Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Face of Australia - Dark Side collection swatches and review - Part 1

I have part one of my swatches of the Face of Australia Dark Side Collection to show you tonight.  Plus I get to show you the first four nail art designs I created on false nails to feature with each colour.

With all of the feature nails, I printed them onto water decal paper and then tried something new with them.  Because all of the polishes in this collection are very dark shades, I knew that anything I printed onto a water decal would show up at all.  After I printed them I intensified many of the colours on the decals by painting over them with acrylic paint.  I didn't paint over any of the fine features, like on the face, as I couldn't get by brush lines fine enough.  This also means that some of the faces are a little 'dotty' when my printer didn't print the decals very well - I was running low on coloured ink and I think that may have affected the quality.

Once the acrylic paint was dry, I soaked them and slid them off the water decal backing paper and turned them upside down onto a piece of regular paper.  I then, very carefully, painted the underside of the water decal with white acrylic paint.  This provided a nice contrasting background for each of the decals to show the printed details.  I then stuck them onto the nail using a layer of top coat.

I'm so happy with how they turned out, and I don't think you would even notice they are false feature nails if I didn't tell you :)

Jafar - a very dark oxblood jelly creme.  The jelly-ish finish does mean you need either two thick coats, or three thin coats like I've done here.  My photos are taken in the full sun. This shows off the base colour perfectly, but it also makes the polishes appear lighter than they are.  This whole collection is very dark, and in most conditions this one looks nearly black.

Mystique - a rich and intense dark teal creme.  The finish isn't a jelly on this one and you can get away with two coats.  This is my one of my favourite colours in the collection (together with the next two), but probably my least favorite water decal.  The fine details of mystique just didn't come through, although she really does seem to blend in with the colour, and given her real life ability to transform, this was pretty cool.

Ursula - this is the perfect shade for Ursula, the horrid fat sea witch from the little mermaid.  I just love this colour, it's so intense and rich, almost royal looking.  Nicely opaque at two coats.

Wicked Witch of the West - a dark green creme that looks great at two coats.  I can never have enough shades of green cremes, and this dark forest green is really flattering and the sort of green shade that anyone can get away with wearing.

I'll have the other four shades for you tomorrow night.

The Face of Australia Dark Side collection is available from selected Priceline Pharmacy, Big W stores and online at Fashion Addict

Polishes provided for consideration.

Monday, July 21, 2014

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Metallic pink ruffian with glitter tips

What's going on people? Does anybody have anything interesting or exciting going on in their lives?  Not me.  My live is rather ordinary revolving around work and then racing around after the kiddos.  My boy started back in Kindy today after the winter school holidays.  He wasn't at all keen to go, he's had too much fun over the holiday's with his sister and Nana.   

I did find out this evening that the wife of one of my husbands friends from baseball, was on board flight MH17.  I remember going to their their wedding about 18 years ago and I know they had two daughters.  My heart goes out to them and all the families affected by this tragedy. The stories I've read just make my heart break.  I makes you hug your kids extra tight at night.
Onto my nails now, and here's a mani you wont see very often here. Crazy bright pink.  When I feel like wearing pink, I go all out, like this bright and metallic combo.

My base was a sponged gradient of Kleancolor Metallic Pink and White over a white base.  I really focused on the metallic white and just kept the metallic pink right on the tips.  

Next I added more pink, in the form of glitter.  The polish was Pink World by Penelope Luz and it has a combo of pink and white glitters in various sizes.  Finally I added a ruffian line using Metallic Pink.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

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5 Ways To Use False Nails feat. Nailene active square and curved tips

For my last day of my collaboration with Nailene and Sensational I have some sets of Nailene nails.  One set is the Curve overlap nails and the over set is the active square.  For this post, I thought I would show you five different ways that you can use false nails like these, other than just wearing them as false nails.

I actually already had a pack of the Nailene Active Square nails, and have been using them for these first and third ways for several years.  I just love it when you receive something to review and it's a product that you have already used and loved, it makes it so easy to recommend.

1st way to use false nails - paint them and stick them to the tops of your nail polish bottles.  

This is one (out of three) helmer drawers of my Ulta3 polishes.  I started doing this back when my whole stash fitted in one helmer and before I had swatch sticks.  I still really love the drawers of polishes that have these on them, because it makes it so quick and easy to see which polish is which.  I just use some sticky tape over the top of the nail to hold it onto the lid.

