Monday, January 27, 2014

Silver Flake Jelly Sandwich

I decided to take a bit of a different approach to wearing my only metal flake polish, Nail Pattern Boldness Tin Man, by wearing it in a jelly sandwich.

I started with two coats of OPI Don't Touch My Tutu!, a sheer white jelly, then dabbed two coats of Tin Man on top.  Tin Man is a crushed silver flake (it may not be actual silver, but it's a silver colour, so...) that dries to a rough finish due to the crinkliness of the flakes.

To complete the jelly sandwich, I finished with another coat of Don't Touch My Tutu! and then two coats of top coat.  If I was wearing Tin Man as a 'glitter' top coat, I would use a thick coat of glitter tamer and then a fast dry top coat.

The finished look is delicate and subtle whilst still being very sparkly!  I thought the almost-French-mani effect of my natural nail underneath was interesting and very different to what I usually wear (my friends asked me if I'd painted the tips white first!) and I'll be interested to see how Tin Man looks on its own!

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast (two coats)
Polish used:OPI Don't Touch My Tutu! - two coats
Nail Pattern Boldness Tin Man - one coat + dabbed
OPI Don't Touch My Tutu! - one coat

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Silver Wave Stamping over Sinful Colors Endless Blue

Hello all!  I'm very excited to show you my first stamping attempt today!  I'm very pleased with how this turned out, stamping is a fantastic way to get complex nail art relatively easily.

I started this manicure with one coat of Sinful Colors Endless Blue, a gorgeous one-coater bright blue creme.  I waited for that to dry and prepared my new Moyou London Sailor Plate 03, plus my XL stamper and scraper set (also from Moyou).  I used Barry M Silver Foil Effects for the stamping.

As for the stamping part, I took instruction from blogs and video tutorials I've seen along the way, but mostly from this tutorial by Polish Me, Please!  I used a piece of masking tape to clean my stamper between stamps (very effective), a cotton bud to clean the stamping plate (I cleaned it once I'd finished stamping the nails of one hand, then again after both hands were done) and to clean up the majority of excess polish around my nail.

The Moyou XL stamper worked beautifully, I found it very easy to line up the stamps and to get the whole nail covered with the pattern (it's delightfully squishy!)  I did end up with some nails with a smudged design from my overenthusiastic stamping, but we live and learn, right?

My one issue was that the plate designs only just fit my nails, even as short as they were at the time.  I had the most trouble with my thumbnails since they're so wide; on my left thumbnail, I had a huge blank space so I restamped it with the edge of the design to cover it up a bit.  (I've made the decision to give my smaller plates away and have already ordered a bunch more XL plates from Moyou already...)

After using a cotton bud and brush to clean around my nails, I finished off with Cult Nails Wicked Fast, making sure to glide the brush over the design - and I experienced no smudging at all.

I absolutely love this mani, it's so much fun and looks so complex!  My dad was very impressed and asked me if I'd painted it on myself.  I'm so glad I decided to give stamping a try!

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Sinful Colors Endless Blue - one coat
Barry M Silver Foil Effects - stamped (Moyou Sailor Plate 03)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lilypad Lacquer Vanellope

Hello all!  Another gorgeous What's In-Die Box? polish to show you today - this is Lilypad Lacquer Vanellope, a mint-green linear holo with a faint pink shimmer.

I've always been a bit leery of holos because I usually dislike how grey they look while in the shade, yet love how they pop in the sun and bright light.  Luckily, Vanellope in the shade is this gorgeous, shimmery mint colour that thankfully isn't greyed out by the holo particles.

I wore Vanellope at two to three coats on different nails (I'd say that this one's a three-coater, but if your coats are thicker or you have shorter nails you could get away with two) and with a coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat.  I didn't find that top coat dulled the holo effect at all.  I'm pleased to say that the wear time for this polish was quite good as well!  I wore it for about five days with minimal tip wear.

Below I included a photo of the polish in direct flash to show off the holo effect.

Direct flash
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Lilypad Lacquer Vanellope - two to three coats

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A England Perceval

Hello all!  It's been ages since I got this polish but I only just got around to swatching it for the blog.  This beauty is A England Perceval, a deep shimmery red that is opaque in one perfect coat.  I love this polish so much!  It's great as a nail art base, for use in nail art, or just to wear on its own.

I'm wearing one coat in these photos, with no top coat.

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - none
Polish used:A England Perceval - one coat

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pink Gradient Dotticure

Hello all!  I finally did a gradient with two polishes in the same colour group.  Hooray!

I started with one coat of Misa Lovely Lychee.  My nail line was slightly visible, but I was covering it up with the gradient so it was okay.  Then I sponged with Covergirl Tickled Pink and some more of Lovely Lychee (using the swirly method), and added dots with a large dotting tool and Illamasqua Scorch, a white creme.

After waiting for the dots to dry (about 15 minutes), I finished off with Cult Nails Wicked Fast; on some nails I used two coats of top coat to smooth the gradient out.

I really loved the end result, and how I could turn my nail and see the smooth gradient on one side and then the dots on the other.  This is a really fun look!

