Friday, 20 July 2012

.Sugared Almonds with Negative Space.

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at ‘Negative Space’ nails for a while now but not really thought about it when painting my nails and as a result it’s taken me quite a long time to paint some (or rather not paint some) into my manicures. So when i was swatching Ciaté’s gorgeous Sugared Almonds* colour i decided to give them a little twist!

Let’s talk about this polish first of all. It’s the third of three i’ve tried recently and i think it’s one of my favourites (i’m really torn between this and Iced Frappe!). It’s a really pretty pastel peach colour perfect for summer…if we ever have one. Just like the others it dries so quickly and covers really well in just two coats, i’m a huge fan of their polishes.

Polish: Ciaté Sugared Almonds* & Barry M Gold Foil.

How to: I created this by painting my whole nail and then ‘drawing’ the hearts with a cotton bud dipped in polish remover. The side of the head was perfect to press on the nail at the base and push up in two directions to create the top part of the heart! The rest of the nails an the outside of the hearts are lined with gold polish using a striping brush.

You can pick up a bottle of this beautiful summer colour from Ciaté right HERE for just £9!

Have you tried negative space nails yet?


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

.Tiffany Box Manicure.

I love Tiffany. I’ve been treated to a few sets of earrings, a lovely ring and of course my stunning 21st birthday charm bracelet with four beautiful charms in the past and i’ve kept the boxes for each one. They’re stacked up on my bedroom chest looking pretty and they’ve inspired this manicure!

As soon as i got my hands on Essie’s Mint Candy Apple Green i knew i’d have to do some kind of Tiffany manicure with it as it’s so similar to the Tiffany Box Blue. And do you know what tumblrinos, i think it looks simply lovely next to white, especially those cute little bows. This one’s all hand painted with a striping brush and was fiddly work, but worth the time!

Polish: Essie’s Mint Candy Apple Green, Konad Special Polish in White* and Black* from Funtica.

Have you ever received a little blue Tiffany Box - what was inside?!


P.s. i sometimes post sneaky previews of my manicures on Instagram before they appear here so don’t forget to come and follow me @xameliax

.Cute as a Button Candy Floss Nails.

How adorable is my ring finger…IT’S SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIE!!! It’s called ‘flocking’ a new nail art technique that leaves your nails looking and feeling super soft and fluffy and i love it! This pinky colour was sent over by the wonderful Goldleaf and as soon as i saw it i thought ‘Candy Floss’! I also picked up these cute little buttons at a craft store and decided to combine the two with this manicure.

Flocking your nails is similar to caviar beads, simply paint a layer of polish and wait for it to dry. Then paint another coat and either sprinkle the powder over your nail or place some on paper and roll your wet nail into it - easy peasy! If they look a little patchy just roll or sprinkle extra powder into your bald patches. They should last a few days and will dry nicely if you get them wet in the shower. I just glued my button on with nail glue - just make sure your polish is completely dry first!

Polish: Barry M Strawberry Ice-cream, Natural Collection White.

You’ll be able to buy this flocking powder from Goldleaf very soon so hold tight!

What do you think of nail flocking will you give it a go?


.Apples & Custard Nails.

The next colour from Ciaté is a beautiful green shade called Apples & Custard*. The name itself inspired this manicure, plus i wanted to use my new striping tape some more!

I love the colour of this polish and the picture reflects it’s true tone well. It’s not a mint but it’s still pastel and perfect for this time of year and autumn too. It goes on really nicely and dries super fast just like the Iced Frappe shade i played with last week. I’m finding the wear of these polishes to be pretty good too, especially because i’m a bit rough on my hands and don’t tend to think before plunging them into my bag or washing up! Highly recommended polish indeed.

Polish: Ciaté Apples & Custard* and Model’s Own Lemon Meringue. The Gold Studs* i used are from Born Pretty Store.

You can grab yourself a bottle of Apples & Custard from Ciaté HERE for just £9!

What’s your favourite shade of green polish at the moment?

.Bridal Manicure with Clear Caviar.

