Saturday, 31 January 2015

Peel-Off Base Coat by Miss Sporty


I recently heard that Miss Sporty (a budget brand available in Superdrug and Boots) had a "peel-off base coat" available in their range. I've seen other people use these, and basically they're intended to be used as a base under polish that would be hard to remove, like glitter polish. I always have a nightmare taking off glitter polish, even using acetone it can take ages and get everywhere, so I really wanted to see whether these peel-off base coats could help.

The base coat was £2.29 and comes in an 8ml bottle.

I'd read that using PVA glue as a base coat is a way of creating your own peel off base, and after purchasing my bottle of Peel-Off Base from Miss Sporty I realised this is basically what I had bought, judging from the smell and consistency. This didn't really bother me though, as I would never have gone to the trouble of getting some PVA glue and putting it into an old polish bottle, so as long as this base coat worked, I was still happy with the purchase. Here it is on my nails (they're a bit stained I know!) can see it's not fully dried on my middle nail and is still a bit white.

However, I didn't get along with it at all! I started with a generous coat of the base coat like the bottle suggests, then waited until it dried and went clear (above). After this, I began to paint my nails pink, but almost immediately the polish started to kind of crackle, as if it was somehow reacting with the base coat below. It was very strange, and very ugly looking! Perhaps I didn't wait long enough for the base to dry, but it definitely felt dry to the touch and had gone clear, as stated on the outside of the bottle. As you can see in the photo below, I didn't even finish all of my nails because I hated how it looked! (don't ask why I didn't paint them in order?!)

I obviously now wanted to remove the polish, but it didn't seem to "peel off" like I thought it would - like in one go. Instead I kind of rubbed at it with a tissue and it did kind of come off that way, but left polish around the edges of my nails, and my nails were partially covered in gloopy base coat! 

If anyone has any suggestions as to where I went wrong please share them, but otherwise I won't be recommending that anyone buy this base coat (or, tiny pot of glue!!) and I will just continue using acetone to remove my polish - at least it works!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Diagonal Animal Print


I loooove doing leopard print on my nails, it's so simple, doesn't have to be perfect and looks so effective! I was inspired to do this design by a few different manicures I'd seen on Instagram, where nail artists had used leopard print and zebra print together. 

I started off with a gradient using Peach Melba & Strawberry Tart by Models Own from their Fruit Pastel Scented range. To create the gradient, I painted my nails with the pink shade first, and let it dry. I then painted both of the colours onto a makeup sponge side-by-side, and sponged them diagonally onto each nail. I had to sponge a couple of times on each nail (leaving about a minute between each layer) to build up the colours. Still, the effect was quite subtle, but I liked it - it reminded me of sweets!

Once this gradient was dry (helped along with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri) I then got out my trusty black nail art pen by Barry M. I doodled zebra print over the peach, and leopard print over the pink, then topped with more Insta-Dri topcoat to seal in the pen, as it washes off otherwise.

I looooove how these turned out and don't ever want to take them off!!Also, they had a delicious smell of fruity sweets due to the scented polish. Yum!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Striped Tips + Roses

Quick post today to show the nails I did earlier this week. They were inspired by @decorateddigits on Instagram who did the same design and it looked lovely on her pointed nails so I wanted to give it a go myself!

I started off by painting my nails a nude shade. I used two coats of Utopia by Models Own. This is my favourite nude shade along with Lychee by Barry M. I then painted the tips white, then once dry I used the black Barry M nail art pen to draw on the black stripes. I then used a dotting tool and a dark red polish by Nails Inc to make red blobs which were supposed to be the roses, along the line where the stripes and the nude met. I also added 'petal' details to the blobs to make them look more rose-like, but I wasn't happy with them - I wish I had picked a red that was less dark, like in the image I was using for inspiration, and that my roses were neater in general!

Here's the outcome, I didn't like them because I didn't think they looked as nice as the version I was trying to replicate, but I did get quite a few nice comments on them, both on Instagram and while out shopping so that was a bonus!

Friday, 23 January 2015

National Television Awards


If you follow me on Instagram you'll probably be sick of seeing my NTAs photos, but I've only just had time to write up a blog post!

So on Wednesday night me and my mum and sister and a couple of friends attended the National Television Awards at the O2 in London. We also queued up for access to the red carpet, so saw some of the TV stars going in! It was a really fun (but cold) day, and I thought I needed some glitzy nails for the occasion.

