Saturday, July 23, 2016

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Nail art ideas with nude polish and colours - NCLA wraps

This weeks 40 great nail art ideas challenge theme is nude + colour and my personal prompt was tribal.  By total coincidence, I've had these NCLA nail wraps in my drawer for at least 2-3 years, and given that they matched the theme, I figured this was as good a time as any to put them on.  Yes, I know it's not 'nail art' and may be considered a 'cheat' for the challenge, but hey, I haven't missed a single week so far and these were too perfect for the prompt. 

This is the first time I've used NCLA nail wraps, they have some gorgeous galaxy ones that I've been eyeing off, but after this experience I don't think I will bother.  Application was great, very easy to apply and over and done with for all ten nails in about 30 minutes.  The wraps are pliable yet strong, so you can peel the off and reposition them without them breaking.  The instructions say to apply a layer of base coat before applying the wraps.  So I did.

The reason I wont be using these every again is because they torn the shit out of my nails when I removed them.  The instructions say to just peel them off, which I assume is because you have a base coat on that they wont wreck your nails.  Not so for me. I got little splinters of nail peel up when I tried to remove these, and the only way to get rid of them was to buff my nails.  These are also made of some sort of vinyl, so they don't dissolve very easily using acetone either. I did lots of rubbing with acetone and gentle peeling with tweezers to eventually get them off. Removal definitely took longer than application.   

So, whilst these were nice whilst I worn them, I'm not a fan anymore.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

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The Polish Chrome Wars - Rub all the things into your polish!

Chrome nails are THE it thing at the moment. Every second video you see on Instagram is someone rubbing that silver powder into their polish.  Of course there is a good reason for this, it's freaking cool! Not just the finished product (which looks awesome) but the application process is fun and magical.

After getting my chrome mirror powder in the mail I realised that this rubbing or 'burnishing' technique, where you polish some sort of powder into your polish, could be used with a whole bunch of things. So I pulled out a whole bunch of things that I had in powder form and played.

I already had a blue gel polish base on. Specifically Dance Legend 'My December'.  Its a juicy jelly blue gel polish, but because of it's jelly appearance I felt I needed three coats to have enough opacity.

Let's look where I started.  First up, the chrome powder. This is the one from Daily charm.  I like it a lot, this is the number 03 one, which is the finest particle size with the least shimmer and most mirror like finish.

The next three fingers have three different chameleon pigments.  Specifically the ones that I sold in little one gram jars about 5 years ago. (No I don't have anymore to sell so please don't ask).  I kept a few grams of the powders for myself because I knew I'd want to use them for something, and here you go.  Middle finger is the red to green powder (which had the best effect in my opinion). Ring finger has the green to blue and pinky has the gold to green.  All these show one rubbing of the powders into the gel. No top coat on the chrome, but a layer of seche vite over the chameleons.

Next I tried some glitters.  Middle finger has the silver flake glitter that is used in all those really reflective polishes.  Ring finger is gold holo glitter and pinky and silver holo glitter.  These are the ultra holo glitters from Glitter Unique. The silver flake didn't work so well, but I did love how flat the gold and silver glitters were.  They would obviously be much better over a closer matching base rather than dark blue.

Next I wanted to try holo. Because the next thing we are going to start seeing in about a month, is everyone rubbing holo powder into their nails.  Yes, I caved. I forked out the ridiculous $40USD for a single gram of the holo powder from Daily Charme, which is currently on sale as a pre-order only. I hope to have it in my hands in about a month.

But in a effort to try create that effect now, I pulled out some stuff.  Firstly Spectraflair. I've still got a little stash of spectaflair in powder form, again because I used to sell the stuff before JDSU changed their requirements so that it could only be sold pre-mixed in suspension base. So using as much caution as possible, and noting that the product is not cosmetically approved, I tried rubbing some into my gel.  FAIL. I could not get it to adhere. I got a tiny bit on there, but it kinda sucked. Note that I'm not using a wipe free top coat, so I don't know if I'd get better results with Spectraflair if I were using that sort of top coat.

Next I pulled out a product that I've barely used.  It's JOSS Holo Flake from the Nail Super Store.  I always considered it the poor cousin to spectraflair, because the results when mixed into polish never seemed as good. How wrong I was to consider this the poor cousin.  Firstly, as I rubbed it in, magic happened, holo amazing magic. It adhered perfectly and the linear holo was intense.  Plus, let me just add, this IS cosmetically approved, and it's is cheaper.  Way way cheaper than the $40USD for the gram of the holo pigment from the Daily Charm.  This beautiful powder is only $10AUD a gram. Downside for those outside of Australia is that international shipping is not available. *Edited to add - JOSS Holo flake has been removed from the Nail Super Store site due to low stock levels*

After doing all that experimenting on gels, I peeled them off (cause I cleverly remembered to put on a layer of Picture Polish peel off base coat).  I then applied a full mani in Emily de Molly Iridescent Skies. Here's a bonus swatch photo of that!

