Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons ‘Holographic Topcoat’

Here’s another Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons post and this one will most likely be the last in my series of entries (unless I can squeeze another cheeky one in before the closing date – that’s February 1st if you’re wondering!)

This one goes out to the ultimate holographic polish – Tara’s Talons Holographic Topcoat. This is most definitely the most wearable and versatile polish I own – it looks beautiful worn alone or over pretty much any colour of polish, taking the base colour to the highest of rainbow-ey, glittery heights! I value my holo topcoat stash so much that I own the whole family – a 5ml, 10ml and my prized GIANT bottle (I think it’s 4oz, which is a little over 100ml!) – obsessive? YES. I’m not ashamed to admit it: I’m Emma and I am a Tara’s Talons holo-aholic.

I really liked the idea of doing some negative space nail art with a few coats of this baby but my fine striping tape was too fiddly and I couldn’t be doing with the stress (PS if anyone has any helpful tips about using fine tape feel free to pop them into the comments below ;)) so I painted three coats (because I’m glitter-greedy!) and waited for inspiration to smack me in the face.

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(one coat, dull light, flash)

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(two coats, dull light, flash)

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(three coats under home halogen bulb, no flash)

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(three coats, dull light, flash)

As you can see, one coat is plenty, particularly if you use your holo topcoat over a base colour and two is pretty perfect. But, as I’ve proven before, I can’t help myself and three coats gives an utterly devine shimmer. And unsurprisingly, it’s up to the usual Tara Talons polish standard: easy application, quick dry time and fab quality!

I eventually stuck with my negative space idea but in a reverse, flipped around, upside down kinda way. I stamped each nail using my MoYou Sailor 5 plate and alternating between Barry M Gellys in Grapefruit and Kiwi, added topcoat (okay, maybe two…again because I’m greedy but also, I’m not sure if it really does but it seems to make things even shinier) a really, really good clean up with acetone and a fine brush and I’m all done. I’m quite chuffed with my stamping progress – confidence seems to be key so I’m going with it!

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(dull light, flash)

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(dull light, flash)

Be prepared for quite a few pictures, I wanted to catch these in different lights and the holo base is so pretty I AGAIN have no restraint and cannot, caaaaannot help showing these sparklies off 😀

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(dull light, outdoors, no flash)

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(dull light, outdoors, no flash)

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(bright light, outdoors, no flash)

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(bright light, outdoors, no flash, close up)

Click here to find out how you could be in with a chance of winning a Tara’s Talons haul of polish and goodies!

Click here to follow Tara’s Talons on Instagram.

Click here to browse Tara’s Talons Etsy store.

Click here to browse MoYou London stamping plates and accessories.

Click here to browse Barry M nail polish and accessories.

Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons ‘Phillip’

Here’s another Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons post – have you entered Tara’s giveaway yet? Click here to find out how to get involved!

This one – like all of them – is another beaut.

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Introducing ‘Phillip’ – a delicious blue glitter that is so sparkly that every time I put it on I find myself getting lost, gazing into it’s glittery depths! It’s so densely glitter packed that two coats gives full coverage (but I can’t help myself and always end up doing three!)

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(one coat under home halogen bulb)

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(two coats under home halogen bulb)

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(three coats under home halogen bulb)

‘Phillip’ dries to the touch in almost no time; give it another 5 – 10 minutes before pulling any risky moves though, just to be sure. As I said, two coats gives a really nice full finish but a third adds more blue and sparkle and I still have over half a bottle so while I can afford the extra coat, I shall have it!

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(three coats under whiter lighting in my work corridor – I think it may be LED strips? I’ll try to find out!)

This is the sparkliest, prettiest polish I own making it one of my absolute favourites in my stash!

I added a little stamped pattern to the tip of my ‘Phillip’ accent nail using my MoYou London Explorer 3 plate to incorporate some nail art and finish my mani off.

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Browse Tara’s Talons Etsy store here
Browse MoYou London products here

Braw Claws Loves Taras Talons ‘Fresh’

Seeing as this is the first post of my Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons series I thought I should start by creating a mani with the polish that prompted me to make my first ever Tara’s Talons purchase.
I spotted a swatch of ‘Fresh’ on Instagram last year and HAD to have it. Tara was offering a pick and mix bag in her Etsy store at the time containing four 10ml polishes of your choice for £20 plus she was offering a 15% discount code to her followers (something she does frequently on social media so click here to keep up to date with Tara’s Instagram account) – I’m a sucker for a bargain! ‘Fresh’ was top of my list and my addiction to Tara’s Talons had begun.
‘Fresh’ is a creamy nude base jam packed with neon shapes in all sizes – dots, hexes and squares galore! It’s a party in a bottle, cupcakes and sweeties and all the pretty! As I’ve found with most of my Tara collection, ‘Fresh’ dries quickly – by the time I finish painting my second hand the first is pretty much fully dry – and it applies well. One coat gives a really light and subtle nude base coverage with plenty of bright pops of neon colour dotted around. Use two coats for a full base coverage and a “glitter sandwich”-ish effect.

