous goods sticker on the outside, and one international labelled as electronics.  You can try to stop us Royal Mail...mwahahahaha.

Anyhoo, it's day 2 of the challenge!  I'm still on track (yes, that is an achievement, even at this early stage).  Today's choice was Stained Glass or Accent Nail.  I don't have enough jelly polishes to do a stained glass manicure, so I went for accent nail.  Well, accent nails.  So just a standard manicure then...  (This is probably considered cheating.)


I think I forgot to top coat this...I was obviously too absorbed in Corrie.  But anyway, ignoring the rather rough finish, I used Barry M Gold Foil and Gold Glitter for the plain nails, and then China Glaze Call of the Wild with my DIY gold leaf topcoat (which you can see in all its glory here) for the accent nails.

Last week I was searching for a dark brown, as I wasn't happy about having to use too light a brown for my Ferrero Rocher manicure, so a quick shout out to the lovely ladies from the British Bloggers group for pointing me in the direction of some gorgeous browns.  This is literally the exact colour I was looking for :)

You're probably  getting sick of the index and middle finger accent now, aren't you?  I'll try to mix it up a bit, although I can't make any promises...

Tomorrow's choices are a water or a dry marble.  No prizes for guessing which I'm going to choose lol.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Flip Flop #1: Skittle

Hello lovelies :)

Today's the first day of the Flip Flop Challenge created by Jillian at Jilltastic Nail Design.  There are two challenge prompts for each day, the idea being that one's a little easier for beginners and one's a bit more difficult for those wanting to push themselves a bit more :)  We'll see which category I end up falling in to.  

Today's choices were Gradient or Skittle.  I went for a skittle manicure, as that's something I really can't get right!  Not that my gradients are any better, but there we go.

I decided that my problem with skittles is that I have too much going on, so I decided to strip it back a bit.


I had a full on Barry M fest, using Matt White, Teal, Gold Foil, Aqua Glitter and Gold Glitter, with a Saffron glitter on my little finger.

I'm loving the glitter gradient on my middle finger!  What do you think??