Saturday, 31 January 2015

31 day challenge day 31- your signature style

Oh my goodness it's the last day, what do i do with my life now?! Haha. I'll be honest i kinda didn't really expect to make it through to the end...quite proud :) and i didn't even get behind (well apart from one day but I'm choosing to forgive myself for that since i was puking and stuff lol). Anyway, back to today! I struggled to figure out my signature style to be honest but in the end i came up with this.

It's a mental health awareness mani! I thought that summed up my blog pretty well. Even though the mental health side has been neglected recently it's the main reason i started the blog in the first place, the nails were just a bit of fun. I feel quite bad about my lack of mh posts over the last few months but i hope to rectify that from now on.

This is fairly similar to a design i did for world mental health day back when i first started blogging. I decided to keep it general and try to encapsulate a wide range of mental health issues. Green is the colour for mental health awareness, hence the ribbon and base. I added a random outline to the ribbon nails basically because they looked bare lol. Then the random dots on the other finger represent the campaign colours for all sorts of different mental health conditions. I won't list them all cos there are lots lol. Ok I'll admit the whole random dotticure thong is about as far from my preferred style as you can get haha. I did get in a thumb/ring accent though and bright colours...and about two hundred barry m polishes lol.

The polishes are barry m spring green, elderberry, mango, watermelon, blackberry, chai, prickly pear and blood orange, and nails Inc belsize park, rimmel breakfast in bed and maybelline oh so close. Phew!

I'm so happy i made it to the end of this! I do feel like it's helped me to get my motivation back a little. I'll do a round up post at some point...and hopefully follow through on my promise of more mental health posts. x

31 day challenge day 30- something you've never tried before

In the end i decided this basically by browsing through my favourite tutorial blogs until i found something i fancied. I plumped for this from chalkboard nails.

Now, i love the distressed nail look bit this is another one I've been hesitant to try. I think it's the randomness factor again if I'm honest. It looks so deceptively simple....but I'm really not very skilled at balancing colours or knowing where to stop. Nevertheless I'm reasonably happy with it.

I think i probably should have been a bit more generous worth the colours, the white base shows through a bit more than i intended. I do like the neon colour scheme though...i was missing the sun and figured I'd brighten things up, on my nails at least! I would probably change to a different black if i food it again though. This is Barry m black and it's a bit thin/watery so i don't think it quite has the impact it should.

The other polishes are barry m matte white on the base and the models own neons from the tans collection (love!!!). The pink is sun hat, the yellow bikini and the peach beach bag. I do love a bit of neon hehe.

Even though in not 100% happy with these i do now feel a bit more confident about the idea of using this technique so that's a bonus. And maybe I'll get round to revisiting it some time. x

Friday, 30 January 2015

31 day challenge day 29- blue base

Oops in a day late! In my defense though i had totally planned to finish and post this mani when i got in from ringing last night but then i got sick on the way home and so plans changed haha. Oh well it's here now.

This is totally not what i planned to do actually. I'd painted the base colours of Barry m elderberry and nails Inc baker street and intended to do an argyll type design on top. Then this morning i woke up and randomly decided to do triangles instead.

This is based on a tutorial from Lucy 's Stash that I've had pinned for a while. Obviously it's a lot scruffier than hers, and the polishes aren't opaque enough in places but i quite like it.

Now i need to go off and figure out something to do for today's 'something you've never tried before'. The problem is a lot of the major tones I'd never tried before i now have as part of this challenge! Haha. Oh well, thinking cap on. x

Thursday, 29 January 2015

31 day challenge day 28- non glitter topper

Ok so i confess, i just chose my topper and then cobbled together a mani to do with it haha. Simply because a-England hurt no living thing is one of my favourite polishes ever. I assume it counts as a topper, I'm not really entirely sure of the technicalities but it's too sheer to wear alone (for me anyway).

I then used barry m nightshade as a base, it was sitting out next to me lol. And i added some random dots. Because dots are fun. And oh look, the colours are inverted on my thumb and ring finger haha.

I can't say I'm totally enamored with my a may have mentioned during my blobbicure rant, random is something i find hard! But i didn't have the time or energy for pristine, neatly spaced dots. I do like the two polishes together though. And did i mention i love hurt no living thing?! Lol.

