Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last of the 2015 Christmas nails

After the fail, I went simple:

Really really simple. I was shopping and baking and cleaning and just generally headless-chickening, so time was limited. But again, lesson learned: just focus on colour. Clearly Zoya's 'Elisa' just sings Christmas at me and it's been my red of choice for this years' nails. The gold is China Glaze's 'Mingle with Kringle', quickly dotted on with a dotting tool. Couldn't be simpler, and it's all just so happy!

Christmas nail fail!

It happened. It was bound to.

I mean, it's not disastrous, but it's not the elegant look I was going for, either. The gradient didn't work very well. The stamping itself was okay, but a shiny blue over a shiny silver wasn't the best idea as the whole thing just disappeared.

It would have looked better in white over red. Or maybe white over even the blue?

I think mostly I was just disenchanted with these because it was bastard hot in Sydney and I had snow flakes on my nails. It made no sense. Never mind. Won't do it again!

Polishes used:
Pretty Serious' 'Warp 11' and 'A Christmas Time Paradox'
Essie's 'No Place Like Chrome'

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Deck the nails with boughs of holly!

Christmassy nails are far simpler to achieve than the crazy nail artists imply!

Getting a good Christmassy colour is most of the battle. This glittery red is perfect (though it dries matte, it's easy to jump-start it back to sparkle with a glossy top coat) and the holly is just a variation on the theme of flowers. Spiky leaves in a dark green, followed by some highlighting with a lighter one and then just lightly dabbed with a bit of gold. The holly berries are just made with a dotting tool. Easy!

Oh Christmas tree, oh Chritsmas tree ....

... it's almost time to pull you down!

Though the blog has been neglected, the nails have not.

After I offered Rudolph some redemption, I tried a tape-manicure using nail vinyls rather than tape. Pros of vinyls over tape:
  • Already cut! Tape is such a fiddly bugger of a thing to deal with.
  • Uniformly cut. Not such a big deal with this idea, admittedly, but handy for others 
  • Better sticking power - the polish doesn't leak in under nearly as much as it does with tape.
  • Easier to achieve uniform gaps between the tape.
  • Costs more. Significantly more.
But anyway. The pictures!

Step one: paint the nail white and make sure it is completely dry. I created a lattice with the vinyls and painted the red and green on with a small nail art brush, peeling the vinyls off quickly afterwards while the polish was still wet.

The tree was painted on using more vinyls to make a triangle to paint green, and topped with star shaped nail stud. Which I hated. Because I kept picking at it. Obsessively.It looked okay but wasn't worth the picking - next time maybe a star shaped piece of glitter? Or just painting the star on?

Polishes used:
Zoya's 'Elisa'
Pretty Serious' 'Hack the Halls' and 'Presence'.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Quick swatches and a bit of fun with Celestial Cosmetics (part II)

NB: these polishes will be up for sale on the Celestial Cosmetics website in January.

'Pond manicures' have been a nail art craze for a while. Jelly polish is layered with flowers or lily pads or some other pondy thing to create a manicure with some depth. This Celestial Cosmetics polish doesn't bother with the humble pond and jumps straight into the sea.

It is a lovely deep turquoise jelly, littered with chunky round and star-shaped glitter particles. The polish is sheer but is mostly opaque within three or four coats and creates the same sort of depth that pond manicures use but without needing other items.

It has shine and sparkle in sunlight, looking very much like rippling waters.

The application is not as smooth as the holo cremes from the last post as there is a lot of glitter in this polish, requiring a thick and generous topcoat to keep the edges of the stars down. And also unlike the holos, this polish is not subtle in any way - it is deep and wonderful and fun.

From one extreme to the next: 'Going to the Beach'.

Such a pretty and subdued colour, the very essence of elegance. It is an ivory-cream colour with a dusting of gold flakies.

Do ignore the flooded cuticles - they were my fault, not the fault of the polish, which is subtle and so classy that I feel like a bit of an imposter wearing it!

Look at the shimmer! It’s perfect for a subdued girly look, a bit of glam for prom or graduation, or even a wedding. It was opaque in two generous coats.

In my head, these polishes are also made for each other. A polish named after sand and another after sea ... who can resist, right?

Jellies are perfect for a syrup gradient, where you paint the polish directly onto the base colour from about one-third down and layer the colour on. I hadn't tried this before but I can see it being quite effective with a bit of practice.

The ocean lapping at my fingertips. Hello summer!

Quick swatches and a bit of fun with Celestial Cosmetics (part I)

NB: these polishes will be up for sale on the Celestial Cosmetics website in January.

First up, ‘Purple Rain Cocktail’:

I have a bit of a purple holo obsession. At last count, I had twenty one, each of them very completely *entirely* different ... Nail polish brings out my inner Lola.
The application was a smooth two coats to opaque, the scattered holo finish creates a dusky pretty purple. In natural, if overcast, daylight, the colour is a muted shade but with a  good shine. The slight sparkle, and the photo above, show that had the sun come out to play, the holo rainbows would have done, too.

Indoors, the polish retains a shimmer to give the polish some interest without it being too overwhelming for an office environment.

'Key Lime Pie' has a similar finish:

This is another scattered holo in a vibrant green base. This polish also went on smoothly and was opaque in two coats. Some nails, with a slightly more heavily loaded brush, were almost there in one.

Greens are always a bit of a risk for me, as yellow hues really do not work with my skin tone, but I am pleasantly surprised by this one and how the yellow was surprisingly not overwhelming. In overcast natural daylight, like 'Purple Rain Cocktail', the polish was shiny and shimmery, promising  holo if the sun comes out, as the first picture demonstrates. 

Indoors, the polish is shiny enough to lend interest without being overwhelming.

There is something about these two polishes together,something that niggled, that pushed at the corners of my mind. It was a mystery. A bit of an E. Nigma ...


But really, how perfect are these polishes together?!

The stripes were created using Scotch Tape to create a barrier, after which I painted the purple on and then took the tape off while the polish was still wet. The question mark was painted on freehand with a small brush. I probably should have used a dotting tool for a neater finish. Oh well. Next time.

Who knew that tasty treats were the root of all villainy?