Sunday, 31 March 2013

March Favourites

Firstly let me say Happy Easter/Chocolate Egg Day/Non-religious festival of Spring depending on what you're celebrating today.

I've not done one of these before but I love the idea of doing a round up of my favourite manis/techniques that I've done this month so thought I'd go for it! Plus I've done more posts this month than before so I have much more to choose from! For more details, click the links to the original posts.

In no particular order, my March favourites:

-I really like my spring time daisy nails that I'm currently sporting, they're really cheerful and also feature some lovely (new!) colours as bases:

-I was super impressed with Rara's West End Nails from a couple of weeks back-especially how detailed they were! Big love for tiny Freddie!

-Also her beautiful peacock nails:

-My favourite Try Something Tuesday post this month was definitely my blue fishtail mani-it's such an easy technique to master but it looks really impressive. Expect to see more of these in the future!

-But my overall favourite for this month HAS to be my beautiful new love: Magic Croisette. It's not a complicated mani at all but I love her colours and her shimmery shine and didn't stop staring at my nails for the entire time I wore her! 

So there's my favourites, let me know what your favourite manis of mine or yours were in the comments!

~Nail Art Novice~

31 Post Challenge 5-Favourite Movies

*pulls a face*
I'm not really big on films reeeally, I'm a book girl at heart. I don't really watch films all that often and if I do I try not to watch the same ones too many times otherwise they get boring. Genre-wise I like good quality animations, comedies (especially awkward British ones!) and the odd musical. So yeah, there probably aren't any films I'd never get sick of watching but there are a few that I have watched more than others, I guess:
NB: Originally this post was without pictures but it looked so dull and boring that I went back and added them in to liven it up a bit! Hopefully it's still readable?

Man I just adore this tiny robot, he's so cute! I love the fact that for the first half an hour of this film there's no talking but you totally understand what's going on, I love the fact that he's in a love story that works against all the odds and that he saves the earth to boot. (And actually, with one...) This is my go to 'I need cheering up with loveliness' movie and it never fails to make me go a bit mushy inside.

-Despicable Me
Frankly this story is entirely ridiculous but it completely works. The minions are adorable and comic and wonderful, and the ending makes me fight back against tearing up every time. Lovely and ludicrous.

-The Boat That Rocked
An excellent example of a very British movie that I love. I love the music, I love the actors, I love the story and the fact it's inspired by real life pirate radio stations. It's a bit weird, and has very British humour in it, which I adore. Plus did I mention the music is excellent?


-Hot Fuzz
Again I love this because of the Britishness of it-the way it mocks American action movies with its west country accents and its quaint little village setting, but then its still full of humour and guns and explosions and awesomeness-Pegg and Frost anyone? It's not trying to take itself seriously but it's funny and ridiculous and brilliant all the same.

-Avengers Assemble
I'd never seen a comic-book-turned-movie before this one, and I went on a whim with friends and totally loved it. It's funny, and yes it's an action movie which normally I hate but this one is a little tongue in cheek. Plus I can accept it more readily because it's not meant to be taken as 'could happen in real life' what with the superheros and alien invasions and all. I think it was very well done and really enjoy it every time I see it! (Especially sexy Thor, phwoar!)

OK, so that wasn't actually as difficult as I thought it was going to be-maybe I do like films, after all!

Until next time,

~Nail Art Novice~

See the other 31Blog Post Challenge posts here

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Some Flowers, Pretty Daisies, Might Relieve The Gloom

So the snow is just about melting away now, and I actually saw blue sky today, for the first time in ages. I'm daring to hope that Spring is actually waking up *fingers crossed* so I have painted my nails accordingly.

I recently treated myself to a couple of Spring colours from the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure (SHCSM) collection which I knew would be perfect for this type of mani. These are polishes which, in theory, you can wear without basecoat and topcoat but knowing how long I like to keep my manis on for I didn't want to risk stains and chips so I used them as normal. (In case you're interested that's Sally Hansen Insta-Grip and Seche Vite.)

I started with my base colours of SHCSM-Grass Slipper and SHCSM-Fairy Teal reversing my accents as usual. They're both almost one coaters in terms of opacity, although I ended up doing three of each to even out visible brush strokes as they didn't apply especially well. I really love the colours though, they're pretty stunning and definitely right for spring time. I have a bit of a crush on Fairy Teal too, tealy-greeny-blues being my favourite colours!

Apologise for the blur, it didn't look blurry on my camera!
This is Grass Slipper with an accent of Fairy Teal

And this, of course, is the opposite.
The blue staining you can see isn't polish-it's printer ink and
 WILL NOT come off!

