Sonntag, 28. Dezember 2014

Matcha latte drag marble

... or at least, that was the idea behind this manicure.

Matcha latte was one of my favorite drinks this summer - home made, of course. So when I was looking for ideas for the Tea Party theme, I thought of Matcha latte. Since I like to play with the frothed milk and the green tea (you know, like easy coffee art), I decided pretty quickly, that I would be trying a drag marble. I actually never tried this technique before and I'm not sure I'll  be doing it again. It's nothing fancy, but it took me a little while to figure out how much polish I should apply and how fast I need to work.

The polishes are OPI Alpine Snow and Barielle Positive Zen-Ergy.

"A matcha latte inspired manicure. I am pretty much addicted to matcha right now, so I just had to do one such manicure for the tea party prompt of the Nail Challenge Collaborative."

Sonntag, 21. Dezember 2014

Playing with nail stickers

I was really looking forward to the August theme of the Nail Challenge Collaborative. The theme was "Tea Party" and it sounded like so much fun - I voted for this theme too. In the end, I struggled quite a bit. Especially, because I didn't really have a lot of time to paint the detailed stuff I originally had in mind.

So here's the first manicure. I used some of the nail stickers I bought at Daiso a couple of years ago instead of painting the roses. Despite the low price, they're really really nice. Quite thin and flexible. You can even reposition them when you're careful. Lately, we mostly see water decals, but stickers are actually quite nice to work with too. Maybe I even find it easier. No need for the water. And I kind of like the 3D feeling some of the stickers have. Sadly, I didn't find stickers such as those the last two times I went to Japan. Not sure this will be any different when we're going there next year. (I'm sooo counting the days!!)

Sadly, I only have the pictures I used on Instagram...

"My first manicure for the Nail Challenge Collaborative's month of August. The theme this time is "Tea Party". I used essie "French Affair" as my base, topped with the new essence "Sparcle Sand" topcoat and then I just added dots and a couple of rose shaped stickers. Haven't used those in ages... effortless nailart!"

Freitag, 19. Dezember 2014

Foiled... again

...and so much better too!

My colleague gave the Ciaté Foils set to me, because she felt like she doesn't have the patience for this kind of nail art. This is my first try with the set and I really like it. Next time, I want to try the glue with the foil I got from Bornprettystore. I haven't gotten that to work yet, but I suspect it's due to the glue. So maybe I get better results with the Ciaté glue.

Aside from playing with foils once more, I also tried practising the one stroke technique again. I'm still not all that happy with my acrylic paints. Either this or I'm doing something fundamentally wrong. :P

"And here's another manicure for the Nail Challenge Collaborative's month of July. I had pondered which manicure I should recreate and I decided on an old one where I first used foils. It's not even close to the one though. ;) The polish is the same: essence - Grand-Plié in Black. The rest is foils and acrylic paints."

The original manicure can be found -->here<--

The essence polish had almost gone bad, by the way. Even though I hadn't used the polish since that post from 2011 and the bottle neck was clean, I had to add a lot of thinner to be able to use it again. Good thing that thinner exists! :)

Donnerstag, 18. Dezember 2014

Practising the art of water marbling...

...and actually getting a little better at it!

I remember that I chose the manicures I wanted to recreate for the Nail Challenge Collaborative under the aspect of "trying again". This is another one that might not look like a total failure, but it basically is. The first one was painted, because I couldn't get the marbling right, but I liked the color combination so much, that I did it the simple way. But this time I managed to do a pretty decent water marble. Yay!

"And the third manicure for the Nail Challenge Collaborative's month of July. Another recreation. In this case a failed #watermarbling that worked out so much better this time. But it's never going to be a go-to nail art technique for me. Polishes were the same as in 2011! Essence - Replay, Manhattan - 51K, p2 - virgin."

The original manicure can be found -->here<--

I still like the original manicure. :) But... I had nubbins! That's like half of my current (December) nail length!

Mittwoch, 17. Dezember 2014

Practising the art of stamping...

...and still not getting much better. But I have been practising ever since and slowly... I'm getting a little better. I love the possibilities you have with stamping. Not just the images, but all kinds of different techniques, for example making your own decals.

Here's another manicure I have only posted on my Instagram so far.

"Second manicure for the Nail Challenge Collaborative's month of July. We are recreating some of our earliest manicures. I chose a different stamping plate this time. Otherwise not that different. The base is #essie Lapis of Luxury, the stamping plate was Pueen46."