Apologies for the photos, i struggled to get one that really showed what hurt no living thing looks like. I really need to do something about the way i take photos! Any tips for things i can do without spending much/any money? (The phone as camera situation is unlikely to change any time soon!).

And once again it's midnight, oops! Don't forget to check out the prettiness in the in linkz below. Night. x

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

31 day challenge day 27- recreate one of your own old manis

You may have noticed that i tend to say things like 'i quite liked this, I'd like to come back and practice it again some time' rather a lot. You may also have noticed that i never do! So today's prompt should be perfect right? I just had no idea where to start haha. In the end i just went back to my very first blog post and scrolled through until i found something i fancied (though i did get wildly distracted in the process lol). Something turned out to be a purple ruffle mani.

I originally did this for a challenge this time last year. The prompt was clothing and i chose this petticoat as inspiration.

I followed a tutorial on chalkboard nails and used about two billion polishes. And the finished result looked like this.

I said at the time I should have done a proper ombre based on lightening/darkening just one polish, so that's what u did this time. I chose a-England guinevere, which isn't quite the right colour, i just like it lol. I lightened it with barry m matte white and darkened it with rimmel salon pro rhythm and blues (which is actually navy not black because the colours in the petticoat seemed to lean more blue towards the hem).

The base colour was rimmel lose your lingerie and the ribbon barry m nightshade. I was going for a 'sloppy bow' type thing on thumb and ring but i think it kinda just looks scruffy lol. I'm still not wildly impressed with my ruffling skills, i could have done with making sure i went right up to the edges of the nail better for a start. But i do think it's an improvement on the original, which i remember not being very impressed with, so that's a plus. x

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

31 day challenge day 26- fishtail

Ah, another technique I've been somewhat avoiding up til now! Though this time more out of wariness than lack of interest lol.

As it turns out my wariness was reasonably well justified; i so nearly had a repeat of the blobbicure flip-out when i first tried this this afternoon. Fortunately however by the time I'd been ringing and come home is decided that i liked the effect enough to persevere and give it another go. The problem i knew i would have was judging the angle/spacing of the stripes. My initial attempt a. Looked awful because i didn't get the crisscross anywhere near central and b. Took forever because i inadvertently made the stripes really skinny lol.

Anyway onto what i actually did do. Polishes are all barry m: coconut, chai and guava. The colours look kinda different in real life...guava doesn't want to smile for the camera at all in these photos!

In the end I'm reasonably happy with's certainly an improvement on version one lol. I came perilously close to a 'curse all fishtails I'm never going near this technique again' moment earlier but i tonk, on reflection, i probably would give this another go. So that's another technique checked off....which is a problem actually, given tomorrow's prompt lol. x

Sunday, 25 January 2015

31 day challenge day 25- complement and contrast

Oh my, less than a week to go! Who would have thought? Lol.

I have nothing in particular to set about today's look (for a change!)'s not really based on or inspired by anything except me playing about lol.

I started with two complementing a-England polishes, order of the garter (blue) and avalon (purple) and did the whole saran wrap thing. Then i added dots in contrasting comes. Nails Inc belsize place (yellow) and barry m satsuma (darker orange) and mango (lighter orange...obviously lol).

The dots aren't that neat and i was rushing, as always lol...but it's quick and simple and quite fun. Plus, purple!! Lol. Night. x

31 day challenge day 24- decals

Oh my, decals! I've been a little terrified of this prompt tbh. I assume it meant stamping decals, that's what I've done anyway lol (and i don't own any ready made decals so that's kinda irrelevant haha).

I'll be honest, there are an awful lot of problems with this....but I'm not particularly unhappy with it. It certainly turned out a lot better than i anticipated haha. Clearly i could use a lot more practice...but i don't feel so traumatised by the whole experience that the mere idea of practicing it fills me with horror...unlike certain other techniques from this week haha.

It's not very exciting. The image i choose mainly because i don't have many to choose from and this was one of the few that lent itself to 'colouring in'. It's from mo you London pro plate either 08 or 05 i forget which but they're the only ones i own lol. I then chose the colours to fit in with the image. Pastel pink in the form of barielle sailors delight and then a white background to the silhouette in the form of Barry m matte white. The black is the one from the stamping set again.

