Wintery Models Own Mani

Brrrrrr! It’s feeling rather like winter these days. I have a love/hate relationship with Scottish winters – there’s something slightly exhilarating about the crisp, chilly breeze but it is rather persistent and I’d rather be too hot than too cold.
The change in weather influenced my nail polish choice today – I opted for a gem from my much loved Models Own Diamond Luxe collection.
You know those Instagram competitions that we all enter into thinking: “I wish, never gonna happen to me”? IT HAPPENED TO ME! I was blown away when Models Own contacted me to let me know and I fell in love with them as soon as they popped through the door. Every polish has a beautifully subtle sparkle created by the addition of “real diamond dust” – nail polish AND diamonds, what more could a girl ask for!?

IMG_20141119_202324_edit

I chose ‘Asscher Blue’ – a gorgeous light blue that imparts a teal-green-silvery sheen (haha!) to the perfectly balanced shimmer of the diamond dust. Not only is it beautiful, this baby goes on like a dream too. It’s super smooth to work with and the well sized brush allows me to get away with two strokes per nail minus the thumb. I can’t speak highly enough of it or any of the Diamond Luxe collection for that matter. They’re my first ever Models Own polishes and I’ll certainly be buying more of their pretty polishes in the future!

After watching a tutorial by Simple Nail Art Designs on YouTube for a little inspiration, I added a snowflake accent. I had to keep my “it’s officially winter” nails low-key for work this time but I will not compromise come Christmas nail time! 😉

Shop Models Own here

Advertisements

Sponged Ombré Nail Art

I’ve been trying out new techniques again – this time it’s a sponged ombré.
I decided to go with a safe and basic trio of Barry M Gelly blues and greens for my first attempt, but now that I’ve got the basic dos and don’ts down I’m bursting to try bright and contrasting combinations!

IMG_20141109_174039_editYou’ll need:

  • White polish
  • Two or more coloured polishes (the longer your nails, the more colours you can fit on!)
  • Cosmetic sponge
  • Polish remover
  • Cotton pads
  • Clean up pen or a fine brush

Basecoat and white out. The white base helps to make any lighter colours you use to pop.

Allow to dry fully.

Prep your sponge. Cut a cube off of the sponge ensuring that the flat edge you will be using fits comfortably over your largest nail.

Paint your sponge. I used three stripes of colour – Barry M Gellys in Guava, Kiwi and Greenberry – don’t ‘overlap’ your colours but do make sure to take them close to each other and they should very gently blend together.

IMG_20141109_122001_edit

Apply to nail. Do this tentatively – it’s easier to sponge on more polish than to end up with a big patchy splodge on your nail and have to clean up and start over. Using a gentle dabbing motion, work the polish from one side of the nail to the other – dabbing and not pressing the polish on helps to blend the colours together at the seams rather than creating a defined line between stripes.

Allow to dry.

Clean up. This is a particularly messy technique so my clean up fell into three stages:

  • Clean the skin around the nail. You can use remover and cotton pads for this but I had some disposable eye shadow applicators handy so I dipped one in some remover – much quicker, easier and less risk of smudging my other nails than using cotton pads.
  • Clean the cuticle. My Barry M Corrector Pen made this super easy! But you could use remover and a thin brush if you prefer.
  • Define the line. Remover and a thin brush were essential on this one for defining the curve at the base of my nail. Usually my Barry M Pen is fantastic for getting a clean edge but with this mani it just didn’t cut it. I blame the sheer volume of polish that has to be cleaned away for its failings.

Topcoat. It’s always a must, but a little more-so with the sponged ombré to remove the rough surface and to help blend the colours together.

IMG_20141109_174104_edit

IMG_20141109_174217_edit

Tah-dah! Super easy ombré nails!

Fingerprint Nail Art

I’m on a roll with posts right now! It feels great to see people engaging with my posts – every view, visitor and click makes me smile so thank you all so much.

Aren’t these ‘Fingerprint Nails’ by Frédérique Olthuis (Trash and Ready Nail Art) fantastic? I love the dreamy effect they have over the dark base.

IMG_20141102_165634_edit IMG_20141102_165629_edit

(photos by @trnailart)

I was feeling inspired by these beauties last week so I decided to have a go at recreating Frédérique’s awesome mani.

You’ll need:

  • Polish (base, black, white and top – although my top didn’t make it into the picture for some reason, whoops!)
  • Paper (in hindsight, I would have used a darker coloured paper to make things easier to see)
  • Polish remover and pads
  • Clean up tools (I used my trusty Barry M Corrector Pen and an orange stick)

IMG_20141102_170757_edit_edit

Basecoat. Essential to prevent that black polish staining your nails.

Paint your base colour. I stuck with the black and white combo but you could use any colours you like.

Allow to dry.

