Sunday, 30 November 2014

Barry M Burgundy Rose Accent

This rose deign has been in my mind for a while, but I kept forgetting to actually try it. It's such a simple idea that I wasn't sure it would translate across quite as I wanted it to. Thankfully it worked pretty well - I think!

Originally I'd planned to draw roses on every nail but I started with my ring finger to see how it looked as an accent. Once I'd drawn the rose I realised it was better to keep the other nails plain to show off the gorgeous polish colour. The burgundy polish is Barry M - Crush*, from their matte collection. I drew the rose using a Barry M nail art pen, starting in the middle and adding petals around the centre until the whole nail was covered. Finally I topped it all off with Barry M's Matte Top Coat*.

This is a really simple and versatile winter nail design. You can try it with any colour, I just stuck to a rose-ish colour as it was the first time trying it out! 


Saturday, 29 November 2014

Not That Kind Of Girl

Whilst I was on holiday a few weeks ago I made time to read a book that I was given for my birthday: Lena Dunham's 'Not That Kind Of Girl'. I have a bit of a girl crush on Lena Dunham after laughing out loud through all seasons of 'Girls' and warming to her even more during various interviews so couldn't wait to get sunk in to her book. 

'Not That Kind Of Girl' is a hilarious collection of stories from Lena's life. I really enjoyed the book and would highly recommend to anyone who is a fan of hers. Whilst the stories are quite funny and there is, of course, the autobiographical element, the book is more about being a woman and what kind of pressures there are and how to come to terms with being yourself. That's what I took from it anyway. 
This mani was very loosely inspired by the cover of the book - the white, neon pink, and black. I went for a classic stripe, polka dot, and floral combo. I know I keep moaning about it but I really wish the light was better at this time of year. The bottom pic here is such bad quality, I am sorry. MY camera wouldn't focus on my nails properly and I had to use the flash. Flash photography indoors kills me. 

Have any of you read 'Not That Kind Of Girl'? What did you think?


Friday, 28 November 2014

Shards of Glass

Today's design was inspired by the awesome Sophie from The Illustrated Nail, who we are just in awe of! I saw a similar design on Instragram and added my own twist to it. In Sophie's original the base colour was turquoise, instead I used silver and glitter to give the mani a more shattered glass effect. I was impressed with how much they shards ended up looking like tiny bits of mirror!

The base polish is Ciate - Fit for a Queen and then I added a coat of Nails Inc iridescent glitter - Trafalgar Crescent. Once the base layers were dry I used a metal nibbed nail art pen to draw on the pattern. There was no planning involved I just started with a few lines and went from there, filling in some areas black and varying the thickness of the lines. I wanted the pattern to look completely non uniform, as if shattered shards had just sprayed out all over the place!

As the pattern is irregular and doesn't have to been too neat, this design was surprisingly easy to do. I attempted Sophie's mani fully expecting to produce something well below her standard, but as I went for something so simple it's not too far off!

The glitter didn't photograph very well, but in real life it caught the light every now and then giving this mani a nice shimmer. This is a funky design if you're looking for something a little more unusual this party season. I'd definitely recommend adding a cheeky layer of glitter too - although make sure it's not too thick as you don't want to be working on a lumpy surface!


Thursday, 27 November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers!! Although we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK we've got totally swept up with all the fun nail designs and decided to get in on the action. This design was inspired by @deva_nailbar/@missjenfabulous (the turkey) and Sammy from The Nailasaurus. I tried Sammy's signature waterfall design but think I need a little (aka A LOT) more practice!

I used a ton of colours to create this little guy and his surroundings. The base is Models Own - Coconut, the yellow is Maybelline - Electric Yellow, the orange is Rimmel - Oragasm* and the rest are Barry M - Almond*, Gold Foil, Cocoa* and Blood Orange. 

I mostly used a small brush for the design, but did use a couple of nail art pens for the turkey's little face. I feel a bit bad for him as it's traditional to eat a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving and he looks like he knows something's up...

Despite living in the US for three years I know very little about Thanksgiving traditions. Although, in my defence, I was only three when we came back to the London! We'd love to hear from our US based readers what the Thanksgiving holiday means to you now and what you've been doing to celebrate this year? We love any excuse for a party!