And that's about it. I'd like to come back to this technique some time, I'll admit i didn't give it the time or attention it deserved this time round. x

Saturday, 24 January 2015

31 day challenge day 23- white base

I thought I'd have a go at stamping again today, mainly cos I'm feeling lazy lol (plus i got in at about midnight, oops! Haha).

I went for a sort of floral-y, monochrome (hey, haven't we already had that?! Lol) type look. It didn't occur to me until halfway through that i was basing the design loosely on the plates one of the ladies i care for uses! Random lol.

Anyway not much to say. I used a new white today in the form of barry m matte  white (figured I'd better use 'proper' white for this instead of 'coconut'). I stamped with barry m chai and the black from the moyo London stamping set from Christmas. I picked some random flowery things from moyo London pro plate 04.

I kinda like these. If I'd had more time/motivation i would have planned it out a bit more and improved the placement and balance of colours and stuff. But i was still quite pleased with the look as a whole. Apart from some smudging but shh we won't mention that! ;). x

Friday, 23 January 2015

31 day challenge day 22- blobbicure

Yea so I hated this. I'll be honest i wasn't that enthusiastic in the first place, the whole concept doesn't really appeal to me (i find 'random' looks hard for a start).

And then i attempted it. Do a blobbicure they said. It's a quick and simple technique they said. Just blob polish onto wet polish they said. Bah! For a start i couldn't find the colours i really wanted. I wanted cremes. Turns out I own about two billion purples but not one of them is a basic bright creme. So instead i chose two shimmers. The pink barely shows up on the purple at all (and looks even worse in photos than irl!). Initially i had accent nails with the colours inverted but could i get it to work that way round? A big fat no!   I just ended up with a slightly wonky looking dotticure lol. I tried a few times with various different amounts of polish and different tools and the addition of thinner. Eventually i gave up and just did them all the same. By which point I'd realised how ineffective the colour combo was. And smudged the other three nails in the process as well as getting polish and acetone all over myself and my room. And had lost any interest i ever had in blobbicures!

All of which exclaims why a. I cba to even clean up properly b. I didn't wait long enough and smudged it while top coating and c. Didn't even try to take decent pictures.

I often find things to criticise about my nails but i haven't been this deeply unhappy with a mani in ages. Also my cuticles look dry because i was feeling rather unimpressed with myself and therefore uninterested in doing anything nice for myself like moisturising!

It's definitely bed time lol. x

Thursday, 22 January 2015

31 day challenge day 21- three shades of green/yellow

Hey hey. Well if you thought yesterday's effort was simple and lazy just habe a look at today's :p.

I kept coming up with a complete and utter blank on what to do for this prompt. I was vaguely tempted to do a norwich city mani but meh! Lol. In the end i resorted to collecting together all the greens i own into a pile on the floor and grabbing three i thought would fit together.

I ended up with barry m key lime and watermelon, and nail lacquer uk sprinkles (isn't that a fun glitter?! Hehe). I toyed with the idea of mixing up my accent nails but in the interest of laziness i ended up with the usual lol. I layered sprinkles over watermelon so the lime green glitters would really stand out then just added some simple dots of watermelon on top of key lime to make those fingers look like they were actually involved in the mani haha.

You may have noticed I've taken the crazy route and am doing the prompts as they come around each day instead of working ahead (there are many solid reasons for this, honest! Lol). Unfortunately on busy  days that means i don't always have time for fancy haha. This is the sort of look i wear day to day when i went something vaguely interesting (well more than plain colour anyway) but can't be bothered to actually create it! In fact this is positively extravagant, usually I'd ditch the glitter and just invert the colours for the accent lol.

Oh well i should have more time tomorrow. x

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

31 day challenge day 20- rainbow

Yay, rainbow :D. I love brought colours and anything multicoloured and rainbowy and cheerful! The only problem is i think i used up all my decisiveness yesterday! I had no idea what to do today at all.
I have a few rainbow manis pinned but they're mainly dots and I've got irritating shaky hands today which makes precision difficult! And whilst i love rainbow gradients the idea of all that faff didn't appeal lol. So i went for something very simple (and inspired by a cake (see below)). Which i actually kinda like after several very busy manis recently. Also, not the return of the thumb-ring accents haha.