I applied a layer of Seche Vite and let it dry to about 80%.  It was still dentable but wouldn't leave finger prints. Then I gently rubbed away, and I didn't have to rub hard for it to adhere to the top coat. OMG just look at it.  I'll edit a video at lunch tomorrow and upload my rubbing to instagram.  So make sure you are following me there! This first photo is straight after application. with no top coat.

Below is my final mani. You do need to apply top coat otherwise the powder does eventually rub off.  I applied Seche Vite.  I found it did reduce the holo intensity a little bit, but nothing too major.  I then rubbed in another bit of the holo flake and made a holoflake sandwich with the top coat.  This lasted really well and the holo was strong.  I didn't apply a gel top coat because I didn't feel like doing the whole soak off thing, as I hadn't applied the peel off base.  But I'm confident that a gel top coat would keep the holo just as well, if not better than the Seche Vite does.

Pretty cool huh!

I've got some more fun things coming with the nail polish chrome wars, next installment will be a comparison of the chrome powder with the Born Pretty Store mirror polish.

Monday, July 18, 2016

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Face of Australia - Autumn Romance Collection

Bad blogger, bad bad blogger.  Today I have some swatches of the Face of Australia Autumn Romance collection, which I have been sitting on for a few months now.  Yes. it is now the middle of winter and this was an autumn collection, but I'm pretty sure Aussies will still be able to find these in store, so I figured I'd still post them. Plus they are such gorgeous winter shades I couldn't miss posting them.

There are six shades in the collection and they are all vampys that fit perfectly with the romance theme of the collection.  Let's take a look.

Captivating Cranberry is a rich and pigmented crimson.

Enchanting moments is a dark aubergine with a purple shimmer.

Kiss me at twilight is a burgundy red with a metallic shimmer.

Mulled wine is a deep oxblood red.

Rug up is a dark reddened brown.

Snuggle me is a blue leaning cranberry.

The formula on all these was excellent. Smooth and easy to apply with each polish being opaque at two clean coats.  The two shades with the shimmer did show a little bit of brush strokes, but nothing that made the polishes looks streaky or frosty.  These swatches so each polish at two coats with Seche Vite top coat.

The collection was available from March this year. Stockists: Priceline Pharmacy. Big W,,, and

Polishes provided for consideration.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

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Digital Dozen redoes Fashion Day 5 and Insects

Oh I love it when I combine nail art challenges and feel clever.  I'm feeling super clever with today's nail art that is for sure.

The two challenges are the Digital Dozens Fashion, and 40 Great Nail art ideas with insects.  So what does that mean, it's means finding fashion that in inspired by insects and then creating nail art on that. I very nearly went with a butterfly design, specially a monarch butterfly, because there are some amazing dresses based on the monarch butterfly, but then I spotted this beetle inspire dress and went with it instead.

I'm disappointed that I didn't choose a better yellow gold, rather the OPI Golden Eye, which was just to orange rather than the green gold that I should have used, something like Ozotic 507 would have been heaps better.

This was a bit of a mix and match of different aspects of the dress, mostly freehand with a few stamped accents.

Here are the inlinkz for fashion nail art.

Here are the inlinkz for 40 Great Insect Nail Art ideas

Friday, July 15, 2016

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Digital Dozen redoes Fashion - Day 4

Geez, this blog posting every day is a bit much work isn't it, but I do love how the Digital Dozen posts push me to extend my nail art.

Today's dress is a pretty one, and it actually has me doing a fairly common design that I've never done before, a fishtail pattern.  Rather than doing it with various shades of the same colour, I tried to double load my brush with two colours of polish and create each cross on the fishtail in it's own gradient.  I also did the fishtail pattern on my thumb, and of course the first thumb I did was the best, and the finger I saved for last (so I could do some practice on the others) was probably the worst.  Ah well, them's the breaks!

I was a bit lazy with this mani.  I wanted to do a gradient mani, so I actually googled gradient dress and chose this design because I could see a few different elements that I could do as different techniques.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

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Digital Dozen redoes Fashion - Day 3

As soon as I started playing with the new chrome powder, I started to think of different ways that I could use them.  I wanted to try it with nail vinyls and had this idea in my head, and then I found this dress on Modcloth and it was the perfect combo for Digital Dozen Fashion week.

