Thursday, June 30, 2016

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Bow thermal top coats

I recently splurged and grabbed myself the full set of Bow polish thermal top coats.  I had previous received the black one for review and decided I needed the full set.  I was lured in after seeing amazing mani's by Anna Goralova and Sveta Sanders.  I'm so glad I got them because they are so fun to wear and give me endless amusement.

These polishes seem to really match my own thermal dynamics, because often during the day my nails would switch between the full warm look to the full cold look, and obviously various stages in between.  Maybe that's because it's winter here, so going inside and outside would make a significant difference.  These polishes also never cease to amaze my colleagues at work, who often notice that my nails have changed colour before their eyes.

These top coats are nicely pigmented in their cold state and in their warm state they are nearly opaque too, but a neutral opaque with just the slightest tint.  The pink one would be the best in terms of going to a completely invisible colour when cold, the purple, blue and green ones still have the slightest tint when cold.

For this mani I did random swipes of all the colours over my nails. It was really hard to tell what the final look was going to be like because when I painted my nails my fingers were warm.  Therefore the colour just kept disappearing to an opaque white as I painted it on.  Next I stamped a bubble pattern using Dance Legend T1000, which is a silver holo.  This just gave it an extra bit of sparkle, even though the Bow thermal top coats also have a nice sprinkling of scattered holo.

It's pretty obvious to tell which is the cold version and which is the warm.  This first photo is actually two photos cut together down the middle two fingers.

I have so many ideas for these manis, so be prepared to see me still getting excited by thermals.

Monday, June 27, 2016

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Picture Polish Sunflower and Saltwater

Today I have two of the newer collaboration Picture Polish shades, combined into one mani.  As soon as I got Sun Flower, I knew the perfect nail art I wanted to create. I had Messy Mansion Plate MM68 with all the sunflower images on it and I was yet to use it.  

I started with a base of Saltwater (swatch and description below) and them created stamping decals using MM68, sunflower for the petals and Demeter for the centers.

Here is my swatch of Salt water, created by @Nailstorming on Instagram. I think Gianna is only on instagram, she doesn't have a blog.  She does amazing nail art and I'd say most nail art lovers are already following her as she has a huge following.

Salt water is a pastel turquoise crelly with scattered holo.  It's beautifully opaque in two coats and it's a really pretty flattering shade.

Sun flower is a collaboration with @de_briz This is such an unusual shade for a collaboration and really is quite out there.  Personally I don't love it on it's own as it's not the sort of colour I would normally wear, but for nail art I can't express how awesome it is.  Sun flower is very pigmented.  I'd make sure you have a good base coat on if wearing it alone as it left my cuticles a bit yellow.  But pigmentation is exactly what you want in a yellow polish for nail art.  It has the same sort of finish as salt water, that being a crelly finish with scattered holo flakes.  This is two coats.

These collaboration shades are available from Picture Polish. Be sure to check their international stockist listing if you are overseas.

Polishes provided for consideration.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

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Coral and White nail art ideas

Can you believe we are still at it with the 52 week challenge.  Big kudos to the other gals out there that have stuck with it, and the other crazies like me who haven't missed a week.  This week was touch and go for me, in fact this post is scheduled and it's amazing that I have managed to get this done.

We are currently away on vacation, in fact we left 3 days ago.  We are cruising around the islands of the south pacific, New Caledonia, Vanuatu etc.  We've escaped the Australian Antarctic vortex that is making it snow in places that it shouldn't, so yay for us being somewhere warm.  At least I sure hope it's warm and that its not raining or anything.  My kids will be totally bummed if they don't get to play at the beach and try snorkeling. 

Let's get to this mani.  This weeks theme is Coral and White, and my personal prompt is Tape Mani. I'm not a huge fan of tape mani's. They require patience so that you don't pull up your base colour, and patience is not one of my strengths (just ask my husband).

This mani ended up being more coral and gold, but that's just how I roll.

Using the shell charms that I got from the Born Pretty store again too.  I like that you can wash these off with acetone and use them over and over again.  I also like that you can paint them with polish to get totally different looking charms, like I did with the star fish on my pinky.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

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Messy Mansion stamping polishes and Emily de Molly shimmers and holos.

A few weekends ago I attended a local launch party for the new Messy Mansion stamping polishes. The afternoon was lots of fun, there were about 20 ladies there all having a play with stamping, learning techniques such as regular stamping, gradient stamping and lead lighting.  

I took the chance to catch up with some of my nail friends, including Hayley from Emily de Molly. Hayley had a couple of new polishes for me to try, so I promptly removed my existing mani and put on the new polishes and then had a play around with some of the stamping products.

I did two different designs, one on each hand, because that's just what you do at these sorts of things to make sure you try out a few different looks and different polishes.

This first one is Emily de Molly Savvy Trinket, which is a strong shimmery polish with gold to green to blue colour shifting shimmer in a purple base.  I stamped over it with a new Messy Mansion stamping polish called Royal Purple from their new stamping line of polishes. I also used the metal template from the Accessories Kit 2.0 to only stamp the 'V' part of the design.

On my right hand I applied Emily de Molly Iridescent Skies, which is one of three exclusive polishes created for the @hellaholocustoms members. It's a lavender pink holo with a purple shimmer.  I then did some gradient stamping using Petal and Hydrangea Blue Messy Mansion stamping polishes.

