Monday, December 30, 2013

Fire Nail Art for The Desolation of Smaug


I went to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug a couple of days ago and I wanted some nail art to match the occasion.  Thankfully, I'd been drooling over Chalkboard Nails' phoenix-inspired manicure, so I thought I'd give it a shot!



I began by assembling my polish - I don't have a gold flake polish (...yet...) so I chose to use Nfu Oh 45, an orange flakie, as well as Rimmel Rapid Ruby, OPI In My Back Pocket and China Glaze Happy Go Lucky.  Finally, I used A England Camelot as my black base.  The brush I used is the medium-length striper from this brush set from Born Pretty store.



I started off with one coat of A England Camelot, then used small dabbing brush strokes to add my first coat of red and orange.  I painted two coats of yellow over the tips of my nail to make sure no black showed through (if I do this again, I'd probably paint half the nail yellow in the first place with no black underneath!).  I kept going over the design with the different colours of polish until I got the look I wanted.  It took about three goes with each colour, but I'm really happy with how it turned out!

I added some dots of Camelot for the floating ash and some Nfu Oh 45 flakies to give the look a touch of sparkle, then finished off with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.



I'm so glad that I persisted with this manicure (it looked pretty crappy at the start!) because I love how it looks!  I think it's a very organic-looking flame with lots of life and movement to it.  I do wish I could have gotten the more refined, delicate look like the Chalkboard Nails version, so I think I need to trim one of my stripers to get a thinner brush for next time!

I hope you enjoyed this post, and let me know what you thought of The Desolation of Smaug as well!  (I have many feelings.  Too many.  Help me.)

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:A England Camelot - one coat + dabbed
Rimmel Rapid Ruby - brush strokes
OPI In My Back Pocket - brush strokes
China Glaze Happy Go Lucky - two coats over nail tips + brush strokes
Nfu Oh 45 - brush strokes

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Gloss 'n Sparkle Blaqua



Hello all, I've got a gorgeous Gloss 'n Sparkle polish today - this is Blaqua, a blue creme-based polish with small blue and black hexes.  It applies smoothly in two thick-ish coats and one coat of top coat smooths everything out.


Blaqua's a beautiful polish, looking like a speckled egg - very subtle and pretty.  Overall, a joy to wear!


POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Gloss 'n Sparkle Blaqua - two coats

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas with A England Perceval


Merry Christmas, or if you don't celebrate Christmas, happy soon-to-be-2014!  This is my Christmas manicure - I began with one coat of A England Perceval, a gorgeous red foil that is a perfect one-coater!

On my ring and thumb nails, I added a coat of OPI White Shatter.  I was going to do this on all the nails (because I was too lazy for nail art), but I love Perceval too much to cover it up completely.


For a little more sparkle, I added some Dearlee 079, a fine red glitter in a clear base, to the tips of my other nails.  It's extremely subtle but in the right light it really pops!

I finished off with Cult Nails Wicked Fast, and used an extra coat over the shatter polish to smooth out the bumpiness.


I hope that everyone has a lovely Christmas, best wishes to you all!

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast (two coats over the shatter)
Polish used:A England Perceval - one coat
OPI White Shatter - one coat (accent nails)
Dearlee 079 - over tips

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Green Distressed Nails ft. Misa and A England



A lot of bloggers have been doing the 'distressed' look first seen on Chalkboard Nails, so I decided to try it.  It gives a grungy effect and I was very surprised as to how easy it was to achieve!


I started off with two coats of Misa Lime Love, a pale green with a golden shimmer that has a thick-ish formula.  It was a little difficult to apply and nail line was still visible after two coats.

After that dried, I used Ulta3 Tahitian Lime, China Glaze Starboard and Zoya Ivanka for the rough swipes of colour.


Finally I added the black, A England Camelot, and a coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast to finish off.  I'm really happy with how this manicure turned out - it was quick, and the end effect is so gorgeous!