I started with two coats of Face of Australia polish No Angel, which is a soft coral leaning pastel pink.  I then applied a layer of gel top coat, cured it and wiped away the sticky layer.  Next way laying out the straight vinyls, which is nice and easy now that the base is set hard from the gel polish.

Then just rub in the powder over the top of the vinyls.  Make sure your vinyls are stuck down really well, otherwise you might get some powder leakage underneath.  I finished it off with another layer of gel polish top coat.   What I really love about these powders is that the edges are smooth and seamless when you pull up the vinyl, unlike when you use polish and you get that little edge line,

I've got a video on this coming up on Instragram too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

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Digital Dozen redoes Fashion - Day 2

For day 2 of the Digital Dozen's Fashion week, I chose to do some nail art inspired by this iconic dress that Hallie Berry wore in 2002. Wow, can you believe that was 14 years ago!

I mixed Picture Polish Munroe with some clear polish to make the sheer jelly base for beneath the flower stamping decals.  I teamed this up with Picture Polish nemesis, which is a metallic burgundy shade with a gold colour shift and holo particles.  It seemed to have just the right shimmer to match the skirt part of the dress.

I tried to paint the flowers in the same shades as on the dress,which look like cream and brownish, but the brownish colour blended in a bit with the background and made it look a bit messy.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

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Digital Dozes redoes Fashion - Chrome pigment pastel gradient

Digital Dozen week secretly sneaked up on me this month.  I had no idea it was this week until last night.  Then I had a dilemma. You see I had just received my chrome nail powder in the mail and I desperately wanted to play with it.  That mean't I had to search the internet to find something remotely fashionable that was also chrome. Luckily I happened upon these Nike Area 72 Chrome Collection. Now I'm not sure if it was just the lighting in these photos that made the chrome look like pastel gradient chrome, or whether these shoes are simply that awesome, but either way, I took the interpretation literally and created a pastel gradient chrome mani.

Here they are together.

Ok, so these powdered chrome nails are everywhere right now, especially on instagram.  I immediately ordered some of the silver chrome pigment from Daily Charme, and I've subsequently bought the gold and silver pigments from the Born Pretty store for way cheaper.  I just have to wait for them to arrive now.

To say it was difficult for me to get the chrome look is a bit of an understatement. I think in the end I got there ok, but it was a trial.

I started with a peel of base coat and then a layer of white polish. Onto that I did a gradient using the Pipedream neons.  I wanted something really bright to start with as I knew the colour was going to be really dulled out by the chrome finish.  On top of the gradient I did a layer of gel top coat.  I first used a layer of Dance Legend gel top coat, and while it cured perfectly and was super shiny, I wasn't able to rub in the pigment after I had wiped off the sticky layer.  I also tried my Gelicious top coat and had the same problem.

Everything I've read online says that you get the best results with a 'no wipe' gel top coat.  Of course I don't have one of those, and just used what I had.  The other issue I had was with my eye makeup applicator.  The only one I could find had spongy ends, but the plastic under the sponge was hard as a rock and make it really pointy and scratchy.  In the end, what worked for me was using my finger to rub the chrome powder in.  I was able to apply even and smooth pressure and got a much better result, although it also meant I had this silver glitter everywhere.

Speaking of which, this chrome powder is a bitch to clean up.  I've not seen very many manis with this chrome powder where the cuticles looked clean, they usually are still sparkly and covered in stuff. I understand why!!  I ended up using a scrubbing brush and soap to get most of mine off.

Finally, to finsih off this mani I did one coat of Dance Legend top coat.  It worked perfectly and didn't dull the chrome effect at all.  These also looked perfect at the end of the day too, which is pretty exciting.

I plan to do some comparisons when I get my Born Pretty powder, so see if the cheap stuff is as good as the expensive stuff, also to compare it to the chrome polishes.  Plus, there is also a new holo version of this powder, but the want $40USD for a gram.  I just don't think it's worth that, I'm holding out for the cheaper Chinese knock off.

This photo was taken without direct light and shows that the pastel finish was actually much less obvious compared to the photos taken under direct light.

My secret weapon when doing gel manis is my Picture Polish peel off glitter base.  It works even better with gel polish because it's flexible and strong, which makes it so easy to peel off in one go.

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I live in Canberra, Australia with my husband, Mr Seven and Miss Five. My blog is all about nail polish, and a few other bits in between. You can contact me at