30 Day Nail Challenge

Friday, 31 August 2012

Polished Criminails is holding a 30 Day Nail Challenge, starting from tomorrow, which I am taking the plunge and getting involved in.  The challenge is to do a different manicure every day, with a theme for each day:

Who else is getting involved?  I am looking forward to seeing everyone's creations!

Rainbow Gradients

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

I have got a bit gradient obessed lately, and was struggling of something to do with my nails yesterday, so decided to go fo a rainbow gradient.  I painted a white base on all my nails, and then sponged on three colours on each nail, using the same process I used in this blog post.

Rainbow Gradient Nail Art

The colours I used for each nail, are as follows (nothing expensive, just cheap, cheerful colours):

And here you go, gradient-tastic!
Rainbow Gradient Nail Art

Rainbow Gradient Nail Art

Rainbow Gradient Nail Art

Rainbow Gradient Nail Art

Rainbow Gradient Nail Art

Rainbow Gradient Nail Art

Rainbow Gradient Nail Art

Liebster Award!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The lovely Michele over at Sunshine & Rainbows has nominated me for a Liebster award.  Thank you very much lady, I am thrilled!  Please make sure you go and check out her wicked blog.

The Liebster Award is given to new bloggers with less than 200 followers.

Here's how it works:

1) The recipient must post 11 fun facts about themselves
2) The recipient must also answer 11 questions created by the award giver
3) The recipient must give the award to 11 new bloggers with less than 200 followers and post 11 questions for them to answer
4) These 11 bloggers must be told they have been given the award
5) They will in turn pass the award on to 11 new bloggers of their choice (no tagging back the award giver)

11 Fun* facts:

1)  I live in St Helens, Merseyside with my husband Andy.  It is our 1st wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks time and we are off to Egypt to celebrate.

2)  I have two cats; Flora and The Machine.  Flo is very pretty and fluffy, and excellent at giving out a JUDGING STARE.  TMac is quite a naughty boy and likes to bring me dead things.

3)  I have massive clown feet. 

4)  I love sossidges.  In order to restrict my intake, Thursday is the official day of the week when sossidges are permitted to be eaten.  We have a Sossidge Party every Thursday morning, and all eat sossidges together.

5)  I am orange a lot of the time.  It's ALL ABOUT THE TAN.

6)  I like to bake cakes.  I see cakes as a way of making friends, forcing people to like me, and also keeping me off the redundancy list at work.  You can't P45 the person that brings in the cake, can you?

7)  I love to drink Vodka and Red Bull.  I love to have kitchen vodka parties with my friends and we will all paint our nails, listen to bad 90s dance music and drink lots of vodka.  It's best if you do this on a school night, so that work the next day is even more enjoyable.

8)  I love to wear ridiculously tranny-like eyelashes.  The thicker the better.

9)  I listen to a lot of offensive hip hop/rap, fromn the early 90's, because I am stuck in a time warp.  I went to see Snoop Dogg perform his Doggystyle album last year and it was one of the best nights ever.  Ridiculous.  I wish Snoop Dogg was my Uncle, fo' shizzle.

10)  I like to challenge people to handstand competitions when I have had too many sheberts.  I cannot do handstands.

11) Sixteen is my lucky number.  I have it tattooed on my finger.  It's also my house number, so it's useful to have that reference if I ever forget.

*Not all necessarily fun.  I cannot do fun under pressure.


1) When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging early this year as I have been nail varnished obsessed for a couple of years now, taking photos of various creations and thought I might as well put myself out there.  It's nice to have a "diary" as it were, and hopefully see improvements on designs and techniques.  Also, it's lovely to be able to share pictures and ideas with other people with the same interest. 

2) How many bottles of polish do you own?
I haven't counted for a while (for shame!) but my Helmer is nearly full.  Eeek.  We're probably looking at about 300 at least I think.

3) What color do you have the most of in your collection?
I would say it is probably blue or green.  I'm not sure why, as they aren't my favourite colours, but there always seems to be a lot more choice in terms of shades, and I always seem to stumble across another one that I don't have quite in that shade, that I need (obviously).