My original post can be found -->here<-- It's even older than the first manicure I recreated.

Dienstag, 16. Dezember 2014

Catching up... again

Hi everyone,

first post in half a year. My longest break so far. I just didn't feel like writing anything. Some might follow me on Instagram and know that I have been posting a couple of manicures there. Sometimes I find it a lot easier, sometimes I feel restricted, because I can only choose one picture and text is not really what matters. The latter not being that big of a problem though. xD
Lately, I feel that I want to write a bit more about my manicures, so my little project is to catch up with my recent manicures on this blog. That's half a year worth of manicures plus there's still a ton I  could post "from the vault".

So the first posts are going to be about manicures I posted on Instagram before. I'll try to include a couple more pictures. That's going to be hard, because I took way less pictures and the few I took look like crap.

Anyway, spring this year, we had a month of recreating our earliest manicures in the Nail Challenge Collaborative. This is the first of those.

"This is my first manicure for the Nail Challenge Collaborative's current monthly theme. This month we're supposed to recreate 4 of our earliest manicures. I have already replicated a couple of my earliest ones, so I chose one of the missing ones. This one started my hunt for the perfect off-white polish, so I was looking forward to see if I have found it yet. All the basic colors are the same except the white!"

You can find the original manicure -->here<-- Look at those pictures.... o.O"

Freitag, 11. April 2014

From the Vault: Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles

Hi everyone,

I finally found the polish I used as the base for the nail art I want to show you today. I guess that's the downside to my reorganizing... I don't find what I'm looking for quite often.

Without much further ado, this is a manicure I created pretty much right after returning from my last vacation in Japan. I used one of the polishes I bought in Japan, tried to use a technique new to me and tried to find out if Japanese newspaper works better than German newspaper for the transfer technique. Don't ask me why I combined those techniques. It doesn't make much sense to me anymore...

I'm sorry for the crappy cellphone pictures. I didn't notice my daylight bulb and my camera don't like each other too much until I had removed the manicure.

The base for this manicure is actually a polish from one of Japan's many 100 yen stores. (100 yen ~ 1 $ ~ 0,75 €) There are silimar stores in Germany, but quality-wise there's a huge difference. I love 100 yen stores! The polish here is Salon Nail Enamel #17 and I think I have seen this particular "brand" at different 100 yen store chains. I bought mine in Kyoto in some store on Kawaramachi street. I remember that I had a hard time deciding which shades to buy, because the colors were all quite pretty. I could have gotten more, of course, but you want to test the quality before carrying home lots of bad polishes, right? Next time, I'm getting more of these. They're awesome. Especially for a brand this cheap!

So I tried the newspaper transfer technique again... I tried using a Japanese newspaper (I got that one at the hotel we stayed at when we got stranded in Kochi because of a taifun), but by the time we got back to Germany it might have been to old after all. The ink didn't transfer very well anymore.

The other technique I used to create the bubbles with worked much better, but it's very time consuming. But... I have sooo many ideas for this technique!

I finished the whole thing with a generous coat of my DIY-Fairy Dust topcoat. Sparkles on bubbles = love.

Lastly, a couple of pictures of the base on its own!

I'm not wearing topcoat on any of those pictures! Doesn't it look pretty?! The brush is really nice, coverage and drying time were quite impressive too. There are a couple of brands out there that could learn from Salon Nail.

What do you think about this manicure? Do you have any experience with Japanese nail polishes?

Thanks for reading~

Freitag, 4. April 2014

Priti NYC - Susan Azalea (swatch)

Hi everyone,

I had something else planned for today originally, but while writing the post, I noticed that I didn't have all the polish names/numbers at hand and decided to put it on hold until I have found those polishes in my stash..... Yeah, the collection got so big now that I sometimes have trouble finding a polish that's not from one of the major brands.

So anyway, I still have a lot of swatches in my 'ready' folder. Why not finally post one more of them? The following swatch of Susan Azalea by Priti NYC is no less than 18 months old. Honestly, after all this time, I can't really say much about it characteristics anymore, but I still kind of like the pictures. (My cuticles are so healthy-looking...)

Same as with French Affair by essie, I'm not a hundred percent sure if I can pull this kind of color of. I really like this kind of color though, so I'll probably wear them anyway.

