Thursday, 31 January 2013

31DC Day 31: Recreate Someone Else's Manicure From Earlier in the Challenge

Greetings All!

Wow. I can't believe I made it! All 31 days done and although I started a couple of days late, I haven't fallen behind! This was my first challenge on my brand new blog so I'm feeling a little proud of myself right now. Or maybe just cocky, because I have already agreed to do another challenge starting...tomorrow! I'm either crazy, or stupid, or both. I just didn't want this challenge to end. I've loved every minute of it!

I would also like to take a moment to thank my gorgeous followers, and everyone who has visited this last month. You all rock! Seriously, although I have loved doing this challenge, if no one had looked at any of my nails, I might not still be doing this, or at least I definitely wouldn't be feeling as good as I do now! Everyone has been so lovely and kind and supportive and have made me feel like a real part of this little community. HUGE thanks also go to Debbie Crumpet, for organising all this, and for letting me take part. Love to you all!

On to today's nails. Since day 2 of the challenge I have had these nails bookmarked. There have been SO many stunning manicures, I wouldn't have been able to choose so I went with my earliest favourite to save myself a headache!

Tina over at Light of the Moon Nails created a GORGEOUS manicure for day 2: silver (here) that I loved for several reasons. One, she managed to stamp silver on silver, which I wanted to do but (previously) failed. Two, she used a stamp that I really like, from BM14. Three, she used the stamp in an awesome way! I love this ornate design, but struggled to use it because it would be too big for some nails, and too small for others. It wouldn't look consistent. Tina stamped part of the image on each nail. Perfection! Oh and she used a matte polish. Do I need more reasons?! Here are the pics:

The Original! From Light of the Moon Nails

Tina used China Glaze Stone Cold. I don't have this, but while searching for a dark silver to mattify I realised I own OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees Suede. Untried (I'm a terrible person!). I then stamped with my trusty Primark Mercury and plate BM14. Yay! Silver on silver stamping! And I said it couldn't be done...

Tina, I hope you like them! And I hope you don't mind I borrowed your photo, I just had to see them side by side!

I don't want to stop typing, because that will mean that it's officially all over! I'll be back tomorrow with a new challenge. In the meantime, go see what other people have been copying (lol)

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

31DC Day 30: Your Favourite Nail Art Technique

Greetings All!

I can't believe that this is the penultimate day of the challenge! One, I never thought I would get this far. Two, I'm really sad about it! I've loved being told what to do lol, it's much easier than trying to come with ideas on my own! And I've loved being part of this group. Everyone has been so lovely and supportive and inspirational.

I've already set myself another little challenge for February, to keep me motivated. Watch this space!

Today's manicure calls for me to use my favourite nail art technique. Although I love a lot of techniques (basically any that work for me lol) one immediately came to mind. This was the first technique I ever learned, and the fact that it was so easy but so effective is probably why I am still doing nail art. If it had been really tricky, I might have given up! I also love the look. So here is my favourite nail art technique.

Leopard print! I love animal print. I found a video tutorial for these last summer and they looked fairly simple, so I gave them a try. I'm so glad I did! For something so simple I think they look really gorgeous, once at work someone said they thought I was wearing nail wraps! How cool is that?! In the beginning I used to use liquid eyeliner to draw around the spots. It takes the pressure off, especially when you're new to this, because any mistakes can be wiped away without disturbing the polish. Sometimes I still do that, but not today. Today I went all out and used polish.

I also love how versatile these are. You can do them literally in any colour. Personally though this is my favourite colour combination. I call it 'metallic natural' because it's kind of leopard colours, but metallic. I actually wore these for two days because I couldn't bear to take them off!

Polishes used were: Constance Carroll Peppercorn (bronze-y), Collection 2000 Shimmey Shake (gold) and W7 Black.

Remember to check out everyone elses favourite techniques!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

31DC Day 29: Inspired By a Blogger: Glitzology Swatches!

Greetings All!

Today I must be inspired by a blogger. That's a really difficult theme because without nail bloggers I wouldn't be typing this right now! In the very early days I just used to Google image search for my inspiration, but as they mostly come from blogs I soon started following people. At the moment I probably follow too many people, as there are always too many posts in my feed! I can never read them all.

There are so many people that make such fantastic nail art and are so inspirational, that I never would have been able to pick one. I decided to do something that was inspired by the blogging community as a whole.

Without bloggers, I wouldn't even know that indie polishes exist. And they all go mad for them! You aren't really a nail blogger or enthusiast until you have an indie collection! I wasn't sure to begin with. There were just so many, and I was a little skeptical as to whether they would be good quality, or just some glitter chucked into a bottle of clear polish!

