Sunday, 26 August 2012

Everything new

Hi lovely people who have waited so patiently :)

I've been off work for the last few weeks (yay) so have been a little busy.

Firstly I thought I'd update with some of my nail art, I'm always moaning that I can never find good designs and/or tutorials online that I can use regularly so I think that means I should do it myself :)

First one:

I am very proud of my Union Jacks. I did them initially for the Royal Wedding last year, but I thought I'd bring them back for the Jubilee, Olympics and Paralympics this year! They're a lot easier to do than they look, but they take a while because it's done in several layers.

 First you do your base coat. I'm currently using Sally Hansen, one of her super strong stop breaking magic ones, you have to do a couple of layers but it is very good at keeping your nails nice and strong and it stops staining.

Next... the blue, just a whole coat of blue, I prefer a darker blue so I use Barry M 'Indigo' which I think looks just right. Let this dry. It's super important to let every layer dry properly, like waiting a good ten minutes between layers, because if you go wrong you have to start all over again.

After this go for the white, I use Barry M 'Matte White' which I do like as its a bit more opaque than a lot of french tip whites which can often look a bit pearlescent and translucent which doesn't really give the right effect. I do the vertical and horizontal lines first, then use the side of the brush to do the X so they come out slightly finer. It does look a little scruffy at this stage but don't give up, it all comes together...

Finally the red. I got a lovely set of nail art brushes from my mum for Christmas last year and there's a lovely fine one I use for the red. Just have to make sure you leave the gap between the vertical cross and the X parts of the red, rather than making them a continuous * shape.

However, if you don't have a lovely brush, I have a SECRET WEAPON... Sharpie permanent markers. They are ideal. Underneath layers have to be 100% dry (not just touch try) for them to work properly and you have to go slowly, drawing with little flicks rather than a continuous line and boom :) done. Then top coat. I need to invest in a proper one, I just have a basic nailene Acrylic Strong one that came in a French Manicure set I got years ago. If you've used Sharpies though, don't do a top coat because it might smear the pen. Sharpies don't last as long as proper polish, but they do the job for a special occasion.

 Number two: Olympic lettering! Nothing impressive or difficult here. Barry M Matte White, Sharpie markers for the words and Olympic rings, done. Didn't take long at all.

This one I got a bit of inspiration from something posted by my Auntie on her business page, was originally a pedicure piece but I thought I'd give it a go...
 The fingers are just basic polish but the thumb has a little anchor on it with a little rhinestone on the top, used my fine art brush for the lines. I was quite proud of this one! but Note To Self: invest in striping tape!

Next one I did on my sister. I found this quite hard because I'd never done anything even vaguely intricate on other people. It was nice because I could do it all with my correct hand, but her hand was at a funny angle and she kept wriggling! On her ring finger is a Barry M black sparkly one (I can't remember the actual name) but I was quite disappointed at how unsparkly is actually is, it looks lovely in the bottle but you can hardly see any sparkles once it's on. The thumb I did the white first, then the pink and black with the bottle brush and the glitter with my fine brush.

This one is my other sister. She wanted a french style look but with a more interesting twist. She's very much a pink girl so colour choice wasnt an issue at all. Interesting again because her nails are rounder compared to the other, more square acrylics. The glitter polish is hard to get a strong line with using the fine brush so it had to be quite thick, meaning it takes a while to dry, but looks very effective

Back to my hands now. The thumbs I tried to do a different way this time, I painted the gold first and then did the thick black stripes on top, which looks good because the gold is stronger, but because the gold is thicker, the black didn't go over the top very well so it was very thick in the end

I'm very proud of this one, I actually did most of it in the dark watching the Olympic closing ceremony! It was really tricky because there was no room for error with the letters as they're meant to look like a continuous word, also choosing my "light source" for the glitter shadow was a bit awkward and led to some interesting hand positions to avoid smudging!

The other thing you might notice is that I always leave a little gap at each side of the polish, this is because my nails are a horribly uneven set of shapes, some round, some square, some shorter, some longer, and it just serves as a bit of an optical illusion to make them look a little more even.

I've had a lot of compliments for these next ones, which actually weren't nearly as hard as I anticipated. It uses six polishes in total, a pink, an orange, a yellow, a green, a blue and a classic black crackle polish. I started with a yellow line down the middle of each nail, then I did the green and blue, then the orange and pink, so I was left with five stripes on each nail. I then just painted the crackle on top and the block colour of the crackle makes the stripes look like a gradient with no effort at all! et voila!

These are my most intricate design to date. Pink and white candy stripe with a corset bow. Obviously I did the pink and white first, then used my fine brush to do the ribbon and bow shapes, then, before it was totally dry I outlined the bow and did a flick of black along each ribbon line so it slightly blended with the gold, giving it a bit more texture. I think...

This last one I saw on a website somewhere, but I can't remember where... and thought I'd have a go, the stripes I did in the same way as with my sister's. Gold stripes last. The hardest part was the stars on the thumbs because they were so hard to get even and defined!
And that's it! If you've got any questions about any of them feel free to ask, I hope they're helpful and at the very least interesting!

I'll finish with a lovely picture of Milly to make you smile


  1. You have been busy! Looks amazing :) x

    1. thankyou :) thought it was about time I got back on board! x