Saturday, 29 June 2013

Guest Post for Shades of Phoenix

Today I'm going to point you all in the direction of another lady and her awesome nail blog, Teneil of Shades of Phoenix! Teneil, or TeeBee as she is more affectionately known, is a great nail artist and the creative mind behind the gorgeous Australian Indie polish brand Shades of Phoenix.


Teneil was kind enough to offer me the opportunity to do a guest post on her blog and showcase my work to her own followers, it's the first time I have ever done a guest post and a great honour to be included on the well established blog of such a talented person!

I tried to do some special nail art to pay tribute to her and this great opportunity, so if you want to check out my latest nail design (neon & holographic!) then you need to head on over to her blog right now by clicking HERE

While you're there make sure you check out her fantastic Indie polish collection too!

Friday, 28 June 2013

Satin Colour Swatch - Golden Silver Metallic Glitter

This week I have been very busy preparing some nail art to feature as guest posts on some other great nail blogs! I have done 2 great designs, one for an Australian nail blog and the other for a British nail blog, so I promise that in the next few days there are going to be some lovely pretties to see and I will provide all links to the guest posts here too so keep an eye out!

 In the meantime I bring you the latest Satin colour swatch, this lovely sparkly golden silver glitter. This is colour number 6 and in the bottle it looks to be a nice bronze toned gold polish, it looks very warm and neutral but not that sparkly, but on the nail it's a whole other story! I describe it as a golden silver as on the nail the tone changes a lot and is a much cooler shade, and it looks to me that the polish is gold but the glitter flecks in it are actually silver.
 As you can see once on the nail that warm coppery tone just disappears and becomes a much cooler metallic tone, and the silver glitter flecks are much more visible. This polish is quite confusing as in certain light it's really hard to tell whether it is actually gold or silver. In the picture I am wearing 2 coats.
Originally I thought this might be a good polish for nail stamping as I thought the tiny glitter particles would give good visibility, but unfortunately I was wrong. The polish itself its not very opaque and the glitter just looked scattered across the nail in a half pattern half random kind of way. 

It is the high glitter content that gives this polish opacity.

I really like this polish though, it's not quite what I expected from the bottle, but I love metallic shades and this is a particularly unusual one, I've never seen a polish before that could neither be described as gold or silver!  What colour do you guys reckon it is??!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Satin Colour Swatch - Light Blue Glitter Mix

Today I bring you glitter, because every girl needs lots of glitter in her life! This is not my favourite glitter polish from this collection, as usual I'm saving the best til last, but it's still very pretty.

This Polish is colour number 20, a mixture of holographic small dotted and bar glitter in light blue tones, and comes in a very lightly tinted blue jelly base. I have to say I'm not entirely sure how I feel about bar glitters, sometimes I see them and hate them, occasionally I have seen some and loved them, most of the time they just make me feel... meh. This polish is a weird one for me, sometimes I look at it and think, yeah I like this one, other times I look at it and I'm like ''meh''. I guess you just have to be in the mood for bar glitter.

 I layered the polish over white undies to see the colour of the jelly base, but the tint is really subtle. It makes me wonder if it is actually a jelly polish or just colour bleed from the glitters, but the glitters seemed to have retained their colour quite well, so who knows!
It goes on quite well though has to be dabbed rather than swiped, but it does have good coverage and you don't have to fish around the bottle to try and get enough glitter on the brush. In the pics I have 1 coat on my ring and little fingers, and 2 coats on the middle and index fingers. 

The pictures were taken in artificial light with no flash, so they dont pick up the holographic effect too much, but the polish is much sparklier in real life. I love the blue tones in this colour, but wish the jelly base was more heavily tinted, so I may just have to franken this one with a couple of drops of another nice blue to darken it up a little!

I have only 3 more poishes in this collection to show you, and then I'm going to start swatching my birthday haul, it has to be done, there are 22 new polishes that need testing and showing off!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Satin Colour Swatch - Violet Duochrome

Today I have another Satin Swatch for you, and even better a pretty duochrome! Of the three duochromes I have in my Satin Collection this is my second favourite (I told you Im saving the best til last!) and it is a sheer colour that looks better layered over undies.

As you can see this is a gorgeous violet colour with light blue tones, the sad thing about it is as it is so sheer it's not so easy to wear on it's own without applying many, many coats, so that you can appreciate the colours just as they are. Obviously when you layer a colour like this over another, the tones of the polish will change depending on the undies and this polish is no exception. You will need to have a good nail dryer if you're going to layer this polish up without a base colour underneath, unless you like sheer and have nice looking natural nails unlike me!

Here I painted alternate fingers black and white to see what it would look like over light and dark undies, these pics are taken in artificial light without the flash.

The pic didn't pick up the strength of the colour over the white too much, the violet and purple tones were both quite visible over a white polish and I did 2 thin coats of the duochrome polish on the index and middle finger, and 1 coat on the ring and little finger, with 3 thick coats it would be really visible.

This polish was much better over light undies than dark, over a black polish only the blue tones were visible and the violet tones just disappeared completely, but it was a very nice blue with an unexpected chrome like finish!

Overall this polish is not bad, oviously there are way better duochrome polishes available, but for the price you pay these are pretty good, and even if the duochrome effect isn;t strong enough for your taste, they still make great bases to do lot's of cool nail art with!