Then I took my dotting tools and my white Colour Me polish to add daisies to each nail, basically just placing them randomly. I find it kind of interesting that even though I was using the same tool size on each hand my flowers are much smaller on my right hand (done with non-dominant) than my left-and I think I actually prefer the smaller ones-except where they went a bit wonky! The flower middles are Revlon-Sunshine Sparkle and Rimmel-Tangy Tangerine which was a bit of a last minute addition because I hadn't anticipated how yellow the Grass Slipper would turn my white (and it was still out from my last mani.) I kind of like the effect though, it doesn't look out of place with the rest of the mani:

Overall I reckon this is a mani fit for Springtime, just need the weather to catch up and it'll be fab.

Just to let you know I'll be away next week, so apart from my 31 Blog Challenge post going up tomorrow, this is the last you'll hear from me for a week or so. Instead of me, next week you'll get posts from Rara instead, she's got some awesome Easter designs to share with you all. I'll still have internet access and be checking in though, so keep commenting and saying hello =)

~Nail Art Novice~

Title of post taken from Wait-The Sweeney Todd Soundtrack

Friday, 29 March 2013

I Ain't No G-G-G-G-Ga-Ga Girl!

If you recognise the title without reading the rest of my post then you just gained +1 Awesome points in my world, maybe even +2, so well done you.
For the rest of you, worry not, I am about to explain.
Basically yesterday I went to see my FAVOURITE musical of all time. For the 9th time. The title is a quote from it, because I can basically dictate the entire thing. I thought it might be nice to do some nail art using the logo for inspiration.
What musical was it?
Why, We Will Rock You*, of course! I am a massive Queen fan, but what a lot of people don't realise is that I saw the musical first and then became a Queen fan afterwards, because I loved the music (and haven't stopped loving it since). I have all the albums and know all the words and am basically a LOT of a fangirl over it. Well, you can't blame a girl for having a hobby now, can you?

So onto the mani! This is the logo I was using for inspiration:

Picture from here

although I wasn't going to attempt anything quite so complicated, I'm not that talented! I decided I was going to do a layered orange stripe pattern using Barry M-Satsuma, Rimmel I Heart Lasting Finish-Tangy Tangerine and Rimmel Wear Maxx-Serene and then added details with Barry M-Black. The colours don't quite match perfectly to the ones in the picture but I think they look quite good together regardless.
These are messy pictures again because I ran out of time to clean up before I left and by the time I had got home to take pictures the polish had set like concrete into my cuticles and so was impossible to clean up. I have now ordered some better nail art brushes, which means I can sacrifice one of my old ones to clean up for (hopefully) better looking pictures.


I know my tiny Freddie is not as good as Rara's was the other week, but I'm still impressed with him considering I can't draw at all! FYI the smudgy bit behind his leg is supposed to be a guitar, I just didn't want to fill it in any more because it would just look like he had a massive tree trunk leg, which wouldn't be good. My right thumb just has the letters 'WWRY' on because I wasn't going to attempt him twice!
As you can see I layered the oranges on top of each other from darkest-lightest using the brushes in the polishes. Serene is actually creamy shimmery white (as you can see here) but I kind of like the fact that it looks slightly orangey because of its sheerness. This is two coats of Satsuma and Tangy Tangerine and three of Serene.

So yeah. It might not be the most complicated nail art in the world, and it might not be executed perfectly but I am still proud of it. Plus I had an awesome night out to wear it to, so who's complaining?

~Nail Art Novice~

*Don't click the link if you don't want spoilers!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Try Something Tuesday-Stamping!

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm not going to take off my lovely Magic Croisette manicure until I absolutely have to, so I needed a way to upcycle it for today's Try Something Tuesday. Cue my first attempt at stamping on my own nails (as opposed to falsies-on-sticks or whatever they're called) now I've got my new plastic scraper (thanks to a giveaway prize from The Sorting House, yay!).
I thought I'd stick with the celestial theme and chose a moon and stars image and a twinkly starry one. My stamping plates are unbranded and un-numbered-I got them from Ebay with a basic stamping starter kit so they're not the best in the world, but decent enough for me!

You can see how scratched up the plate got with the metal scraper!

I used L'Oreal-Valiant for my stamping because it's quite opaque in 1 coat, and I don't have any proper stamping polishes, and I thought the silver would look nice against the blue.
(I will apologise now for the tip-wear visible in these photos-I basically spent last night rearranging all my books and DVDs on my shelves and tidying my desk, so my nails took a bit of a battering! But hey, I can cope with a bit of tip-wear if you can!)
I just stamped one image onto each nail at first (following this picture tutorial from Nail Art 101):

but then I decided that they looked a little plain (not to mention wonky) so I went back and added more afterwards-giving me more chances to perfect my technique!