4) What is your first memory of nail polish?
When I was really little I remember getting a Tinkerbell make up set for Christmas that had a bright red (peel off!) polish in it, and I used to put it on all the time.

5) What do your friends/family think of your hobby?
A lot of my friends have been slowly dragged into the cult too, and are getting as polish obsessed as me!  My husband has come round to it more now I've started a blog as he sees the justification now for sitting there painting my nails every night.  He fancies himself as a bit of a fashion/trend know it all so is always coming up with suggestions he thinks will look cool.  I don't necessarily agree!

6) What are your hobbies other than blogging?
I love reading, but I don't really get much chance apart from on holiday, where I tend to go through a book a day.  I love just lying in the sunshine soaking up a good book.  I like photography, and like to get out and take pictures of nice things, landscapes, scenery when I have some free time, and isn't raining.  I also like horse-riding, and try and go for a little trot every weekend.

7) What's your favorite nail polish color?
Such a difficult question!  I really love a nice corally pink, or baby pinks.  They just make me feel like it's summer!  I also love jewel colours for winter.

8) What would be your dream polish?
I love anything with glitter in, that goes on nice and thick.  I love that more brands are now bringing out coloured base polishes filled with different glitters.  I also really love Holos, and wish I'd managed to get hold of the blue/purple set of the OMG collection, I have the pink/orange collection which I love, but the blue and purple look to die for.

9) What is something you love, but everyone else hates?
I can't think of something that *everyone* else hates, but I know that yellow is a colour that leaves some people a bit torn, but I'm firmly in the love love love camp for yellow.  SUNSHINE!

10) What trends do you love?
I love dotting.  It's my favourite thing.  It's so simple and you can do so many funky combinations / colours.  I love stamping too, I just wish I was as good at it as others, still need to practice a lot more.

11) What trends do you hate?
I am not a massive fan of the purpose of the colour change nail polishes (the ones wear you can change the colour with clear polish, and say do a pattern) as whilst the idea is nice, I always top coat everything afterwards for a smooth, shiny finish and you can't do that with this stuff.  Plus, if you have to do the pattern with a top coat, you might as well do it with a colour.  Saying that, the ones I've seen (Barry M / 17) are lovely colours anyway, so I have got a couple just to use as normal polishes.

I am passing this award on to 11 lovely, talented ladies. Here goes:












And here are my questions to you all:

1)  What made you start a blog?
2)  What is your favourite brand of nail polish?
3)  What is your favourite polish colour?
4)  How many polishes do you have in your collection?
5)  How do you store your polishes?
6)  When/where do you mostly do your manis?
7)  What is your favourite type of nail art?
8)  What polish is on your wish list?
9)  What is the next manicure on your "to do" list?
10)  What is your nail care "must have"?
11)  What nail trend do you wish you could master?

Congratulations ladies!! I hope you get chance to check out their blogs too as they all have some lovely nails going on.

New w7 Polishes

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Today I went on a little boat ride round Manchester with a few of my friends thanks to a Groupon deal.  We parked at the Lowry Outlet, and it would have been rude not to have a little mosey round the shops afterwards.  We found a lovely little make up shop near the Food Court selling all kinds of lovely make up bargains, and they had quite a range of the w7 polishes there.  Since I have fallen in love with Mosaic, Lava Flow & Salt and Pepper, I ended up accidentally (! again! I know!) buying a couple or three more.

The ladies on the stall were lovely and I would like to give them a shout out, however I didn't get their names but I have sent them in this direction so hopefully they will see.  I cannot wait to try these out.

From Left to Right:

Orange Dazzle : This is a really bright orange base with goldy/orange colour glitter
Multi Dazzle:  I am very excited by this, it is a very thick chunky glitter and I am *hoping* it is a good dupe of the OPI Muppets Collection Rainbow Connection, as that is my most favourite polish ever, and mine is going the way of the gloop.
Cosmic Green: Smaller green/blue glitter, that again looks really dense so hopefully 2-3 coats and we'll be sparkly to go.