I still have one duochrome polish left in this collection to show you though, and it's not just one of my favourites from this collection but also one of my favourite polishes overall, I look forward to sharing it with you soon!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Birthday Nails - Opal Effect with Mylar Flakes

Oh my poor little abandoned blog how I have neglected you these last 4 days, but it's not my fault honestly! Thursday was consumed by my usual work commitments and then brutal house cleaning in preparation for my birthday party Friday night, then Fridy was work and party, and the rest of the weekend... well... that was all the birthday parties fault, and my hubby! Knowing full well that it only takes a quarter glass of vino to send me on my merry way, that swine, with the excuse of ''come oooooon it's your birthday!'' plied me with 3 full glasses of champers before my guests had even arrived!! It was all over from that point on, people kept showing up with bottles of plonk for me and the hubby kept filling up that glass, and the rest of the night is nothing but a vague recollection of drunken shenanigans. The morning after I was absolutely hanging, and remained that way for the entire weekend. the dead body shaped dent in my couch can testify to that. I was a hot mess, a zombified vegetable laid groaning on the couch for days on end, reminded of why I drink so little in the first place, I felt god awful. Needless to say that ''come ooooon it's your birthday'' is no longer acceptable to me as a viable excuse for getting in the state I was in, and all attempts to resist peer pressure will be made in the future.
I did attempt to write a blog post over the weekend until I realised that it was mostly jibberish, and gave up before I did any serious damage! Though these past few days have shown me that perhaps my original goal of a post a day may have been ever so slightly over ambitious, and real life will often do it's best to get in the way of that, but I'll be posting as often as is humanly possible as I am really enjoying it!

So now that I have made my humble excuses for my absence it's time to show you my birthday nails!!!
These nails were inspired by my favourite sparkle encrusted leggings that I wore for my birthday, and it was a really difficult mani to photograph so this post is a bit picture heavy, it was hard to do these nails real justice! I used mylar flakes (just the individual flakes not a mylar flakie polish) and the effect reminded me of opal stones which I just love!

First I did the base with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear, ''Lime Lights'' (though the colour itself is mint not lime?) I chose this as the colour most prominent in my sparkly leggings is a light minty green. Using my dotting tool I picked up pieces of mylar and placed them on a layer of tacky topcoat.

I covered the full surface of the nail with the mylar flakes a little like a mosaic, then covered everything in several layers of topcoat. The flakes are different sizes and some are bent or folded and have sticky uppy bits, so I put lots of topcoat on so it was really think on the nail, let it dry overnight, and then I was able to use a nail block to buffer the nail surface to a smooth finish the morning after.

After buffing I brought back the shine with another layer of top coat, but I used a holographic top coat this time (frankened from my spectraflair!) thinking it would be awesome, but it was a bit pointless with the effect of the mylar. This pic was taken in artificial light and shows the nice opal effect of the flakes.
This second pic was taken in direct sunlight and the grainy effect is caused by the holo top coat. The linear holograph was interrupted by the light of the mylar flakes and looks like a scatter glitter instead, but the holo was still barely visible due to the strong irridesence of the mylar.

I really love this opal effect though, and I would like to try it over a dark colour and without the interruptive holographic topcoat. Here in the thumbnail pic you can get a better look at the graniness of the scattered holo top coat.

I mixed some different colours of mylar flakes so you can see the pinks. greens, blues and yellows and the lovely irridescent effect, unfortunately I just couldn't capture how colourfully sparkly these nails really were no matter how I tried, but if you can believe it these nails are so much more pretty in real life! I was really happy with how they turned out, even if they would have been better without the holographic top coat, because it matched so nicely my sparkly leggings! 

Here are a couple more pics of the nails with the leggings, first in artiificial light then in natural sun light.

The photography doesn't show the sparkle very well, but you can make out the different pastel colours from the diamantes that I was trying to replicate in my mani, and I think I was successful in capturing the light and colours of the leggings!

I had also tried to do nail stamping over these nails with a bright pink polish, and also white instead, but it was just too much and looked messy. These nails really just needed to be left as is and anything else on top was overkill. I shall be doing more with this wonderful mylar stuff though, including shredding it into tiny pieces with my electric coffee grinder to franken me up some flakie polishes!!

If you would like to try this mani yourself, you can purchase a set of mylar flakes in 12 different colours from my store HERE!

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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Japanese Geisha Design - Water Decals and Paper Print Transfer with Alcohol.

Birthday double blog whammy yay! Second post of the day is my latest design which I did a couple of days ago, a Geisha inspired Japanese theme.

 I love Japan, I have been there and travelled in several different cities all over the southern region, and it's one of my favourite places in the world (which for a girl as well travelled as I am is a pretty big claim!) everything there is soooo damned beautiful. The thing that I love most about the Japanese is that they really know how to take care of what they have and show it in it's best condition. That's something I have come to appreciate a lot, after living for many years in a place like Rome where they are surrounded by the most beautiful landscape, and mystical historical buildings, but no-one gives a crap. Rome is a filthy place covered in Graffiti and everything is left to fall to bits. It makes me want to slap the people in charge. But not Japan, they are sooo proud and take care of everything they hold dear, they are all about the beauty, so how I can I not love them and be inspired by them?

I have been keen to do this design for a while, and am always reminded to do so when I see the lovely blossom themed mani's circulating around places like instagram and facebook etc. I also had a Japanese newspaper lying around the house and wanted to try a technique I have seen on youtube somewhere. So here is the final mani.

The green base colour is $2 Mud brand (found in Woolworths supermarket) ''Meet Minty'', 2 coats. On my thumb I used my by now always go to white, Sinful Colours ''Snow Me White'' (It's a super pigmented one coater, so it's just not necessary to need any other white polish when you find a decent one coater!).

 Once I had painted the green base, I then attempted to use my Japanese newspaper to copy the technique I saw on youtube once (forever ago so don't ask me which!) to get Japanese calligraphy patterns on the nail (click the image to see it larger if you can't make them out well). Basically you take the piece of newspaper with the print that you would like on your nail and soak it in alcohol, then apply the print face down on the nail and hold it there for a few seconds until the newspaper print transfers to your nails. Now I have seen girls use all sorts, just plain ethenol, I saw one girl that even used vodka, but all I had laying around was antiseptic rubbing alcohol so I just went with that! It was a disaster though, I don't know what kind of ink they used in that Japanese newspaper, but it wasn't transfering to anything, it didn't even bleed slightly and was stuck fast. But I had the idea in my head and I was determined to follow through, so I got the designer husband to knock me up some Japanese print small enough to fit on my nails on one of his design programmes, and printed it onto plain white A4 paper with an inkjet printer. SUCCESS! 