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast (one/two coats)
Polish used:Misa Lovely Lychee - one coat + sponged
Covergirl Tickled Pink - sponged
Illamasqua Scorch - dotted

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Alanna Renee Butterbeer

Hi all, another gorgeous Harry Potter themed polish today!  This is Alanna Renee Butterbeer, an orange creme-based polish with white microglitter and small hexes.  I love how this polish looks like a bubbly, happy explosion!

Butterbeer applies beautifully in three coats.  You will need to fish a bit for the hexes to get enough onto the nail, but it's not too bad.  I finished off with one coat of top coat which gave a pretty smooth shine.  You could go for two coats of top coat if you wanted a perfect glass finish.

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Alanna Renee Butterbeer - three coats

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Glitter Gradient with Picture Polish and KBShimmer

Hello all!  I hope that 2014 is treating you well so far!
The manicure I'm showing today is the one I wore for New Year's Eve and am still wearing five days later - it's a glitter gradient with Picture Polish Wisteria and KBShimmer Toast-ess With The Mostest.  I absolutely loved wearing this combo, it's nice and soft but still has a high bling factor!

I started with two coats of Picture Polish Wisteria - a beautiful bright pastel purple that applies absolutely perfectly.  It dries to a satiny finish.

I added the glitter gradient with Toast-ess With The Mostest, a gorgeous mix of dusty pink, gold, holo and microglitter.  I think that the mix of circle and hex glitter is perfect and the holo microglitter really adds that extra bit of sparkle.  I just used the polish brush and dabbed the glitter near the cuticle, then dragged up and placed more glitter with the brush.

I finished off with a coat of Essence Gel-Look and one of Cult Nails Wicked Fast to smooth out the glitter.  For some reason, I got some shrinkage on my left middle finger, which hasn't happened to me before, so I assume that I just didn't wrap my tips well enough.

I'm so impressed with both of the polishes I used and I really like them together!  My little cousin visiting from interstate got me to do this on her nails as well, with full glitter coverage instead of the gradient due to her small nails, and that looked adorable - her brother got a coat of Ninja Polish Shillelagh (his request to me was green and sparkly!)

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Essence Gel-Look Top Coat (one coat), Cult Nails Wicked Fast (one coat)
Polish used:Picture Polish Wisteria - two coats
KBShimmer Toast-ess With The Mostest - glitter gradient

Friday, January 3, 2014

China Glaze Cowgirl Up

Ohhhh, this polish.  Meet China Glaze Cowgirl Up, and if you aren't acquainted, you should definitely consider becoming so.  Cowgirl Up is a beautiful, burgundy lit-from-within polish that applies smoothly and easily.

It's pretty much opaque in one coat, but I did two to even up my application.  A lovely polish!

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:China Glaze Cowgirl Up - two coats

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

December Haul

Happy New Year, everyone!  I've got a very exciting haul to show you all today.
First up, I did my first order from Harlow & Co.; got my first KBShimmer, Cirque and Arcane Lacquer polishes, as well as another Picture Polish for my collection!  I was very impressed with the delivery time for these polishes and I'm very excited to try them.

Left to right: KBShimmer Clearly On Top x 2, KBShimmer Toast-ess With The Mostest, KBShimmer Get Clover It, Cirque Lullaby, Cirque Vesuvius, Arcane Lacquer Mercurial, Picture Polish Wisteria
Secondly, I ordered four polishes from Glam Polish and after swatching them on swatch sticks, I love every single one!  The lovely people at Glam Polish also included a mini bottle of Christmas In Whoville (which I think is a limited edition or something, because I can't find it in their shop) and a little plastic bag full of gorgeous white, pink and blue glitter.

Left to right (all Glam Polish): Twister, Mermagic, Funhouse, Conjuring, Christmas In Whoville
My final polish order was from Ninja Polish.  I'm very excited to try the Dance Legend Termos (I already stuck the bottles under hot water and the colour change is fantastic!).

Left to right: Nfu Oh JS45, Jessica Cinnamon Kiss, Ninja Polish Shillelagh, Dance Legend Termo 177, Dance Legend Termo 162, Barry M Satsuma, Barry M Key Lime, Barry M Black Croc Effects
Finally, I caved and bought some stamping plates and equipment from Moyou.  I got plates from the Fairytale, Explorer, Sailor and Pro collections, as well as an XL stamper and scraper.

I was quite surprised as to the sizes of the plates and stamper - they were all much smaller than I was expecting.  The plates I ordered have normal-sized images (excluding the plates with images spanning the whole plate) and they look like they're only just big enough for my nails when they're on the short side!  Unfortunately I don't have any other plates to compare them to, but if you have longer nails than myself then maybe you should go for the XL-image plates.  I'll probably save stamping for when I've just given my nails a chop, just to be safe.

I did try stamping over my existing mani (I couldn't resist!) and though I think I need some practise, I didn't find it too difficult.  The stamper is lovely and squishy and easy to clean with remover and cotton wool, and I cleaned the plate easily enough with acetone and the eyeliner brush I use to clean up around my nails.

I'll have a full review and photos of the plates when I get around to using them for real, but for now, enjoy the teaser shots!  Thanks for reading!