Let's also just admire my delightful hand pose with my right hand for a moment.  WTF.  My right hand will just not go where it needs to for a photo. Left hand, easy, it just falls into place. Right hand, I had to actually physically move fingers to even get it to look this good.

When I got home from the gathering I had to change my mani's so that all 10 fingers matched for work the next day.  This is what I ended up creating.

Again I use Emily de Molly Savvy Trinket as the base. I then did some gradient stamping using Mundo de Unas purple and gold polish and using DRK stamping plate XL Magic Garden. See I told you I keep using that plate!

I loved this so much.  The purple to gold gradient stamping really accentuated the duochrome appearance of this polish with it's purple base and colour shifting shimmer.

Hayley also gave me a bottle of Flatline. Ohhh WOW. These photos were taken on day two when the sun was actually out.  Look at that holo.  This polish really reminds me of OPI DS Original in terms of colour. I might have to put them side by side to compare how similar they are.

Emily de Molly polishes provided for consideration.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

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Pretty Serious Pastel Pet Names gradient and stamping decals

I still have a huge crush on this collection. It's so bad that I can't even put the polishes away in my helmer. I just keep grabbing for them so often at the moment, and not just one of them, all of them, always together. Because they are so perfect together.

This time around I did a simple gradient and some flower stamping decals. Look at how smooth that gradient is, those colours just smoosh together perfectly. The flowers are from DRK Stamping plate Secret Garden XL.  This is such a great plate and I find myself using it over and over again. It has lots of floral full nail designs and heaps of images that work really well for either leadlighting or stamping decals.

Look out for my tutorial video on Instagram coming soon.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

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Summer nail art ideas in winter

This weeks theme for the 40 great nail art ideas challenge is Summer, which is difficult when it's -4 celsius in the mornings or pouring with winter rain. But the up side is I'm going on a holiday next week with a cruise to New Caledonia where it will almost feel like summer with temperatures in the mid twenties.

Which brings me to my summer mani.  I've had these shell charms from the Born Pretty Store for ages, with the plan to do this exact mani.  I'm so glad I finally got to do it, cause I totally love it.  I started with a base of Picture Polish Salt Water (see what I did there) then then applied a little bit of OPI Liquid Sand Honey Ryder.  I then applied a coat or two of a sheer blue jelly polish I mixed up and made sure this went over the top of the gold polish just a little bit.

The stamping is from the DRK Magic Garden plate.

Friday, June 17, 2016

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Digital Dozen does Rainbow - stripes with black and white

Day 5 of the Digital Dozen rainbow week already. I was lacking inspiration big time.  When that happens I like to just onto instagram and do some hashtag searches.  I was searching #rainbownails and came across a design very similar to this one by @yagala  I didn't see her tutorial video before I painted these, so I painted mine the original way. That is, starting with a white base and then taping off diagonally and doing the black. I then left that dry for about 30 mins before I taped off each finger with striping tape and painted each colour a line at a time.

I did all ten nails and holy stripes from hell this took forever. Luckily I had to stay up until midnight to do some out of hours IT work for our departmental website, so it kept me busy.  But man, doing tape manis like these would have to be the slowest nail art I can do.

I really love the contrast of the rainbow colours against the black and white blocking in the background.  It's very retro to me.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

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Digital Dozen does Rainbow - star placement

I had such great expectations for this mani, and they weren't realised sadly.  I recall watching a video on Instagram by Sveta Sanders where she used a star shaped nail vinyl on a silicone mat and then placed each individual star onto her nail.  Her video made it look so easy (as everything does for her) so I attempted the same technique and I have to say I had a massive fail.

I filmed it so I will upload my fail to instagram, but to sum it up, after I painstakingly coloured in all the stars using a dotting tool on my silicone mat, when I pulled it off most of the polish had dried and therefore stuck to the vinyl instead of to the mat!  FAIL.

Now other than my middle finger where I placed a line of the stars down my nail, I realised later that I really did create this mani the hard way.  I should have just stuck the vinyl down and the coloured it in on the nail. That way the polish would have stuck to my nail and I wouldn't have wasted two vinyl stickers.  Oh well, I'll chalk that one up to a massive brain explosion.

So this isn't my favourite rainbow mani by a long shot, but I didn't have time to do something else. The base is two coats of Pretty Serious Presence topped with Picture Polish Holo on top.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

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Digital Dozen does Rainbow - holo glitter sharpie watercolour

Have you guys been checking out the other Digital Dozen manis in the inlinkz? I'm always so impressed by how these gals bring it during DD week.  The mani's are spectacular.  I feel like I really have to pick up my game to keep up.

That said, I'm really happy with this one and feel it does the girls justice.  Tomorrow's mani however was fail after fail, so something to look forward to and laugh about.

Today's is a holo glitter sharpie water colour.  I started with a silver holo glitter base, over Picture Polish peel off base coat.  I then used the sharpie technique that I've done previously, with isopropyl alcohol.

I've had a few people ask me how to keep the colours vibrant after top coat, and I have to say that until now I never noticed the colours fade.  But this time, after I applied top coat I noticed that the red colour on my tips basically disappeared.  This must have been because it was the last of the colours I applied and hadn't dried as long as the other colours.  But, after the top coat dried well, the colour restored itself.

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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