Finally in December I took the plunge. I read a review on some Glitzology polishes, and I had the  etsy store bookmarked. While randomly surfing I noticed that Glitzology polishes were 50% off (it was when the world was meant to end - why not?!) so I ordered 4. They arrived a couple of weeks ago, but I've been so busy with the challenge they've been sat to one side waiting!

Monday, 28 January 2013

31DC Day 28: Inspired By Your Favourite Colour

Greetings All!

I'd firstly like to say a quick thank you to everyone who said such nice things about my manicure yesterday. I didn't feel great about it, and I didn't feel great generally, but all your comments made me feel better so thank you!

On to today's nails. My favourite colour is black, but I already did that for my favourite polish! My other favourite nail colour is gold (again, already done. Twice actually!). I decided to use my favourite 'non-nail' colour, if that makes sense. I really love red, my room is decorated black and red (and my blog lol), but I don't often wear red polish, and never as a base colour (ok maybe not NEVER, but extremely rarely). I find that red more than any other colour stains my nails. Before I started wearing base coat, it would stain my nails for weeks sometimes. So it gradually got taken out of rotation. I also find that red is quite a boring nail colour to wear, and almost a little cliche.

However, now I've said all that, I'll show you pictures of me wearing red as a base colour! To avoid staining, I put about 3 coats of base coat on! Keeping it thick meant I was also able to peel the majority of it off, as nail polish remover seems to really help it stain. So, relatively painless! Relatively.

Yes, that's right, after all my worrying over staining, I did a gradient! Yes, it went everywhere. Yes, it took forever to clean up. Yes, my fingers look a little pink because of it. And if it looks a bit weird and thick, well it was. I took some inspiration from The Nailasaurus, whenever she does a gradient, she mixes up the order for an accent nail. I've done the same thing. My gradients are definitely getting better. I still struggle though with getting a straight line. They all look a bit wonky! However they have got the 'fade' look so I am improving!

The red is OPI The Thrill of Brazil, my default red. It's perfect: not too orange, not too pink, not too blue, just glorious fire engine red. It's leaning a little orange in the pics, but that's my cameras fault. Oh! And it stamps. That's just the icing on the cake! I then did a gradient using red and W7 Black, painting it onto the sponge, then sponging on my nail.

Overall, I like it, but I don't love it. However I am now keen to try wearing red again (with black stamping...mmmm!) so that's something.

Tomorrow I must be inspired by a blogger. I'm always inspired by bloggers! Without them, I wouldn't be here talking to you!!

Make sure to check out what colour has been inspiring other people!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

31DC Day 27: Inspired By You

Greetings all.

Unfortunately, I'm not feeling very inspirational today. Once again I had great ideas in my head that would not translate onto the nail. I attempted 4 manicures for today, none of them were great, 2 were completely awful. So I'll show you the 2 slightly less awful.

These are my kitties. Near enough the most important thing in my life. From left to right: Pandora (with amber eyes), Bubbles (grey) and Gustav. My thumb is dedicated to my most favourite of all cats, Evil, who passed away January 2012

This is Bubbles (next to Smaug the tiger)

Pandy on the left, and Gusty on the right. Pandy is very hard to get a good picture of, she always looks very cross, but she is beautiful in real life. Gusty is a naughty little boy!

This is my beloved Evil, pictured here just after eating a 'cheezburger'. I can't even describe how precious he was to me (and still is), but a year after he died I still cry regularly over him. He was a very special cat

I wasn't happy with this manicure, because I didn't think it was good enough to accurately represent how precious my cats are to me. I know I can draw better cats than that. So I tried to do something else, which pretty much failed.

This is supposed to represent my star sign (Libra) and my birth stone (opal). Innisfree Libra did pretty well over the top, but the opal? I started off with OPI Alpine Snow, then added OPI Fireflies. It just looks white. The only iridescence you can see is where I missed during cleanup! Maybe I should have done another coat? Well this is 4 (yes 4) coats (which was why cleanup was so tricky). I had high hopes for Fireflies. So far it sucks over black, white and green. At least it's consistent!

Hopefully others have been a bit more inspirational

Saturday, 26 January 2013

31DC Day 26: Inspired By Your Country

Greetings all!

Today's manicure calls for something inspired by you country. Now, I'm not especially patriotic, or even particularly proud to be British. I didn't bother with the Jubilee, or the Olympics, or the Royal Wedding (possibly  because I've had to work every bank holiday since the beginning of 2011). I was all set to do a basic red, white and blue motif, maybe some stamping. However I thought I should make the effort. My  nails from the beginning of this challenge show a lot more effort than the last couple of days (or at least, they TOOK more effort lol) so I decided to choose some British 'stereotypes' and make a sort of skittle out of them. I'll show you the nails, then explain!

