Friday, 30 August 2013

Giant Leopard Moth Print | Nail Art

Today I am bringing you the hot new thang in animal print trends: Giant Leopard Moth print! Leopard print was, like, so 2012. Or something. Whatever.

In the (ahem) off chance that you are not familiar with the Giant Leopard Moth:


I pinned this image to my nail inspiration board on Pinterest (which I occasionally remember to use) aaages ago, so I'm glad I finally got round to making use of it!

I almost regretted beginning this design because it meant starting with a white base, which is always a pain in the backside. However, I used Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in 'Ivory Skull' this time around and it was kind of okay. I mean, it's a bit sheer and streaky and if I looked veeery closely, imperfections were sometimes visible even at three coats in certain, but the formula itself wasn't difficult to use. 

After much deliberation, I added one coat of Essie 'Pure Pearlfection'. It's a silver-ish shimmer top coat, but if you look closely you can see that the individual particles have a green/pink iridescence. It's pretty subtle in person, but even more so on camera. It showed up best in underexposed images...I hope these prove that the shimmer actually exists!

I thought the random piece of paper in the background really added something...

I added the 'spots' using a super skinny cut-down brush. I had planned to use my Model's Own x WAH nail art pen, which I've tested on paper but never yet used on my nails, but when I attempted a trial run (again on paper) it seemed to have gone very watery. Not cool. If you've had a similar issue and have any suggestions, do let me know! 

I left these shiny for about a day but added ELF's matte top coat while I was taking my photos and I think I prefer them this way. It seems to help the shimmer come out to play, too. ELF's isn't the matte-est matte top coat I've seen and it doesn't stay matte especially long, but it isn't bad for the price.

Shiny/Zombie hands


So, what do you think? Did I make the right decision in adding the shimmer? Are you a shiny or a matte person? I do like this design since it's quite striking and unusual, but now I want COLOUR, so I don't think they'll last very long!

When Giant Leopard Moth print starts popping up on the catwalks, just remember that you saw it here first... ;)

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Despicable Me 2 | Minions Nail Art

Hi friends! I had no plans for Minion nails but we're fiiinally going to see Despicable Me 2 tomorrow and I was wearing yellow already, so it was clearly FATE. I'm not really going to say anything about these since so many other people have done them already, but feel free to ask away if there's anything you'd like to know. YAY MINIONS!

The yellow is Illamasqua 'Blow' (hahaha) & the blue is Kiko 385 (which is amaaazing). (Silver is Color Club 'On the Rocks' and the brown is Nails Inc 'Fenchurch Street'.)

Do you love Minions? (If not, who ARE you?!) Hope you're enjoying a lovely weekend!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Born Pretty Store Review | Silver Spike Studs Nail Art

Products marked with an asterisk (*) were provided to me for impartial review.

Hiyaaa! Hope you all had a lovely weekend! I'm delighted to be sharing my first ever Born Pretty Store review today. If you're unfamiliar with BornPretty, then you have been much deprived: BPS is an online retailer selling (amongst other things) what seems like an infinite array of nail art supplies - and they are adding new products all the time. Their prices are very competitive & shipping is free worldwide. I'll have a discount code to share with you towards the bottom of this post.

I chose to review these 3x3.5mm conical spikes* in silver and I also made rather liberal use of these rhinestones (these are the smallest ones, 1.5mm) which I had already, (e.g. here). 3D nail art  is still relatively new to me, so spikes were quite a bold choice, but I had so much fun playing with them!  

My base colour is Nails Inc 'Belgrave Place', which I hadn't used in ages but I'm so glad I did because it is awesome. It's a rich, deep blue with a very strong purple undertone - mostly I'm sure it's a blue, but in certain lights it seems undeniably purple. It is a beauuut!