You may be able to see the silver splodges on my hand
from the spillage disaster I had all over myself and my lovely desk-
annoyingly if I hadn't have tidied it it wouldn't have got on the wood!

They're not perfect, plus they were a faff to try and photograph-I don't think my camera likes subtle designs! Overall I'm pleased though, I don't think they're that bad for a first attempt. I've since discovered this really helpful video from soguesswhat11 which I will definitely be following next time I have a go.
I really like the patterns on my thumb, forefinger and right little finger (which I don't have a photo of, sorry!), I think they came out really well. As I said, not perfect, but you can definitely tell what they are! I also love that Croisette's beautiful shimmer is still coming through really well.

And so ends my first stamping adventure!

~Nail Art Novice~

NB Sorry if this post is a bit rambly/non-sensical, I'm somewhat sleep deprived and a bit loopy coz of it. But at least my shelves look good!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Magic and Planets

So I lasted all of two days before I took off my magnetic mani from last time and gave in to the beauty that is L'Oreal-Magic Croisette. As I mentioned, it's a beautiful royal blue polish with goldy/greeny/aquay shimmer in (hard to tell the actual colour as it's constantly changing in different lights!) and frankly it looks pretty amazing on my nails. I'm a bit sad though that after two coats on my (tiny) toe nails and two coats on my fingers I've already used up a FIFTH of the teeny bottle. I reckon after this it's going to be a special occasion polish because it's too nice to use up too soon!
I added an accent nail of Emily de Molly's gorgeous When Planets Collide which I bought ages ago and for some reason I had never used on my fingers! It's a lovely glitter polish with blue, teal and orange glitters of various sizes in a dark navy/black base and I probably could have layered it up without the Magic Croisette underneath as it's turned out quite dark looking, although still lovely. (For better pictures go to the listing on Emily de Molly's Etsy page.)

Anyway, enough talking, on to the pictures-two coats of MC and three coats of WPC on my accent:

This one taken in natural light

Just look how pretty those glitters are!
Ooft. I love this. It's so shimmery and shiny and sparkly and all the colours in it look fab. I know the pictures don't do either of these polishes justice, but trust me, they both look amazing. I'm definitely in love, can someone just marry me to Magic Croisette please? You're going to be seeing more of this this week because I'm going to keep it on as long as I can, so will have to work around it tomorrow for Try Something Tuesday, but I'm sure I can think of something!

Until then,

~Nail Art Novice~

P.S I know these photos look messy but I just can't seem to clean them up any better! If anyone's got any advice for me as to how to get a neater clean up please let me know. At the moment I'm just using remover and a cotton bud and as you can see, it doesn't do the best job! Thanks =)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Ask A British Nail Blogger

Every two weeks the group of British Bloggers I'm in gets a question to answer about something to do with their nail blogging routine and I thought I'd join in this week because it seems quite fun-I love finding out new things about my favourite bloggers, don't you? I think it's nice seeing beyond the nails to the person who owns them sometimes. There will be a link up at the bottom if you wanted to read other people's answers.

Anyway, this week's question is

What is/are your most wanted polish(/es)?
There are so many. If I could afford it I'd basically just go on Etsy and have a spree of buying amazing Indie polishes because there are just SO many that make my heart beat a little faster. There's also some more main stream polishes that I need but just can't afford yet, and then there's a couple which are just pipedreams!

Photo from Chalkboard Nails
-China Glaze Running in Circles 
Oh man. I have to have this, every time I see a post using it I want it more. It's SO me. Green is my favourite colour, especially this lovely emerald green. And it's glittery. And beautiful. When I get a job I'm going to spend some of my first payday on this beauty. (I know it's not massively expensive but I just can't really warrant £7 on one polish at the mo, sadly!)

Photo from Ooh La La Polish

-Essie Butler Please/Sally Hansen Pacific Blue
 I don't really care which one of these I end up with, they're so similar-it'll probably end up being whichever one is cheapest! This is such a beautiful shade of blue. Basically I had an awesome idea for a mani a while ago, one I've never seen done before. But I can't do it until I have one of these blues because they're perfect and I don't really have anything similar enough in my collection to use in the meantime. Again, this will be a first payday purchase.

