Saturday, 29 December 2012

Love Hearts

Morning all!  I hope you're all enjoying the festive season, and haven't over indulged too much!  I think if I see another glass of wine my liver might try to make a break for it...  Today's my last day in Swansea with my family, before I head up to Liverpool to spend New Year's with my boyfriend and his family.  My brother and sister-in-law (plus dogs) are coming over for a second Christmas dinner and eggnog later, so that should be good fun :)  And my sister-in-law isn't driving for a change, which means I can get her drunk :D

But anyway, you read my blog for the nails, so here you go!  These have been sitting in my 'To be posted' folder for months - I did them for the evening reception of my cousins wedding back in September, and for some reason just haven't got round to posting them.


I used George Gnome and OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons as my base colours, then added a coat of BeautyUK Gold Digger and Kleancolor Twinkly Love on the nude nails.  I did have to fish about a bit for the hearts, and place them where I wanted them, but I don't mind when they're this cute...

What do you think of an accent nail arrangement like this?  I'm normally a ring finger accent kind of girl, but I do enjoy the occasional foray into something different.  What's your accent nail preference?

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Penguin Tutorial

This is a tutorial to create cute little penguin nails, originally posted here.

For this look, you will need:

  • Black polish (Barry M Black)
  • White polish (Barry M Matt White)
  • Orange nail art pen
  • Dotting tool
I'm using an orange nail art pen because I happen to have one, but you could of course use nail polish and a small nail art brush or dotting dool.

Here is the step-by-step picture tutorial:


1.  Prepare your nail as usual, then apply your black base.

2.  Using your white polish, making sure the brush is fully loaded, start about two-thirds of the way down your nail and draw a stripe to the tip.  Let the brush fan out so that you end up with this nice curved shape.

3.  Using the large end of your dotting dool, add two white dots for eyes.  Let these dry, then use the small end to add two black dots to the centres.

4.  Using your nail art pen, add a small triangle for the beak (make sure you do this on the white part of the penguin - it won't show up on the black!) and two dots for feet.

5.  Add a coat of you favourite topcoat, and you're finished!

These little fellas are cute for any time of the year, but if you'd like to make them a little more festive, how about using a black glitter for your base?  Or adding some red and green bow ties?  You could even use different base colours to come up with some skittle penguins!  I'd love to see what you come up with :)

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

A Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge: We wish you a merry Christmas!


Just a quickie today, as I have to go eat turkey and stuff.

Today's the final day of the Christmas challenge!  I decided to make use of some little tree stickers I picked up in Poundland a few weeks ago.


I used China Glaze Winter Holly and Barry M Gold.  The stickers have curled up a little at the edges, but somehow I haven't picked them off yet.  They may survive until after dinner...

If you want to relive the challenge, you can see my manicures by clicking the picture below, or you can of course take a wander over to the Pinterest board to view everyone's manicures.

Hope you all have a fantastic day!!

A Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge: Santa Claus is coming to town

If you pretend it's half an hour ago, then I totally posted this on time.

Things have been totally hectic since I came home to my parents' for Christmas, and my nails have been totally neglected.  Today, I even went out to meet friends with chipped nail polish.  I am a disgrace.

To demonstrate further my disgraceful ways, here's my manicure for this challenge!  The glitter had already been on for a few days, hence the tip and growth *hangs head in shame*


I used China Glaze Pure Joy, and then added Father Christmas' face using OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons and black and white nail art pens.

If you'd like to have a go at your own Father Christmas nail art, I have a tutorial you can use here.

Tomorrow's the last day of the challenge!  We'll all be freestyling it for 'we wish you a merry Christmas' so I'm really looking forward to seeing what people come up with!

Anyhoo, Santa Claus really is coming to town, so I'd best get to sleep!  Don't forget to check out all the other participants manicures.

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

A Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge: Deck the halls!

I'm officially behind with my own challenge...dear me!  I did do them on Sunday, but I took a day off from revision yesterday to go to Canterbury with my boyfriend to do a bit of Christmas shopping :) So  didn't get a chance to post them.

Of course, I went with sparkles and holly!

Showing off another of the baubles on my tree...

