Showing posts with label copper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label copper. Show all posts

11 September 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day Eighteen, Half Moons: Fall Gradient

Hi everyone! I'm a tad late, but I have my half moon design for the 31 Day Challenge. The half moon design has always come across as one of those classic looks, and this was my first time trying it. However, now that it's on my nails, it feels a bit odd. I can't pinpoint whether I like or dislike this design. Does anyone else ever feel like that?

About this design: I was originally influenced by these half moons I saw on The Nailasaurus. Coincidentally, it was also done for the 31 Day Challenge. I really enjoyed the combination of gradients with half moons. At the same time, I got the fall collection from Polished by Alexandra in the mail to review. The gorgeous shimmery fall colours just really appealed to me right away.

Gradient Half Moons

Gradient Half Moons

How to get this look: I used Polished by Alexandra The Witching Hour (a purple shimmer) and Gourdeous (a shimmery copper). I started with copper on most nails with the exception of the accent nail. I sealed it with a coat of KBShimmer Clearly On Top (any quick dry top coat would work) and used hole reinforcements to mask off the bottom "half moon" part of my nail. I did the gradient with a makeup sponge and the opposing colour along the bottom, and a bit of the base colour on the top. I hope that makes sense. I finished by doing some minor touchups with a detail brush and sealing with one coat of Clearly On Top.

Gradient Half Moons

Gradient Half Moons

Overall, I'm happy with how they turned out, being my first half moon design, however, they read school colours to me. I don't know why - normally I like purple and copper/gold together. But the two polishes make the perfect gradient and I'm tempted to use these again - or two other polishes from this collection - to do a gradient design.

What do you think of these? Do you like half moon designs?


29 July 2013

piCture pOlish Blog Fest 2013: Art Deco Stained Glass Nails + Tutorial

Hi everyone! I'm so happy to be participating in this year's piCture pOlish Blog Fest!! I'm sure you have already seen other posts today, but basically Blog Fest is where a bunch of nail polish bloggers (over 130!) around the world put together a post featuring polishes from the Australian brand piCture pOlish. The event is organized by piCture pOlish and they provided the polishes and the instructions. I've seen piCture pOlish Blog Fest posts from previous years by bloggers much more established than me, so I'm extremely honoured to have been chosen for this.

The theme for this year's Blog Fest is "Year of the Blogger", and it's about celebrating what bloggers do. We were instructed to make our most amazing nail art ever and to create a step-by-step tutorial of our design. Even though it seems like a lot of pressure, for me it was the perfect opportunity to challenge myself and to create a design that would push my abilities.

About This Design

I was given three polishes from the Metallic Shades collection: Bombshell (a vibrant blue metallic with shimmer), Goddess (a copper metallic), and Metallic Mush (a pale gold metallic foil). I've been wanting to do intricate stained glass nails for some time now, and these three polishes really suggested the Art Deco era. Art Deco design was influenced by the machine age, and it's known for it's streamlined aesthetic and geometric patterns and shapes. The designs on each nail were taken from Art Deco stained glass designs that I found online. My thumb is a duplicate for my middle finger.

Keep reading for a step-by-step tutorial on how to do stained glass nails. While this design took quite some time, six hours in fact (yikes!), you can use these instructions to do simplified stained glass nails.

Art Deco Stained Glass Tutorial

Here's what you'll need:
  • black nail polish
  • a detail nail art brush
  • various coloured polishes to fill in the design - shimmery polishes look best for that stained-glass look
  • nail polish thinner
  • lots of patience!

Step #1

Step #1: Apply base coat and let dry. Using black polish thinned with nail polish thinner, draw your outlines on your nails. At this point, use a very light touch and go slowly, but don't worry if you make a mistake, you can fix those later.
Optional: Apply a base colour - perhaps white or nude, but nothing too dark - after your base coat. If your coloured polishes are very sheer or you're worried you won't be able to cover the whole nail, having a base colour will help hide those imperfections.

Step #2

Step #2: Reinforce your lines by going over them a second time. You want to make them darker but also you can fix any mistakes made in Step #1. You don't want your lines to be too light or it will be hard to see them when you apply your colours.
Tip: Use a bit of nail polish remover and a detail brush to "erase" any mistakes made. You're going to be covering over any mistakes with the coloured polishes so you don't necessarily need to do this, however, if having an incorrect line is going to mess you up in future steps, it might be good to try and take it out.

