Saturday, 31 January 2015

Love Models Own

During Models Own's Superdrug Instagram takeover on Friday they announced a massive TEN new HyperGel shades for Spring/Summer (along with a pastel range called Icings!) The new colours are not your typical group of spring tones, but a mix of shades including everything from dusty nudes to toxic greens. We can't wait to get our hands on them!
The new shades inspired me to get out a couple of my faves from the original range - Cornflower Gleam and Lilac Sheen. I teamed them with Misty Grey from the standard collection.
Today's design was inspired by my persistant doodling habit, something which does through up the odd decent nail idea. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to recreate my graffiti-esque design in minature but was feeling creative so gave it a go! Although there are aspects of the design I really like I don't think I particularly nailed it.
Things I like:
  • The fade inside 'LOVE' - I used Cornflower Gleam which fades into Lilac Sheen and then into white. I mixxed the colours a little to get an even fade and I adore the way the shades work together.
  • The stars and accents inside the lettering - I was nervous to add these as I didn't want to ruin it but I like the way they make it pop out a little more.
Things I don't like:
  • Misty Grey is one of my favourite Models Own shades, but I just don't think it works here. The colours in the graffiti are too similar so don't pop out against the grey base. Also, combined with the white lights I feel like the shade just drains all the colour from the image - seriously, what is going on with my skin tone!?
  • The additional markings around the word love looked great in my doodle but not so much on my nail. They just look messy.

We usually find that we're our own biggest critics and often designs that one of us is disappointed with the other one loves. We fully accept that, although it's frustrating, not every design is going to come out quite how we want it to. We use these 'nail fails' to help us improve and don't let them bother us too much!
I could improve this mani by using more stand out colours (perhaps that super bright green in the new HyperGel range would be perfect!) and maybe adding some design to the surrounding nails.
Are you lusting over any of the new Models Own polishes? They'll be out in Superdrug on 11th Feburary (apparently a popular date for new nail varnish releases!)

P.S. Happy Birthday Mum!!

Friday, 30 January 2015

Barry M: Speedy Nail Paint Swatches

We were so excited to be invited to our first Barry M PR event this week! Luckily for us it was based in London so we didn't have to travel too far to get there (two tube stops to be precise!) Unfortunately Emma got stuck at work so I attended the event solo. It was awesome to be one of the first to see the new SS15 polishes but even better to meet some of our fellow nail/beauty bloggers! It's always tempting for us all to hide behind our blogs and virtual profiles so it's fascinating to meet everyone and have real life conversations.
We had the pleasure of meeting Lauren (The Naily Mail), Madison (Fundamentally Flawless), Hannah (Polly Polish), Kerry (Shertbert London), Metta (Nails By Mets), Vicky (The Polish List) and also got to catch up with Allie (Brit Nails). We also got to chat to the lovely Barry M Ladies Beth, Caroline and Lorraine - these are the ones who send us out polishes to test so as you can imagine they're pretty high up our list of favourite people!
I quickly delivered Emma's goodie bag (cue plenty of squealing!), and convinced her to spend her day off swatching one of the new ranges for you!
Emma, over to you...

Stop The Clock
Stop The Clock* is a beautifully subtle yellow shade that will be so pretty in summer. I found this polish really hard to apply. It tended to be a bit streaky which is a problem I find with all pastel yellows. The quick-dry formula made this problem worse as I tried to spread and go over but it just started glooping. The colour is so pretty though that the application wouldn't put me off wearing it! This pic is three coats and a top coat (hence why they look a bit plump). 

Pit Stop
Pit Stop* is one of my favourite shades from the collection as it is great for everyday wear. The colour is grey with a hint of lilac, It definitely looks more grey in the bottle than on the nails. The formula was much better than the yellow and two coats were enough for an even coverage. Beautiful! 

Road Rage
Road Rage* is another of my faves from the range. I can't resist a beautiful mint and this is certainly that. Again the formula was much better and I found application easy. This is going to be another great shade for the summer months.

Kiss Me Quick
I'm afraid that this photograph really doesn't do Kiss Me Quick* justice, It's actually a very pretty bubblegum pink that is much brighter than it appears here. I'm hoping one of our blogging pals is able to capture this in better light for you.Sorry!

Eat My Dust
Eat My Dust* is a lovely blue/grey. The formula was good and I found it applied easily. I can see this shade being popular as it has that 'in' gray tint that makes it stand out from the other baby blues around. 

Pole Position
Pole Position* is another green tint but less minty than Road Rage* and a bit more leafy. Does that make sense?! I love it because it's different to anything I have in my collection and I can already see that I will be using it for my floral manis in the spring/summer. 

Full Throttle
Full Throttle* is a bright pastel orange shade that really brings out the collection. It's verging on a neon pastel as it is really striking. I love the colour but it doesn't look quite right on my pale hands. I guess I better get to the beach! 