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(one coat under home halogen bulb – please excuse any patchy bits, I was rushing as usual!)

I’ve learned through experience that applying glitter polishes is slightly different to applying regular polish (it’s logical really, when you take the differences in consistency into account). I apply glitter polish by painting my nail using the regular two/three stroke method to get base coverage, then I dab the now slightly drier but still glitter-packed brush onto the wet polish on my nail to maximise the glitter coverage on top.

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(home halogen bulb)

I painted a base coat – keep your eyes peeled for more details in a later post 😉 – and allowed it to dry. I used two coats of ‘Fresh’ as my base colour and a nail art pen striper brush in white to create a triangle at the tip of my nail. Then, I carefully applied two coats of Barry M Nail Paint in Berry Lilac from the base of my nail out towards the edges to block out my base in the area around the triangle. After allowing this to dry, I repainted the white lines of the triangle tip to define the area and used the dotting nib end of the nail art pen to add dots. Topcoat, as always, to finish it all off 😀

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(home halogen bulb)

To find out more about the Tara’s Talons giveaway click here
Browse Tara’s Talons Etsy store here
Shop Barry M polishes here

Tara’s Talons Giveaway

Tara’s having a giveaway! All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is show your love for Tara’s Talons through social media – your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or even your blog. Tara will choose her three favourite entries on February 1st at noon then the three favourites will be placed into a public vote on Tara’s blog. Whoever has the most votes by noon on February 9th will win a haul of eight 10ml and two 5ml Tara’s Talons polishes, nail art bits and pieces and extra goodies! You can find all the details on how to enter by clicking here.

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To show my love, I’ll be posting a special series of manis featuring polishes from my sacred Tara stash! Follow my blog or click here to follow my Instagram and keep up to date with my Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons posts.

Good luck!

Follow Tara’s Talons on Instagram here

Visit Tara’s Talons blog here

Visit my first Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons post here

Freckles CYO Polish Kit

Create my own polish? Yes please!
I’ve been following a newly discovered UK based indie brand Freckles Polish and whilst having a browse through their Etsy store I came across the ultimate item on my indie polish wish list – a ‘create your own’ polish kit.

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The kit comes with pretty much everything you need to dip your toe into the world of frankening – stirring sticks, false nails for colour and consistency testing and the most adorable teeny tiny scoop and funnel. I opted for the larger of the two kits which came with two 10ml bottles and two 5ml bottles pre-filled with suspension base, three bags of mica pigment and four bags of glitters of my own choosing – all for only £15.99!

I’ve often thought about mixing up my own polishes but after some investigation I found that it can be quite hard to find the supplies needed in small, hobby-not-business quantities. This kit is PERFECT for anyone interested in having a go at making their own polish but not so interested in spending a small fortune doing so – it would also make an amazing gift or stocking filler for any crazy nail ladies you might know!

By some miraculous coincidence, the lovely Tara of Tara’s Talons was having an amazing destash sale of lots of powders and glitters that she had accumulated while creating her beautiful indie gems the day after I ordered my Freckles kit so I nabbed a £5 mixed pack and was over the moon to open my envelope and find many many more bags than I had expected. I’m sure Tara may still have some left over so do check out her Instagram by clicking here if you want to grab some beautiful pigments and glitters for a bargain.

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(my Tara’s Talons glitter and pigment haul)

Now to actually make a polish! It is sooooooo much easier than anyone would expect – and since it’s your own, it’s pretty much impossible to get it wrong!

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Select your powders and/or glitters. Oooooh! Shiny! I loved this bit. I found that using a little bit of cheap, clear polish to mix mica pigment into a liquid form gives you a more accurate idea of the final effect that the powder will give your polish. I used ‘Peacock Blue’ mica from my Freckles kit and a gold glitter that Tara sent me.

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Measure out your powders and/or glitters. Using my teeny tiny adorable mini scoop I measured out 0.25g of ‘Peacock Blue’ powder and 0.25g of gold glitter – that’s five tiny scoops of each – and placed them onto a patch of greaseproof paper. After a little research online I found that the general consensus seems to be 0.5g of powder to 10ml of polish for full opacity BUT this is a guideline, it is by no means a rule. There are no rules when it comes to mixing your own polish!

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Add powders and/or glitters to your bottle of base. This is where the teeny tiny adorable funnel comes in! Make sure to hold it up so that it doesn’t touch the base that is already in your prefilled bottles or it will end up all clogged up and carefully tip your powders and glitters in. If I was using my own suspension base and empty bottles I would probably choose to add my powders and glitters and then add the base on top – I figure it would help everything to mix up better however, adding them in on top of the base worked well too.
Shake shake shake! Give your concoction a really, really good shake. Up and down, side to side and spinning the bottle between your hands in all directions!
Test your polish by painting a coat onto a false nail. Make sure that the consistency is good and that you have your desired opacity and finish. Mine needed a little pinch more gold glitter so I added another 0.1g.
Personalised polish! Yay!