I was asked to create a Bridal manicure by the lovely Goldleaf using their Clear Caviar Beads* and this is what i came up with! I decided on something simple using the beads on the all important wedding accent nail and a floral pattern on the rest. Keeping to a white, gold and silver colour scheme to compliment any blushing bride.

Polish: Natural Collection White, Barry M Gold Foil. Bundle Monster Plates 221 & 225, silver glitter from ebay and Clear Caviar Beads* from Goldleaf / The Glitter Shop.

You can get your mitts on a bag of Clear Caviar Beads for just £1.99 HERE!

I can’t wait to try these beads over different colours and see what they look like, i think they’re going to be the most versatile beads yet!

Any brides to be out there looking for some wedding nail inspiration?


.Monochrome Stripe.

When i saw this manicure from Sophie at My Awesome Beauty i knew i had to give it a go. So i ordered myself some striping tape and got painting!

I haven’t really done Sophie’s design justice here but it was my first time using striping tape and i found it a little tricky! I used the tape to first mark out the sections and help paint the polish where it’s supposed to be. Then when they were all painted i peeled off the first set of tape and stuck new lines over the top to clean them all up. All that’s left to do is trim the edges of the tape and seal with a topcoat.

Polish: Barry M Black, Essie Master Plan and OPI Funny Bunny. Striping tape brought off ebay.
I can’t wait to have a proper play around with this tape and see what i can do, i have a load of colours to try out and a few ideas!

Have you tried striping tape nails yet?


Sunday, 1 July 2012

.Vintage Iced Frappe.

The wonderful Ciaté sent me a selection of gorgeous pastel colours to try out the other day i just couldn’t wait to get painting. I think this is my favourite manicure yet, it’s so subtle and pretty but quite detailed when you look up close. 

This manicure uses Ciaté’s Iced Frappe* which is a lovely pastel purple colour with a slight greige tint. It’s actually a perfect match for Bon Bon which Marie Claire are giving away for free this month. It goes on really nicely and is completely opaque in two coats - it’s a super fast dryer too, i love it. On a side note…how adorable are their bottles?! I also got to use my new Essie Matte About You mattifying topcoat which gives a beautiful effect especially with a shimmer colour stamped on top like this one. These are the little gold studs* that BornPrettyStore sent a while back, they only took two weeks to arrive - which coming from across the world and free delivery really isn’t that bad at all. I went for the 1.5mm studs because i think they’ll be the easiest to style and i wasn’t wrong, they sink into the polish perfectly and are really secure…great stuff!

How To: Paint your nails with the base colour and cover all but your ring finger with matte topcoat. Stamp your design onto all of your nails apart fromt he accent and then using clear polish sink your studs into your nail fromt he cuticle up using a dotting tool. Finish with a top coat on your ring finger and you're done! Remember not to topcoat the rest of your nails as you will use the matte effect!!

Polish: Ciaté Iced Frappe*, Essie Matte About You, Maybelline Golden Brown, Bundle Monster Plate 225 and 1.5mm Gold Studs* from BornPrettyStore.

You can grab yourself some adorable little nail studs with 7% off from BornPrettyStore by using the discount code: AMYJ61 at the checkout! You can also pick up this beautiful nail polish colour straight from Ciaté HERE!

What do you think about mixed matte polish manicures?


.Wicked Inspired Nails.

After watching Wicked in London the other week i’ve had the soundtrack looping in my car so i can re-live the magic and sing along like a crazy lady wherever i go! So when Goldleaf sent me these awesome green studs this week a musical shaped light bulb went on above my head and i created this Wicked inspired nail art! It also gave me the chance to use my Black Caviar Beads that have been sitting in my nail box for a while now and i have to say, i love them even more than the gold. The glitters were both sprinkled over black polish and the studs/gems were pressed into a topcoat of clear. Same as before, sprinkle your caviar beads over a still wet second layer of polish and gently press to set - easy peasy!

Polish: Barry M Black Polish, Green & Black Glitter and Green Gems from ebay. My Black Caviar Beads* and the Green Metal Studs*(coming soon) were both from Goldleaf Craft Supplies AKA The Glitter Shop!