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Mr & Mrs Polar Bear

Last year I fell in love with Jo's Mr & Mrs Penguin so thought I would do my own take this year with a polar bear version. I just wish there was more light at this time of year as I had to take these pics at night time and I just can't get the light balance right on my camera. So these pics don't really do the mani justice but you get a little idea of the cuteness that's on my nails! 
I used a few Models Own polishes for this look: Blueberry Muffin for the base, Jade Stone for the pretty flecks of glitter, and Sardonyx for Mrs Polar Bear's bow. I used my Barry M nail pens to draw the simple polar bears. Everything was topped off with a coat of Seche Vite. 
It was so hard to take a good picture of these but I hope you have some inspiration for your Christmas themed nails. I paired this with just the blue and glitter on my right hand as I'm not advanced enough to draw the polar bears with my left! 

Have you get any Christmas-themed nail art that you'd like us to try?


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Who Painted Jessica Rabbit?

I love a good scroll through @nonaphilippa's Instagram account and have a fair few screen shots saved to my phone for future inspo. Today's post is taken from this archive. I was amazed by her amazing Jessica Rabbit nails and just had to try them, she made it look so easy. It wasn't. 

I really struggled with getting the proportions right and don't think I helped myself by not planning it out properly in advance. Also I have fairly short nails and Jessica has quite a long face so you'll have to excuse her slightly distorted new look!
Using a white base coat I drew on Jessica's features with a black nail art pen. I then filled the colours in between the lines. In hindsight this didn't work too well as I ended up with patchy colours and unclear lines. In the past I've layered up each section on top which took longer but gave a much better end result. 

I used Rimmel's Rock N Roll* for the main red in this mani as it matches Jessica's dress perfectly. For a bit of sparkle I topped it with Barry M's Red Glitter. I topped the lot with a matte topcoat as I just can't get enough of mattified glitter at the moment!
I'm thinking of this one as a bit of a 'Monet', good from far away but not so great up close!! Sorry  Jessica I feel bad for ruining your stunning looks!

Now I'm off to watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit (again), what a classic!


Monday, 24 November 2014

Nightshade Rhinestone Party

I've been experimenting with party looks recently what with it being the season and all. I decided to make use of a little rhinestone set I purchased on Amazon by creating a multi-coloured blinging accent nail. 
I paired the rhinestones with Barry M's Nightshade* which is a colour I have been loving recently. It seems a bit blacker in photos than it is in the flesh but it is pretty dark. However, I thought this offset the multi-coloured stones nicely. 

I only really use these kind of embellishments for one-off events as they are a bit clunky and don't tend to last long on my nails, even when I coat them with a clear polish. Luckily the set I purchased only cost me about £3 from Amazon so I don't feel too bad wasting them on one-time looks. They came in a handy pill box too which is good as previously I have got them on the end of cheap nail pens and always managed to spill them everywhere! 

How do you guys feel about rhinestones? 


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Easy Nail Art in 15 Minutes!

The lovely folk over at Rimmel sent us their Pop Art Top Coat* a little while ago which Emma showed you here. I finally got round to trying it out for myself this week - although my mani is nowhere near as awesome as Emma's. I was testing out using a funky polish topper to create a quick mani on the go. I completed these nails in about 15 minutes but due to the combination of mixed colours, polka dots and Pop Art Top Coat they look like they took much longer! 

I picked out three Barry M base colours - White, Blueberry Ice Cream and Strawberry Ice Cream and used two coats of each. Once dry I added a couple of coats of Rimmel's Pop Art Top Coat* on the white nails and sparse polka dots on the rest using a white nail art pen. Polka dots really are super easy, and the fuss free way to guaranteed cute nails. Finish it all off with your top coat of choice and your done - super quick and easy!

If you haven't got time to give your nails much attention a fun top coat is definitely the way to go! I love the colours in this Pop Art Top Coat*, especially the lime green as that's my fave colour. Rimmel also have some awesome glitters out for the festive period - perfect for jazzing up your winter mani and giving it a bit of oomph!


Saturday, 22 November 2014

Stars In Our Eyes

I was back at my parents house last week rooting through my old arts and crafts box when I came across some tiny little stars. I instantly knew I wanted to stick them to my nails! Stars are tricky on nails as the points tend to stick out from your nails a bit. Someone should make some slightly curved nail stars! I tried to counter this issue with about three coats of Seche and it was actually more successful than I anticipated.