Photo from One Nail To Rule Them All
-Barry M Lychee
I was going to buy this the other day but they didn't have any in the shop, boo. I don't have any polishes that are similar to this and I really like the colour-something that surprised me. I've seen a lot of amazing nail art done with it and I think it's just a staple polish that should be in every stash. Hoping Boots will have some in next time I visit! (I love how cheap Barry M's are for such good quality polish!)

There's more, so many more, that I'd like, but these are the top 3 that I really feel are must haves for me. If money was no object I'd just buy every polish I wanted, no hesitation, but sadly I'm living in the real world so I have to limit myself to only buying polish when I can afford it, sigh.

Oh and here's my pipedream wish, that I understand I'll probably never get but still kinda want anyway:

Photo from Chalkboard Nails
-OPI Black Spotted
I know, I know. I just really like the effects it gives-like Crackle but infinitely cooler. I'm never going to be prepared to pay £20-£30 for ONE bottle of polish though, so I am glad people like CutePolish have come up with this Water Spotted technique (similar to water marbling) so that people who aren't millionaires can still get the look. I still love this though, if I win the lottery...

~Nail Art Novice~

None of the photos in this post were taken by me, all copyright belongs to the original owners, links are provided to their sites and the posts they were taken from. Please do not reproduce these photos without crediting fully to the original sites.

Check out the other bloggers' answers to this question here:

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Fishnets and Fog

This was an idea I came up with a while ago, around the time I bought my magnetic polishes, but never ended up doing it. I had originally planned to alternate the colours on each finger but decided on something different in the end, because I wanted to see if the magnetic polish worked layered over another colour-which it does, hurrah. I also had more success with it this time than last time and managed to get decent patterns on 8 out of 10 nails this time around.

This is two coats of Rimmel's Stormy Skies which is a beautiful blue-grey polish and two coats of Barry M's Neptune Sea (using the fishnet magnet) as diagonal tips. I was going to tape it off but decided in the end that I couldn't be bothered so these were freehanded-think I wasn't really paying attention on my middle finger, oops!

Here's a shot before I added the Neptune Sea too. I really like this grey, plus it applied like a dream. Probably could have got away with one coat but used two to fill in bits I'd missed first time around:

As a bonus, I also wanted to show you this gorgeous L'Oreal polish I picked up in Boots the other day as it was on sale for £2.50 because I really like it!
Magic Croisette is a royal blue polish with a aqua/greeny/goldy shimmer to it and it's lovely! It's only a mini but not bad for that price, I reckon. It's currently on my toes because I wanted to use it straight away, and I did try to get a picture but they all look a bit weird due to my dodgy toenails-they're all tiny! So I'll upload one if you really want to see it, otherwise you'll have to wait til I use it or look at some swatches here.
Here's a bottle shot which doesn't really do it any justice at all:

Hope you're all having wonderful weekends!

Edit 24/3: I think I fall for Neptune Sea a little more every time I wear it-the blue shimmers in it practically glow in the sunlight and it does look really really lovely!

~Nail Art Novice~

31 Post Challenge 4-Best Childhood Memory

I can honestly say that I had a brilliant childhood. While my mum and I may not see eye to eye as often now I am an adult, as a child she was definitely brilliant. I can't really pick one favourite childhood memory because I was lucky enough to enjoy a lot of it- most of it in fact. I have memories of play dates where she'd make a treasure hunt throughout the house leaving clues for me and my friend to decipher, and there'd always be something fun or something tasty at the end. She'd make us 'McMummy's' which were like MacDonalds only better because they were in our own house and the Alphabites would spell something out. Me and Rara have grown up with board games and craft days and trips to Sundown (basically an awesome theme park for kids) or the beach, or the American Adventure theme park, which used to be just up the road from us until they shut it down in 2007-sob! (I've gone all nostalgic now).
I'm an only child so I also have lots of memories of inventing games to play by myself and with my teddies-which I know might sound quite "sad" but I was happy. It's made me a very independent person who's quite contented in my own company so I definitely wouldn't knock it.
While I may not be able to choose my favourite childhood memory simply because there are too many to choose from, I have to say that I can totally appreciate how lucky I was to have amazing parents that made it awesome for me. I am especially thankful that from an early age they nurtured my love of theatre-I had the soundtrack of 'Joseph' on tape and played it constantly (still know all the words!), as well as watching the film probably at least once a week. Once I got older my family and I started making annual trips to London to see shows there and I just fell in love with the whole experience and still try to go as often as I can. So while I might not have a specific memory in mind to answer this prompt, I can definitely say that those trips to the theatre are up there!