Notes on removal: Misa Lime Love stained my nails to a yellowy colour that looks pretty bad in some lights but invisible in others - try wearing two coats of base coat if you're wearing this polish!

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Misa Lime Love - two coats
Ulta3 Tahitian Lime - brush strokes
China Glaze Starboard - brush strokes
Zoya Ivanka - brush strokes
A England Camelot - brush strokes

Thursday, December 19, 2013

OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls


Hello all, today I've got a swatch of the popular off-white OPI polish, My Boyfriend Scales Walls.

I found the formula to be quite thin and very streaky on the first coat, so I needed three coats for opacity.  I'm wearing three coats with top coat in these photos.


My favourite thing about this polish is that it's a slightly grey white and it definitely makes a difference on the nail - it's much less stark than a chalky white.  It's also very smooth and a perfect base for nail art, or even to wear by itself!  I find there's something very clean and chic about white nails.

You can see the difference below - Illamasqua Scorch is a true bright white while My Boyfriend Scales Walls is gentler on the eyes and slightly grey.


POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:
Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:
OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls - three coats

Monday, December 16, 2013

Zoya Aurora


Hello all, here's a beautiful polish to show you today!  This is Zoya Aurora, a grape-purple scattered holo that applies smoothly in 2 - 3 coats depending on application.  I used two coats on some nails and three on others.

In some lights, the holo flecks show as silvery-white that gives the polish a dustier look.  However, in sunlight and some indoor lights the polish becomes fiery and intense as the holo reveals itself.  All in all, a lovely polish!


Direct flash
POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:
Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:
Zoya Aurora - two to three coats

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nail Pattern Boldness Oodiful



Hello all!  Nail Pattern Boldness Oodiful is a polish I had been lusting after for ages, and I only recently got a chance to wear it.

Oodiful is a dove grey jelly with matte white and pink glitter (hexes, microglitter and squares), a rather unorthodox combination but one I've seen popping up here and there quite recently.  The polish is inspired by the Ood from Doctor Who.  I watch Doctor Who and find the Ood to be kind of creepy and weird, but this polish is gorgeous, so I love it anyway!


I was initially worried about opacity, but I dived right in without a base colour and applied Oodiful on its own.  I'm wearing three coats in these photos with one coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat.

I used reasonably thick coats but they all leveled out perfectly, and the sparseness of the glitter means that the polish doesn't sit too thickly on the nail.  Three thinner coats would probably work just fine.  Another positive is that the glitter lays very flat, and I only needed one coat of top coat for smoothness.


Overall, Oodiful is a lovely polish with great application and I really enjoyed wearing it!

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:
Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:
Nail Pattern Boldness Oodiful - three coats

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Nfu Oh JS10



Oh Nfu Oh, you always make me happy.  This is Nfu Oh JS10, a baby pink jelly that's still slightly transparent at four coats but covers completely in five.

Beautiful formula, streak-free and a lovely soft colour!


I did a syrup gradient on my thumb, which gave a sweet, faded effect.  Seriously, if you're in need of jellies, I'd go for the Nfu Ohs!



POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:
Base - none
Top - none
Polish used:
Nfu Oh JS10 - one to five coats

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Neon Colour Block



My striping tape shenanigans strike again!  This time I tried a simple colour block as accents on my ring finger and thumb.

For this manicure, I began by cutting some strips of striping tape while my nails were bare.  Then I applied a base of three coats of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls and topped it with Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat to speed up the drying time.


When that was completely dry, I placed the striping tape on my ring and thumb nails and filled in the blocks on one of the nails with China Glaze Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (neon yellow), Australis Totes Amaze (neon pink) and Models Own Orange Sorbet (neon orange).  I only needed one coat of each polish over the white - no streaking or sheerness to worry about!

As soon as I finished applying the polish, I peeled the tape off and repeated the process with my thumb.