In A Heart Beat
In A Heart Beat* is maybe probably my favourite shade in the collection. It is a gorgeous pink with a hint of coral. I absolutely adore it! Watch this space for many-a-mani-to-come using this shade. 

Lap Of Honour
Lap of Honour* is a gorgeous lilac shade which applied better than any of the other colours. The polish was a tad thinner than the rest which made it easier to spread. This is two coats. I love the colour (am still wearing it now which is almost unheard of!) but I don't feel like it's a particularly distinctive shade as I have several similar in my collection. 

Phew! That seemed like a really long post. We hope you weren't too bored!

Overall we were super excited with this range, mostly because we are pastel fiends but also because it's nice to see Barry M expanding their selection of finishes. In terms of the quick dry element of the polish we can testify that they dry a lot quicker than their usual ranges but as nail artists this isn't something we necessarily look for as it means the stringy quality starts a lot sooner. Barry M are also trialing a new flat brush with a rounded edge for this range. We love this type of brush as it makes painting your nails so much quicker and easier! If the feedback is good they will try to use this brush for all new ranges so make sure to let us know what you think!

The collection will be available at Superdrug from 11th Feb and Boots from 18th Feb RRP £3.99 each.

What do you guys think of the new Speedy range? Will you be buying any?

Love & Hugs


Thursday, 29 January 2015

Throwback Thursday - Emma's Neon Triangles

We recently realised that we spend all our time racking our brains for brand new designs daily, when we have tons of inspiration sitting right in front of our noses - each other! We've done posts inspired by each other before, but are hoping to make it a bit more of a regular feature, if you're cool with that? 

Today I chose too recreate Emma's 'Neon Triangles' as I absolutely love the design - geometric and 80's err hell yeah! To mix it up a bit I changed the colour scheme and added a hint of glitter. I used a group of Models Own polishes - Coconut, Pink Fizz, Misty Grey and Shades. The cream base is two coats of Coconut. I used a small brush to add triangles of Misty Grey, Shades and Pink Fizz, in a random pattern. Finally I outlined the triangles and added dots and lines in between using a small brush. Instead of Emma's glossy finish I went for a matte top coat as I was photographing the design in my light box and didn't want to get too much glare. 

Although I used neon pink in this design I think the soft tones make it work even in winter time. The grey shade makes it a little cooler and the glitter adds a touch of seasonal sparkle! The only thing I changed in this design is the colours but it looks so completely different to the original, which shows how much small changes can do. We'll have to revisit more of our designs with different colours to see how they turn out!

It was so much fun to recreate Emma's design, although it took me forever to find one that I could even dare to attempt. Hopefully if I keep trying Emma's designs I'll improve my skills and eventually pluck up the courage to try some of her mentally creative manis!! 


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Chevron Stripes

The inspiration for this mani came from a pic that Jo posted on Instagram right back when we first started. There's no blog post for the look as it was taken just before the blog actually started when we were really getting into nail art. 
I remember Jo not liking the colours she used originally (red, green and blue I think) but I quite liked her combo. For my version I used a trio of OPI polishes: Cement the Deal*, Life Gave Me Lemons*, and Houston We Have A Purple. I love this grey from the Fifty Shades collection and ordinarily I love the purple but it looks a tad washed out.
I used a white base to start and then painted rough stripes in my chosen colours. You don't need to be too particular with the stripes as the black lines will mask any little mistakes. Before drawing the lines I painted 2-3 coats of each colour and topped with a coat of Seche. After drawing the lines I topped with another coat of Seche. 

I have loved revisiting some old designs recently, especially taking on some of Jo's. Are there any of our old designs that you'd like us to redo?



Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Zoella: Just Say... YES

A little while ago Emma created a mani inspired by a Zoella Beauty make up bag - Guinea In Glasses. It was so cute and made me jealous, so when I saw a new (to me) make up bag design in the range, I just had to do my own version! The whole range is covered in dots, which you know we love, and the 'Just Say Yes' beauty bag is no exception. A pale pink bag with gold polka dots and a simple black slogan - perfect to turn into nail art!

I adapted the colourings a bit to better suit my skin tone, using a darker pink and more dense polka dots. The pink I used is Barry M - Ballerina* from their Autumn/Winter range, and the gold is Barry M - Gold Foil Effects. I used two coats of Ballerina* and a medium sized dotting tool to apply the gold spots. Instead of using the whole slogan, I picked out just the word YES to use as an accent nail. I painted it on using a small brush and black polish.

I love how this mani turned out, the gold and dusty pink colour combo is so cute! Also, the 'Just Say Yes' message is full of positivity and reminds us to always try new things and say yes to new ideas. We love the Zoella Beauty range so expect to see more nails inspired by the retro styles!

You can find the whole range at Superdrug in store or online here

Are you guys Zoella fans?