It took me a minute to figure it out but it worked well eventually. In the end the trick was to soak the piece of paper (which I cut into just larger than nail size pieces) in my rubbing alcohol, and then press it down onto the nail as hard as I could. I had to press really hard, simply rubbing the back with a cotton tip didn't do anything, and figuring out how long to press down was quite tricky, if I lifted the image too soon it wouldn't transfer at all, or maybe it was transfered but only very faintly, so if I tried to stick it back down to hold it for longer I would never get the image in the exact same place so when it was done it looked blurred. If I held the paper down too long then it would dry onto my nail and the paper would tear off onto the nail and I couldn't get it off without ruining the base. GAH! getting it right was a bit of a nightmare. In the end I had to hold it down until the paper was almost completely dry, but not quite, it stll had to be a tiny bit damp so the paper wouldn't stick to the nail aswell as the print, but in the end it was totally worth it and I had amazing Japanese calligraphy on my green base.

After that exhasuting and frustrating process, I then used my dotting tool to paint black branches, and blossom petals in a light and a dark pink polish (no namers that came from a gift set) until I was happy with the design. I topcoated everything with my favourite Revlon Extra Life, and moved onto the thumb detail.

On the thumb I used a water decal, (you can find more information about those in my previous post with Ferrari Sportscar nails from a couple of days ago). I was really pleased to find that the water decals also work well for a full nail cover, I was concerned about wrinkles like in my last mani, but on the full nail they want on super smooth, I think there was only one small crease near the cuticle somehwere, but you can't even see it! I found the image of the Geisha in Google.

 (I believe it's actually one of the publicity images from the film ''Memoirs of a Geisha'' which I love! Have both the book and the film, and the film is one of those few that really does the book real justice so you should totally see it!) I played around with the image in Photoshop for a while before I printed it on my decal paper, and when it was applied to the nail I added some colour to the blossoms hanging from her hair with my dotting tool. TA - DA! Beautiful Japanese Geisha nails!

So I hope you enjoyed my birthday double blog post feature, thats's enough for me for today though, I have to go and contact my facebook giveaway winner, and then enjoy my favourite Brazilian meal cooked by the lovely hubby, followed by cream filled cake with sparklers YAAAAY! (He's actually just hoping that the sparklers will distract me from that impending feeling of being an old woman! urghh, lets not think about how old I am, just about polishes and cake!)

See you tomorrow!! X

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Birthday Haul Y'all!

So today is my birthday and the nail polish Gods have shined upon me in all their wondrous glory! 

First I woke up to find a special package in the post box, my holographic spectraflair has arrived!! And just in time for my birthday party on friday so I can have awesome sparkly holographic nails! THANK YOU NAIL GODS!

That on it's own would have been awesome enough, but the nail polish Gods were not done with me yet! 
I decided that today I was going to go to my local shopping center to treat myself to some new nail polish. I didn't plan on going mad, our wedding wasn't so long ago and them things be expensive, we're still trying to recover financially from that blow to our pockets, so I was going to be sensible and just give myself a little treat - 3 or 4 bottles maybe, 5 tops.
But upon my arrival to the shopping centre I was greeted with a glorious sight, the temporary stalls that have a different vendor selling different stuff each week, was filled with DISCOUNT NAIL POLISH!!! There was a MASSIVE selection of known brands and non, and every single bottle was $2 each or 3 for $5! I almost fainted I tell you I couldn't believe it! Here was me going to the shopping centre with the sole purpose of buying nail polish for my birthday, believing I was going to have to restrain myself, and right before my eyes appeared this magic little stall full of nail polish goodies all dirt cheap! The budget bitches dream!!! THANK YOU NAIL GODS!

Needless to say my original plan of ''not going mad'' went straight out the window, this bargain opportunity was not to be missed!!! My 5 bottle limit ended up being a whopping 22 and an official birthday haul! Ahhh the joy!! I could not believe my luck, I am generally a very unlucky person!

So here it is ladies, my fabulous birthday haul!

I got some wonderful stuff in here, LA Girls, Revlon, Sally Hansen, Sinful Colours, and a few other brands I never heard of, I got a glow in the dark polish, a black light polish, colour changing polish, colour shifters, holographic moon shaped glitters, some clear polishes for jelly frankens that I wanted to do, top coats to mix my spectra flair with (which is the bottle in the front row far left) sooooooo many goodies! Honestly I could barely contain myself and could have bought twice this! Apparently the stall will still be there for another week, so if I have a good week of work I may even be tempted to go back!! 

This is my spectacular spectraflair that arrived in the post, and I'm gonna be all mad scientist like, frankening stuff for the next couple of days so I will have awesome birthday nails!!!

This is a 2 gram bottle (about the same size as a standard polish bottle) with the coarse grade 35 spectraflair, already mixed in lacquer suspension base (as it's now illegal to post the powder form). I will of course share information about where to purchase and costs etc, I just think I should actually use it and try it out first, make sure it's ok before I go recommending it to anyone else! So keep your eyes peeled for that post!

In other news, today I will be selecting a winner from my Facebook Page for the nail art kit giveaway, (the nail Gods have shined on me and so I will share the wealth!) there is lots of cool stuff in this little pack, including polishes, striping tape, decals and rhinestones! If you are now kicking yourself because you have missed out on the giveaway, then I suggest you head on over to my FB page HERE right now and get liking, before you miss the next opportunity to win freebies! 