You’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for the studs on Goldleaf’s store as they’re not up for sale just yet, but you can get your hands on all kinds of Caviar Beads for just £1.99 a bag right now HERE!!!

I’m absolutely loving stud manicures at the moment - have you tried them yet?


.Turkish Delight Rivet Manicure.

Just a quick design for you tonight - This is the third beautiful colour that Model’s Own sent me the other week: Turkish Delight* (you can see the other two HERE and HERE).

It’s a loooovely magenta purple colour, probably more suited to autumn but with the weather we’ve been having recently i decided to give it a go now! This is what it looks like with two coats, and in usual Model’s Own form it covers well and gives a nice even finish.

The rivets are Black Caviar Beads* placed on top of a layer of clear polish as are the Square Sequins*. Both of these were in my package sent from The Glitter Shop /Goldleaf Craft Supplies a few weeks back and i’ve been waiting to try them out ever since they flopped through the letter box! It’s my first time trying out rivets so they’re not overly even, and i went a bit crazy with the seche vite to keep them on for longer than a day but they’re ok!
Don’t forget that Model’s Own Polishes are only £5 a bottle and you can pick yours up from Boots , Superdrug or on their website HERE!

Have you tried any of Model’s Own Pro Polishes yet?


.Iridescent Pastel Rainbow.

This beautiful shimmery colour is the second of three polishes that turned up in my package from Model’s Own the other week - you can see the first HERE. It’s a very sheer polish called Indian Ocean* and this is just what i imagine the Indian ocean to look like!

It has a really subtle blue undertone and a pinky iridescent sparkle so on it’s own it’s a very subtle (but lovely) colour. Tonight i decided to test it out over some pastel shades to see how it changes!

Polish used from thumb to pinky: Barry M’s Strawberry Ice cream and Peach Melba, Model’s Own Lemon Meringue and Barry M’s Blue Moon and Berry Ice cream.

I think it works really well over purples and pinks - a great way to spruce up your manicure after a few days if it’s beginning to look a little dull. I can imagine it sparking away on my toes dipped in a beautiful pool abroad too! It’s a great way to wear this year’s glitter nails but in a more subdued way…and it doesn’t take forever to take off either - bonus!

You can pick a bottle of Indian Ocean up at Boots or Superdrug for £5. Model’s Own are also giving you £3 off when you buy three polishes from their website or £7 off when you buy five! Take a look at the other beautiful colours in the Beetlejuice collection HERE!

Do you own any of the Model’s Own Beetlejuice collection? If so, which is your favourite?


P.s. apologies for my awful nails at the moment, i broke a few so have ordered some gel foil builders to play with! Instant long nails again if i can get the hang of them!

.Rainy Day Nails.

.A Tribute to Our Lovely British Summer.

Rain rain go away!!!

How To:  Paint your nails with two coate of grey apart from your ring finger which you need to paint with a lighter colour. To paint the clouds use your brush and the base colour of your other nails to draw three strokes down the tip of your nail. Wait for those to dry and do the same with your black. Set the gems into a layer of clear polish and cover with a coat too!

Polish: Barry M Grey and Black and Essie’s Master Plan. Assorted blue gems from ebay!

Is it raining where you are?


.Mint Glitter Nails.

Finally got hold of Essie's Mint Candy Apple Green!

I was going to do some kind of Tiffany Box white bow creation (another time) before i remembered the gigantic pile of glitter that Goldleaf sent me so i grabbed a bag of Holographic Glitter* and sprinkled away! This photo honestly doesn’t do the glitter any justice - it’s so sparkly!!! Every time i move my hand it catches my eye and i say a little ‘oooo’ inside. It’s super super fine so you get a real shine with it and it looks really professional, the only problem is it gets everywhere if you’re a bit clumsy like me! May have to invest in a little pot to keep this one in.

Polish: Essie Mint Candy Apple Green & Barry M Silver Foil. The design i used was from Bundle Monster’s 212 plate and of course the beautiful glitter* was from Goldleaf.