I definitely wanted to use gold, and after looking at a logo for the NTAs I decided I wanted to copy the letters onto my nails. I started off with a base of Sand Dune by Ciate. This is a shimmery gold. I then added a gold glitter gradient to the tips. I sponged on the glitter - I'd not tried this method before but had read about it being done by other nail bloggers. I tried it and it was very effective - much better glitter coverage than just painting it on with the brush! The glitter is by Barry M.

Once this was all dry, I carefully drew on the letters using my Barry M black nail art pen. This is totally my favouritest nail-art tool EVER! I filled in the letters using a gold/bronze shade called Goldie But Goodie using a dotting tool. When dry, I went over the black again to neaten up the letters. On my little fingers I attempted to draw the actual award!! Here's the outcome, with some extra photos of the event!!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Mono Holo


In my last mani, I used Princess Sabra by A England and using it really made me remember how much I love A England's polishes - they apply so beautifully and smoothly. While waiting for that mani to dry, I had a little look on their website and saw that Jane Eyre, a beautiful purple/black that I've admired before (partly just due to the name <3 ) was only £6 as it's 'gem of the month' I had to treat myself. Free postage too!

It came really quickly, and I was dying to use it. I didn't have any really inspired ideas for a specific manicure, but eventually decided to pair it with my silver holo polish by Seventeen (Boots) to come up with something pretty. I started off with a base of the silver, two coats:

I then waited for the silver to be fully dry. Later on I came back to the mani, and used straight and chevron nail vinyls (like stickers) that I got from She Sells Seashells. I applied them to the nail using tweezers, then painted over the exposed part of the nail (except from the triangle at the bottom) using Jane Eyre. I quickly removed the vinyls and discarded them. Here's a few quick photos from the process, it's pretty simple but fiddly, and sometimes a bit awkward to get the vinyl in exactly the right position you want, but worth it for the outcome!

I really like how these look, hopefully I will get a better pic in the daylight tomorrow because I don't feel like these photos have shown how rich and pretty this purpley polish is! Here's one more for now:

Friday, 9 January 2015

Raspberry Roses


Quick post today to show you my most recent nails. I got a bottle of Raspberry Daiquiri by Freckles Polish for Christmas in a Secret Santa swap I took part in, and I love it! I'd actually admired this polish for ages so my person chose really well for me. I was eager to use it in a manicure, and was further encouraged by a nail art competition that Julieann from Freckles Polish is running at the moment.

After a lot of thought on what I wanted to create, I came up with this design. I  knew I wanted to pair Raspberry Daiquiri with another holographic polish, and I immediately thought of Princess Sabra, a lovely dull gold by a-england. I decided to do some roses, inspired by this manicure I did last April, which I recently picked as one of my favourites from the year. I paired this with some simple gold studs. I really like the result!!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Blue Jewels


I've not done any proper nail art for what seems like ages, so for this manicure I wanted something a bit intricate. I was inspired recently by some gemstone nails I saw on Instagram. I've seen quite a few nail artists try out this look since a tutorial was posted by Chalkboard Nails last year. I didn't actually follow the original tutorial as I didn't have it to hand, I just worked from a picture, working out how to do it as I went along.

I picked seven blue-ish Barry M shades for these nails, one for each bit of the gemstone. I've just looked at the above tutorial and the tutorial actually suggests using one polish, making it darker/lighter with white and black, but I think my way was okay too!

I started off by drawing the gemstone shape onto my nails using my black Barry M nail art pen. I then painted in each section with a different shade of blue. By this point, they were looking quite messy but I knew I could tidy them up later. I added some quick-dry topcoat, and once they were dry I went over the black lines again with the nail art pen. I also added the 'reflection lines' using my white nail art pen, then topcoated again. 

Here's a pic of them in progress, which I think goes to show that even if nail art looks messy and bad along the way, it can still turn out well if you persevere!! (and my nails are so stained at the moment, urgh)

The polishes (all Barry M) I used were:
Malibu (bright blue)
Plum (dark purple) 
Limited Edition Purple (medium purple)
Prickly Pear (light purple)
Blueberry (light blue)
Elderberry (grey blue)
Chai (grey)

I looooove these!