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Showing posts from January, 2013

My Most Complex Rainbow Glitter Mosaic Yet

It's no secret that when I get bored, I troll ebay for glitter.  I set myself a $10 budget, search for "holo hex glitter" or something, sort by buy it now and lowest price + shipping and go nuts.  I got a new package in the mail today and turns out we all have different definitions of "rhombus" as my rhombus glitter was distinctly hexagonally shaped.  Whatever, it's an excuse to the most rainbowy nails I've ever done.  They're so sparkly they're actually casting little rainbows on my keyboard as I type this.  Sure, they took a long time to do but look how sparkly in these static images!
To start, I did my usual base, two coats of Rimmel Black Satin.  It cleans up well and doesn't do weird things to my glitter so it's a good base.  Then, using my usual technique and Sally Hansen Invisible top coat, I got to work with my glitter.  I've been having a lot of luck lately with starting with a column of glitter straight down the middle of …

Australia Day Nails

Urgh, today is just not a good day for nails.  Not only did I cut myself twice on the cheese shaver (in addition to the two other times I've done it) but both cuts were on my photo hand.  Acetone + fresh cuts = owies.  To top it off, the design I had in my head for Australia day didn't work out that well and I feel like I've cheated if my glitter doesn't line up properly.  I can't even re-do it cos I can't face the acetone again!  So we're all just going to have to deal with less-than-amazing Australia day nails. 
I thought about doing Australian flags but it felt too hard so instead, the call of the wild Australian: Aussie, aussie, aussie! Oy, oy, oy!  Believe it or not I've heard it in bars all over the world.  To start, I applied two coats of the greenest green I have, Revlon Posh.  Then, using my usual technique, I slapped the glitter on.  I couldn't work out which way round the pieces were supposed to go to sit together properly so I cheated a…

Review: OPI Liquid Sand Get Your Number

So I know every lady and her nails have reviewed the Liquid Sand OPI polishes but who would I be if I didn't jump on that bandwagon too?  There's no way I could pass up a matte sandy glitter!  It's just too out there.  Anway, let's take a look at the blue polish in the collection, Get Your Number.
Get Your Number is totally unique in my collection.  I don't say that lightly, I have a ton of nail polish.  It may not look like anything earth-shattering in the bottle - a medium blue thin jelly with holo and iridescent glitter - but it really does dry like sand.  It's a little too sheer for me to be comfortable wearing it on its own so I layered two coats of Sally Hansen Navy Baby on there first.  I then added the one coat of Get Your Number and look how interesting it looks!  I added a coat of Seche Vite to my ring finger to contrast the finish differences.  I have to say that I'm not the most fond of the rough finish but it's ok, I'll deal.  

Review: OPI Absolutely Alice!

Comparing photos from earlier this week to now, it's pretty obvious that I got acrylic nails.  I'm ok with it, it means my nails are all nice and even and I don't have to deal with having two broken nails on my photo hand.  The universe's reward for said fake nails?  Finding a polish I've longed for for ages in the salon, OPI Absolutely Alice!
Absolutely Alice is a super awesome blue and gold micro-glitter from all the way back in 2010.  I've longed for it for so long and there it was, just sitting on the rack of polishes to choose from.  Turns out it's super easy to just ask if you can buy one of said polishes and to bargain them down cos it's been used.  I know it's a little gross but I wanted it, dammit!  It was really full and hardly used so mine.  Anyway, I didn't want to waste three coats of it so I started with two coats of Orly Sweet Peacock, the sparkly blue foil.  Absolutely Alice has a really great consistency, it's nearly opaque…

Sunset Gradient Maze Nails!

So I may have mentioned that I'm not working right now.  My company kinda collapsed a bit, but that's ok cos we were compensated.  My life right now is me, sitting at my computer at strange hours of the day and night, talking to my cat and occasionally my boyfriend.  It also means for some weird reason that my impulse control has gone out the window.  I dyed my hair from a box which is a terrible idea if you're blonde and when one too many nails broke on my photo hand I got fake nails.  Wooo! It's kinda hard to type but I'm digging them a bit.  They're all long and not too thick.  They're long enough now that I feel comfortable totally copying an amazing design Chalkboard Nails did the other day.  I'm not kidding when I say copied.  Go look at her stuff.  Not afraid to say I both love her and hate her a bit, she's too good!
Anyway, for these nails I finally got the makeup sponge gradient to work properly.  Turns out a white base is a really good id…

Neon Rainbow Zig-Zags Using American Apparel Neons

Ever since I found proper pinking shears the other day in a craft store, they've been sitting on my desk, begging to contribute their zig-zaggy goodness.  I was in the mood for something bright so I five American Apparel Neon polishes and one China Glaze and went to work.
To start, I added two coats of L.A. Girl Delicate.  I wanted a white base so I wouldn't have to do a million coats of the neon.  Once that and the coat of the Seche Vite were dry I cut a thin zig-zag strips of blue painters tape.  I added three strips at a time, making sure each strip was the same height and spaced the same across my nails.  I then added three of the colours.  If you look at my thumb close up, I placed tape where the orange, green and purple are first and applied the red, yellow and blue.  I added another coat of Seche Vite and did the same for the rest of my fingers.  Once they were all super dry, I covered the stripes already in place and added the other colours.  A final coat of Seche Vit…

