Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NOTD Nov 29/11

I am seriously in LOVE with this mani! It's a four colour sponged base with black leopard on top. I really love how it turned out and I can't stop checking it out on my nails!

It was partly inspired by Rebecca over at Rebecca Likes Nails, and her watercolour nails with leopard. It got me wanting to do something like that, and then the other night I was watching The Big Bang Theory and Penny was wearing this shirt:

And that just cinched it! This is a photo of my TV, I actually paused the show to grab my camera and snap a picture (my boyfriend definitely rolled his eyes at this!).

So last night I painted my nails lavender, and then sponged on baby blue, light seafoam green and light pink and then used a nail art pen to draw on the leopard print and voila!

Hope you enjoy as much as I do! <3

Monday, November 28, 2011

Nail Wheel the Fifth

Featuring the first of my wintry/Christmassy designs! I really want to wear the snowflake one, and I think the candy cane one is so cute!

Review: Make Up Forever Microfinish HD Powder

You know a setting powder is good when you derp and knock it off your counter, spilling it everywhere, and you spend the next 5-10 minutes frantically trying to sweep up the powder up with a makeup brush onto a tissue to funnel back into the container. This may also be because the powder is ridiculously expensive, but I have to say in this case it's worth it!

This is the mini-size because at around $17 it's much more affordable than the over $30 full size version, especially for trying the first time. But after trying, if I had the money to spend up front I would definitely spring for the full size!

The powder is just incredibly soft and finely-milled, and a little goes a loong way! I use a very soft kabuki brush to apply, and my method is to tap a small amount out onto a square of toilet paper to dip the brush into. Once applied it makes a big difference in the look of my skin, making it look a lot smoother and more even-toned. It definitely seems to have some light-diffusing qualities! It leaves my skin with a smooth, satin looking finish, and my skin even feels smoother with it on.

If you're looking for a great setting powder that really improves the look of your skin, look no further! Pick this up!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

NOTD Nov 26/11

This one was inspired by fair isle patterns! They're everywhere this season and I'm loving them, and although they aren't the easiest thing to translate to nails I had to do it! I'm thinking of painting patterns like this onto some fake nail sets and wearing those, because they're a lot longer than my own nails (which just DO NOT like to grow!) and I could fit a lot more of a pattern onto them!

In the meantime though, here's my little nubbins in their fair isle patterns!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NOTD Nov 22/11

Sure, this is a little summery for late November... but who cares? LOL I just love this design but I'd never actually worn it on my own nails so I couldn't wait until next year! You can check this set out for sale in my Etsy as well!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

New hair!

I have this compulsion where every few months, I need to fiddle with my bangs. Usually it's just a very minor trim, maybe a bit of a part change... nothing crazy. But this time, I knew I wanted something more! I went a little crazy with my scissors and although there were some points where I thought, "Uh oh.... I've really gone and done it this time..." I kept fussing with it and moving it around until it looked right, and here I am!

One thing I reeaaally love about them is how they look when my hair is up! I love wearing my hair up but before it just never looked right... I couldn't put my finger on it but I always felt like my hair looked a little off. Now the bangs give it enough visual interest that even a super quick messy bun looks soo much better!

NOTD and FOTD Nov 19/11

Double feature today!! I needed a quick mani to do last night because my last one was totally chipped and I was short on time! So I did a little glitter gradient! A baby blue with a yellow-gold glitter fade - over the blue it turned out to have a bit of a green cast to it!

Then my FOTD! Well, eye in this case - I couldn't get a good shot of my whole face! I went for silver and grey on the lids and then a navy blue around the lashline for something a little different! I really like this look, I'm totally doing it again! I love navy on the eyes but I can never seem to find ways to wear it - til now!

Friday, November 11, 2011

DIY Nail Decal Tutorial

As promised, I made a tutorial for you guys on how to make your own nail decals! I kind of adapted this technique that I had seen in a few places, the first time being on cutepolish's Nyan Cat tutorial, but I wanted to try doing it for the full nail, kind of like the Sally Hansen polish strips. My freehand nail art skills on my own hands were kind of slipping, especially for my non-dominant hand since I'd been doing so much art on nail wheels and sets for my Etsy!

So here's the step by step process! It's really fun and pretty easy too! Give it a shot!

First, the supplies you'll need! A basic plastic ziploc sandwich bag. Use just the basic sandwich/snack type, not the heavy duty freezer ones because the plastic won't be flexible enough, and saran wrap will be too thin. You'll also need a Sharpie or other thin, permanent marker, and a pair of small manicure scissors.