I used China Glaze Champagne Kisses for my sparkly base (love this polish so much!).  Then I added holly leaves in Sinful Colors Last Chance and Barry M Spring Green, and some berries in OPI Flick Chick Cherry with Barry M Matt White highlights.

Here's a picture with the flash (just because I enjoy the sparkle...).

There'll be two posts next week!  Have a look at the challenge prompts below to see what's coming up :)

Don't forget to visit all the other fabulous blogs participating, or visit the Pinterest board to see everyone's manicures!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Another Reverse Glitter Gradient

It's FRIIIIIIDAAAAAYYY!  I had an exam this morning, so naturally I have a bottle of wine in the fridge, and once I've finished this post I'll send my boyfriend to the chippy (even though I've insisted for the last hour that I'm going to cook..he's unlikely to be surprised though).

So anyway!  Today I have a simple little glitter gradient for you, with two untried polishes.  Go me!

I used an NYC polish - this has since been donated to my Mum because it's really similar to another polish in my collection and I can't for the life of me remember the name!  Sorry!  It went on lovely though; I didn't have great expectations, but in two coats it was rich and opaque.  The glitter is Barry M Rose Quartz - the larger pieces of glitter are actually a pale pink (it's hard to tell with the red background!) and then it's packed with fine silver holographic glitter.  Very pretty :)

I love doing glitter gradients - I think they're a really quick and simple way of using your glitter polishes, whilst still creating a look that's a little different than just all over glitter :)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Rudolph Tutorial

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny noooooossssseeee (like a light bulb!).

To create this cute little reindeer you'll need:

  • Green polish (Barry M Spring Green)
  • White polish (Barry M Matt White)
  • Brown polish (OPI Over The Taupe)
  • Red and red glitter polish (Barry M Bright Red and Red Glitter)
  • Black Sharpie or nail art pen
Here's the step-by-step picture tutorial:

1.  Prepare your nail as normal, and apply your base colour.

2.  Using your white polish, paint a curve across the tip of your nail.  Note: If you've used a light background colour or your brown polish is really opaque, you can skip steps 2 and 3!

3.  Add a smaller curve on top of the previous curve.  You might find it easiest to get plenty of polish on your brush, place it about two third down the nail and paint a stripe.

4.  Using the same method as in 2 and 3, paint over your white shape with your brown polish.  Don't worry if you don't quite get up to the edges, we'll be going over these later anyway.

5.  Add a blob of red polish on your tip for Rudolph's nose.

6.  Add a blob of red glitter on top of this for some extra sparkle.

7.  Give your polish plenty of time to dry, then using your Sharpie or equivalent, outline Rudolph's head and nose, and add two dots for eyes.  Aim to do this a little neater than I did!

8.  Finish Rudolph by giving him some antlers!  Just draw two lines coming out of his head, then draw two more lines coming off each of these.

9.  Give your Sharpie or nail art pen plenty of time to dry, then apply your favourite topcoat and you're done!

I think this would look fab as an accent nail with all the other nails done as reindeer without a red nose!  Or if a reindeer on every nail's a bit much for you, how about as an accent nail with a glittery green mani?

Monday, 10 December 2012

A Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge: Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

Evening all :)

Today is day two in the Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge, and the theme is snow!  For this manicure I decided to recreate one that I did last here.  Here's this year's effort.

I used Barry M Blueberry Ice Cream for my base, then used Barry M Matt White, Black, Spring Green and Bright Red, and a little blob of Max Factor Bright Orange for his nose.

And here's last year's attempt.  Shocking photo...apologies.

It' or less identical.  Not much development there then!

Next week's theme is Deck The Halls.  I'm expecting to see a lot of glitter...

Don't forget to check out all the other ladies participating in the challenge!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Father Christmas Tutorial

Ho ho ho, merry Christmas!

To create a little Father Christmas on your nails, you will need:

  • Nude polish 
  • White polish 
  • Red polish
  • A small nail art brush
  • A black sharpie or nail art pen
Of course, if you don't have a black nail art pen you can just use some black polish and a small brush.