So here we have a few British 'cliches': a double decker bus, a cup of tea, both on a grey background, because it always rains here, a game of cricket, and a crown. As well as being British, I am an Essex girl, so we also have some white stilettos on an orange fake tan background (that's mostly what Essex girls are known for. Oh, and being blonde and stupid)

Polishes used were: George Witchcraft (grey), Revlon Emerald, Sally Hansen Shade 04 (purple) and Miss Sporty unnamed (orange) for the base colours, then W7 Black, OPI Alpine Snow, OPI The Thrill of Brazil, Barry M Chocolate Brown, unnamed Miss Sporty (yellow), and Konad white and gold for the stamping.

Stamps used were BM08 for the crown and GA33 for the shoe.

Phew! That seemed like a lot! For someone unpatriotic, that was a lot of effort (especially the crown. I must have stamped it 8 times trying to get it in the centre and straight. It's still not straight!)

Tomorrow I must be inspired by myself. Easy? I'm not sure!

Remember to check out everyone else being patriotic!

Friday, 25 January 2013

31DC Day 25: Inspired By Your Childhood

Greetings all!

Today's theme is childhood. I wasn't really sure what to do for this. I thought of the toys I liked to play with when I was a child. They were always animal toys: cuddly toys, little plastic woodland creatures, things like that. I was a big fan of My Little Pony (the original 80s MLP, not these weird-looking things they have today. When the term 'brony' meant, I don't know, a brown pony?). I had loads, and I used to play with them for hours, brushing their hair, and having all sorts of adventures. I'm getting nostalgic just thinking about it!

Unfortunately, I'm not skilled enough to draw a My Little Pony, so I started thinking about the little icons they had on their, erm, rump. They all had their own little icon, that meant something to them. Some of the icons I remember were:
A Bubble Bath
A Rainbow

So I drew some little pictures of the sort of thing you would probably find on a Pony (you can tell I did the research!)

Grrr, my cuticles are beginning to feel the strain from this challenge! Here we have: a rainbow, some flowers, a smiling sunshine, a cupcake, and a heart. That seems like the sort of thing My Little Ponies would have, right?!

I decided to use only the base colours for the nail art, to try and make it seem like a full manicure, and not just some random nails! The colours I used were: Collection 2000 in Dynasty, Fruit Loop, Lemon Soda and Hula Hoop, and 17 Baby Blue. I used OPI Alpine Snow for the cloud. I freehanded it all with a brush and a dotting tool. I know it's quite naive, but I think that fits the theme perfectly!

A My Little Pony (from

Remember to check out other people's regressions to childhood!

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Greetinga all!

What, nail mail? Again? Didn't you just post some yesterday, asks no one. Yes, I did. However, today's mail is exciting. AND I won't be buying more polish until March.

This is my first package from Llarowe. It wasn't the best experience I've ever had buying nail polish, but more on that later.

Here they are, in all their shiny new loveliness

Naild It Froggy Pond and Tiger Puke. Both in the sale! Both super cute (and Tiger Puke? What a name!) I don't know much about Naild It polish, but I'm looking forward to trying these!

Lush Lacquer Halloweenie. I'm a big fan of Halloween, but last year I didn't know that indie polishes existed (probably) so I missed out on all the stunning seasonal polishes! Snagged this one in the sale! Haven't worn it, but love it already! This year, I will be far better prepared!

And Jade Holografico in Mystic Gold. I've heard a lot of good things about this polish, so I took the plunge and ordered one.It is OBSCENELY holographic (just not in this pic lol) and a gorgeous metallic gold, almost mirror-like. No doubt this will be the first one I try! This was the reason I went to Llarowe, but once I noticed the 'sale' section, I was doomed.

Onto the service. I originally ordered 5 polishes, paid for them fine, a few days later I was emailed to say they were being shipped. The next day I got a refund from Paypal from Llarowe, no detail whatsoever. When I emailed them to ask what was going on, I was told 
'Jack O Lantern (the polish I got a refund for) is a seasonal polish. Sorry!'
Seriously, that was the whole email. Now, maybe this is par for the course in the indie nail polish world, maybe they are really busy , but I was left a little unsatisfied with this. I know sometimes demand outweighs supply. I know sometimes you have to refund people's money because you don't have the product. I also know the importance of customer service. I just felt a little brushed aside, like I didn't matter. I'm considering whether I will buy from them again. Yes, they have beautiful products, but if that is typical of their customer service, I'll go elsewhere! OK rant over!