Before my wonderful nail God endowed day today, I did have another post with a new nail design planned, and I still want to post it, but I think it's going to need a new post of it's own as I would like to explain the techniques I used, and this post is already too lengthy! So yaaaaaaaaaay for double birthday blogging! See you in 10 with my super pretty Japanese Geisha design!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Satin Colour Swatch - Purple Glitter

Just a quick post tonight, I have been trying to get online all day to post this but been sooo busy, and then when I did have the time tonight my internet didn't work! GAH! Anyways, I bring you the latest Satin colour swatch in a purple glitter.

How gorgeous does this polish look? Beautiful deep purple packed with glitter, but this ladies was the biggest disappointment ever, this bottle is very deceptive! There is no purple polish, it's just transparent with purple glitter, that's it!!
 The bottle is super packed with glitter, and thats what made me think it was a purple polish with glitter, so you can imagine how disappointed I was to discover this! It's just purple glitter! I don't need to buy a new polish just to have purple glitter! I can just but glitter on my nails!
This was so boring, but it did have good coverage, 1 coat on the little and index finger, 2 coats on the ring finger, 3 on the middle, but it's just purple glitter!!! Meh! I don't have much to say about this polish to be honest, except that it's going in the ''franken to make more interesting with tons of other glitters'' pile!

Tomorrow is my birthday, so I promise I will bring you all something much more interesting! x

Monday, 17 June 2013

BlogLovin - How to get the most out of the blogs you love!

So I finally installed BlogLovin on this blog, and after having a good look around I decided to post some information to you all about it, as it turns out it's not just a useful tool for those who have blogs, but also for the readers! If you follow and read a lot of blogs and have trouble keeping up with them all BlogLovin will really help you out with that!

What is BlogLovin?

Bloglovin’ is an online service that gathers up all the blogs you read, in one place. Rather than registering for each blog by email subscription (which can clog up your inbox with multiple “new blog” emails) or clicking around lots of homepages looking for updates, Bloglovin’ collects the fresh news for you like an online personal blog assistant!

Key Features:

1. It's really easy to sign up, it has a super simple user interface and takes just 5 minutes.

2. It has a feed page where you can see all your favourite blogs listed, and you can add any blog you want just by adding the blog's URL.

3. There is also a blog post feed, where it will show you all the latest posts from your favourite blogs, and each post has a ''mark as read'' button so you can keep track of the posts you have already read and those you still need to read later.

4. It has a handy little plug in for your web browser which alerts you in real time whenever there is a new post to read, without having to obsessively click refresh like in Google Reader or Blogger Feed.

5. The site can suggest new blogs for you to follow based on your current interests, and you can follow new blogs with one click, just like on Twitter or Instagram.

6. In your settings you can choose to receive daily emails giving a summary of what posts are available to read that day.

7. The site also has an iphone and Smart Phone App that you can download so you can keep up with your favourite blogs wherever you are!

Being a new blogger I've done a fair bit of research into blog management tools and this is by far the easiest, simplest, yet most effective I have come across. I have also been reading rumours online that Google will be suspending use of the Google Friend Connect following method for blogs this year, and I can't help but believe that might actually be true as I have noticed several great services that they have closed down recently including the Google Check Out system. It would seem that after buying out every great service on-line they may have bitten off more than they can chew, and are refining and cutting down on the services that they manage.

So I would definitely recommend you join the BlogLovin community, not only because it's a great service, but also because you might find that later on this year you will loose all the connections to your favourite blogs through Google Friend Connect, I obviously can't confirm this rumour to be 100% fact, but personally, I won't be taking the risk!

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Sunday, 16 June 2013

Satin Colour Swatch - Pearlescent Duochrome

So yesterday I promised you all a duochrome for todays post, and this is one of three that I have in this collection, I like this polish but it's probably my least favourite of all three (sometimes you just gotta save the best til last!) but only because it's the most subtle!

This a white shimmery polish that gives off fuchsia and violet hues in the light and reminds me of the inside of an oyster shell, it has a very mother of pearl like quality to it. This polish is really transparent though, no opacity at all. I tried to put it on my nails as is but it would have taken too many coats to get full opacity, and as my nails look like crap without polish (I have really uneven nail beds from years of biting) I really don't like transparent polishes, but if you have great looking nails and are looking for a lightly tinted subtle sheer this would be great.

Because I didn't feel like showing off my manky nail beds, I decided to use some undies with this and layered it over black and white creme polishes.

The polish was too subtle over white for my liking, you could barely pick up the colours at all (though admittedly still more than what you can see from this photo) and it was hard to distinguish the two seperate colours fuchsia and violet that just merged into one pinky purple tone.

 It wasn't completely invisible though, and if you like to wear white nail polish (that looks great when you have a tan) this polish would certainly jazz it up a bit. I didn't think of it at the time but I would be curious to know what this polish looks like over colours.

Next I tried it over a black creme polish and as these things tend to be it was much more visible, but the black changed the tone of the colours completely.

Over the back polish I put one coat on the index and little finger, and two coats on the middle and ring finger. (the white just had 2 coats on all fingers as it wouldn't have been noticeable at all). As you can see the violet tones become a much deeper purple tone.

The fuchsia was barely visible at all, you can just make it out around the white reflections in the first photo, which makes me wonder if it wouldn't be more visible in natural sun light, unfortunately I didn't have any sun when I took these pictures though!

Overall this polish doesn't really cut it for me as a duochrome, I would be tempted to franken it with a tiny touch more of fuchsia and violet pigments, or turn it into something else entirely. but it is still pretty and not without it's purpose. There are plenty of girls out there who love sheer, subtle, natural looking polishes and though it wasn't for me, I know someone out there would appreciate it more than I do. Fortunately the other two duochromes I have in this collection are much more to my liking, and I will show you those later!

