Monday, March 28, 2016

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Bow polish thermal top coat

This is a super fun polish to play with.  Bow Polish Thermal top coat.  Now I actually used it as a base coat, and at three coats it is opaque enough not to show a visible nail line.  The colour when warm in a neutral shade of nothing.  It's like a totally sheer polish, but it's opaque.

I ended up doing some stamping on top using a Bundle Monster plate with bottle of nail polish on it. I wasn't my best stamping and in fact I did have a bit of trouble picking up the fine lines of the design, no matter which stamper I used.  I think my plate just isn't very well etched.  I coloured the nail polish bottles in with sharpies, for not particular reason other than it was quick and easy to do.

What my photos don't show is that this top coat polish goes from this nude shade to black.  It is also full of scatter holo flakes.  You can see my tips staring to go black here, but I did this mani about 6 weeks ago (whoops, sorry Dance Legend, I really should of gotten this review up earlier!) where my nails were shorter and we were having temps in the mid 30's (that's Celsius people). That is why my nails were almost always showing the warm colour.  You can see the bottle is totally black.

When my hands were colder, like when I was in the office, my nails were just a chic scattered holo black, but then they would change colour, and the sneaky stamped pattern beneath would show through.

I haven't tried this as a top coat yet, I'm not sure if it would be too opaque to hide the nail art you put underneath it, but it really works amazing as a base for nail art, and effectively does the same thing, that is, you have black nails that magically disappear when they are warm.

Bow polish is newer brand out of Russia created by the creative director of Dance Legend polishes. The polishes are not part of the Dance Legend line, but rather a separate brand, but they are available through the Dance Legend online shop.

Here are all the Dance Legend links for your shopping enabling and social engagement.

Dance Legend Online Shop
Dance Legend Facebook
Dance Legend Instagram

Polish provided for consideration.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

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40 Great Nail Art Ideas - Spring

The theme for today's 40 Great Nail Art Ideas is Spring - again. I'm a bit over it really, with a week of spring last week, and with it being Autumn here and all. Oh well, it's something you get used to when you are on the other side of the world.

Spring in the Northern Hemisphere means Easter, so today I have some super cute bunny ears courtesy of Bundle Monster plate H09 and a couple of new Picture Polish shades - sping and bluebird.

These are going to count for my Easter 2016 mani, so to those that celebrate, Happy Easter and I hope you all have a wonderful time with your families.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

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Reciprocal gradient in contrasting colours

Looking for nail art that is going to grab some attention, then look no further than this design.  I can't tell you the number of people that commented on these nails!  Firstly, credit to Jenna from @Funkifiednails who I saw this design on and had to recreate it!  She does some gorgeous nail art and is way under followed on Instagram, so if you are looking for a great account, check hers out.

I used four colours in the contrasting reciprocal gradient, red and yellow for the first gradient and then blue and mint green for the second gradient. I achieved the look using plenty of latex nail barrier to cover the bits I didn't want to get coloured with the different gradients, but it's kind of hard to explain how I did it.  So instead, watch the 15 second Instagram tutorial.  I'll add the Instagram tutorial onto this post after I have posted it in a few hours.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

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Dragon skin gradient

Last year Sveta Sanders on Instagram did an amazing dragon skin gradient using crackle polish.  It was the first the I saw crackle polish look amazing and I knew back then that i had to attempt her design.  Then last month when it was Digital Dozen Nail Heroes week, Laurie over at Dressed up Digits tried her hand at the design and reminded me that I hadn't yet done it.

So then the search began through my helmers to actually find a bottle of crackle polish.  It turns out I actually don't own much of it.  I have a few bottle of China Glaze metallic crackles, but they don't crackle the right sort of way, they are more shatter than crackle.  The only bottle I had was a bright orange Barry M version that was a 'web' effect.  It created exactly the pattern I wanted but it did one strange thing.