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(two coats under home halogen lightbulb which seriously doesn’t do my wee polish any justice)

I was so excited about my first bottle that I decided to whip up a Christmassy topper using white hexes from my Freckles kit and some white/blue iridescent glitter that Tara had sent me – look how pretty it is over a dark base! I can’t wait to create a mani with this baby!

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(one, two and three coats from left to right under home halogen lightbulb)

Buy your own Freckles Polish CYO Polish Kit here.
Browse Freckles Polish shop here.
Follow Freckles Polish on Instagram here.

Festive MoYou Stamping

I bought a handful of MoYou stamping plates months ago and they haven’t seen the light of day since they arrived. It’s taken me all this time to bite the bullet and have a go – it seemed so complicated!
One of my plates – Festive 04 – is etched with beautiful, intricate Christmas-jumper-esque designs and it is by far the plate that I was most excited about. I discovered Lucy’s Stash’s YouTube video tutorials showing three different ways of creating stamped decals that make stamping seem so much less scary! You know how much I love creating nail stickers – it’s so much easier than attempting an awkward technique directly on your nails and it means that only the perfect designs make the cut.

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I used Method 2 for my festive mani – this involved creating a nail decal on the rubber stamp before peeling it away – you can find the link below. This option appealed to me because it seemed that the flexible surface of the stamp would make removal of the sticker super-easy and it was! Just a little squeeze and a gentle slide using the edge of my nail and the design popped off without even a hint of sticking or tearing.

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I love this technique and I will definitely use it for more (if not all) of my future stamped designs – now to invest in nine more stamps so I can do all ten fingers at once!
Have you tried stamping? What are your top tips and hints for the perfect stamped design?

Browse MoYou products here.
View the Lucy’s Stash tutorial that I used to create this look here.
Browse Lucy’s Stash YouTube channel here.
Find Lucy’s Stash’s blog here.
Follow Lucy’s Stash on Instagram here.

Halloween Nail Art

I’m baaaack! And I’m so sorry for the lack of activity, finding the time to post between work and daily life has been hard but I promise I’m trying to get into a better routine. I’m feeling the Brawclaws love after the response to my first post – thank you all so much for your support and encouragement, I really really appreciate it!

Halloween is just round the corner, bringing with it plenty of nail art inspiration! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll already know I was quite excited a couple of weeks ago – I was contacted by beauty brand Julep to take part in their halloween nail art challenge!

Julep opened their first nail salon in 2007 and since then have exploded into all areas of beauty – with quality and customer satisfaction at the heart of their brand. I’m not yet lucky enough to own any stunning Julep polishes but I’m definitely lusting after them (particularly ‘Katie’ – oh yeah, did I mention all their polishes are girls!?) and their miracle Plié Wand, which looks like the answer to my nail art prayers! And if you’re already falling for Juelp, you’ll be head over heels to find out that a percentage of profits made from every sale of Julep nail colour goes to organisations that help to empower women! Woohoo – amazing products and girl power!

As a little treat, Julep have sent me an amazing exclusive halloween nail art tutorial to share with you all! I hope you love it – and I’d love to see how you get on with it. Send your pictures to brawclaws@outlook.com or #brawclaws on Instagram to share! Don’t forget to tag me in your comments.

I’ll post my attempt as soon as I can!

Julep

In the meantime, I’m excited to share a fantastic little technique I used to create these cute graveyard scene nails as my entry for Julep’s nail art challenge – DIY nail stickers – and they’re so easy!

Left hand

(left hand, home halogen lightbulb)

Creating stickers to apply later means that you can:

  • Work on a nail masterpiece over a period of time
  • Pick and choose designs that work out better to get the perfect look without all the fuss of working directly on the nail and attempting to clean up any mistakes
  • Work with your dominant hand the whole time!

You’ll need:

  • Greaseproof paper
  • Clear nail polish
  • A Sharpie

Make sticker bases by cutting a large piece of greaseproof paper to work with and painting ovals of a similar size to your nails with clear polish.

I used three coats.

Allow to dry. Fully. When you think they’re dry, let them dry a little more.

Create your design. I used a Sharpie for speed and ease but you could use nail polish or even acrylic paints.

Allow to dry. Again, fully. If you can leave them for 24 hours or overnight – do! You can use them whenever you like really – I imagine they’d dry out and become brittle in time but if you store them in a wee box or a plastic bag I think that would prolong their lifespan by at least a little bit.

 

Stickers

 

Now for application.

Prepare nail stickers. By this I mean gently peel them away from the greaseproof paper, trim away any untidy edges with scissors and line them up in the order you want to use them.

Basecoat. Always.

Paint your base colour. Or don’t if you fancy a blank base. I chose a watermarble base; if you want to do the same, see my previous post Watermarble Nails.

Apply stickers to tacky-dry nails – I used tweezers to carefully lift and place them.

Allow to dry. Fully. No touching!

Apply topcoat. This will seal in your stickers and finish everything off nicely.

There you go – your very own nail stickers!

 

Right hand

(right hand, home halogen lightbulb)

Go check out Julep’s beautiful range of polishes, beauty products and their intriguing Plié Wand here and tell me what you think!