I'm really happy with how this mani turned out!  It's bright, colourful and was very easy to achieve.  I hope you enjoy it too!

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:
Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:
OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls - three coats
Australis Totes Amaze - one coat
China Glaze Yellow Polka Dot Bikini - one coat
Models Own Orange Sorbet - one coat

Sunday, December 1, 2013

{Giveaway} Merry Christmas/Happy End-of-2013!

Merry Christmas, or, if you don't celebrate Christmas, happy end-of-the-year!  To commemorate the occasion, I'm holding a giveaway to find some loving new homes for some of my polish.

There are two prizes to be won - one of the entry options will be to let me know which prize you'd prefer so I can allocate them if you win!  Click the names of each polish to see my swatches.


Prize Pack 1: Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hardener, Butter London AstonChina Glaze Flying DragonOPI Did It On 'EmSayuri Fro Cone (limited edition What's In-Die Box polish), Cult Nails Evil QueenSinful Colors Feeling Great, Nfu Oh 55*


Prize Pack 2: Crowstoes Absolum/Your Potions Master*, Alanna Renee HedwigCult Nails Princess MUD Electrify ItOPI Metallic 4 LifeChina Glaze AquadelicColor Combos CTW511, OPI Drip Dry (quick drying drops)

 - This giveaway is open to Australian shipping addresses only (if you live internationally, you can still enter as long as you provide an Australian address that I can ship to!)
 - Brand new polishes are marked with a *
 - Please note that all of the giveaway polish is not brand new; they have been used by myself for a maximum of one/two manicures and they are all in good condition.  I'm choosing to give them away instead of sell them because I think it's more fun this way!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

November Haul

Hello all!  Here is my (slightly belated) November haul.  I picked up thirteen polishes this month, as well as a couple more that I'll be giving away sometime in the future!

--
I nabbed four Pretty Serious beauties and I can't wait to wear them!  The Pink One looks totally gorgeous.

Left to right (all Pretty Serious): The Pink One, Blue Gums On Boxing Day, Black Diamond, My Darlin' Clementine

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Contrary Polish Somebody Loved


Hello all, today I have a swatch of Contrary Polish Somebody Loved, the first polish of this brand that I've tried.



Somebody Loved is a pink-tinted nude polish with a faint pink shimmer.  My expectation of the polish was that it would be a pale pink shimmer, but in reality it is definitely a nude.

It is, however, a very flattering colour and the formula is good too, though it's a little thick.  I'm wearing two coats on some nails and three on others for full opacity, all topped with Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat. 


Direct light
POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Contrary Polish Somebody Loved - two to three coats

Monday, November 25, 2013

Nubar Iris Dust


Hello all!  Duochromes and multichromes are pretty much my kryptonite, and Nubar Iris Dust is definitely gorgeous.



Iris Dust is a predominantly dark purple-magenta polish that shifts to a golden yellow and even to green in some lights.

The polish is very sheer on its own so I layered two coats of Iris Dust over A England Camelot (black creme) to bring out the colour shift.  I finished off with a coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat.



Iris Dusts applied very smoothly over black and the colour shift is very strong!  In some lights the polish can even look completely gold!



POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:
Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:
A England Camelot - one coat
Nubar Iris Dust - two coats

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Emily de Molly Cosmic Forces


I'm very excited to showcase this polish today - this is Emily de Molly Cosmic Forces, a gorgeous purple jelly packed full of purple and magenta hexes, circles and large circle glitter.



Cosmic Forces applied easily in two coats - the base is quite pigmented and the glitter doesn't clump on application, which was fantastic!  I was worried about having to fish for the large circles but all I needed to do was wiggle the brush around in the bottle, then draw it out carefully and there was a large circle on at least one side of the brush most of the time.  Note that if you have very curved nails, you should probably avoid the large circles on your smallest nails (I didn't put them on my pinkie nails) and make sure to place them in a spot that they won't stick up from.