I started with a white base and then applied the web effect Barry M polish.  As it dried it created a nice crackle look that was a good match to dragon skin. But then as I applied my metallic gradient over the top i noticed that the crackle polish just kept shrinking and shrinking, and the gaps between each scale became larger and larger.  It didn't matter how much I then tried to add more gradient on top to fill in the gaps that were starting to show bare nail through, cause it just kept shrinking up.  In the end I just left it with the huge gaps.  I didn't end up putting top coat on either as I didn't want it to shrink even more.

The used some Sally Hansen Color foils for the gradient.

I ended up mattifing it and I didn't like it, it really darkened the metallic shades about 10 shades darker and didn't have the same impact when looking at it.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

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40 Great Nail Art Ideas - 3 shades of green - skittles

I wasn't clever enough this month to combine my two nail art challenges, which means I'm a little late in posting my mani for the 40 Great Nail Art Ideas.

This week's prompt is three shades of green and my individual technique is skittles.  I was going to do something rather simple, and just paint each nail a different colour, but instead I painted different patterns on each nail to create skittles.

For the zigzags and swirls I used nail vinyls.  I used a dotting tool for the dots and the lines on my pinky were painted freehand.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

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The Digital Dozen - Spring Day 5

Today is the last day of the spring themed manis for the Digital Dozen, and I bring you these Autumn inspired falling leaves.  The idea behind the Digital Dozen themes is that we get to interpret them any way we want.  I think every other member of the Digital Dozen is in the Northern Hemisphere where Spring has sprung, whereas for me being down under, it's Autumn. So instead I did Autumn nails as it's the current season for me.

My base was a polish I haven't worn in ages, and it's a special polish that needs to be worn every now and then so I can remember it's beauty.  It's China Glaze OMG from the original OMG Collection. The leaves are some water decals I found in my art supplies drawer.  I think I got them from the Born Pretty Store, but it must have been ages ago.  They looked like I had spilt some acetone over them, so only about one third of the decals actually worked and slid of the paper.

Friday, March 18, 2016

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The Digital Dozen - Spring Day 4

Spring = pastels right, and today I played with pastel shades to create this gradient and dotticure.  I think this is one of the best gradients I've ever done cause it just blends so perfectly.

I used a range of different brands for this, China Glaze, Ulta3 and Picture Polish and they all complimented each other so well.

No chitty chatty tonight, my project at work is going live this weekend (my section has been responsible for rolling out a redesigned intranet for the entire department). The change started a few hours ago and I need to go check on it's progress and send some status updates.  

Thursday, March 17, 2016

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The Digital Dozen - Spring Day 3

It's really hard to do nail art designs for a 'Spring' theme without getting stuck in a rut of flowers. But that said, I had to do at least one free hand painted design for the challenge, so here it is. Yay for me, I actually did nail art.

I was absolutely inspired by a design done by Sarah from Chalkboard nails. This is my version of her Lavender blossom design.

I used a selection of different greens for the flower leaves and stems, and for the lavender blossoms I used Picture Polish Wisteria and Violet Femme.

This is such a great design because it is so easy to do. My right hand even ended up looks almost the same as my left hand.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

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The Digital Dozen - Spring Day 2

Digital Dozen day 2 and I bring you a very pretty spring picnic inspired design that took me about 20 minutes to do from base coat to top coat.  Yep, I'm really short on time this week so I went with some MILV water decals applied over a white base.

I bought these water decals from Picture Polish early last year I think. They are great water decals to work with, super thin to apply yet not too thin that they are difficult to apply. They also clean up easily around your cuticle edge with acetone, which is great because it means you don't have to cut them to the perfect size.

Tomorrow's design is actual nail art, like I actually painted something on my nails. Yay for me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

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The Digital Dozen - Spring Day 1

Remember on my last blog post when I said you woudn't see me much around here this week.  Yeah, well it turns out I forgot it was Digital Dozen week, which means you will see me here everyday this week. Doh.  I have not done any manis for the theme yet and it's going to be a real push to get all five designs in, but I do love to push myself.