2nd way to use false nails - create you own swatch sticks.

Using a packet of cheap ice cream sticks (I had these multicoloured ones at home already from craft activities with the kids), you just stick the painted false tips onto the sticks to create your own version of swatch sticks.

3rd way to use false nails - use them as size stencils for cutting out water decals.

Here are a bunch of water decals I have bought from the Born Pretty Store. 

All these designs come in full sheets and you have to cut them to fit your nails.

I have a standard set of false nail tips that are the perfect size for each finger.  In fact my ring and index finger use the same size, so I just use the same one for those fingers.  As you can see, I have done one or more small cuts up through the false nail so that I can press the nail flat.

I then use the false nail as I template to trace around using a pen.

Then you cut them out.

These give you water decals that are the perfect shape around the cuticle edge ready for you to soak and stick on your nails.  The finish is so much neater that trying to trim them once they are applied, or trying to clean them up with acetone.  I'll show you this mani in more detail in another post.

4th way to use false nails - Apply them and file them into a new nail shape to try out.

Have you ever seen some incredible nails on a blog or instagram and wondered what that nail shape would look like on you?  Ever felt like filing your nails into pointy stilettos, or curved ovals but don't know if they would look good on you?  Well put on some long false nail tips and file them into the new shapes to see if you like it.

I tried this out with two nail shapes.

First up, I applied the Nailene Curved overlap nails.  I used the Nailene Adhesive tabs to secure them.  I then attacked them with nail scissors and my file and filed them into pointy stilettos.  For this mani I applied one coat of Pretty Serious Poltergeist Puddle and one coat of Pretty Serious Grimm Demise.

I had no idea how to pose my hand for photos wearing these nails.  My normal poses just didn't work.  Also, holy crap, I don't know how anybody does not either stab themselves, their kids or their partners when they have nails like these, let alone use an idevice. Stilettos are not for me! (but they are pretty cool to look at)

Next I tried filing the long nails into to long ovals.  I painted this mani with Pretty Serious Generally Hazardous. While I wasn't constantly stabbing myself with these rounder nails, I still learnt that I don't like wearing long nails like these.

My verdict after trying two new nail shapes was that I definitely still prefer my shorter square nails, but it was a good way to test different options out.

5th way to use false nails - use them for nail art. 

Yep, it's totally cheating, but who actually cares when you get results that you are happy with?  Whether its because you are doing detailed nail art using your dominant hand, and you want your other hand to match, or just just want to paint feature nails, then false nails are the way to go.

For my example below, I was swatching the new Face of Australia collection and decided to do a feature nail that showcased each polish name.  Because my swatching hours are limited (especially during winter) I painted the feature nails onto false nails at night.  Then the next day, when the sun was out for only a few hours, I was able to swatch the collection and stick on the feature nail without it taking any longer than a normal swatch.

You'll have to come back again soon to see my swatches of the Face of Australia Dark Side collection featuring the below nail art designs.

So there you have it.

Five ways that you can use false nails that you may not have thought to do.

A pack of both the Active Square and the Curved Overlap nails are included in the Nailene and Sensationail prize pack.

I'll leave the giveaway open until midnight on Wednesday night.  Reminder: Australian Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information on Nailene, follow Nailene Australia on Facebook or Instagram.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

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Nailene artist expression kit

Day four of my collaboration with Nailene and Sensationail Australia brings you the Nailene Artist Expressions kit.  This kit will also be included in the prize pack that one lucky Australian reader will win.

The Artist Expression kit contains three products that can be used for nail art designs.  A bottle of Artist FX sparkle Coat nail polish, a tube of fine loose silver holographic glitter and a tall narrow bottle of silver polish with a thin striper brush called Stripe Fx.

I got pretty excited when I opened up the package and very quickly realised that the Artist Fx Sparkle Coat was in fact a gorgeous duochrome top coat.  The sparkly particles are suspended in a clear base, meaning you can layer it over any colour you want.  To see the natural colour of the sparkles I layered one coat over a black base.  The sparkles shift from bright blue through to a rich purple and is clearly obvious on the nail.

Next I used the other to products to create a simple free handed nail art look.  On my pinky and index fingers I put sprinkled some of the silver holographic glitter onto wet top coat.  On my middle and ring fingers I used the silver striper polish to create some simple nail art.  My thumb was a bit of a combo of the two.

