Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 20: Water Marble

Today's challenge was the one I'd been dreading the most... the big bad water marble!
The base was Astor POP color 139 - a supermarket polish for 2 euros that really exceeded my expectations. It could have been one-coater even on my long nails, but I did two coats just in case. Amazing brush, opacity and formula. I'm definitely going to haul more of these!
The marbling was done with the Astor, plus China Glaze's Ahoy, Senorita Bonita and Thistle. I'd read in other blogs these polishes were okay with marbling, and I wasn't going to take any risks.
So, how was it, water marbling for the first time? Well, bad, to be honest. After the first nail I thought "Hmm, this wasn't so hard", after the second "What the f*** is happening here" and after re-doing the second for the third time "I'm not going to make this". Just look at this mess!
But after all, I managed to finish the mani and marbled both hands. I'm not too proud of the result, but I'm definitely proud of my resilience. I know only few other persons who could possibly think spending hours on a manicure is not a complete waste of time, and in times like this, I'm extremely happy to have them somehow around me.
Here are all the polishes I used. I hope I'll gather the guts some day to try the water marble again. It was still kinda fun. I enjoy doing things I'm simply not good at - a kind of perversion, I guess...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 19: Galaxy Nails

This was a challenge I was really looking forward to. Sponging is by far my favourite technique, and from all the galaxy nail tutos I've seen, I knew I'd be using it.
I got my inspiration from Through the Wormhole's Intergalactic nails and I also owe a great deal to the Galaxy Nails video tutorial by the lovely Hayley from Here Comes the Sun. Do as I did and go to show them some blog love!
That said, I didn't follow any specific instructions from the begining to the end. I started out with dark black-blue base, Essence Urban Messages Nightline, which I've used before in my Blue Moon mani. I just have to show it to you again, because this time I caught it in a few pics with flash, and boy do I love the blue shimmer in it!
Then I just kept sponging on different colours, mainly Orly Space Cadet and Halley's Comet. I some phase I went over the whole nail with a glitter polish. In the end I added dots and small crosses as the stars, using a nail art brush and Gosh Silver.
I did a some kind of a nebula on my ring fingers, on both sides. I sponged some white in a spiral shape, and then went over it with a pearlescent polish. I went along the outlines of the spiral with Halley's comet and added some red shimmer, and that was it.
And here are the polishes: Orly Pearl Wisdom, Halley's Comet and Space Cadet (Well I had to include THOSE?!), Wild and Crazy Montana and Super Star, Gosh Silver, China Glaze Ahoy, Essence Urban Messages Skyline and Essence Glitter Topcoat. That's it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 18: Half Moons

I've made a few half moon manis earlier, so I felt really at home with todays challenge. I also had the colour combination on my mind since I bought the First Mate from the China Glaze's Anchors Away collection. It somehow just landed on my desk beside today's other polish, and that was it. Does that ever happen to you?
Anyway, the Base is Nicole by OPI Pink Different. One coat of this lovely was enough even for mee, and I wore it on it's osn for a day with a skirt with matching bright pattern. A treasure at the price it is! I don't remember the actual price though, just that I bought it in a set of two from a Marshall's for next to nothing.
The half moons were created with hole reinforcer stickers and one coat of China Glaze First Mate. I'm so glad one coat was enough. It would have been a mess to either get the second stickers to exactly the same place or wait until the second layer before removing the first stickers. If you've tried a taped mani, you know that you have to be pretty quick to remove the tape/sticker when the polish is still wet..
And here are the polishes. Don't they make a perfect pair in the bottles, too? Girl polish meets boy polish - sort of way.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 17: Sweet as Candy Shop

The day 17 glitter challenge mani is, quite unintentionally, my version of the Deborah Lippmann's Candy shop.
hen I saw the Essence "nail art special effects topper" (why the long face name?) Circus Confetti on the store shelf, my first thought was "Glitter Sandwich!" and the second was "Franken!" I had thought I'd use some of the Texas collection jellies for sandwiching, but somehow I went for the candy floss pink.
This is two coats of Essence Colour&go Sweet as Candy, and then some alternating coats of Circus Confetti and SaC. At some point I brushed on a coat of Essence Colour&go Space Queen, too.
The alternating coats were quite many, because I couldn't decide which one of the two polishes to leave on the top. Finally I ended up doing the last whole layer with Confetti and dabbing just a bit SaC irregularly over it. And I really like the result!
And here are the polishes I used. Almost an all-Essence mani!
I was enchanted by the Circus Confetti. It had an easy formula and loads of colourful glitter - definitely great value. What do you think?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 16: Tribal Fail