Step #3

Step #3: Start filling in the shapes with your coloured polishes. I started with Metallic Mush and filled in all the intended spaces on each nail before moving to the next colour. However, you can complete each nail before moving on to the next.
Reminder: Since you will be moving your hand around a lot to get into small spaces, be careful not to smudge the work that you have done on your other nails! I'm talking from experience here. :)

Step #4

Step #4: Fill in all the shapes with your colours, making sure to paint up to the cuticle (leave a tiny gap!) and on the edges of your nail. You will probably need two coats for good coverage.

Step #5

Step #5: Go over the black lines again, the same as you did in Step #2. Fix any mistakes with touch-ups.

Step #6

Step #6: Clean up your edges with a fine eyeliner brush dipped in acetone. Seal with top coat and you're done! I used KBShimmer Clearly On Top, I love it because it doesn't smear your nail art!

Tips and Tricks:

Tip #1: When doing any complex or intricate nail art, make sure to do a sketch first, preferably with some of the polishes you'll be using. Here's a look at my sketches along with my mock-up of the final design. I played around with the designs I wanted on each nail. When that was settled I drew my final design and filled it in with the colours I intended to use. This acted as my blueprint when I was working on my nails.

Nail art brushes: liner brush (top) and detail brush (bottom)

Tip #2: When doing fine lines like this, use nail polish thinner to make the polish more fluid. This will also prevent it from drying out right away. Also, work very slowly. I find it helps to paint a very light line - using more thinner - then go over it again to darken the line - using less thinner - rather than trying to do the line all in one go.

Tip #3: For painting straight lines, I find that it works best to pull the brush towards me. Also, I tend to move my hand around and try painting at different angles in order to get the best angle and brush direction for the line I'm trying to make.

I hope these instructions were helpful. I went into a lot of detail because I wanted to cover as much as possible. Unless you are working with a very intricate design, or wanting to get very fine lines, stained glass nails are not very hard to do.

The piCture pOlish Blog Fest Awards

This year there will also be Blog Fest Awards. Here's the details from piCture pOlish:

There is 3 (only) awards that will be voted and chosen as follows via our special Pinterest Blog Fest 2013 board:
  • 1 x Award - as voted by PP friends and fans
  • 1 x Award - as voted by all (you) participants of Blog Fest 2013
  • 1 x Award - as voted by Jules & Megs of piCture pOlish
The winners will get to work with piCture pOlish to make a collaboration shade, so it would be very awesome if you took the time to vote. It doesn't have to be for me, but if you do want to throw your vote my way, that would be greatly appreciated. :)

I believe the special Pinterest Board is HERE. If that changes, I'll update this post.

Voting is on the piCture pOlish website, there you will also find a link to the Pinterest board. Link is HERE.

About piCture pOlish

You can follow piCture pOlish through the following links:


For ordering from piCture pOlish check out their Shipping, Network and Everyday Deals pages.

What do you think of this design? Have you been checking out other designs for piCture pOlish Blog Fest?

*Polishes were provided by piCture pOlish for Blog Fest. See my disclosure policy for more details.*

30 March 2013

Paisley and Gradients with Cult Nails 2nd Anniversary Collection

Hi everyone! Happy Good Friday / Easter weekend if you celebrate! Cult Nails is currently having a nail art contest. If you are interested you might want to check out their Facebook page ASAP as I believe there's only one day left to enter. I thought the contest would be the perfect opportunity to challenge myself with something new and break out the Cult Nails 2nd Anniversary collection that I bought awhile back.

(L-R) Cult Nails Tempest, Blaze, and Fetish

For this design I used only the three polishes that were part of the collection - Blaze, Fetish and Tempest. My accent nail is a simple sponged glitter gradient using Fetish and Blaze. On the other fingers I started with a sponged gradient using Fetish and Tempest. Then I did all the black lines and details with a fine liner brush. After that I did the white lines with the same liner brush, and the white dots with a very fine dotting tool. I finished with a few accents using Blaze and the same fine dotting tool.

Paisley and gradients nail art

Paisley and gradients nail art

Let me know if you have any questions about this design or how I did it. It looks rather complicated, but it's not. It was very time consuming, especially with the fine detail lines. For the lines, I tend to do a very light line then go over it once or twice more. I find there's less errors, and if I make a mistake, it's easier to fix. I also use nail polish thinner to make the polish more fluid while working. For now this seems to be working well.

Paisley and gradients nail art

A bit about the 2nd Anniversary collection:

Blaze is a very fine gold and copper glitter in a clear base. You could wear this one on it's own with 2-3 coats, but I prefer it layered over another polish. The formula on this one is great. My only concern is that I ended up with a wonky brush. I'm glad it's not one of the other polishes, and hopefully I can fix it.