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Saturday, 15 June 2013

Satin Colour Swatch - Midnight Blue

I apologise for not posting yesterday, I am aiming to post something everyday to keep you all entertained, but sometimes life gets in the way. My husband has been a bit stressed out with his employment situation lately, and that stress came to a head on Thursday night. So when we woke up yesterday and saw the first sunny day we have had in 2 or 3 weeks (and it was absolutely glorious not a cloud in the sky anywhere!), I took full advantage of it to take my lovely hubby out and take his mind off things. We went for a lovely walk in our local park, saw some beautiful Japanese gardens, we laid on the grass and soaked up the sun, then we went to see some weird Aussie animals (a jumping mouse with eyes almost bigger than its head and back legs like a kangaroo? Seriously? I sometimes wonder if god was high when he was working on Australia!) We had some lovely smoked steak for lunch, then came home to drink lots of wine (well I had the usual quarter glass before I was trolleyed and he drank the rest!) played some cards, ate lot's of chocolate and watched some movies. I enforced a no computer rule for the day so his head wouldn't wonder back to work stuff, and obviously I had to respect the rule myself to be supportive. So no post yesterday, but ya know, sometimes we have to put our personal endeavours aside to be there for the ones we love! He felt so much better afterwards and his head is in a better place now, so it was definitely worth it! 

But I will make it up to you today by bringing you this beautiful colour swatch from my fave cheap Aussie budget brand, Satin, this is colour No. 21, a deep dark midnight blue colour with a gorgeous royal blue shimmer

 This colour goes on  well, but due to the shimmer it leaves very subtle brush streaks, less so than in these images though, it was only when I uploaded the images to the PC (and removed the polish!) that I realised I had not done a great job of applying it and could have been more careful.

It's a really beautiful color, so dark and bright at the same time. I don't think it's an actual duochrome but I love how it turns from the darkest blue to the really bright royal blue in the light. I think this would be a really great base for galaxy nail art.

Without even realising it, it turns out that I am very into blue shades of polish. It was only when I set up my nail bar last week and displayed all my polishes in order of colour, that I realised I had more blue toned polishes than any other colour, which is odd because if you asked me what my favourite polish colours were I would say red and purple, but my collection begs to differ! But then I look at a gorgeous colour like this one and all that blue starts to make sense!

I'll be back tomorrow with a proper duochrome for you!

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Thursday, 13 June 2013

Waterslide Decals - Giving my nails HORSEPOWER!

Today I interrupt the series of colour swatches to bring you my latest nail art design, which I am particularly pleased with! You may remember my very ranty post the other day about my water decal paper arriving in the post the other day and not being usable because it required additional products that I was not informed about before making my purchase. Well, a very lovely lady commented on the post with a suggestion on how to use the paper without this extra product so I decided to go ahead and give it a try, and the success of this mani is all thanks to her! I do believe this person was the wonderful Cathy from More Nail Polish, I'm not entirely sure as the username on the comment was different, but the profile image was definitely from her blog, so even if it's someone else who is using her image, Cathy is the one that's getting the credit! (Of course I could be wrong and it may infact be Cathy that left the comment, but let this be a lesson to image thieves in the meantime, if we recognise the original photo, then the original owner will get the credit, not the thief!) So thank you Cathy for making my water decal dreams come true! Now back to the nails!

This is a mani that I have wanted to do since I got married 6 weeks ago, and have been waiting to devise the right method to get it perfect, and water decals were it! The reason I wanted to do this mani is that it represents a part of the new surname I have inherited from my marriage, (it's a double barrelled surname and this mani only gives away one half of it so I don't feel like I am compromising my privacy too much by sharing with you all what it means to me!) let's see if you can guess hahaha....

Anybody recognise this famous sports car logo?! My husband is half Italian half Brazilian, and I must say the Italian half of his name is literally the Best. Italian. Name. Ever. It sure as hell beats my old English surname! And now you understand why I was so keen to do this mani! I got the fastest most horse powery nails around! haha!

To do this mani I used Rimmel 60 seconds '310 Red Carpet' (the one with the extra wide flat brush that I wish every polish had!) and the yellow is from the BYS neons collection 'Shimmer Golden Sands'. I used black striping tape for the details on the red nails and water decals on the yellow ones. I originally painted all my nails red, not realising that my water decal designs would be transparent with a colour tint once the backing paper was removed, so I left that first decal on its backing paper once I saw it was transparent and quickly changed the colour on the accent nails to yellow, which I like more than I thought I would as it really brightens the design, everything was protected with a couple of layers of Revlon extra life no chip top coat. Here is a close up of the decal detail on the thumb:

I managed to get the decal on pretty smoothly, especially in the actual area of the design, but I could not for the life of me get those wrinkles around the edge where I had cut it to disappear. I sat there with a cotton tip smoothing away until it was perfection, and then 30 seconds later the wrinkles were back, I'd smooth it out again and again and again, but they just kept coming back, so in the end I gave up and just left them! They are not that noticeable in reality.

This is not actually the water decal paper that I intended to purchase, (unfortunately there was no way to know that from the item description before I bought it) with this paper you have to slide the image off the backing paper and then place it on your nail and smooth it out, the stuff I was looking for is the fake tattoo paper that you stick to yourself first and then remove the backing paper by wetting it. Although this paper was pretty easy to use I would like to get the orginal water decal paper that I wanted and do a comparison between the two, I'm curious to know if I would get the same wrinkle effect on the edges with the other stuff, I just have to try and purchase it without gettig the wrong one! GAH!

Anyways, thats the post done for today, I'm off... vroom vroom VROOM! (speeds off into the distance...)

