Friday, July 5, 2013

A quickie with caviar!

I forgot to mention, in my last post, the one other thing I love about the OPI liquid sand range.  They wear really well.  I mean really well.  That Tiffany Blue sucker stayed on for ages!  And my nails felt really strong while I was wearing it!

But all good things must come to an end.  In this case the polish was just growing with my nail, and it was time to either commit, and backfill, or move on!  And, as you know, I'm not one to stick to one nail polish style for too long!  So off came the gorgeous glittery sand!

But it was late at night.  And I was in a hurry.  And I did make a complete mess of a simple coat or two of OPI Fly, my new favourite teal colour!

What to do with a messed up mani?  Fake it 'til you make it, baby!  In this context, 'fake it' means 'pretend you always intended to do some stylie nail art, while secretly covering up your smears and scratches'!!  And I would have gotten away with it, but I have to come clean.  One of my favourite quotes is from Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert.  He said "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep."  Truly a mantra to live by!

So, here's my quick fix - a quick dip of a wet nail into a tub of teal nail caviar!  Do you think I got away with it?

Voila!  Feature nail!  Just like I planned it all along.....
This is a mani 'for a good time, not a long time' - the nail caviar wears really quickly.  Tiny little beads chip off easily, and the colour wears off fast, leaving little silver beads in place of the lovely colour I'd planned.

But it got me through the last day of the week at work, and it'll get me through Saturday morning coffee!  Then I'm looking forward to a very relaxing Saturday night with all the nail art goodies out - and a new blog post to follow!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

OPI Liquid Sand - lots of glittery bang for your buck!

I'm loving the current liquid sand craze! It's really easy to apply (unlike lots of glitters that apply unevenly). The matte base colour combines with the grainy texture to really make the glitter Pop!

The finish is a bit weird: it does feel like fine sand: the kind that sticks to your ankles after you've been swimming at the beach. But it's robust (although some say it chips, I've not experienced this) and doesn't mind if you touch it all day long!
This is 'Tiffany Case' from OPI's
The Bond Girls Collection - such a lovely colour!

As with most glitters, it's tough to remove when you're ready for a change. But a few extra secs pressing a wet cotton pad over your nail will shift it cleanly. A good base coat helps, of course!!

Do you like the glittery finish? How do you think you'd find textured nails?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Brown and teal polka dots!

And the last one for today: this was my manicure for a recent work conference.  I wanted something fun, but subtle enough to not draw attention to itself if I was suddenly called upon to appear 'the consummate professional'!

I think this did the trick - what do you think?  I think that by alternating the base and dots on each finger I muted the effect somewhat - creating an illusion (from a distance) that I had a consistent treatment on every finger.  But up close - quite a different story!

Ombre nails - shades of green

This was fun.  Messy, but lots of fun.  Amazingly easy too!  I love the shading effect, and in real life it looks amazing!  I've had so many comments on how great it looks, I'm an ombre convert!

I painted my nails with the light green base colour, and then painted stripes of the light and dark greens onto a sponge, slightly overlapping to get the blurry effect.  Then it was as simple as sponging the polish onto my nails until I was happy with the colour fade effect.  

Needless to say, I got nail polish everywhere (on me that is, not on the furniture!) and I did go through a fair few cotton buds cleaning up!  I think next time I'd scotch tape my fingers first to reduce the mess (yes, scotch tape: a fantastic cheat for messy techniques!).  The photo is mid-clean up - as you can see I still had to work around my cuticles.  

What do you think?  Any other colour combos you'd like to see?

Nail polish stash - all the colours!

My mum tells me I have 'enough' nail polish.  By which, she means, far to much for one person.

So, with a view to sharing the joy, and starting to practice my nail art with others, here are shots intended to give you an idea of the colour range and effects I can offer!

Unfortunately, I am still relying on the camera on my phone, so the colours aren't entirely true to life - but they'll give you an idea!  And that's why I've shown some twice - to catch the light best.  Those at the bottom of the photo are the most true to life.

Crackles and glitters

Liquid sands

Greens, blues and teals

Greens, blues and teals

Pinks, neutrals and purples

Pink, neutrals and purples

Reds, pinks and browns

Magnetics and glitters

Tints, black, grey, silvers and gold

Skittle Mani, with a touch of Batman!

Well, this was fun!  I love a skittle mani (named for the lollies, not the game!).  Bright colours are my thing, they're so cheery, especially in these wintery days.

This time I was inspired by watching old Batman shows on TV: and I happen to have some appropriate  Cheeky nail stamps: Bam! Pow! Zap!  I thought they went nicely with the bright colours to really keep that comic book effect.

Excuse the fuzziness of the photos - it's the horrible digital zoom on my phone, and not blurring of the stamps!

The colours I used for this mani were:

  • Yellow: China Glaze Happy Go Lucky
  • Orange: OPI Nicole Alert!
  • Blue: OPI Teal the Cows Come Home
  • Green: OPI Green-wich Village
  • Pink: China Glaze Sexy Lady
  • Black: Butter London Union Jack Black
  • Cheeky plates CH47, CH48

What do you think?  Would you wear different colours on each finger?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Black and White & Gold Leaf

Today I wanted to play with another of my new goodies: gold leaf! Next up in my 31 day nail art challenge was black and white nails, so, of course, I combined the two!