Anyway, ladies, I will be back no doubt, and if you want me to name check your shop, use the Contact Me at the top of the page, lovely to meet you. x

Best of British 26/08/2012

British Nail Bloggers

The weather in the UK may have improved a little but not enough for Vic to justify running off to Cornwall to catch the surf. Instead she's made do with her Surfin' USA mani.

It's been KBShimmer Week this week at The Crumpet 5 polishes, but which was her favourite ?

Laura has been trying out stamping for the first time this week and was particularly fond of her classy black and silver floral design.

PrettyKittyClaws has been making the most of the sunshine by copying The Crumpet with a Red Holo Dotticure. feautring Ozotics 518

Helly at the Nail Newbie got her holo on with a purple holo gradient featuring OPI DS Original!

Charlotte at Charlottes-nails has been catching up with the lazy days of summer challenge with a ruffle accent nail.

Alexis at Glitter Tips managed to overcome a nasty case of nail art block with a Black and Gold NOTD inspired by her jewellery collection.

Claire at nuthin' but a nail thing managed to get hold of some OPI Black Spotted and gave it a go over some bright NEONS.

Seeing as the British weather has been seasonably rainy, there has been a lack of barbaques this year. Unless it is in the form of nail art from Enigmatic Rambles.

Lou entered the Golden Jungle over at Painted Nails & Baking Scales finding some new polish species to describe

This week at Northern Nails there are Turtles in a Guest Post , Also Jo has started a new series of posts called Mashups!

Emma's been busy swatching the new Barry M Burgundy Croc Effects over different colours on Imagination In Colour!

It's texture time in the BFF Challenge and Kerrie from PishPosh and Polish made great use of Heart-Shaped beads but was it a success?

Ruth had some fun with pastel colours and created some colourful zebra nails using her new stampers!

Steph is showing off. Peacock feathers in the (rare) sunshine.

It's been a special week for Allie and in celebration she's been wearing some Sea Green Glitter Birthday Nails.

Dimpal is absolutely loving these fish egg nails Fish Egg Nails she also did Nicole's Me+Blue Mani

Sarah Louise reviews LeaLaC's Stamping Plate XL - A See the post for swatches and a manicure using her first Bettina Nail Polish.

Sam at Polished Art kicked off the 31 Day Challenge with a red leopard print mani.

Kerry starts the first off Nail Inc Sprinkle swatches with Sweets Way.

Dotty Stripy Tribal

I fancied trying out the numerous new blues and greens I have and decided to go for a mixture of dots and stripes.  Striping was courtesy of some thin tape.  I did the blue and green stripes first and then chucked some black and white stripes over the top.  I still didn't feel it was quite there so decided to throw on some white and black dots too, to match the other nails.  The dotty nails, I did a mish-mash of black dots in different sizes over my nails, then on the bigger dots chucked some white dots, and then on some, a few black dots over the top of this.  It reminds me a bit of those weird eye things you see everywhere on holiday in Turkey, but that wasn't the inspiration! 

Colours used for this manicure were:

Rich Blue : Kiko 336
Rich Green: Kiko 343
Mint Green: Kiko 389
Dark Turquoise: Nails Inc Warwick Way
Light Turquoise: Primark Glo Baby Glo 002
White: Collection 2000
Black: Kiko 275

Dotty Stripy Tribal Nails

Dotty Stripy Tribal Nails

Dotty Stripy Tribal Nails

Dotty Stripy Tribal Nails

Dotty Stripy Tribal Nails

Dotty Stripy Tribal Nails

Payday treats: seventeen Colour Switch and Models Own Indian Ocean

Saturday, 25 August 2012

I accidentally (!) bought some new polishes the other day.  A friend of mine mentioned that the Barry M Chameleon collection is pretty good for stamping, and I noticed that 17 have bought out a similar range (£3.75 each) so I bought three of these; Lilac, Silver Blue and Pink.  I think the colours are lovely as they are, to be honest I'm not really interested in this making nail art on them using a clear top coat, as after I do my nail art, I then always apply top coat to get a smooth and shiny finish so I just don't get the idea of this, as surely if you say, did a dotty pattern, you'd have lumps all over the place?  Anyway, it's lost on me, but I think they are lovely colours anyway, and hopefully they will be good for stamping. 