Review: Ciate Jewellery Box over Revlon Gold Coin

My previous job had a incentive program that let you "High-5" people when they did a good job, or agreed to swap with you.   This lead you to collect points that could be redeemed for a bunch of different stuff.  I obsessively hoarded my points and when I left, I managed to cash out these points for a ton of gift cards.  Unfortunately these gift cards could be used at Sephora so I did what any normal person would do - spend $120 on nail polish :D.  Sure I could use this for more productive things but too bad, I want fancy nail polish! 
A particular stand out of the polish I grabbed at random like I was on one of those competitions that gives you all you can grab in two minutes was Ciate Jewellery Box.  I don't own anything like, and that's impressive, given the amount I have. Jewellery Box is a clear polish with absolutely minuscule black glitter and larger gold holo glitter.  It's actually super opaque which surprised me - I initially fully layered it over Revl…

Rainbow Glitter Zig-zags, Take 2

One of my more popular posts were the rainbow glitter zig-zag nails I did a few months ago.  It's good, but every time I look at it, all I can see is how uneven some of the glitter is.  It was annoying me so I decided to recreate it, BUT THIS TIME BETTER.
Although it doesn't make much of a different, I started this manicure with two coats of Sally Hansen Navy Baby instead of my usual black.  Gotta mix it up sometimes, you know? Then, starting with my thumb, I added the glitter using my usual process.  Unlike my original version, I did four pieces of glitter before changing directions, made it a lot neater.  After my thumb and ring finger I was starting to go a little cross-eyed so I spaced the glitter out a bit for my remaining fingers.  I like it though, makes the two accent nails stand out more.  It's fun to see the different patterns contrast against each other.  Anyway, if you're wanting to do this, make sure you have the glitter rotated so there's a pointy bi…

Black, White and Gold Zig Zag Nails!

As much as I love the glitter mosaics, every once in a while I feel the need to do something different.  I stopped in at a craft store on the way home tonight as they tend to have all kinds of supplies I might be able to shoehorn into a manicure.  Along with a new, tiny paintbrush, I picked up painter's masking tape and metal craft scissors with a zig-zag blade.  Oh yes, I'm going to have fun with these!
I spent a good couple of hours watching The Mitchell and Webb look and staring at the scissors, trying to decide how best to use them.  I finally decided to try zig-zag strips as it's something I've tried to do by hand before but stopped because it was taking too long.  To start, I applied three thin coats of L.A. Girl Delicate, a shimmery white creme.  Once it and the coat of Seche Vite were totally dry, I cut thin strips of the painter's tape and laid them on my nails.  I then added the black and gold over the top, Rimmel Black Satin and Revlon Gold Coin respect…

True Rainbow Fish Nails

I do a ton of posts with glitter.  That's fine, I love glitter.  What does tend to happen though is that I stick to the little glitter.  There's actually a reason for this!  I hate any manis that don't sit 100% flat.  If a piece of glitter sits up or catches, it's coming off.  The tiny glitter is perfect in that it doesn't catch, always sits nice and smooth.  I was sorting through my bag of glitter (I have a Sephora gift bag that's filled to the top with pots of glitter :D ) and realised I have a really great set of glitters that work in a nice rainbow gradient.  I've been having more luck with getting glitter to sit properly lately so I gave it another shot.
So the trick with working with larger pieces of glitter is to make sure that every piece you apply is tamped down all the way around.  I've had success with first applying two to three coats of a base colour - I usually use Rimmel Black Satin because it cleans up well - and a medium swipe of a non…

Weekly Challange: Inspired by a Book - The Dark Tower Series

I find challenges based around an "inspiration" tricky.  I have a lot of movies, books, TV shows, music that I enjoy but rarely find inspiring.  The Reddit weekly challenge for the past week has been specifically for books and it finally hit me - I had to do nails for Stephen King's The Dark Tower series.  I've read that series over and over again and have always loved it.  There's a ton of really interesting art work featured in some editions of the books as well as online so using this picture as inspiration, let me present my Dark Tower nails.