The striper brush works nicely, and I'm glad that it's pigmented enough not to have to go over the lines you painted to make sure they are opaque.  The silver holo glitter is a nice bright and colourful silver holo (sometimes you see them and they holo is pretty poor)  The tube was also easy to get the glitter out of.  But I did have a hard time trying to get many nail art designs to work with the loose glitter.  I originally tried doing some stripes with top coat and sprinkling the loose glitter onto the nail, hoping it would stick to just the wet top coat, but it ended up sticking onto the entire nail (hence my thumb being a combo of glitter and stripes)  This of course might just be because I wasn't letting the base colour dry enough.

As mentioned above, the Nailene Artist Expression kit forms part of the amazing prize pack being offered by Nailene Australia.

Australian residents, enter below for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information on Nailene, follow Nailene Australia on Facebook or Instagram.

Friday, July 18, 2014

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Nailene So Natural Everyday French and Ultra Adhesive tabs

I am the first to admit that I'm pretty lucky when it comes to my natural nails.  They are strong and don't break very often and they have a decent nail bed length.  As such I'm not the sort of person that would really wear false nails.  In the past I have tried a few, only because it was an effect that I wasn't able to create with nail polish (such as these metallic blue and gold nails).

When the team at Nailene asked me to review some of their false nails, I wasn't sure about it.  I certainly didn't want to use nail glue on my nails to stick them on.  Then they explained that I could use some of their Ultra Adhesive Tabs to secure the nails and that they wouldn't damage my natural nails.  

I ended up selecting a pack of So Natural Everyday French nails

The first step was to select a nail that fit each finger perfectly.  I did find my middle finger was the hardest one to fit. I felt the one I chose was a bit to wide, but then next size down seemed too narrow.

I used tweezers to peel one of the sticky tabs off at a time and apply the nail.  One side is stuck to the sheet and the other side has a plastic film on it.  Once it's stuck on your nail, you can smooth it out using your finger on top of the plastic film.  You then peel off the film and push down the nail.

First of all, I have to say that every time I looked at my hands, they looked alien to me.  It was like someone else's fingers were on my hands. But they were alien in a nice way.  The colour of the nail was so clean a pink (no signs of yellow staining on these babies).  The french tip was also so perfect and sharp, something that I've always struggled to make look this good.

I decided not to file or change the nail shape or length at all, in fact the length of these nails was perfect for me.  They are the short design and they only just covered over my natural nails underneath.  In fact I had to be careful how I posed for my photos otherwise you could just see the corners of my nails peeking through (notice there are no side angle shots)

The other huge different that I had with these nails compared to the metallic gold and blue ones I've tried in the past is that these are very flexible, just like the packaging says.  This meant that I completely forgot that I was wearing false nails for the full 24 hours that I wore these.  They really were very, very comfortable.  The metallic gold and blue one always created a feeling of pressure on my nails, even though they were only attached with adhesive tabs too.  It must be to do with the flexible nature of these nails.

I never felt like the adhesive tabs were moving either, making the nail slide around, in fact I would go so far as to say these were the most perfect false nails I've ever tried.  

One thing I did note though, was that due to the flexibility, when I removed these it did ruin the false nail and I wouldn't be able to reuse them again (unlike the metallic hard ones)

Ok, are you ready to get freaked out by looking at my nails that aren't really my nails?

The day I put these on, the hubby and I went out to the movies for a bit of a date night. So I decided to sparkle them up by adding some glitter placement using round silver holographic glitters along the french line.  All the sparkles didn't stay on all night, because I only stuck them down with a line of top coat and didn't top coat the whole nail.

Overall, would I purchase these myself? Definitely.  I think having a pack of comfortable false nails on hand is good insurance for if you every have a catastrophic nail break.  You can slap on a falsie, file it so it matches your other nails and then paint it just like all your other nails and no one will notice the difference.

A set of these So Natural Everyday French nails and a pack of the Ultra Adhesive tabs forms part of the amazing prize pack being offered by Nailene Australia.

Australian residents, enter below for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information on Nailene, follow Nailene Australia on Facebook or Instagram.
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I live in Canberra, Australia with my husband, Mr Five and Miss Three. My blog is all about nail polish, and a few other bits in between. You can contact me at morenailpolish@iinet.net.au