Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Illamasqua Jo'Mina Debut | Stripy Geometric Mix

Hiya!  I'd fancied picking up Illamasqua's Jo'Mina for a good while, having seen/read so many complimentary things about it on various blogs.  Finally I caved and nabbed it from eBay (for slightly cheaper than normal) last week, thanks in part to the absolutely lovely Kayla Shevonne who was kind enough to send me a bottle-shot comparison to help me decide whether I 'needed' it (haha).

I was really keen to use it but didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to do, so in the end I just picked out a couple of colours I thought would complement it and got to painting!  Here is the result:

Nail art in mix & match geometric/striped patterns, with Illamasqua Jo'Mina, Barry M Shocking Pink & 17 Smokey Marble

I'm generally a wee bit apprehensive about beginning a design without knowing what I'm going to do (it doesn't always end amicably!) but I'm pretty pleased with how these turned out.  I think the skinniest stripes, which I included on each nail, pulled the different designs together quite neatly, along with the framing.  I still find lines a bit tricky at times and I know a few of them are a bit wonky, but not too badly (I don't think?!).  I totally dig bold, geometric-esque mix & match designs, although it's not something I do often.  

Nail art in mix & match geometric/striped designs, with Illamasqua Jo'Mina, Barry M Shocking Pink & 17 Smokey Marble

Nail art in mix & match geometric and striped designs, with Illamasqua Jo'Mina, Barry M Shocking Pink & 17 Smokey Marble

Illamasqua Jo'Mina is a fantastic purple.  It's more intense (and possibly a touch pinker, I'm not sure) in person.  Here I've matched it up with Barry M Shocking Pink and 17 (by Boots) Smokey Marble.  (It's spelt 'Smokey' with an 'e' on the bottle, though I don't know why!)  I really wanted to use something other than my go-to black or gold as the offset/outline colour and I think Smokey Marble was a good choice here.  It's a bit darker than it looks in the bottle - I think I'd call it 'gunmetal' - and the shimmer is pretty subtle, but I think it makes a nice change!

Nail art in mix & match geometric and striped patterns with Illamasqua Jo'Mina, Barry M Shocking Pink & 17 Smokey Marble

Nail art in mix & match geometric and striped designs, using Illamasqua Jo'Mina, Barry M Shocking Pink & 17 Smokey Marble

For my index and pinkie fingers, I found it easiest to paint the pink and purple first, then add the darker, thinner lines at the end.  After having to redo my ring finger, I decided it was best to outline the patterns on the remaining nails, fill them in, then tidy up the lines where necessary.  I mostly used striping brushes (in a variety of lengths, so I didn't have to clean them constantly!) for this design, including my super cut-down brush for the skinny lines.

Nail art in various bold geometric designs with stripes, using Illamasqua Jo'Mina, Barry M Shocking Pink & 17 Smokey Marble

What do you think?  Are you a fan of mixing-and-matching?  Do you have a favourite finger?  (I realise that last question sounds kind of creepy.)

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Jan Weiss 'Yellow Petals' Inspired Nail Art

Hello!  Rocking some 'art-inspired' nail art right now:

I'm hardly what you'd call an art buff - although I wish I was more knowledgeable in the subject - but I found myself browsing for inspiration, where I came across this Jan Weiss print, 'Yellow Petals 4':

I absolutely loved it - it was just begging to be made into a manicure!  I'm always trying to convince myself that floral designs are 'too girlie' for me, but every time I do something flowery I end up really liking it.   What I dig about this series of Jan Weiss prints, I think, is that they're a bit 'edgier' (seriously judging myself for using that word) than my idea of a more classic floral, and not very cutesy at all!  I love the freshness of the colours, too.

I began this design by painting my nails white.  Whilst I love nail art on a white base, I do NOT enjoy the act of painting it.  White polish just seems to be consistently annoying, so if you have one you love, let me know!  

I used Barry M 'Acid Yellow' for the outer colour of the petals, which I just painted using the brush in the bottle.  Then I added the accent colours with a little brush, in Barielle 'Lemondrops' and Illamasqua 'Blow'.  After that, I went in with my smallest dotting tool to try to replicate the 'dotty' look of the petals round the outside at and the borders between the different colours, but that's really not apparent in the finished look unless you go eyeball-to-nail, so I probably wouldn't bother if I did it again!

Next, I added dots on the petals using Sinful Colors 'Exotic Green', and more in the centre with Barielle 'Sweet Addiction' and Sinful 'Last Chance'.  Up until this point I thought my flowers looked a bit daft and I really didn't think they were going to work!  However, the addition of the black lines (with a cut down striper) finally pulled the look together.

I did have a couple of ideas for the rest of my fingers, but I felt anything I put on them might detract from the impact of the flowers.  At first I thought they looked a bit stark or incomplete but actually,  I really like the clean aesthetic of the white next to the bolder, fresh-coloured flowers.  Despite the fact that it has been snowing here for about a week, I do love how springy these feel!

What do you think?  Are florals your thing?  And if you have any white polish recommendations, do let me know!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A England (& Kiko) Stained Glass Nail Art

HIYAAA!  Welcome to my brand spanking new blog!  I've been posting nail art on my Tumblr for a while now and I'm super excited finally to have somewhere I can write as many words and post as many pictures as I like.  Oh, and I'm Kirstie, by the way.  NAIL ART TIME.

Much as I love Scotland, sunshine isn't something we enjoy a whole lot of.  However, it does mean I really appreciate a good sunny spell when it comes along.  And when I say, 'Appreciate', I mean:

A England Nail Art Stained Glass Holographic Mosaic Direct Sunlight
Hello holo!  Direct sunlight.

SHAZAM.  This is all five of the A England polishes I owned (I've since got hold of my sixth) painted in varying sizes & shapes with a nail art brush, over a base of Kiko 399, a pale gold holo.  For me, all the colourful sparkles are really reminiscent of stained glass.  The way the different shapes are laid out and fitted together kind of also made me think of a tortoise's shell...I felt a bit like I was walking about with magical tortoise nails.  (Please don't judge me.)

I can't even express how much I love Adina's (A England's) polishes.  Even out of the sun, I still think they look so beautiful, really complex and unique.  The colours are gorgeous and rich, and some of them even have duochrome!  It's pretty evident that a lot of love goes into creating A England collections.

Green/gold duochrome WHAT UP!

When this idea first popped into my head I thought maybe I was just delirious with sunshine after a miserable winter.  I almost talked myself out of it on the basis that it would be 'Too much'.  Hahaha, no.  BEST. DECISION. EVER.

Pretty sure I've saved the best picture 'til last...

With flash.  The purple of Princess Tears gets me every time!

Seriously, I think this has to be one of my favourite manicures ever.  It just makes me so happy every time I look at it!  

I hope you've enjoyed this inaugural Nail Cake post - I'd love to know what you think!  Are you a holo/A England lover, too?