Emma used Barry M - Watermelon recently in her foxy tutorial and I was jealous so I dug out my bottle. I wanted something quite understated to go with the silver stars as I knew they'd be quite blingy. They look awesome with this dark green polish, a perfect accent nail for party season!


Friday, 21 November 2014

Winter Green Tartan Nail Art

Tartan Nail Art
Earlier in the year I tried my hand at some tartan nail art. I liked the colour combo but I wasn't 100% pleased with the execution as it looked a bit clunky so I thought I'd give it another go. I was much happier with the result. 
Tartan Nail Art
This time I went for more of a classic tartan look with green, black, cream, and gold. I thought the colours were more suited for this time of year and also quite subtle for a wearable look. Colours used were: Coconut*, Barry M; Sew Psyched, Essie; Majesty*, Barry M; Black Nail Art Pen, Barry M.
Tartan Nail Art
To create the look I used two coats of Coconut* as a base colour. I then used a small brush to mark the grid pattern with my green polish. I did my vertical lines first. I then used a coat of Seche to help the polish dry as I am impatient and couldn't wait for them to dry naturally! Once the Seche had done its thing I drew the black lines and used another small brush to draw the gold lines. Last time I complained that the black lines looked a bit too wobbly but I tried this look with dead straight lines and it didn't look right. So for now I will stick to shaky lines in my tartan manis. 

Pretty happy with this but now I have loads of tartan ideas running through my head to create in time for Christmas!


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Barry M Glitterati Colour Match

A little while ago we swatched the new Barry M Glitterati range for you. We used coloured Barry M polishes for the base coats to really make them pop, but didn't include the names of these. A few people have asked us for the names now so we had a root through the Helmer to find them for you! 

think these are all the colours we used, some look a little odd but trust us they work. If you think I've got any of them wrong please let me know and I'll search again for the right colour! Also, if you've tested the Glitterati out with other base colours let us know what they are - we'd love to try some new combos.

We borrowed the polish photos from Barry M's website (thanks!) but some look a little different in real life so bear that in mind if you're looking for them on the shelf!


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Winter Neon Spots

I'm not entirely sure where the inspiration for this pattern came from. I think it must have been another print on Pinterest but I'm not entirely sure. I really loved wearing neons in summer and wanted to find a way to incorporate them in winter without looking too full on. So when I came across this pattern I thought it was perfect. 
I used three OPI polishes to create this look: Life Gave Me Lemons*, I'm A Pool For Love*, and Yoga-Then-Yogurt*. I used a dotting tool to splodge on the neon yellow and then did the same over the top with the darker shade. I'm A Pool For Love* is a beautiful purply-navy with very fine glitter specks. If you don't have anything similar you could use black. It might look a little harsher but I think it'd still be cool. 

Who says you can't wear neon shades in winter? 


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Winter Florals

Firstly, I must apologise for the state of my nails, they just keep breaking at the moment. Despite my stubby nails I wanted to create a fun design to wear to work last Friday. I never get the chance to actually show off my designs in real life anymore!

I haven't done florals for ages, but they're a bit summery, so I decided to add a winter twist to them this time. By using a black base and dusty colours for the flowers you can make a floral design work perfectly for Autumn/Winter. The only problem with this design is it takes forever!

I started with two coats of Barry M - Espresso. Once this was dry I drew on the flowers and leaves in white using a nail art pen. Onto the white template I added the colours, Barry M - Ballerina* for the flowers and Rimmel - Round and Round the Garden for the leaves. I added highlights with Barry M - Vintage Violet* and the white nail art pen again. I mostly used a small brush for this design. 

It was my first time using a black base for florals and I'm so pleased with how they turned out. Super cute and perfect for this weather. I wore these nails to add a girly touch to a monochrome oufit of skinny jeans, leather boots and plain white tee. 


Monday, 17 November 2014

Rebecca Atwood Inspired Nail Art

This look is based on a print by Rebecca Atwood that I found on Pinterest. I really liked the print as it's elegant and simple and something I thought would be great for a winter party, maybe teamed with a simple black dress. 

I used Rimmel's White Hot Love* as the base, Models Own's Bora Bora for the gold circles, and Barry M's Blackberry for the little spots. 
This is such a pretty look that I think would actually work year round as it's quite summer-holidayish too! Very Greek island. 

Having a look through Rebecca Atwood's website has given me a lot more ideas for patterns to try as her prints are so beautiful. We love finding inspiration from art like this, how about you?

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