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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Satin Colour Swatch - Fairy Vomit!

Today I tried one of my budget Satin colours, that I bought months ago and never got around to wearing yet!

This is No. 35, and is a glitter polish, just the one type of standard size pastel holographic glitter in a pink jelly base. Now I know I bought this because the glitter caught my eye, and probably haven't worn it yet because even though I do sometimes wear pink it's not very often. I have to admit I really loved this polish even if it isn't really me at all, it looked like a fairy had vomited on my nails, and I don't really do 'super girly', so it turns out it's one of those things that I hate to love, but it is soooooo pretty!

The pink jelly base is only very lightly tinted so I decided I would layer it over a white base (Sinful Colours 'Snow Me White') and that turned out to be a good move as you probably wouldn't have seen the pink of the lacquer at all on a natural nail. Again the weather is working against me so no sunshine and photos are done in artificial light, but at least the camera picked up the correct colours this time and I didn't have to do any colour corrections in photoshop, which is good because it means I don't have to sacrifice my own skin colour to get a real representation of the polish. (You may have noticed in yesterdays post that my hands were deathly pale and translucent, yeah I'm british, but not that pale! Unfortunately it was the only result I could get if the colour of the polish was to stay true.)

It was still a difficult polish to photograph in artificial light, we all know that only the sunshine will do real justice to a holographic polish or glitter, so I've taken 2 sets of photos, both in artificial light and one with the addition of the flash.

These two pictures were taken without the flash, as you can see the pink jelly is very very subtle, but in real life the colour is slightly darker than what you can see in these pictures, and though you can see clearly the pretty pastel glitter the picture hasn't captured it's holographic effect. 
I promise you though that this polish is very sparkly when you wear it, even in artificial light! I really wish the sun had been out as my guess would be that this stuff is amazing in the sun, I will have to try it out again as soon as we get nicer weather!
This and the following picture are taken with the flash, I had really hoped that it would have brought out the sparkle in the glitter more but it didn't really, if anything it made it too bright to see the glitter at all, and it doesn't show the variety of colours in the glitter like in the pictures with no flash.
The good thing about the flash pictures, however, was that they gave a much truer representation of the colour of the jelly base, it is subtle but as you can see it is a little deeper and more visible in these pictures taken with the flash, which is more like how you see it on the nail.
 This polish was a little tricky to apply, you wont get much glitter with standard brush strokes, it really has to be dabbed on  to get a good amount of glitter, (which, as you can see, I did not have much luck with on my middle finger) but luckily the polish does spread out nicely on the nail. Just be careful to let the first layer dry well before you apply a second, as this jelly polish will literally turn to jelly, and form gelatine like lumps on the nail without spreading out properly, here I did 2 coats of the glitter jelly.

And there you have it, pretty fairy vomit nails!

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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Satin Colour Swatch Turquoise

As promised today I bring you the first of my colour swatches from my favourite cheap Aussie budget brand ''Satin'' (see previous post for details on the brand) and the first I chose to show you is one of my favourites, this gorgeous shimmery metallic turquoise (No. 2).

 As this polish is very shimmery it does leave subtle brush marks on the nail, but personally I don't mind that as long as it's not too obvious. If even the slightest brush marks bother you then this would still be a great polish to wear as undies for some glitter bomb, or to do some nail art on top of and you wouldn't even see the brush marks anymore.
I love this colour as it's so bright and the metallic sheen really makes it stand out, it has good opacity and dries pretty fast too.

Unfortunately it's grey and rainy in my area this week and is set to stay like this for a good few days yet, which makes outdoor shots in sunlight a no no, so these shots have been taken indoors with artificial lighting. The problem with artificial lighting is that it does not represent the true colour properly and sometimes changes it completely, so I confess to having made some colour adjustments in photoshop. Having worked for many years in graphic design I am a bit of a photoshop nerd though, so I promise that even though colour adjustments have been made, the colour that you see is a true representation of what you will get if you purchase this polish. Obviously it may vary ever so slightly depending on our monitor settings, but it should still be pretty spot on! There are 2 coats of polish on these nails, no top coat.

I'll be back tomorrow with another beautiful colour from this collection!

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Monday, 10 June 2013

Swatch this space!

So apparently it's good form for bloggers to show of all the pretties in their polish collection by way of swatches. I'm keen to do this for a couple of reasons, firstly to show my readers how nice cheap polishes can really be, second because it will be nice to have colour references for all my bottles without having to try them on before I can decide if I'm in the mood for it, and third I would enjoy the practice. It will also be a good excuse to finally wear those polishes that you can't resist purchasing, but then never get around to actually wearing. (My husband hates me for that!)

It seemed only fair then, that the first polishes to show you would be my favouite Aussie budget brand. This brand is simply called ''Satin'', and I've seen it at a variety of different chemists, usually in a big box near the entrance labeled ''3 for $5'' They do a colours and glitters range in one bottle, and a neutrals range in a different bottle. (I haven't seen a chemist with these in a while though so if anyone knows specific chemists where I could find it, please let me know as I still need to complete my collection!) 

Now you might not think they are going to be all that special at 3 for 5 dollars, but you would be wrong. Sure, they are not as glamorous as your OPI's and your China Glazes, but there are some really pretty colours, they are great basic polishes to wear as undies and combine in nail art designs, and there are even a couple of duo chromes, pearlescents and nice holographic glitters! They are also just as durable as your $20 polishes if you do your base and top coat right. 

As you can see I have the colours and glitters range rather than the neutrals, I do like neutrals, but they really only suit me when I have a nice tan and with my british skin that is a rare occasion! At the price these sell at though, it's more than likely that I will eventually purchase the neutrals collection too!!

