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.)

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!

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!

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!

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.

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
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!

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!

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!

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