Here's the step-by-step picture tutorial:

1.  Prepare your nail as usual, and apply your nude polish.

2.  Using your white polish, paint across about a third of your nail at the base, and a third at the tip, making this fishtail shape.

3.  Taking your red polish and nail art brush, fill in the base of your nail.  Make sure you leave a white trim on his hat!

4.  Paint a long red triangle from the hat down to Father Christmas' beard.

5.  Using your Sharpie (or equivalent) outline all your shapes.  Add in the bottom of his moustache, eyes, a smile and a bobble on the end of his hat!

6.  Clean up and apply your favourite topcoat, and you're good to go (remember if you're using a Sharpie or nail art pen, allow this plenty of time to dry before topcoating - no streaking Santas!)

This would look great as an accent nail with a red and green manicure.  Or how about adding some red glitter to make him sparkle or, if you're feeling adventurous, some white flocking powder for all his fluffy bits!

Christmas Tutorials

Because I'm feeling festive (and because I'm just this good at avoiding revision) I've decided some Christmassy tutorials are in order!

I've already made a few, but if you have any suggestions for tutorials you'd like me to make, just let me know!  It can be something I've posted in a manicure on here, or just any random festive nail art you'd like to see me attempt.

I can't wait to hear your ideas!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Polish Days: Get Your Bling On!

The more observant amongst you will have noticed I didn't do the last two Polish Days.  I just forgot...  I actually have a calendar on my computer where I write all challenge manicures I'm going to do, I just don't look at it.  It's like when I go shopping; I write a shopping list and take it with me, but I don't look at it until after I've paid and left the shop, to see how well I've done.

But anyway, this month I've remembered!  The theme, appropriately for the festive season, is Get Your Bling On!  And what better than a multicoloured glitter bomb!

This Barry M Amethyst Glitter.  I can't tell you what colours are in there because it's too shiny to be able to tell.  The overall look is quite blue though .  I used 4 coats (I think??) here with no underwear.

And just because blurry pictures of glitter are always fun:

This is my right hand by the way, so sorry for the slightly awkward hand position.  I struggled.

Then I added a star pattern over the top in Barry M Vivid Purple, using the same method I used for my Over The Taupe Stars.  It got a little chunky at this stage, so sorry it's a bit of a mess.

Don't forget to check out all the other bling-tastic nails today!

Liebster Award

A huge thank you to Tara from TarasTalons for nominating me for the Liebster Award!

Here are the rules:

  • Post 11 facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you
  • Ask 11 questions
  • Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers
I exhausted my store of facts about myself in previous award posts, so I'm gonna skip that bit (you can read them here).

Here are the questions that Tara asked.

1. Where did you grow up?
In Swansea (in South Wales).  And no, that's not a part of England.

2.  What is the best thing about where you grew up?
My parents live on the Gower Peninsula, and the beaches are AMAZING.  I still adore it, and I miss it so much!  I love being able to go down the beach for a BBQ of a summer's evening, and you have this whole massive beach to yourselves :)  And the sand dunes are great for sledding when it snows (or sliding down on a plastic bag if you don't have a sled...ahem).

3. If you could only use one range of polishes for a whole year, which brand would you choose?
Assuming I don't have to pay for all these polishes, then absolutely OPI.  I've yet to find a brand that comes anywhere close in terms of quality.  The brush and formula are so perfect that painting my nails with it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

4. What is your party trick?
Getting really drunk and embarrassing myself...does that count?  I can also converse fairly well in French when I'm drunk...

5. Why do you blog?
Hmm...well the reason I started blogging was mostly because I finished my teacher training and suddenly had free time.  I didn't quite know what to do with myself.  I'd started posting pictures of my nails on Facebook, and I'd been reading a few blogs, so I decided to just give blogging a go.  I got my first few followers pretty quickly, so that was exciting!  I still get very excited when I get new followers (one time I lost one...that was sad) or new comments, and I guess that's why I've kept going with it :)