You can get your mitts on a 40g bag of this glitter HERE for just over £3 delivered. Just remember to catch the excess glitter in something and a 40g bag will last you forever!

Have you tried Essie’s beautiful Mint Candy Apple Green - do you love it as much as i do? 


.Model's Own Nyla Nude Swatch.

This is the first of three colours Model's Own sent me called Nyla Nude* and it’s a gorgeous orangey nude, perfect for summer. On their website it does look a little more beige (i struggled to find the swatch at first!) but this photo is a good representation of the final colour. Like other Model’s Own polishes i’ve tried this colour goes on really well as it’s quite thick - two coats is more than enough to get an opaque finish. It self-levels well too so don’t be concerned if it looks a bit streaky at first because it will dry to a smooth finish.

I’ve painted it with Essie’s Mint Candy Apple Green and Master Plan on the accent nail and i think it goes really well, such a lovely summery effect! This manicure also has a top coat of Seche Vite to finish it off.

What's your favourite nude?


.How to Paint Galaxy Nails.

Enjoy nail art fans!


.Galaxy Nails.

Finally got round to creating some galaxy nails and they were a lot easier than i thought they would be!

Polish: Barry M Black, No7 Sing the Blues & I’m Exquisite, Model’s Own Golden Rage, Rimmel London Trend Spotting, Natural Collection White and Seche Vite Topcoat.

How to post to follow!


.Tiger Print Nails.

Mum’s wild tiger nails for her birthday! She absolutely loves them and keeps taking pictures to send everyone - what a nail art fiend!

How to:
Paint a base coat of orange. Sponge white polish onto half of your nail and stamp your stripes using Konad’s special black polish* - super easy!

Give it a go and show us your stripes!


.Butterfly Nails.

I was having a play with my polish last night and decided to have a go at some Monarch Butterfly Nails. They were pretty tricky to do so i think i need a bit more practice - my lines are a little wonky!

To do these you need a really thin brush and a very steady hand. I also found that using my Konad Special Polish was the only way to get the strong black lines, i’m afraid Barry M’s Black just didn’t cut it this time! This was only a quick manicure so i think if i took a bit more time over the design i may be able to get them looking a little neater but I thought I’d show you anyway.

How to: Start by painting your nails with two coats of your base colour. To paint the detail i painted the tips black sweeping down one side of the nail and then connected the corner of the tip with a line to the cuticle. Then paint the contrasting lines to the first and finish with some little white polka-dots!

Polish: Model’s Own Bronze Rage, Konad Special Polish in Black Pearl*, Natural Collection White and as always - Seche Vite Topcoat.

Which colours would you paint a set of Butterfly nails?


.Iridescent Glitter & Greige.

These were super easy - just place individual sequins onto a layer of clear polish over your base colour (Essie Master Plan). It’s not as time consuming as you might think, just put a bit of clear polish onto your dotting tool and pick the sequins up that way. Concentrate your glitter towards the cuticle and get less and less as you move towards the tip.

This glitter is just gorgeous and there’s so much in the bag i think it’s going to last me forever! You can grab yourself some from The Glitter Shop HERE, a whole 30g for £1.99!! The Glitter Shop also trades as Goldleaf Craft Supplies on ebay, so if you’d prefer to spend your pennies there you can grab a bag HERE!

Have you tried a sequin gradient manicure yet?


.Essie Master Plan | Review & Swatch.

So for those of you who don’t know, Boots have started stocking Essie polish - hoorah! They retail at £7.99 each which compared to prices online it’s about £2-4 cheaper, and no waiting for delivery either.

I own a lot of nail polish but this is my first bottle of Essie (shocking!) and i have to say, i’m really impressed. I’m a huge Barry M fan because their polish comes in a rainbow of colours and is only around £4 a bottle, but i would certainly pay the full £8 for an Essie polish again - you can really tell the difference in quality. The bottles are a decent size at 13.5ml compared to Barry M’s standard 10ml, and of course they come embossed with the Essie ‘e’ on top and name down the side making them a very smart edition to your shelf.
Master Plan is such a beautiful light ‘greige’ colour - perfect for summer - but will also follow us into autumn too. It goes on like a dream and after two coats the finish is flawless. As for staying power, i’ll have to get back to you on that one as it’s only just gone on but it feels like it’s not going anywhere for a while.