So these are the colours that I will be swatching for you over the next couple of weeks. I have been waiting for my peacock design to chip so that I could justify removing such a gorgeous mani and an entire afternoon of work, but after 7 long days of wear it finally did chip today after an hour long soak in the bath! Normally I would be super happy to get an entire week of wear out of a mani without even a tiny little chip, but there are so many more things that I want to do! So little time, and even less patience! But it has chipped, so now I can remove it guilt free, get swatching, and working on my next awesome design. So as the title says, swatch this space! x

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Saturday, 8 June 2013

Nail mail = disappointing :(

Warning: This post is more of a rant than anything!

I've been excited to death for over a week about the water decal paper I finally got around to ordering on Ebay, and had 20 million ideas for it all planned out, my photoshop document with all the designs I want to print is ready to go, and so when I got my package of paper in the post today I was ecstatic, at least until I opened the package and read the instructions...

1. Print designs on paper with inkjet printer.
2, Spray designs with clear acrylic gloss spray

Wait what??? What clear acrylic gloss spray? This was not included in the package, and in the 50 reviews I read about decal paper, and the 50 tutorials I watched on youtube, not ONCE did anybody mention anything about acrylic gloss spray. So it would appear that I have gone and purchased the one kind of decal paper that no-one else in the nail world has ever come across for which you need this spray before you can even use it, and what really annoys me is that nowhere on the sellers listing does it say that to use this paper you will need other products.

Now it might not sound like a big deal, but if I buy something I expect to be able to use it immediately as is, and if any additional items are required for it's use, or I might incur further costs before I can use it, I expect to be notified of this BEFORE I make a purchase, not when it arrives at my door. When you buy stamping plates it usually says ''stamp & scraper not included'' or if you buy something electrical that requires batteries there is always something that lets you know if they are included or not, and that you may require additional stuffs to use the thing you have purchased, this is standard procedure, and for a good reason!

The biggest issue for me? I live in the middle of nowhere! The only thing I have in a half hour radius of my house is a supermarket, a pharmacy, a vets and a bottle shop! I don't even have public transport in my suburb! So now, before I can use my paper, My husband has to take time out of his work schedule to drive me more than half an hour away to the nearest city, costing us gas, and then wonder around trying to find a craft store that sells the right spray. But let's face it, if it was that easy for me to go to a crafts store, then I would have bloody well done that in the first place instead of ordering from Ebay wouldn't I?!

I chose this seller because they offered free postage, and in the end it's going to cost me more in petrol money and buying this spray product than it would have to pay another seller their 3 dollars postage fee, and all because this chosen seller doesn't bother to let their customers know that their product is useless you have additional items.

What the hell happened to Ebay anyway? It used to be a shoppers haven but my last few experiences with it have been really bad, one seller even made personal threats against my husband and I when we left him negative (but honest) feeedback! I tried to find a lipstick the other day because the retail price for me was too much, and the sellers on ebay were selling the exact same lipstick for 2x the retail price!! What the actual F**k? Shall I just go buy stuff from the local make-up store and sell that on ebay for twice the price too??

So now I'm pissed off and don't know what to do. If I'm going to drive the half hour to the post office to send it back, (postage which is not free for me!) then at that point I may as well just go shopping for this stupid spray, it would just be cheaper to take the loss and go back to ebay to buy the proper stuff, but the last 3 times on ebay I've been fooled, or jipped or ripped off somehow, I don't bloody trust it anymore! I don't even know how these sellers even have positive feedback!

Has it been like this for anyone else recently? Or is it just my account that has some secret code in it somewhere letting sellers know that I'm a mug just waiting to have the piss taken out of?? I'd be very curious to know. Either way, I still don't have the stupid decal paper that I've wanted forever.

Anyways, the lesson here ladies, is when it comes to decal paper apparently there is some obscure kind that requires you to buy spray stuff for it, and the sellers are not going to bother telling you that either, so if you are going to buy the stuff make sure you ask what kind it is first!!!

end rant /

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Friday, 7 June 2013

Home Made DIY Nail Transfers

As promised here are the tutorials that I saw that gave me the idea for the peacock transfers that I did in the mani from yesterdays post. These are actually 2 different tutorials and I combined their seperate methods to get what I wanted. I used the dotting tool paint idea from the first tutorial, and the freezer bag and peel idea from the second tutorial. Make sure you read my comments after these videos to discover the problems I came across, and my tips to get it just right!