Have you ordered from Llarowe? Everyone always has nothing but good things to say! Is this because my incident is rare, or do we forgive them for what they bring to us?

31DC Day 24: Inspired By a Game

Greetings all!

Up until this morning, I was really happy with this manicure. Then I saw what some others had done for this day, and now I am super annoyed at myself. Why did I not think of doing a video game?! I love video games! The thought never even occurred to me. Why didn't it occur to me?! I guess at least I have some inspiration for future manicures. Video games has gone into the ideas book. Animal Crossing will be first,if you are interested. Heck, I could do a whole series of Animal Crossing nails (*squeal*).

So it turns out I was pretty unimaginative with today's design. Ah well,at least it was freehand. I'm always happier when I do freehand because it takes more effort! My thought process was basically " games do I like to play...?" The first idea that popped into my head was Monopoly, a favourite of mine. I used to have a phone you could play it on. I thought there was a lot I could do with Monopoly...different colours, icons, all sorts really. Enough of my babbling, here it is:

Do not pass GO, do not collect £200

Yeah, up close, this is a bit of a mess. From a normal distance, it looked OK. So we have all the Monopoly faves: dice (I was pretty proud that I freehanded a cube), the question mark from the 'Chance' card, a hotel (or house. I can never remember which is which!), a top hat (yes, it's meant to be a top hat lol) and jail. The base colours I used are meant to represent the different colour property areas.

Polishes Used: 17 Baby Blue, OPI Koala Bear-y, OPI The It Colour, Revlon Emerald, No7 Violetta, Barry M Silver Foil, W7 Black and Konad White.

Picture From Here

Did you know that you can get Nintendo Monopoly, Family Guy Monopoly, Sonic The Hedgehog Monopoly, and the one I found weirdest, ROUND Monopoly?! We live in strange times, people.

Tomorrow is more inspiration, this time from my childhood. When I played a  lot of Monopoly!

Make sure to see what others have been playing with!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Greetings All!

Yes, more nail mail. Today's haul comprised of:

OPI Liquid Sand Minis. Yes, I jumped on this bandwagon. Well, I do like texture. And I LOVE the cute little mini polishes! If I like these, I'll invest in the full sizes!

These I got from 2 joblots from the same seller on eBay. I have a real weakness for buying joblots of polish, it's cheap, you get a great mix of stuff, you get colours and shades you would never normally wear, it's like a lucky dip bag of nail polish!

And what a bag this one is! My first Essie and Orly, glow in the dark polish, a nail art polish in a VERY metallic orange, and would you just look at the rainbow coming off that Kleancolor?! I already have some more Kleancolors on the shopping list (including the one with all the star glitter...there are no words!). All in all, a pretty good haul! Look out for these in future nail art!!

31DC Day 23: Inspired By Nature

Greetings all!

There was a point, when I was polishing this manicure, that I thought I might possibly have created something  new. A quick Google search informed me that I was wrong. Plenty of people had got there before me (here, here and here just for example). Probably I saw these, and the information got stored away for a later date. I do that a lot!

So these nails are inspired by nature, how exactly? Well, I was struck by how much they remind me of a pebbly beach. And when the polish has sand right there in the title, well that's kismet!

Here you can see the difference when you put polish over the glitter

So this is my Samoan Sand-wich. 2 coats of OPI Samoan Sand, 2ish coats of Models Own Hed Kandi Ibiza Mix, and another very thin coat of Samoan Sand over the top. Finished with Asda matte top coat.

I love the way this totally transforms the glitter. Ibiza Mix has quite muted colours in it anyway, so it seemed perfect for this. Samoan Sand makes the glitter matte, lighter, and can even change the colour! (silver and gold become white and yellow) It really reminds me of a lovely beach full of pebbles and shells. I love that this is a completely different way to wear glitter; it's suitable for work, it's much softer and gentler than normal glitter, and it has a completely different finish. Can you tell I love this?!

I also tried it with a few other glitters (although none were quite as good as Ibiza Miz)

OPI's The Living Daylights

From thumb to pinkie: Innisfree Libra, Innisfree Aquarius, Innisfree Andromeda, W7 Multi Dazzle and Barry M SLE 2012 B

Tomorrow I must be inspired by a game...who said nail art was hard work?

Don't forget to see how others made something natural from a little bottle of chemicals!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

31DC Day 22: Inspired By A Fabric

Greetings all.

Today I have been using Nails Inc Bling It On Leather Effect in Tan. I like it, it's a nice colour and I like a bit of texture. I also put some gold studs on.

A very rare daylight picture shows up the texture better