Fetish is a jet black with a wax finish. By wax finish I mean it's not completely matte, but has a nice sheen to it. However, adding top coat negates the wax finish, so you need to wear this one without. I found it applied so perfect and smooth with two coats. I was so impressed that the finish was flawless, and I wouldn't have a problem wearing this without top coat.

Tempest is a pure white creme. What sets this apart from other whites is the superior formula. It goes on very creamy and smooth, and it's perfectly self-leveling. This was two coats but it's almost a one-coater. This one is going to compete with my Sally Hansen White On as my go-to white for nail art.

Paisley and gradients nail art

Paisley and gradients nail art

Overall, I'm happy with the design, even if no one votes for me during the contest. It's one of those designs where up close I can see all the imperfections (which are of course magnified by the camera), but when I'm looking at it while typing up this blog post, I'm so completely satisfied with it. The paisley is like little miniature paintings on my nails and I love looking at the variations and details.

What do you think of this? Have you tried paisley designs? Did you get the Cult Nails collection?

26 February 2013

Lynnderella Common Sense

Hi everyone! I'm going to keep this short and let the pictures do (most of) the talking.

I'm in love with this simple glitter gradient using Lynnderella Common Sense over Sally Hansen Barracuda (previously reviewed here). So click on the photos and view the slide show!

Lynnderella Common Sense (over Sally Hansen Barracuda)

Lynnderella Common Sense (over Sally Hansen Barracuda)

Common Sense is the most beautiful glitter bomb with a mixture of pink, fuchsia, and copper glitter. There's small and tiny squares and hexes, along with some microglitter and tiny holo glitter. It's densely packed with glitter so there's no problem getting enough on the nail.

Lynnderella Common Sense (over Sally Hansen Barracuda)

I love how the pink and copper contrasts nicely with the pale blue of Barracuda. And I'm also enjoying how Common Sense makes for such a gorgeous gradient.

Lynnderella Common Sense (over Sally Hansen Barracuda)

I know some people feel strongly about Lynnderella polishes, both for and against. I personally love all the ones I've had a chance to try and can't wait to add to my small but growing collection. But I draw the line at the limited editions. They are just way too much out of my price range, and a girl's got to have money for other polishes! ;)

Lynnderella is available on the Lynnderella eBay store, which is where I bought this.

What do you think of this? Do you own any Lynnderella polishes, or have the desire to own any?

20 January 2013

China Glaze Glitz Bitz 'n Pieces, Part 1: Razzle Me Dazzle Me

Hi everyone! I was hoping to have a bit of nail art for you today, but unfortunately I haven't been able to do anything this week. I was doing swatches yesterday and was planning to do some nail art, but my desire to swatch as many polishes as possible trumped my desire to do some nail art. But I'm going to try to enter a few competitions, so hopefully I'll have something soon.

Today I've got the first of six polishes from the new China Glaze collection, Glitz Bitz 'n Pieces. Because it's a lot of work for me to swatch and edit photos, I'm breaking this down into three separate posts. So I'll show the rest on Monday and Tuesday. I should also mention, that while I've done a pretty straightforward layering in today's swatch, for the others, I'll look at other ways to wear these polishes.

China Glaze Glitz Bitz 'n Pieces collection

The collection: China Glaze advertised it's Glitz Bitz 'n Pieces collection as "gorgeous 3D glitters" with "black bitz 'n pieces" to "create a Mosaic Masterpiece on the nails" (press release). I think like many press releases and advertisements, it overstates the truth, but these are gorgeous nonetheless. Each polish is clear-based and made up of a single colour of glitter with black matte glitter. The colour glitter comes in tiny, small and medium hexes, and the black glitter in different sizes of hexes, as well as bar glitter. There is also some very large black hex glitter, but those ones are harder to get out.

Formula and application: The formula on all six are very similar, so I will not repeat this information. As I explained above, these are clear-based, so they are meant to be layered over another polish. The polish is packed with glitter, and there is no problem getting enough glitter on the nails. I also found these polishes spread out nicely, and they dried really fast. The glitter also does a good job of lying flat (sorry, it's not 3D), so you can get by with one coat of top coat (two if you want a smooth glassy finish).

China Glaze Razzle Me Dazzle Me

Razzle Me Dazzle Me is a pale copper colour glitter with black "bitz 'n pieces". For this swatch I layered one coat over China Glaze Shower Together, a vibrant cyan blue. I like the contrast of the colours here, although I wish the glitter in Razzle Me Dazzle Me was a bit more vibrant, a bold copper maybe. I find the colour tends to get lost in the photos.