I'm not super good at nail art yet but I like to give it a shot from time to time.  To start, I applied two coats of China Glaze Electric Beat for my sky background.  Then, using a combination of acrylic paints and nail art polishes, I drew in the field of roses, the tower, the setting sun and the spiralling clouds.  For my thumb I had a go at painting a larger rose with the same combination of paints and polishes. …

Green and Gold Art Deco Nails

I do enjoy a good bandwagon-jumping-on party!  When I saw the gorgeous art deco nails Whitney at dressedupnails.com posted on Reddit, I knew I had to have a go, warnings about the amount of time it takes be damned!  I'm made of time! Yeah...really should have listen there cos these really do take an extraordinary about of time to do!
To start, I applied three coats of a polish I've been meaning to use for a while, OPI Goldeneye from the Skyfall collection.  It's such a beautiful gold, I have no idea why I haven't used it sooner.  Look at the macro shot below, haven't seen a foil that pretty in ages.  Once it and the extra coat of Seche Vite I added on top cos I'm impatient was dry I set to work with my striping tape.  I've only used it for stripes before so I had no idea what I was in for, trying to get tape ends to line up properly.  I didn't do anything special with the tape, just copied the designs from Whitney, embellishing where I felt like it.  O…

Fun with Glow-in-the-Dark American Apparel Polishes!

I finally decided to jump aboard the glow-in-the-dark train that's been tootling around lately.  Sure, it's a gimmick but who doesn't like glow-in-the-dark stuff?  I recently came across two new American Apparel polishes - Moon and Neptune - and just had to find the right way to use them.

To start, I applied three coats of Orly Dayglow, my go-to white polish.  These two polishes are quite sheer so I wanted to give them the best shot possible with a white base.  Next, I applied two coats of the white glower, Moon and the blue, Neptune, to alternating fingers.  Application was fine with both these polishes, not to mention interesting to look at the polish itself on the brush.  The glowing particles almost look velvety, never seen that before.  Once done with the two coats, I added the black glitter.  I wanted some kind of pattern for the glow test, what better than large hex glitter.  I used my usual technique and it didn't take much time at all to get the pattern on.



Ke…

Blue and Red Harlequin Nails

I'm in a ridiculously lucky position right now.  The company I worked for for three years fell apart and with a combination of the savings and resulting payout, I don't have to work for a little while.  Not forever, but enough time for me to get enough sleep and to fully dedicate as much time as I want to doing my nails, among other things.  This is how I had the time to do the ridiculous manicure I'm about to show you, and why I'm publishing this at 5.30am. 
I was sorting out my desk when I came across a pot of red holographic diamond shaped glitter I haven't really known how to fully utilise.  It's the only one I have in this size so I couldn't do the geometric shapes I've done with some other colours in the past.  I think I've always known what to do with it, but it's tiny, and fiddly.  Bracing myself with a lot of episodes of The Good Wife and a google search for the best colour complements to red, I began.  To start this manicure, I applie…

Matching a Mani to the Sparkliest Bag I've Ever Owned

While travelling in New York over Christmas, I kept an eye for...something.  Something unique, something you don't see often, something that stood out.  While wandering around Brooklyn, I found the thing that I was looking for.  It may not be practical but oh man, is it sparkly.  Covered in a perfect gold-red-fuchsia-pale pink gradient of flat sequins, this bag had to be mine.  When I got it home, I of course had to honour it with a glitter gradient of my own.
I wanted to bring in the silver reverse side to all the sequins so I started this mani with two coats of Sally Hansen Celeb City.  I'm not really sure why now as I've tried to put glitter on this before and it never quite looks right.  Anyway, on I went with my usual technique, using Sally Hansen Invisible in very thin layers to stick the glitter on.  Again, I've had luck lately in first laying a strip of glitter down the centre of my nail then building out either side.  Once done, I added two coats of Seche Vit…

Tutorial: How to Fix a Glitter Mosaic Manicure That's Seen Better Days

Alrighty, so you've seen me do quite a lot of glitter mosaics manicures.  They do take a while to do and if you don't do your nails most days like me, you want them to last as long as possible.  One of the best things about them is that they're actually really easy to fix up, if you have the same glitter handy and a little time.

A perfect time to show you the process of fixing my nails is the manicure I did for New Year's Eve.  I did my nails before the party and over the course of the evening, they...had a bit of a rough night.  I'm very hard on my nails - I get tip wear really easily and my nails weren't in the best shape after a week in New York.  So instead of looking like this:


I woke up to them looking like this (brace yourself):

New Year's Eve Nails!

Alrighty everyone, it may be Jan 2nd but I was hungover yesterday so you get my New Year's Eve nails today!  Much like the glitter challenge, New Year's Eve presents quite the quandary for me as I have to choose just one set of nails, they can be as balls-out-sparkly as I want and there will be partying.  I clearly have no choice but to break out the rainbow glitter, again.  Cos it's New Year's!  I can't not do this thing.

As I talked a friend of mine into hosting the night, I felt I should go help.  And, by help, I mean physically be there, sit on her floor and put glitter on my nails while chatting and watching the I.T. Crowd.  I played around for a while and eventually came up with this diamond pattern.  Using my usual technique, I started with two coats of Rimmel Black Satin then laid a column of glitter down the centre of my nail, inching them around a little til I worked out how many I could fit.  I then just build out the pattern on either side.  You may no…