The theme for this months Digital Dozen is Spring.  Damn it, it sucks being the only person from the southern hemisphere doing a nail challenge when everyone else is on the other side of the world. They are all revving up for Spring and here I am heading into Autumn.  

Its funny that I say that's because Aussie brand Picture Polish just released some new shades, and one of them is called Spring.  I can see how well they market their products to the rest of the world with this release.

Anyhow, there I was thinking what the hell am I going to paint on my nails for the spring theme and I get a surprise package in the mail from Picture Polsih.  When I open it up I see that one of the polishes is call 'spring', that was surely a sign if there ever was one.  So I wacked on a couple of layers of this gorgeous crelly based pink scattered holo.

I needed to add something so I could say it was nail art, so I applied some fine cut metallic black butterflies that I got from the Born Pretty Store. They came in a wheel with lots of other designs, and they are only $1.99. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

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40 Great Nail Art Ideas - Food

40 Great Nail Art Ideas brings us the Food theme this week.  So many ideas went through my head, but they were all way to complex and not something I could pull off quickly. Especially given that last week and next week are the lead up to the launch of our huge project at work.  Don't expect me to be around much next week ok.

I was very impressed with myself that I finished these nails in 35 minutes. 10 full fingers, from base coat to matte top coat.  Impressive hey!

I first saw this gradient watermelon design done by @TheNailTrail and I thought it was super cute and the perfect design to create for the food theme.  I'm just working on my instavideo, so if you follow me on Instagram you will see that in about 12 hours too.

Monday, March 7, 2016

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Neko Atsume Nail Art

Ok now, hands up who else is a little bit obsessed with this game?  I'm actually less obsessed with it now that I have collected all the kitties (although I still don't have all the mementos).  After Miss 5 saw me playing it she asked me to download it to her iPad mini and from that moment she was obsessed too.  But what amazed me most is that she was able to name every single cat just by looking at them.  She'd even say to me, "Mummy, can I tell you all my cats... Snowball, Smokey, Spots, Shadow" etc etc.

When I did these nails she even looked at them and said, oh look, there's Sunny in the box and that nail has Snowball, Fred, Spots and Shadow, then that's Breezy with the bag on her head and Tubbs! Of course she was right with all of them.  

I created these nails using print at home water decals.  It is the sort of nail art that I knew I had to get the shapes of the cats right to ensure it looked like Neko Atsume and not just random cats, and that is why I chose to print them out rather than try to freehand them.  

The process with the water decal paper is very simple.  
  1. Choose some images you like by doing a good image search.
  2. Resize the images down to the correct width for your nails. For me it is about 1.3cm wide. You can do this in photoshop, but if you aren't a photoshop wizz, you can even do it in MS word by editing the image.
  3. Print a practice print out on a piece of regular white paper to ensure the sizes are right.
  4. If everything is good, cut a small piece of your water decal paper (I got mine off ebay) that is big enough to cover the bit you just printed out.  I use the transparent decal paper so that means you need to paint your nails white to start with.
  5. Sticky tape the water decal paper over the top of what you printed, only attaching the tape to a thin part of the decal paper at the top.
  6. Print your decals again by feeding the same piece of paper back into you printer.  This will print onto the decal paper in exactly the same place it printed previously.  I use this technique so I don't waste the water decal paper and only just the small bit I need.
  7. If you use an ink printer, rather than a laser printer, you will need to seal the ink. I do this by just painting a layer of clear top coat polish onto the water decal.
  8. Then just cut them out and apply as usual.
The hardest part of doing this mani was choosing which images to use.  I wanted at least one butt shot, cause they are just too cute. I also wanted the logo image.  I had to have Tubbs, cause well... Tubbs, and then it was between Breezy and her bag and a face plant.  I went with Breezy cause she reminds me of out Tikki, including the bag on the head.  Have you ever witnessed a cat with a plastic bag on it's head?  It's not a calm experience like Breezy shows here, at least not in our house. The sound of that bag on their head totally freaks them out and they have a total crazy cat moment.

About Me

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