I also bought Models Own Indian Ocean.  I don't know why I hadn't ever noticed this one before, but it's a lovely pale blue with a pink shimmer (£5).

I gave this a quick go, initially I was going to use it on it's own, but it's really too thin for that, so I put a pale blue base underneath (Beauty UK Blue Moon) and a couple of coats over the top. 

Models Own Indian Ocean

Models Own Indian Ocean

Models Own Indian Ocean

Models Own Indian Ocean

Models Own Indian Ocean

These pictures do really show the SHIMMER (which is lovely) but I think they may have picked up a little bit too much of the pink tones in the polish.  This quick snap I've just taken at my desk helps you see the blue in there too.

Models Own Indian Ocean

OPI Black Spotted over a blue gradient

Friday, 24 August 2012

I thought I'd give the OPI Black Spotted another go over the blue gradient I did yesterday, and I think it actually looks a lot nicer than over the neons.  Again, really thin layer over the top, and my nails were done the day before so they were super dried out before I put the Spotted on.

OPI Black Spotted

OPI Black Spotted

OPI Black Spotted

OPI Black Spotted

I do loves me a nice blue gradient...

Thursday, 23 August 2012

I totally love gradients, provided you get the colour blend of fairly similar colours, it really can't go wrong, and it always looks so effective.  I thought I'd go for a blue gradient this time and I am really pleased with it.  Now I need to decided whether to chuck a bit of OPI Spotted over the top, or go for another lazer manicure?  Decisions, decisions!

I did a basecoat of Beauty UK Blue Moon (light blue) and used Collection 2000 BMX Bandit, Kiko 336 and No7 Violetta for the gradients.

To do the gradient, I get a make up sponge (you can get these really cheap in bulk at pound shops, or they sell them in smaller packs of 4 or so in the likes of ASDA).  I dampen it with some water and squeeze it out, then paint the polish directly onto the sponge.

Before applying to my nail, I'll do one stamp onto some paper, to merge the colours together, then sponge onto my nails.

Then I just sponge it on (there's usually enough for two nails a go) and then reapply polish to the sponge.  I let the first coat dry, and then go over it again using the same process until the colours are more prominent.  So it's pretty straight forward, and has a really nice effect.

I then put a top coat of China Glaze Wireless Holographic top coat.

This adds a lovely sparkly shimmer to it.  It's quite difficult to see in flat light, but when you go into the sunshine, or are under "fake lights" you can see it a lot better.  I've taken a couple of pictures in the dark with flash to show this.

blue gradient nails

blue gradient nails

blue gradient nails

blue gradient nails

blue gradient nails

blue gradient nails

Sparkly blue gradient!

Rainbow French Manicure

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

I noticed on Kayla Shevonne's blog last week that she did a lovely manicure with rainbow rhinestones, really simple but looked lovely.  I have kind of based my idea on this, and gone for black tips, with rainbow rhinestones.  Dead simple to do, and I'm pretty pleased with it.  It is quite a challenge though to get my nail base looking any kind of natural pink, as it's so ridiculously stained from wearing polish all the time!  I used a couple of Rimmel polishes for french manicures for the base, Kiko black for the tips, then top coat, and quick application of the rhinestones, with another layer of topcoat on top (to properly cement them on!).

Rainbow French Manicure

I found it much easier to get all the rhinestones and lay them out in piles by each colour in colour order to make sure that I could get them put onto my nails before the top coat dried.

Rainbow French Manicure

Rainbow French Manicure

Rainbow French Manicure

Rainbow French Manicure

Rainbow French Manicure

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