6. What is your favourite animal?
ARGH!  I hate this question!   It's impossible to answer because I love them all!  I wish I had an ark.  But only the cute animals would be allowed snakes.  Tigers are definitely up there in my top 10 because they're just so fricking adorable.  It genuinely makes me sad that I can't have a pet one.  Like now I feel sad because I've thought about it.  Also up there are rhinos, because LOOK AT THEM!  They are ridiculous, and therefore amazing.  I discovered there's a zoo just north of London that has white tigers and snow leopards, so clearly my boyfriend has to take me there for a day out when he's home (sometimes I imagine being with me must be rather like having a small child to entertain...).  Ummmm...what else are my favourites...POLAR BEARS.  I can't believe I almost forgot them.  I want a pet one of those two.  Ugh, they just break my heart with their cuteness.  Now I just need to resist the urge to google pictures of cute animals, because I'll literally never start my coursework....

7. If you had to live in another country, where would you choose?
Probably somewhere very similar to Britain, because I hate change.  Aren't I boring?  Maybe France because the wine's cheap and it's not too hot or cold.

8. What blog is your favourite/gives you the most inspiration?
What a hard question!  There are loads that I love, for all different reasons.  Chalkboard Nails and Creative Nail Design by Sue always have perfect nails, so I love seeing their new posts.  Clawsome Nail Art has amazing false nails that she sells - they're always so unique, so I love seeing those.  Scrangie is great for swatches.  The Nailasaurus has unique ideas for how to use nail art products, and the things that girl can do with a medium striper brush...  And I really love new blogs.  I love seeing how people's skills develop, and watching their blogs grow.

9. What three famous/well known people (living or dead) would you invite to a dinner party and why?
I know a lot of people go for inspirational figures from the past when asked this sort of question...but I'm gonna go for Bryan Adams so he could sing to us, David Tennant so he could talk at me in his Scottish accent, and Dermot O'Leary so I could touch him.  In a totally innocent way, of course.

10. How did you get interested in nails?
When I was in my teens, my mum used to get Special FX nail art kits of QVC, with nail foils and that sort of things, so I got quite into it then.  Then I stopped painting my nails when I got my first job at 16 (apparently red nail polish and making baguettes don't go together - whatever).  I randomly decided after no, I've gotten so old I can't remember one birthday from another anymore.  Sad times.  Maybe my 22nd?  Anyway, I decided to spend some of my birthday money on a couple of Special FX foils off ebay.  And so it begun again...  Actually though, I only started having them painted 24/7 after I used Rimmel Sunshine and it stained my nails so badly that I had to have them painted all the time otherwise I looked like a chain smoker.

11. What is your favourite TV program?
Coronation Street.  I don't even care if that's the most tragic thing you've ever heard.

And here are the 11 questions for my nominees!  Lifted straight from my last Liebster award post...ahem...

1.Why did you start your blog?
2. How did you get in to nail art?
3. What's your go to manicure when you're feeling uninspired?
4. What polish are you lusting after at the moment?
5. What is your favourite brand of nail polish?
6. Are you a fan of indie polishes, and why or why not?
7. What's your favourite thing about the festive season?
8. Where in the world would you most like to visit?
9. What other hobbies do you have?
10. Do you have any strange fears?
11.  If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

And now...drum roll please...

The blogs I'm nominating are:

Please do check out their blogs - there's some fantastic nail art to be seen!

Monday, 3 December 2012

A Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge: Rocking Around the Christmas Tree

Happy Monday!  If Monday's can be happy...

Today's the first day of my Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge, yay!  Here's what's coming up in the challenge:

So today's theme is Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.  For some reason, I was really struggling to come up with an idea for this one!  I mean, it really shouldn't be that hard...just something involving a tree. But no...nothing.

Eventually I settled on this simple but fun dotticure :)  And I actually really like it.  It's so bright and glittery, what more could you want?

Goes without saying of course that I had to take a picture of them with a tree ornament and next to the Christmas tree.  Not overkill at all.

I used Barry M Matt White for my base, and then had a bit more of a Barry M fest using Barry M Spring Green, Bright Red and Gold Foil.

I then went over these colours with glitter!  I used Barry M Red Glitter, and China Glaze Champagne Kisses and Winter Holly.

Here's a less tree-y picture...