I somewhat stepped outside my comfort zone with these nails but I looove how they turned out! I messed about with various rhinestone colour combinations before I settled on this one. Generally I outlaw red+pink/orange but since I was putting spikes (spikes!) on my nails I thought I might as well go wild and just embrace all the colour clashing.  #REBELLIOUS

I had originally planned to do every nail the same as my middle finger (I tested it out on this one first) and thumb, but I thought it might be a bit of a squeeze on my pinkie - I'm so glad I ended up with this mix of designs instead!

The Product: The spikes themselves I thought were fantastic. They definitely make a statement but they're smaller than a lot of similar products I've seen, so you can go bold without going (too) big - a good thing if you're new to 3D stuff, I'd say. It also means that the flat bases of the spikes sit flush against your nails, which is pretty much crucial for me as visible/palpable edges would drive me crackers. The points are quite sharp (surprised?), so you need to take a certain amount of care when washing your hands/getting dressed/doing stuff. They're not lethal, though.

Application: I used a toothpick to plop a dab of nail glue on my nail where I wanted to attach each spike. Picking them up was probably the trickiest part! I used an ordinary pair of tweezers, aligning the flat end of the tweezers with the base of the spike, to lift each on and drop it on my nail - you have some time to adjust the position of the spike before the glue dries, so you don't need to get it perfect straight away. When lifting with the tweezers, it's really important to use only minimal pressure - if you squeeze too tight, the stud will most likely go flying! [I used broadly the same technique for the rhinestones, but picked them up with a moistened orange stick instead.]

Longevity: This was the only real issue I had with these spikes: I had to reattach/replace three out of five of them over the course of two-ish days. However: 1) They might last longer with better nail glue - I'm not convinced of the quality of mine; 2) There are probably alternative, more effective adhesive methods (I think you can use gel or acrylic, if you have those); 3) How long do you want spiky fingers for, anyway?! If you make a good job of applying them (with a decent dollop of glue or whatever you choose), I'm sure these would happily last a night out. [If I'm only using rhinestones/flatter studs, I usually attach with top coat then seal with a full layer of top coat and I find that keeps them on really well. I didn't do that here and I seemed to lose rhinestones more quickly.]

Please feel free to use my discount code - HZL91 - for 10% off whenever you purchase anything from BornPretty. I've also placed the code & link in my sidebar so you can find it any time! Be warned, though, that browsing their website can be addictive!

What do you think? Do you buy into 3D nail art? I used to think it was something I could appreciate on others but never on myself, but I think I've proved myself wrong - it's not an everyday look, but I'm dying to road test these on a night out!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Tropical Flowers feat. Color Club Fiesta Collection

Hello lovelies!  Just a quick post from me since I had intended to be in bed hours ago (though such is the case more or less every night, haha).  I was actually in two minds about whether or not to post these at all - although I really like them in person, I'm not entirely happy with how the photos turned out.  You're getting them anyway!

I was rather so excited to come across the Color Club Fiesta Collection in TK Maxx last week - other people always seem to find bargains there but this was my first, which made it kind of irresistible...though the colours are nice too, haha.  This design made use of Endless Summer - blue, Sunrise Canyon - chartreuse (or at least, that's what I would call it) and Wild Cactus - green.  These pictures aren't perfectly colour-accurate, to my eye: I'd say Endless Summer is a touch darker and bolder (I found it to dry noticeably darker than the bottle colour, which was disappointing, though it's still nice) and Wild Cactus a bit deeper/greener and less teal-y.  

The idea for the leafy nails popped into my head whilst watching this MrCandiipants tutorial - although I'm not sure if it will be obvious why...  Of course, I couldn't do without an accent nail or two and flowers seemed the natural accompaniment.  Originally, I had used the pink polish in the same collection (Flamingo) for the flowers on a base of Endless Summer, but I took those off and much prefer them this way!

I enjoy the fun, summery vibe I get from these, despite the fact that our weather remains rather...Scottish.  What do you think?  Do you feel my viiibe?!  Haha.  This post was definitely longer than I intended...  Good night!

P.S. Yep, changed my nail shape again.  I am fickle.