~Nail Art Novice~

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Suddenly I'm Bright And Breezy

Sadly my lovely fishtail (plaited!) mani suffered badly at the hands of my first Scuba Diving lesson last night, so it's time for a change again. Spring is still stubbornly refusing to appear in Britain at the moment (BOO) so I thought I'd wear the brightest mani I could in defiance of our grey skies and rainclouds. I recently picked up some of the Barry M gellies after seeing them on so many blogs and falling for them a little-I got Plum, Satsuma and Greenberry and would have got Lychee too had they had it in the shop! Sadly, no success this time.
This simple polka dot accents mani uses Satsuma and Greenberry which frankly look AMAZING together. I always knew I'd love Greenberry after seeing it on so many blogs and thinking it looked awesome every time, but I am also really enjoying the incredible brightness of Satsuma. Bright orange was the colour of my course society at university and I just so happened to be wearing my hoodie at the time I was painting my nails-it's a perfect match for Satsuma. I love happy coincidences.
Sadly I seem to have picked up the pot of Greenberry that everyone else had used for testing as it had a lot of dried polish around the outside edge of the bottle and so didn't close properly and wasn't as nice to apply as I had thought it would be-hoping a few drops of Seche Restore will sort that problem out though. Satsuma applied very nicely although dried fairly quickly when I was doing the dots leaving me with strings as you can see on my right thumb. Ah well.

Anyway, on to the pictures, featuring the return of my left hand now that my ring finger nail is an acceptable length again, this is three coats of each polish:

There's not much to say about this, I just fancied something excessively bright! I also have a bit of a thing for opposites and patterns so I like the symmetry of the design and the opposing colours, it makes me happy. Simple but effective!

~Nail Art Novice~

Title of post taken from 'Getting to Know You' from The King and I

Check out what some other awesome British Bloggers have got going on this week:

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Try Something BLUESday-Fishtail/Plaited Mani

Ha, sorry, I can never resist a terrible pun. This was what I had planned a couple of weeks ago when I was ill but never got around to it-my first fishtail mani! (Incidentally when did we stop calling them plaits? That's what this reminds me of, plaiting my hair as a youngster when it was still waist length.)
I found this tutorial on Youtube by MissJenFABULOUS a while ago through someone's blog and used that for references when I was doing my practices. Once it came to the real thing I just went for it because it's actually pretty easy to know what you are doing-just a matter of using the colours in the right order each time.
Polishes used were Revlon-Silver Screen, Rimmel I Heart Lasting Finish-Azure and Barry M-Navy which look SO good together, IMO. But then I'm a sucker for blues (and greens) so I would say that. I only did fishtail accents because I thought it would take forever to do a full hand, it's not a quick technique that's for sure! I really love it though.

I really love this technique and this mani. I love how it's such a simple technique but it looks really complicated and how it makes what would otherwise be something plain and boring into something really interesting to look at. This would look completely brilliant on a full mani, if I had the time and patience to execute it properly. I'm a really happy Novice this week! So much so that I am going to enter this into The Crumpet's March Amateur Nail Art Contest-a happy coincidence that the theme for this month is simply 'Blue'. Go and check out some of the other awesome entries too, and come back and vote next week if you like 'em.

~Nail Art Novice~

Monday, 18 March 2013

West End Nails

Hello all! Rara here again.
As you may have noticed many of the titles for some of our blog posts will be song lyrics-we are always singing (often bursting into song at inappropriate times) and we love going to the theatre together. This thought occurred to me at work the other day and inspired me into doing West End musical themed nails.
I used Barry M-Matt White, Avon-Inspire, Avon-Mint Green and Andrea Fulerton Dot and Flick in Black as my polishes.
I took my inspiration from Cats, Wicked, We Will Rock You, The Lion King and The Phantom Of The Opera.
These are my results...

Thumb: Cats

Index: The 'i' of Wicked

Middle: Freddie Mercury  from We Will Rock You

Ring: Lion King
Sorry, didn't realise this was blurry on the camera!

Pinky: Phantom of the Opera mask


I was quite impressed with these, especially tiny Freddie and the prancing cat in the left eye, which in my opinion look remarkably similar to the actual posters. 
I did these using just a thin brush. The only thing I would do differently would be the Wicked nail as I realise it looks nothing like the Wicked 'i' as I am definitely not clever or skilled enough to draw such a tiny witch!
It was quite difficult doing these on my right hand as they were so intricate!
All that is left to say is Hakuna Matata, Another [nail blog] Bites the Dust, All I Ask Of that you keep on reading them, and remember that Everyone Deserves the Chance to Fly!

Another [blog] Ends, Another [one] is Dawning...


P.S It took ages to think of all those song lyrics, hope you appreciate them!
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