China Glaze Razzle Me Dazzle Me

China Glaze Razzle Me Dazzle Me

It's not exactly the mosaic masterpiece that was advertised, but I think these polishes are interesting and fun. For me, this collection got more interesting when I tried different ways of layering them, so you'll see that tomorrow! :)

China Glaze Razzle Me Dazzle Me

What do you think of this collection? Have you gotten any, or are you planning to?

07 December 2012

Advent Calendar Nail Challenge, Day 7: Ornaments

Hi everyone! Up until this point of the challenge I've been able to get away with a solid colour or very simple manis (i.e. glitter gradients, or layered glitter polish). It's not ideal, but I really am a newbie when it comes to nail art. In fact I just bought my first nail art brush set and dotting tools set for this challenge. But with the theme of ornaments for today, I knew it was no longer possible to put off trying my hand at some freehand nail art.

Holiday ornaments nail art

This is my first attempt at using nail art brushes, so please be gentle! Here's the list of polishes I used for this design:

Avon Vintage Blue
Joe Fresh Starry
Gosh Galaxy
Essie Penny Talk
China Glaze Man Hunt
Quo Old Hollywood
Illamasqua Viridian
Essence Black is Back
Girly Bits January Morning

Whew, that's a lot! I started by painting my base colour, Vintage Blue. Then I sponged on a light layer of Starry, to give the blue a subtle silver holo shimmer. Then I painted in the ornaments using Galaxy, Penny Talk, Man Hunt, Old Hollywood, and Viridian. I don't necessarily think these were the best colours, these were just the colours I had on hand that seemed appropriate for a holiday design. I then followed with Black is Back, drawing in the strings as well as the outline around each ornament. I used the same small detail brush for all the ornaments, as well as the black outline. I finished off with a light layer of January Morning, which added a very subtle shimmer to the whole design without obscuring the ornaments.

Holiday ornaments nail art

I think the biggest challenge I had was the black strings and outlines. It seemed like I either had too much or too little polish on my brush. It was also hard to get very fine detail, despite the fact that I was using my smallest brush. I wonder if a special striping polish might work better. I might also try to find some tutorials on freehand nail art, but if you know of any, please feel free to share.

02 December 2012

Advent Calendar Nail Challenge, Day 2: Gold

Evening everyone! I don't normally post on a Sunday, but I'm making an exception for the Advent Calendar Nail Challenge. I'm working towards a deadline tomorrow, and this polish is pretty complex, so I'm just going to get right to it.

This is Pahlish Goldmine; Gutted from the Collage of Senselessness Bright Eyes collection that came out this fall. Both of the Pahlish fall collections are absolutely amazing. It was love at first sight when I saw the Still Alive collection, and the same for the Collage of Senselessness collection. If you don't own any of the polishes from these collections, you really should! I promise you won't be disappointed!

All pictures are indoors, with natural light. My apologies for the picture overload, but I'm really loving this one!

Pahlish Goldmine; Gutted
This is one coat of Goldmine; Gutted over Contrary Polish Purple Smoke. I was hoping that the gold in the Pahlish would contrast with the subtle purple tones in the Contrary Polish, but unfortunately it doesn't. Instead it reads more as black and gold on grey. Which is fine, I'm really happy with how this turned out. I find it a very elegant combination.

Goldmine; Gutted is a really complex mix of glitters in a clear base, one of those polishes that's such a challenge to describe. It's got some black glitter in different shapes: tiny and small hexes, medium and large squares, and irregular shaped pieces. It's also got a bunch of gold squares and copper hexes in two sizes. And if that wasn't enough, there's copper and gold micro flakes. But since that's not enough, there's (get this!) some small holo square glitter. Seriously Pahlish, you kill me!! I told you there was a lot going on with this polish!

In the bottle this reads as a black and gold glitter combo, but it's not until you put it on that you see how complex this is. I love that! Also I love the addition of copper glitter, which tones down the gold so that it is not a blaring yellow gold. And then there's the subtle addition of holo glitter. Ugh!! Words escape me :)

The application on this one is pretty great. The glitters were suspended perfectly in the base, so I didn't really need to do any rolling or turning upside down to try and get enough glitter. I was able to get good coverage with just the one coat. Removal was also fairly easy and there was no need to use the foil method to get this off.

Overall A+ on this one, Pahlish hits another home run in my book. I'm thinking if I can get my lighting situation under control (more on that later) that I might do a post on this entire collection. What do you think? Any interest in that? If so, just let me know.

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