Black was Union Jack Black by Butter. A gorgeous high gloss creme, this applies easily and coverage with two coats is amazing.

White was White Shatter by OPI. I know shatters are over, but I wanted an easy way to get the black and white effect as I knew I'd be messing around with the gold leaf.

And, a gold leaf tip! It's not smooth, but I think that's because of the shatter. Once I got confident with the leaf it was easier than I expected. I used a damp soft nail art brush to pick it up and apply to the nail, over wet top coat. It cut well with regular scissors. It definitely responds to a confident touch. This is not a nail art effect for the impatient!

I like it! I couldn't have achieved this gold colour with any polish. And I do love a bit of bling! What do you think?
Inside, in natural light.
You can see the bumps where the shatter has split.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Violet & Flocking Powder!

I'm at home this week on doctor's orders to take it easy, which to me translates as 'nail art time'!

I've just received some goodies from the lovely Jo at SimplyU (, and today was the day to play with flocking powder! I've seen this online a lot, and agree it looks like plush animal fur: so when I ordered the powder I bought some acrylic animal embellishments too.

I did the flocked nail first to see how it went.
This is inside in natural light.

And here it is!

I used OPI Do You Lilac It? As its a perfect colour match for the purple powder, and it got me back on track for the nail art challenge. I only did one feature nail with the flocking powder, and I think it's super cute! What do you think?

All done, in the bright sunlight.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tranzitions polka dots

One more post for today. Obviously I haven't been terribly good at keeping this blog up to date, so every now and then I need to purge my photo library of nail polish photos and share them with the world!

This is a design I tried when I first got my China Glaze Tranzitions polishes. It was surprisingly difficult, given my success with the Tranzitions stamping mani! Top coat isn't an ideal medium for nail art, simply because it dries so fast.

A simple polka dot design using China Glaze Tranzitions Modify Me and a dotting tool. Not fabulous up close, but the general effect is a good one. I hope you'll agree!

China Glaze Tranzitions and Konad Stamping

I love the cheats that the nail polish companies are coming up with! This is China Glaze Tranzitions. Possibly my new favourite polish, because I love the colours I've bought, and it's such a quick effective nail art technique!

This is me using the polish to best effect (ie: showing off)!

I started with two coats of Split Perso-nail-ity, and applied top coat to two-thirds of my nail.

Then I used a Konad plate to stamp a swirly design in Modify Me. This time, I only applied top coat over one-third of the nail (going over the darker pink side, so I still had some non-transitioned pink showing).

I was really impressed. Tranzitions polish stamped really well, and the stamped polish held up to top coat really well. It's quite a thick creme polish, so this was to be expected, but I was still expecting some blurring as the colour change worked its magic. I'm well impressed.

Graffiti nails - DIY version!

Inspired by China Glaze Glitz Bitz 'n Pieces, which is not yet available here in New Zealand, I tried to build my own graffiti glitter!

I used OPI Teal the Cows Come Home as my base colour. I wasn't sure if I'd love this look, so my glitter pieces are in similar teal blue shades. I used glitter rods, small squares, large hexagons and some paler stars. I used OPI Got Your Number Liquid Sand on my little finger as an accent.

No surprise, I found all that glitter really hard to wear! Even with two thick coats of top coat, it was super lumpy and caught on everything.

Photo 1: glitter and top coat, with flash.

But I liked the look. What to do? Easy! I applied a thick coat of clear UV gel over the nails. When that was set (after applying UV top coat also) I was free to file and buff the lumps away! It kind of enhanced the 3d glitter effect, and the iridescent large hexagons really popped!

Photo 2: glitter and gel nail, with flash, pre-filing.

Photo 3: gel all filed, buffed and smooth.
Artificial light - not true to colour, but shows the glitter better!

Verdict? Love it!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blue and white flower mani with rhinestone

These nails are courtesy of Konad. I painted them with OPI In the Navy, then used a floral stamp in China Glaze Platinum Snow, finally topped off with a single rhinestone flower.  Easy and cute!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Yellow and purple shocking shatter!

Very simple today. Lovely bright yellow with OPI purple shatter to tone down the yellow, while maintaining sufficient contrast to allow the colour to remain a feature.

What do you think?

Buzzy little bee!

It has been a while! I've been super busy!

This is my second lot of green nails, to be honest with you. I started with a plain bright green, topped off with a chunky gold glitter. I decided though, that they wouldn't count for the purposes of this blog, which was, after all, intended to push my nail art technique.

So instead we have these: bumblebee nails. It's spring here, so back to nature it is. I acknowledge one of my fabulous nail art blogs for this design. I'm very sorry to the creator, I can't find your name today to credit you properly!

It's my first real attempt at painted nail art. So it is a bit wobbly, but that's what this journey is about!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Orange slices

Well, I admit to not feeling robust enough for proper orange nails this week.  So I've gone for a different, but still literal, take on orange nails... and yes, the colour orange is a feature... sort of!

Very simple: Butter LONDON Union Jack Black, which gives great coverage and shine with only two coats.

Fimo orange slices, one large, one small, and OPI Top Coat generously applied for seal and shine.

The only thing that puts me off Fimo slices is that it's difficult to curve them to the nail.  So I end up with masses of top coat but still with distinct lift around the edges.   Something to work on in the coming months, I guess!