Mint Candy Apple Green…i’m coming for you next!


.Gold Caviar Manicure.

This was my first time trying out the popular Caviar Manicure and i absolutely love it! I chose gold to go with my wedding outfit and just accented my ring fingers with the beads for a more subtle look and it turned out really well. These Gold Beads* are from the selection Goldleaf sent me last week and i really think they’re excellent value. They’re selling a 40g bag of these gold beads for £1.99 which compared to other branded beads is a absolute steal - and they’ll last you forever too.

How to
Just paint two coats of your chosen colour on each nail as usual, and one coat for your accent nail. Then, one nail at a time, paint your second coat and pour the beads over your nail - I use a little box to catch the spare beads in so i can pour the excess back into the bag. Pat the beads into your nail polish and move them around to fill in any gaps and to level up the edges. Finally, paint over a thick topcoat to protect the metallic coating and help the beads stay.

You can grab yourself a bag of these beads HERE and take a look through the Goldleaf store too for lots of other colours! 

What do you think of the caviar manicure - is it a trend that’s going to stay?


.Jubilee nails.

A piccy of my Jubilee nails! I painted them for a lovely street party we went to yesterday and they went down a treat but they’re also quite fitting for our trip to London so I’ve kept them on!

How to: Paint each nail in two coats of your blue apart from the little finger in which you only need one coat at first.
Paint the crown using a nail brush and your gld polish by drawing a line at the bottom, two outside lines, filling in the middle two lines and painting a little cross on top. Finish off your thumb with gems set into clear polish.
For the caviar, paint the second coat of polish on your pinky and sprinkle the beads over your nail catching the excess in a little bowl. Gently press the beads into your polish and even up the edges by pushing them in where they poke out if you like. Cover with a thin coat of clear to protect the colour.
For the flag, paint the shape of the flag with your white polish making the lines quite thick, When this is dry paint over it with your red and finish with a topcoat.

Polish: N07 Sing the Blues, Barry M Gold Foil and Konad Special Polish* in Red & White. Gems are from ebay and my caviar beads are in a set called ‘Vintage’* from The Glitter Shop!

Are you sporting some patriotic nails?


.OPI Texas Collection ‘Lil Shooters’ | Review.

First of all i’d like to introduce John & Ginger to those of you who may not have heard of them before. John & Ginger are a family run business who sell a huge range of gorgeous beauty products online from their virtual orange and white shop! Last week they sent me an exciting little package with this Mini OPI Collection* inside and today i finally got round to swatching them.

So inside this iddy box there are four OPI mini polishes which contain 375ml of beautiful polish. There are three colours from OPI’s Texas Collection and a little bottle of their RapiDry Topcoat too - a perfect sample set. The colours inside are:

Austin-tatious Turquoise
Do You Think I’m Tex-y?
I Vant To Be A-lone Star

Now, before this arrived i only owned one OPI polish - Funny Bunny - which is a beautiful soft white colour that i use all the time but i find that to get a solid colour i need to paint around 3-4 coats. I figured that maybe it was because i was using a light colour, but after swatching these i’m starting to think it could just be an OPI thing. Apart from ‘I Vant To Be A-Lone Star’ which only took two, both the other polishes needed four coats to get them to this stage - and even with four ‘Do You Think I’m Tex-y’ still isn’t completely opaque which is a bit of a shame. I’m thinking that this colour will be perfect however used as a ‘jelly’ over some glitter, so leave that one with me!

Coating issues aside, i love every one of these colours especially the silky finish from ‘I Vant To Be A-Lone Star’ - not quite a silver, not quite a pearl - just lovely. And the subtle glitter than shines through from ‘Austin-tatious Turquoise’ is gorgeous. The Rapi-Dry Topcoat is a godsend too, especially if you’re a bit clumsy with your semi-dry manicures like i am!