So my first comment is in reference to the drying time of the stickers before you are able to peel them off whatever surface you used. The first video suggests that an hours drying time is sufficient, but as I used her technique with the dotting tool to layer the colours over the top of each other for the centre of my peacock feather, 1 hour was not sufficient at all and with all those layers of polish (keeping in mind that my single peacock feather was much larger than her small multiple feathers) it actually took all afternoon to dry thouroughly. 
As I disovered, if you try to peel the design off the surface too early, any wet polish will remain stuck down and actually stretch out like glue as you peel, completely ruining the design. When the polish is properly dry is should peel right off without any resistance, so if you feel any pull at all when peeling the transfer off, stop immediately and let it dry for longer. The second video's suggestion of doing the transfers the night before and letting them dry over night is a much more realistic method if you are going to layer polish. If you are just doing a single layer like the second video's silver shaped stickers an hour is sufficient.
I also had prolems with drying time when layering polishes. If I tried to dot a second colour on top of the first, but the first wasnt quite set then it would smudge both layers, so to counteract this, I painted my first layer of colour, but the freezer bag in the freezer for a couple of minutes, and then I was able to apply the second layer of polish over the first without smudging anything.
The biggest problem I came across was sizing. As I was trying to paint a single feather to place in the center of my nail and not a pattern that would just cover the whole nail, I had difficulty keeping the feather a small enough size to be centered on my nail without loosing any of the detail on the edge, and it took a couple of attempts to paint the feather small enough to fit. My suggestion would be to take the freezer bag and place it over the nail/s that you wish to make a transfer for, and using a fine tipped permanent marker pen, draw around the edge of your nail so you know exactly what size area you have to work with. Turn the freezer bag over to paint on the other side, so you are not painting onto the marker pen but can still see it through the clear plastic bag, and try to paint your design within the lines you drew on the other side of the bag.
The first video suggests painting over the design with the base colour you are using, which if you are trying to do something fast without actually putting the base colour on your nails first, is a great idea. But if you already have the base colour on your nails then painting over your design with the same colour polish you already have on is just a waste of expensive coloured polish! I just used clear top coat over my design as my nails were already painted, and I actually found that the transparency was helpful in trying to decide where exactly I wanted to place the transfer on my nail. Rather than painting over the design with 2 coats of polish, I just used a very thick top coat and one layer was sufficient.
When you are trying to stick the transfer onto your nail, you should coat the nail with top coat but let it dry for a minute. The transfers are very delicate, and if you place them onto wet top coat they will slide around the nail, and then tear and wrinkle as you try to drag them back into the right position. The top coat on your nails needs to be tacky but not wet and your transfer will stick properly without sliding. The downside to this is that you need to get the position right first time, as trying to move or remove the transfer once applied will cause it to tear anyway. Once the transfer has first contact with your nail, I suggest using a cotton tip to smooth it down onto your nail rather than your finger. Start by sliding the cotton tip up and down the length of your nail right in the center, and from the center, always sliding the cotton tip up and down the length of the nail work your way down each side, one side at a time, the same as you would when applying nail foils, and then finish by pressing around the cuticle area.. This gives a much smoother surface on your transfer, makes it take the shape of your nail properly and prevents any wrinkling.
In the first video she removes the rest of the strip from her finger nail by just tearing it off, but this is not going to work unless the topcoat you put under it is completely dry. The rest of the nail strip may also stretch and ruin as you pull it depending on what polish you are using. I just used nail scissors to cut around the edge of the transfer just inside my cuticle line (and got a much neater edge for it), and any loose edges were stuck down by applying a layer of top coat over it.
So there you have it! Now you know how to make your own nail transfers, and I've cut all the problem solving out of it for you too! This is a really great technique for many reasons, it's versatile and there is no limit to the designs that you can come up with, if you can make a stash of them then later on when you dont have time to do a full manicure you can just stick these straight on and be done, and if like me you have a retarded left hand thats incapable of replicating the designs you already painted onto it with your right, you can just paint the design for every nail with your right hand, stick them on and both hands will be perfect! (There is a reason that in nail blogs you only ever see the left hand!!)
So go now, enjoy yourselves, and I would love to see some of your designs so feel free to post your pictures on my facebook page at
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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Peacock nails with DIY transfers

I've been wanting to do this design for a while and I knew it was going to take a long time to do, so I scheduled in a free afternoon this week just to do my nails. Of course all the planning in the world isn't going to stop your nail breaking when it bloody well feels like it, and the very night before I was due to do this mani, the tip of my nail on the middle finger snapped clean off, couldn't even glue it back on GGRRRRRR. I was keen to do this design though, and wasn't going to let this little breakage but a dampner on my afternoon of nailgasms, and I went ahead and did the mani anyway, so you're all going to have to excuse litlle miss stubby in the middle there. (again, GGRRRRR).

You will also have to excuse the profanity, but I F**KING LOVE this mani. I've actually already been wearing it for 2 days, I was waiting for the sun to come out so I could take the best possible picture of it, but alas, the Aussie weather has not been forthcoming and it's been overcast and grey for days. I dared not wait any longer to take the pics as it was only a matter of a very short time before there would have been signs of tip wear and chipping, and this mani needs to be seen in all it's wondrous glory, so it's done inside with harsh lighting, better than nothing though, and still beautiful! There are 3 different techniques in this design, gradients, nail stamping and home made transfers.

I started with a base of my Italiano cheapo Chresy brand that hath no name or number, (not that you're going to find this stuff anywhere anyway!) for the gradient I used another nameless cheapo that I don't even know how I have come to posses, it just says Nail Lacquer Pastel Touch on the bottle and the colour is P39. Its a gorgeous dark teal cream polish and one of my favourite colours. This is the centre colour on the gradient, the darker colour near my cuticle is Rimmel, I love lasting finish, in colour 199 Go Cobalt. A very nice dark blue with a really subtle shimmer. I stamped the design with a polish I got from Rubi shoe shop of all places, it's their own brand of polish named Gold Digger, and I used plate BM212, and added some rhinestones for extra colour and sparkle.

For the accent nails on my Thumb and ring finger, I used the home made transfer method. Trying to explain in too much detail is going to be a bit lengthy, so I when I can re-find the video tutorial on Youtube that gave me the idea I will gladly post it for you!
To put it briefly I used a dotting tool to paint the feather design with polish onto a plastic freezer bag, and then covered the entire design with clear top coat. I left it for several hours to dry properly, and then peeled the design off the plastic with tweezers and stuck it to my nail with another coat of topcoat.  It came out really well and I was super pleased with it. Here is a close up of the feather detail on the thumb.

To paint the feather I used several polishes, the blue centre is a really old constance carol polish my mum recently rid herself of, named Party Pluto, it has really nice purple tones to it that don't really show in the photo, (damn you overcast skies!) The gold detail is K-mart super cheap brand ($1!), BC. Co in shade 23, and the fine feather detail is done in one of my favourite go to polihes, Debora Shine Tech Number 71.

I really loved this transfer method and it was super easy, even to do a nice neat design for my right hand. I have some more great ideas for this technique and will be using one of them for my next mani, so keep an eye out for that in the next few days! (I'm not taking this off until it's ruined, sorry but would you??!)

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