Open up the bag and start by sticking your thumb inside, and close the zipper around your finger, like so:

Take the Sharpie and trace around the shape of your thumbnail. It's best to tighten the bag around your thumb a little bit, but don't pull it completely tight so it's wrapped around your thumb, just pull it a little taut so it curves around the fingernail a bit.

Continue this for each of your nails. I start with the thumb in the middle, then outwards towards my pinky (the pinky is the extra one on the bottom). It's best to do it this way so you can keep track of which decal fits which nail, especially if you're doing a mani that's a picture that travels across several nails and each needs to be in the right spot for it to make sense, or even just a mixed mani that you want to be in a certain order.

Leave the tops open - it's best to paint them longer than you need so you can be sure they will fit, as it's easy to trim them down!

Now, within your guidelines, paint your designs! I flip the bag over and actually paint on the other side, not directly on top of the Sharpie lines because I don't want to risk any pigment transfer from the Sharpie into my nail design.

Here's my shabby chic roses design from my last NOTD! DO NOT put top coat on these while they're on the bag!

You'll want to let these dry for a good long time, at least overnight. They'll feel dry enough to peel off after a couple hours but they will still be too flexible and will stretch out if you try to take them off.

The next day, gently peel them off the bag one at a time. Make sure you do this before you do any of the steps on your own nails as it will be a pain to do it after! You can save the bag to use for another set of nail decals so you don't have to trace your fingernails again!

Prep your nails as usual, including base coat. Then paint a quick coat of nail polish that is the same as the main base colour of your decals - for this one I used white. Let it dry for about thirty seconds to a minute so it's a little tacky, then lay your decal down on the nail, and roll another finger over it in gentle, even motions to smooth it down - make sure the edges especially are stuck down well. Use your manicure scissors to trim the excess off the ends of your nails, and then cover with top coat - make sure to wrap the tips! You're done!

Here's another look at how it looks!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NOTD Nov 10/11

This design was achieved using the full nail decal technique! I've actually got a bit of a tutorial in the works for that technique because I think it really opens up your options for nail art, so stay tuned for that!

This design is also available for purchase at my Etsy! Thanks for checking this out! :)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

great excite!!

Just a real quick post to celebrate the fact that today I got my first sale in my Etsy shop!!! WHOOO!! I'm so excited right now!!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

What's On the Wishlist? Vol. 6 - Jewelry Edition!

Recently I've been really wanting to beef up my accessory collection, and Forever 21 is really the perfect place to do it! I've gotten a couple of necklaces there and the prices are always amazingly cheap and the selection is just HUGE! If there's a Forever 21 near you and you haven't hit it up for accessories yet, do it!

Here's a sampling of some of the stuff I'm lusting after from there!

Polished Deer Head Necklace ($4.80)

Caged Bird Necklace ($6.80)

Feather Necklace ($4.80)

Riddled Leaf Earrings ($4.80)

Beaded Chains Bracelet ($12.80)

Monday, November 07, 2011

NOTD Nov 7/11 and the joy of homemade nail decals!

This is a manicure that took a couple of attempts, but once I employed a new technique, it all came together!

I had tried doing this freehand on my nails but aspects of it would not turn out right, particularly the stripes - they looked lumpy and uneven and slanted very noticeably! Overall they just were not what I had envisioned in my mind - and this manicure came to me in a flash of inspiration that just about knocked me over, and I was so excited to make it happen - so it had to be right!

From thumb to pinky: pirate's gold, skull and crossbones, pirate-style stripes, an eyepatch and the ocean!

So for my second attempt, I decided to use the homemade nail polish decal method. Here's a great Nyan Cat nail art video tutorial by cutepolish that shows the method. For this mani I made decals for the entire middle finger, the skull and crossbones and the eyepatch. I painted each nail with a coat of polish (black under the skull and crossbones, white under the stripes and nude under the patch) and while it was still wet, placed it over the nail and gently smoothed down the edges with a pair of tweezers. The decals that weren't the full size of the nail did have visible edges but they completely disappear once you add topcoat!

So, your end result is a super cool mani that requires no left-handed trickery or holding your hands at awkward angles! Voila! Hope you likey!

FOTD Nov 7/11

This is going to be a very fast FOTD post... the reason for that being that this was my makeup a couple days ago, but I forgot what products I was wearing when I took this photo!! So it's just a quick couple of photos of the look, with no products!