You can buy all the full size versions of these polishes (and the rest of the Texas collection) from John & Ginger HERE. Make sure you take a look at all the other wonderful products they sell while you’re there…they have so many Essie colours i think i’m in heaven!

Do you own any of the OPI Texas Collection - which is your favourite?


.American Spirit.

I’ve painted a set of Union Jack nails in the past when i first started messing around with nail art so i thought it time to do some stars and stripes! This particular design comes on Konad’s m45 plate which was in the French Nail Art* set that Funtica sent me and i used the red & blue special polish from Stamping Set C*.

How To:
I started with a layer of Barry M’s Silver Foil and then using a cut-up baby sponge (so much cheaper than make-up sponges by the way) i patted a rough white tip to sit under the flag design. For this i just used my Natural Collection tip whitener and wasn’t overly neat with it as i wanted some of the white to spread out from under the flag and give a grungy look. From there it was just a case of painting half the flag with red and half with blue before scraping and carefully stamping onto the tips. Finished with a top coat of Barry M Clear and they’re done!


.Painting the roses red...and blue.

Roses painted over OPI's Funny Bunny. The roses are just blobs of colour with flicks of a lighter shade over the top. Paint your leaves in little flicks at the side and highlight everything with glitter!

Polish used: OPI's Funny Bunny, Barry M’s Raspberry, Strawberry Ice Cream, Blueberry Ice Cream, No7’s Betty Blues and Model’s Own Grace Green. The glitter was just from a mixed pack of colours i brought on ebay and the top coat was just Barry M Clear.
What are your favourite colour rosey nails?

.Polka-dots, Stripes and Moustaches.

.Polish Used.

Barry M Clear Basecoat, 17 Supreme Shine Mink, Barry M Black, Beautify Cosmetics Black nail Pen, Seche Vite Clear Topcoat. I also used these mini black bowtie gems and some plain round black gemstones.

You can watch a quick step-by-step tutorial of how i created this look on my Youtube channel HERE!

I'm loving nude and black nails at the moment - thoughts?


.Cherry Blossom Gradients.

This look is created with real dried flowers on my ring finger - how cute!

How To:
For the main manicure i used the lovely Sammy’s (aka The Nailasaurus) gradient nail technique and it worked a treat! I added a little glitter on the tips too so they sparkled a little in the sunshine! For the accent nails i painted a base of OPI’s Funny Bunny and used a brown nail art pen to draw the tree trunk. To adhere the flowers i just put a blob of clear polish on the tree and placed the flowers on using tweezers. I then finished all my nails with a coat of Seche Vite- loving this topcoat by the way - being careful not to move the flowers around and putting two coats on the accent.

The pinks came from my set of nail art pens so i'm afraid they don't have colour names, but just have a route around in your nail polish box and pick out two or three similar shades to print with.

Have you tried dried flowers on your nails yet?


.Strawberry Ice Cream Nails.

It was the name of this Barry M polish that inspired this design - Strawberry Ice Cream! Yes, yes i know the ice cream i've painted is very much vanilla, but the strawberry sprit is there!

How To: Paint two coats of Barry M's Strawberry Ice Cream onto your nails and top all of them apart from your ring finger with Barry M's White Shatter Polish. To paint the ice cream i use Barry M's Mushroom in a triangle for the cone and a little line for the flake and Natural Collection's White for the icecream itself. Top with a little 'cherry' gem by sinking it into clear polish and you're done!

What do you think, are they good enough to eat?!


.Mermaid Nails.

Inspired by Danielle’s nails i tried out this ‘mermaid’ design using Model’s Own Grace Green and my aquamarine glitter i brought off ebay. They’re pretty darn cute and were so easy to do! ♥

How to: Paint your nails with two coats of your favourite polish and wait to dry. On the accent nail coat with clear on the tips of your nail graduating towards the cuticle. Sprinkle glitter over the top of your nail, (catching the spare on a piece of paper) brush off the excess and lightly press into the polish. Finish with a top coat and you're done!

Have you tried out a mermaid manicure yet?