Dab some of your second polish on the paper. Carefully coat your finger with polish and dab away any excess on dry areas of paper – this creates a thin, tacky layer of polish in the lines of your fingerprint turning your finger into a stamping tool!

Quickly and carefully transfer your fringerprint. Place the area that you want to transfer over the nail and press it on using a slow, firm, rolling motion moving from one side of the nail to the other.

Allow to dry.

Tidy up. Clean any excess polish away from your nails and skin – I used my orange stick for fiddly bits around the cuticle.

At this point, I decided to frame my print patterns using a fine brush and some black polish.

Topcoat. I used Sally Hansen Rapi-Dry Topcoat.

IMG_20141102_184307_edit_edit_edit

There you go! I’m quite happy with these for a first attempt. I had a bit of trouble transferring my print in some spots so in an attempt to patch up, I re-printed over some areas. The finished effect I ended up with isn’t as well defined as a fingerprint as Frédérique’s work is, but I think I still managed to capture that dreamy, moonlit-night feel. IMG_20141102_184613_edit_edit_edit

Follow Trash and Ready Nail Art on Instagram here

Simple Nail Tear Fix

NOOOOOO! I caught my thumbnail while manually unhooking a staple in work today; I know, I know, I brought it on myself but I couldn’t find the little staple-puller gadget and I was rushed off my feet!

It’s one of those nub-creating nasties, the kind where you know if it really goes you’ll have no choice but to resort to getting rid and starting from scratch. Sad face 😦
But! If you’re really lucky and it’s a small, neat tear (mine was – yay!) there’s a simple solution that has always helped me to gain enough time to grow it out.

You’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • Microporous tape
  • Nail glue
  • Tweezers
  • Strengthening base coat

IMG_20141104_173218_edit

Cut a small piece of tape to fit over the tear. Make it big enough to latch the tear down as securely as possible. Position the tape over the tear (I use tweezers for precision) and press down firmly.
I used to use a much fiddlier method of peeling the top layer off of the pad you find on an elastoplast until I spotted a girl on Instagram had used tape instead – it was so simple I can’t believe the time I wasted faffing around with plasters. Unfortunately, I can’t remember exactly who put me onto this little tape hint – if you’re reading this, let me know so I can give you the credit you deserve!
Apply a small amount of nail glue. Enough to cover the tape and just a little around the edges to make sure it stays put. Be sure to drag a little glue against the edge of the nail where the tear occurs too – this will help to stop it catching and re-tearing.
Allow to dry fully.
Gently check that your repair holds up. Lightly test the tear by prodding carefully to see if it shifts at all – apply another thin layer of nail glue if needed.
Apply strengthener.

IMG_20141104_190324_edit

Once dry, you can apply colour too if you like. I usually do – it makes that nasty tear disappear completely! This one is ‘Trillion Taupe” from the Diamond Luxe collection by Models Own. It’s a perfect, classy, wearable nude with a beautifully delicate golden shimmer of real diamond dust!

IMG_20141104_211010_edit

 

With maintenance and care, your little nail plaster will help your nail to last until the tear has grown out long enough to be filed away.

 

Shop Models Own here.

Tara’s Talons ‘Falling Leaves’

I told you I’d try really hard to post more often and I’m determined to stick to my promise!

This one is my first swatch post and it’s the beautiful ‘Falling Leaves’ by Tara’s Talons. This is a light blue creamy base containing dark glitter circles and hexes in various sizes with a subtle bronze flakie shimmer here and there. A gorgeous autumnal shade that shows you don’t have to opt for dark and heavy to bring your nails into the new season!

IMG_20141031_201601_edit

(home halogen lightbulb)

Tara is a fabulous indie polish maker and blogger based in the UK and I am a huuuuge fan.

When I first started to get passionate about nails and discovered that there were people out there making their own indie nail polishes I was instantly obsessed. There are many brands out there doing their own thing and doing it very well but unfortunately, I’m far too stingy for the US shipping for the time being. In my search for an indie that lived closer to home I came across Tara’s Talons.

I bought my first Tara’s Talons polishes earlier this year and quickly fell in love – high quality, 5-free (see below for a quick explanation if you aren’t familiar with this term) and a great choice of shades ranging from downright quirky and bold to the classics with a twist. On top of all that, I’ve yet to receive a package from Tara that doesn’t have a lovely little added bonus alongside my beautifully wrapped, pretty new polishes!

Every single time I wear a Tara’s Talons polish, I get compliments about it’s beauty and originality – this is definitely a unique indie brand that everyone needs in their stash!

Browse and buy Tara’s Talons polishes here
Check out Tara’s blog here
Follow Tara’s Talons on Instagram here

(5-free means that Tara’s polishes contain absolutely no Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin or Camphor whatsoever. These are some pretty nasty chemicals that have all sorts of horrible side effects so YAY for 5-free!)