I finished off with a thick coat of Essence Gel Look then a coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat.  This made the mani pretty much glassy smooth, and I'm pleased to say that the large circles don't stick up much and they don't catch on anything either!



Overall, I'm so happy with this polish!  I love that it's opaque in two coats, and the depth of it plus the combination of glitter makes it very unique.  Definitely worth having!

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Essence Gel Look & Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Emily de Molly Cosmic Forces - two coats

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Nfu Oh 45


Hello all, today I have a Nfu Oh flakie polish to show you today.  This is Nfu Oh 45, a bright orange flakie (which I awkwardly thought was red until I swatched it).

It applies smoothly and on its own could be opaque in about five coats (at four coats, a bit of nail line was still visible).  By itself, the orange pops and there are only hints of yellow flakies.



Over black, the flakies show up and are very fiery; mostly orange and red with a hint of yellow.  Definitely a winner!



POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:
Base - none
Top - none
Polish used:
Nfu Oh 45 - one to four coats/one coat over A England Camelot

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Diagonal Pastel Rainbow



As soon as I saw this beautiful 'pastel rainbow gradient' on Muggle Manicures, I've been itching to try it out.  So after a few hours of toil, I present to you my version of the mani!


I began with Misa Ripe Raspberry (pastel pink, one coat), Misa Great Grape (muted pastel purple, one coat), Misa Blueberry Blast (pastel blue, two coats), Sinful Colours Pistache (pastel green, two coats) and China Glaze Lemon Fizz (pale yellow, two coats).

Then, using a makeup sponge, I created the diagonal gradients using the colour of the nail to one side, the base colour and the colour of the nail to the other side.  For example, for my middle finger I used green at the top of the sponge, blue in the middle and purple at the bottom.

I finished off with two coats of top coat to smooth everything out.  The gradient did look quite patchy before top coat, but afterwards it was all blended and perfect!

I'm very proud of myself.  It took heaps of work but I'm glad I tried it!  I told my colleagues at work to look their fill because I probably won't get myself up to doing a mani like this for a while.


POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:
Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast, two coats
Polish used:
China Glaze Lemon Fizz - two coats + sponged
Sinful Colors Pistache - two coats + sponged
Misa Blueberry Blast - two coats + sponged
Misa Great Grape - one coat + sponged
Misa Ripe Raspberry - one coat + sponged

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Alanna Renee Chocolate Frog


Hello all!  I have another Alanna Renee polish from her Magical World collection - this is Chocolate Frog, inspired by the packaging of chocolate frogs in Harry Potter.  It has a dark blue jelly base with gold hexes and microglitter.  I love this polish, it's so fun and complex and applies smoothly in just two coats!

I finished with one coat of Essence Gel Look and one coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat, though I could have gone for a thicker coat of each because after it dried, the manicure was quite bumpy.

Another thing I noticed - not necessarily a bad thing - was that the polish looked very teal a lot of the time due to the blue jelly over the gold hexes.  In the future, to both minimise bumpiness and bring out the gold and blue in the polish, I'd probably wear one coat of Chocolate Frog over a dark blue creme.

Overall, I'm very impressed with this polish and I definitely recommend it!


Notes on wear time and removal: I wore this mani for about four days and only experienced minor tipwear - great for an indie!  You will need a peel-off base coat or the foil method of removal for this.  I used the foil method with no issues.

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:
Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Essence Gel Look Top Coat (one coat), Cult Nails Wicked Fast (one coat)
Polish used:
Alanna Renee Chocolate Frog - two coats

Friday, November 8, 2013

Nfu Oh JS12



Hello all, here's another Nfu Oh jelly to show you - this is JS12, a pale dusty purple.  JS12 covers completely in four coats with no issues to report!


Here's a syrup gradient on the thumb:


POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:
Base - none
Top - none
Polish used:
Nfu Oh JS12 - one to four coats