Monday, 26 January 2015

Minion Rush Nail Design

minion rush nails
We have had a couple of requests for Minion nails in the past but I have always put off doing them as I LOVE Despicable Me and really wanted to do it justice. Lately, however, I have been playing a lot of Minion Rush on my phone (I'm addicted) and it got me in the mood to finally attempt a Minion design. If you haven't played the game before you run around collecting bananas (hence the bananas), dodging obstacles etc. It's very fun, a bit like Temple Run (sorry if you aren't familiar with that either). 
minion rush nails
I used a heap of polishes that I can't quite remember. I wrote them down somewhere so if you want a list, let me know and I will dig it out. 

I'm so happy with how these turned out. They are super fun and something that I can definitely see myself wearing in the summer months. 

I'm so annoyed that I have a chipped index nail for this mani but I couldn't wait for my nails to grow out. I always seem to have a chip on that corner of my nail. I think it's from having that finger in my mouth too much! 


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Disco Diva Striped Glitter Fade

I'm so cross! This design looked absolutely gorgeous in real life but the photos came out horrendously. It doesn't help that I have now broken both my daylight bulbs and am using regular bulbs with my lightbox, the colour just doesn't work! Ahh!

Ok, rant over, these were inspired by @lookatmynailart on Instagram who created a gorgeous pink striped glitter fade combo. I also picked out pink so I could use Rimmel's Disco Diva* glitter, but chose to use muted tones. The pink I've used it Rimmel - Lose Your Lingerie* but I found that it's just too pale for the contrast to be picked up by my camera. The white is also Rimmel, called White Hot Love*. As I mentioned, in real life the contrast was clear and the dusty pink glitter complimented the pink and white stripes perfectly - you'll just have to take my word on it!

Sorry about our ongoing lighting problems, we can't wait for more daylight hours so we can take photos in natural light again!!


Saturday, 24 January 2015

Take A Walk On The Wild Side

I have always been a huge fan of Penguin books. I am a bit of a collector so tend to buy books from the same range so that they look nice on my shelves. As an illustration lover I am drawn to Penguin books in particular as they tend to really think about the artists they use to get the tone just right. Having said all of this I actually got the idea to look to Penguin for inspiration from the lovely Alice at OneNailToRuleThemAll who has done a couple of book related manis. I am a bit disappointed in myself for not thinking of the idea before! 

The inspiration for this mani in particular came from an image I found on good old Google. I think it was part of a competition to design a Penguin cover and is by artist Vicky Mills for Wind in the Willows. I was drawn to the fun toad pics and the classic Penguin-orange vibe. 

To create my mani I used Rimmel's Oragasm* as it was the closest orange I have to the cover. I also used a matte top coat as it didn't look quite right when shiny. 
I love how these turned out and have been inspired to look to my beloved book collection some more. 

Where do you find inspiration?



Friday, 23 January 2015

Feeling Dotty!

A simple dotticure can go a long way! We love a good dotty mani as they're so versatile and fun to create. Dots can be a simple filler pattern in a complex mani or the main act on their own. Somehow whatever you do they always look different as there's so much you can vary - colours, dot size, uniformity, spacing and of course, top coat. 

Today's design started with a base of Barry M - Huckleberry*. I wanted varying dot sizes but in an even pattern, so I applied a quick template of white dots using a nail art pen. I then picked out a couple of dotting tools of varying sizes and selected a trio of polishes - Bikini*, Cancun* and Chai* all by Barry M. I find it easiest to dab a blob of each polish on my plastic mat and dip the dotting tool into them. You have to work quickly before the polish dries but it's way easier than dipping it into the bottle (trust me, I learnt this the hard way, and Emma laughed at me!) 

Simple, quick, adaptable and fun to create - dotticures are a nail art staple and always will be! 

What's your favourite dotticure colour theme?


Thursday, 22 January 2015

Then and Now: WAH Aztec

Tribal Nail Art
Tribal Nail Art

Jo and I have both spoken before about how we were inspired to start doing our own nails by the WAH nails team. They will always be the spark for us that ignited our interest in nail art. As such a lot of our initial designs came from the first WAH nail art book. Sometimes I look at recent designs and worry that they look a bit dire or that I don't seem to have improved all that much but then I look back and realise just how far I have come in the year or so since my interest began. 

I actually can't express how funny this picture is to me now. Look at the black dots on my cuticles! The position of my hand! The really wonky lines! I don't even think I used a top coat! AAAAHHH! I remember being so proud of these as well. It just goes to show that with a little practise you can go a long way. I'm still not perfect at straight lines and I still have that annoying little break on my index tip but overall there has been a significant improvement. Tribal Nail Art
Tribal Nail Art
I used the same colours for both manis: H&M's Mint Madness for the base colour and a pink, black and white nail art pen for the details. I added some white dots to the tip of my new mani as the blank space looked empty. 

We hope you like looking at these then and now pics as we are thinking of making this a regular feature. Let us know what you think. 

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