This is my tribal mani, which failed so bad I took it off directly after these shots, which was some fifteen minutes later than I finished the mani and some two hours after I started. What a waste of time!
The only thing I liked about it was the base colour: two coats of China Glaze trendsetter, although some fingers on my right hand had three coats - technique matters!
 I stamped a some kind of a tribal pattern using BM 213-plate, with Konad Special polish in purple, Orly terracotta and on the accent finger one more stripe with Essence Colour&go Wake up!
I started drawing lines around and alongside the stamped patterns with Konad black polish, but soon switched to black acrylic paint. The paints I'm currently using don't adhere too well to nail polish. Once again I swear I'm getting the Orly liners soon.. And some decent acrylic paints as well..
I'm feeling brave showing you all these pics of a failed mani. I've deserved some extra chocolate tonight! Here are the polishes I used. (And a tin cup with a cow, where I keep all my nail art pens and brushes)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 15: Delicate Print

Today's challenge was delicate print. Maybe I could have been more creative than just to stamp on something delicate. Or maybe I could relax a bit and not to demand I should surpass myself every time.
First I freehanded a french using Wild and Crazy Montana, and painted over it with Sinful Colors Frozen Pink. I think I did two layers. With "natural look" french mani I like to put the white under the pink to soften the line of the white polish. With this polish it worked quite well, I think, because the shimmer in Frozen Pink amplifies the effect even more.
Stamping was made with BM219 and Konad black special polish. And promptly smudged by a topcoat - I think I was using Mavala One Minute quick finish at that time. I'm so happy I went for Seche Vite!
It might be nerdy, but I keep the blue or clear protective film on the stamping plates until I've used them. That helps me to grab a plate I've never used before and forces me to figure out what to do with it. And, I can tell you, the film is still on on many of my french tip plates. Stamping a french is just so annoying with curvy, oval shaped nails I have! Maybe I'll try stamping them diagonally next time...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 14: Dotting Tool Flowers

Today's flower design is just some simple dotting tool flowers I made to match a blouse I wore for work.
I still don't own an opaque pale pink polish. For this mani I used three coats of Crisnail French Lacquer to achieve some kind of a pink base. I've seriously got to get my hands on some Zoya nudes soon!
I dotted some dots in flower shape with a medium sized dotting tool, and then dragged the dots towards the center with a smaller one to form petals. A kind of dry marble, that is? Polishes used were Essence Colour&go Fabuless and Nivea Color Dynamite Blue Harmony.
Not one of my favourites, but went well with the blouse. :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 13: Hello Leopard

You've probably heard this one before, but I've never been much into Hello Kitty stuff, but... I was out shopping one day and came across trolley bags with the same design as the backpacks here. 
They were just too cute - it's a shame I don't need a new trolley... But I instantly saw the pattern as a manicure, perfec for today's Animal Print challenge.
I started the mani with two to three coats of Wild and Crazy Montana, and then freehanded a curving french with OPI Sparrow me the Drama. Here's a "nice" pre-cleanup post-cuticle oil pic..
 I was out shopping another day, too, (*blushes*) and found some fauxnad stamping sets - including stamper, scraper and one plate - from a local chinese store for 75 cents (that's about a dollar to you US readers). I had to grab at least one, and I went for the m71 with Hello Kitty. I stamped it on my ring fingers with Konad special black polish, and used a dotting tool and SmtD for the bow, and some yellow acrylic paint for the nose.
For the other nails I dabbed random dots with the same pink polish and lined them leopard style with Essence black Nail Art Pen (which has never quite collaborated with me and which had to pass on to the nail art pen heaven after this mani). I'll have to get some Orly Instant Artist liners soon..
 Did I just imagine, or did really I get some odd looks at work with this mani? I wonder... :D

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 12: Wobbles and Stripes

Today's nails feature wobbly stripes and some dotting tool flowers. 
This is a copycat mani again. This time I'm following in the footsteps of Sharon from Polish Infatuated. I've had her totally cute springtime mani in my "read it laters" ever since September (the springtime in Australia). For the Stripes challenge I decided to create an autumn update using the cool faded colours in the OPI Pirates collection. Sharon does some amazingly creative designs, by the way, so please go and check out her blog!
I started out by three coats of OPI Skull and Glossbones on each nail. Either the formula on this was just a little bit streaky or it was just because of the mini brush, but I really needed the three coats. Then I painted thin stripes with the other Pirates collection polishes and a size 0 nail art brush. This was the phase where I once again felt like a 3-year-old learning to hold a pen for the first time. Why do I keep doing things I'm simply not good at?! *sihg* Just because, perhaps? After the stripes I freehanded a french tip with corresponding colour.
For the flowers I grabbed a dotting tool and some more vivid colours. I thought quite a lot about the colour I'd choose for the centers of the flowers. (What do you mean "don't I have anything else to do"?) It could have been white or off-white, but I ended up using China Glaze Trensetter - partly to get it out of my untrieds. Doing ten dots with a polish counts as using it, right? And when I've got no more untrieds I need to buy more polish, right? :)
And finally, here are all the polishes I used: Essence Colour&go Ultimate Pink, OPI Sparrow me the Drama, Catrice Sold Out For Ever, OPI Planks a Lot, Essence Nail Art Twins Thelma, OPI Planks a Lot, Essence Nai Art Twins Bella, OPI Mermaid's Tears, OPI Skull and Glossbones and China Glaze Trendsetter.