I started with yet more barry m coconut on the base (when did i last do a mani without this polish?! Lol). Then i cut little heart shaped holes in a strip of sellotape and stuck them on my nails before painting on the rainbow stripes. Colours there are (from red to purple): nails Inc st James, barry m mango, nails Inc belsize park, barry m spring green, nails Inc baker street, barry m blackberry and nails Inc bond street.....erm the alternation between nails Inc and barry m wasn't intentional haha.

These look kinda better in real life, the photos show up lots of imperfections! I misjudged how much time i had before going ringing so was rushing being a little sloppy. I like the idea kinda reminds me of something but i can't place what. I toyed with the idea of doing something on the other fingers but i think i quite like the cleanness of them left blank. Plus, who can fail to love something inspired by cake? Haha. x

31 day challenge day 19- fire

Today i had a rare moment of decisiveness planning this mani. As soon as i saw the prompt i thought campfires. No surprise having aving spent many, many years as a Guide (well 16 anyway). Who doesn't love a good song along around the campfire...especially with a few toasted marshmallows to combat the cold. I love camp and the campfire is one of my favourite parts.
I love the smoky smell and the crackling of the fire, the gentle showers of sparks rising as something settles. I love the safety and togetherness of the group. A small circle of friends huddling in to keep it the cold and the real world. I enjoy the silliness and the peacefulness and the familiarity of campfire songs. And the freedom and anonymity afforded by the darkness that strips away self consciousness and embarrassment.

Um yea that went off into a bit of a ramble! Suffice to say i like campfires lol. Anyway.

The second thing i thought when i saw the prompt was that i had to use tarastalons bonfires. I bought this a while back for the express purpose of doing a mani like this...and of course never got round to it! Lol. So thumb, ring and pinkie have that as the base. My index and middle fingers have iconic effects the longest night, i thought the black with its scattering of tiny glitters would be perfect for a clear night sky. I painted my little campfire with lots of Barry ms...mustard, chilli, cocoa, chai, satsuma, cappuccino and coconut. I think that's all. Plus some little marshmallows peaking in from the side. Speaking of marshmallows i used sons of the same colours to paint a toasting one of my index finger, plus a little barry m black. I also used barry m for the Guide trefoil on my pinkie, notes on the middle and the words on the thumb. The words are a line from one of the songs we often sing to close the campfire (i kinda really wanted 'campfires burning' but it didn't fit well on the nail lol). Phew.

I'm not particularly overjoyed with how the middle finger turned out, or particularly the notes and trefoil. But i do kinda like the idea and im pretty pleased with my writing. (You may notice I'm trying to start being more positive about my efforts, cos self deprecation is dull lol). x

Sunday, 18 January 2015

31 day challenge day 18- artwork

Oh dear, I've skittered about every which way with today's prompt! My natural indecisiveness was supplemented by need to find something that i was actually capable of reproducing! Lol.

In the end i decided on this image by Sam Toft. I have a couple of Sam Toft prints in my room and i had a huge version of this one hanging above my bed for a long time. It's now sitting behind my bed after it spontaneously fell down one night and i was too lazy to hang it back up (and, um, a little wary's a large picture to be worrying about falling on your head haha). I'll be honest, the thing i enjoy most about it is the caption 'born to be wild', it just makes me smile.

These took a really long time....and are nothing like anything I've ever done before. The result isn't great but I'm reasonably happy since it's so wildly out of my comfort zone (you know that Friends but 'you're so far past the line you can't even see the line, the line is a dot to you'?...yea, that's my comfort zone right now lol).

Polishes! Erm?? Started with a base of Barry m coconut. After that it's all a bit vague. I played about sponging, bubble wrapping, painting and whatever else using various combinations of: barry m caramel, barry m cocoa, barry m cappuccino, barry m black, barry m mustard, o.p.i. stranger tides and sinful colors unicorn. And lots of acetone and thinner and about two billion different brushes. I have lots of mess to tidy up now lol. x