Don't forget to check out all the other lovely ladies participating in the challenge, by following the links below!  Alternatively, you can view everyone's manicures on the Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge Pinterest Board.

Also,I failed miserably at using all my untrieds in November. I think I may actually have more than I started with.  So I'm still going with that anyway!

China Glaze Champagne Kisses
China Glaze Winter Holly

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Best of British

Hello everyone :)  I hope you're all enjoying a nice lazy Sunday.  I know I am...I got out of bed at 2:30pm and all I've done since then is drink coffee and do some Christmas shopping online.  Good times.  Planning to put the tree up this evening!  Assuming of course that I ever get off the sofa...

Anyhoo, let's have a look what everyone's been up to this week!

British Nail Bloggers

Emma uses her nails as a blank canvas and creates grafitti nails at Emma's Little Corner.

Wendy at Wendy's Delights is wearing a beautiful Green Polish she received as a gift from Never Mind Suzi, and used it for the 31 Day Nail Challenge.

Lyndsay has taken delivery of 2 new sets of Holiday Stamping Plates - the spookily themed HD01-HD05 and Christmas related HD06-HD10.  Check them out over at Pie's Eyes.

Claire at nuthin' but a nail thing has been all about the stripes and polka dots this week.

This week The Teenage Shopaholic has been... feeling Christmassy! She went to Winter Wonderland and wore her snowy twinkling mani.

This week Alyssia of Rose Tint My Nails swatched Models Own Raspberry Crush that she got FREE from MORE! Magazine.  On top of that she takes on the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge!

Anna of Anna's Polish Addiction has posted her Nails Inc Glastonbury mani and is also having a mini Blog sale.

MissLanage has had a week of firsts at Lane's Laquers including MSMD Monday, Caviar Mani's & Sat-ART-day.

This week Phoenix Nails gave you all a sneak peek at her Ciate Mini Mani Month Advent Calendar.  Keep your eyes peeled each day as she shares what's behind each door.

Sam at Polished Art posted this easy-to-follow leopard print nail art tutorial. If you haven't tried this pattern yet, give it a go now!

Lou is back in the blogging groove and has a longtime HAREpolish lemming to show off.  Let's just say it's red and it has glitter!

Vic's been way too busy playing with the new Gelish Holiday Collection to do much blogging, but she has at least posted her 500 follower giveaway.

Jazz has been slacking this week, I promise to pick up next week! Glitter Infatuation. Glitter is appropriate no matter what the occasion!

Don't forget that tomorrow is the beginning of my Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge!  I'm really looking forward to seeing what all the participants come up with for the first prompt 'Rocking around the Christmas tree'.  I hope you are too!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Caviar Manicure

Hello ladies :)

It's december, yay!  I'm going to head into town in a little bit (again) to do some more Christmas shopping, and hopefully get my tree up later!  Yay!'ll do my coursework at some point...maybe...

Anyway, today I have my first go of a caviar mani to show you.  I picked these beads up Superdrug for £2.99 - you can probably get some cheaper ones on ebay or something, but there are also certainly some more expensive ones around.

These beads are by MUA.  There are five different colours in the range, and what I really like about them is that each set isn't just one colour of microbeads, but a mixture.  I think this makes them look a bit more interesting on the nail.  Here's the look I came up with.

This is W7 Blue Dazzle and Nails Inc Elizabeth Street (the one that was free with Glamour), with the accent nail in MUA Constellation Pisces.

It's a little hard to see in the photo, because they're so shiny, but these beads are mostly blue, with some pink and silver mixed in there aswell.  I have to say I was really impressed with them.  They're a lot smaller than I thought, so they don't stick out too much from the nail - very wearable.  And they lasted so well!  I did put one layer of topcoat over them, because I'm sure they'd have just all fallen off in bed otherwise, but you really couldn't tell there was topcoat on them - it didn't ruin the look at all.  I'm terrible at fiddling with my nails when there are bumpy things on them (rhinstones never stand a chance), but I fiddled and I fiddled, and they just didn't budge.  Although when I took them off...lets just say I need to vacuum.

Have you tried caviar beads before?  Do you like the idea of mixed colours like this, or do you prefer the plain colours?