Susan Azalea has this really pretty silver shimmer running through that makes it a bit special for me. The shimmer was one of the reasons why I bought it and I remember that I saw some swatches for this polish back in 2012 that didn't mention that shimmer... Really confused me, since it's one of the major characteristics, in my opinion.

Seeing the pictures makes me want to wear it again. It's the perfect season right now, but I would feel so bad... there's soooo many untrieds right in front of me. I really need to change my buying habits... °-°;

I wish Priti NYC weren't so expensive. I really like their formula and the colors are really pretty too. So whenever I see some at TKMaxx or the like, I'm grabbing some...

Do you like Priti NYC? Any colors to recommend?

Montag, 31. März 2014

TNCC - Untrieds #4 - Orly Halo, Kiko 394 (Olive Green)

Hello everyone,

today, I want to show you my final manicure for the untried theme. Honestly, I could continue with this theme for a year and would probably still have a couple of polishes left (even when not buying any new polish). It's crazy, I know!

To be exact, this manicure killed a total of three untried polishes, but I'll only count two, because one isn't exactly visible. This mani was inspired by a manicure I saw on Pinterest (this one). I really liked the color combination and I knew I had matching colors in my untrieds.

I chose Orly Halo, which I recently found at my local TKMaxx, and Kiko 394, another Kiko from my haul from last fall. The Kiko is still available, but it seems to be one of the soon-to-retire shades. It applied well, drying time was fast, but it didn't dry very shiny. I'm wearing three coats here, but they aren't necessary. I took my pictures after a day at work and simply applied the third to cover the hints of tipwear.

The Orly, on the other hand, was not so easy to work with. It's pretty sheer and even though it looks like you could get it opaque on its own, I didn't feel like it and decided to layer it over Kiko 617, one of the Mirror Metallics. That's the third untried, but you can't tell it's there anymore. It still took three coats of Orly to have me satisfied with the look though.

The stamp was done using the white stamping polish by essence and PUEEN 11. Honestly, I don't remember just how often I tried to get this stamp right. I wanted it centered, obviously. I gave up when the top coat on top of Halo started to wear off. At least, I got the image to transfer in one piece. I'm going to practice this. >_>"

Do you have any tips on how to center a stamping image on the nail? I'm appreciating everything!

Anyway, what do you think of this mani?

Thanks for reading!

Sonntag, 30. März 2014

TNCC - Untrieds #3 - Kiko 311 (Electric Pink)

Good evening everyone,

two more untried manicures to go, and here's one of them. This one was not planned, I just didn't feel like changing the base polish and started doodling on top of it, to make it 'different' from the first day.

The base is Kiko 311, a now discontinued bright pink shimmery polish. Or at least, I can't find it on the page anymore. I'm wearing two coats, but I felt that it needs three to be really opaque when worn solo. That was one reason why I added nail art... to cover up those patches. The color is pretty, but I found it was drying a bit slower than what I'm used from Kiko. So well, I don't regret buying it, but it won't be my favorite Kiko polish.

So I added some simple flowers on the second day using yellow, orange and white acrylic paint. After topcoating, I added a white half pearl to each nail while the topcoat was still wet. They wore better than expected.

Two more days of pink with flowers added, then it had to make room for untried mani #4. I really want it to be summer. xD

What do you think of the color combination pink/orange? Do you find it wearable (not necessarily limited to nails)?

Freitag, 28. März 2014

TNCC - Untrieds #2 - Kiko 384 (Gentian Blue)

Hi everyone,

as mentioned yesterday, here's another manicure I did at the beginning of March. I used yet another untried, a Kiko from a large order from last fall. My inspiration for this nail art was one of my favorite skirts: A blue skirt with white polka dots and a red waistband/ribbon.

In the bottle, Kiko 384 looks just slightly darker than my skirt, but close enough. It  dries a lot darker though. It's still a pretty color, but far from my skirt. I continued anyway - I was so proud that I managed to sit down and start some nail art!

I believe those were two generous coats of Kiko 384. Application was easy as always with Kiko polishes. I don't remember much about the drying time. I continued with some white acrylic paint as the base for the red, because if wouldn't show up as brightly otherwise. This obviously is a problem, because chalky white at the tips means quick tipwear. But who cares, when you'll probably change your polish after 1-2 days...

I don't remember what kind of red I put on top. It's pretty though. The white dots, obviously made with white acrylic paint and a dotting tool. I'm not so proud of those white border lines... they looked totally straight while painting them, but later, wow, totally crooked.

Here you can tell what I mean with color in the bottle <-> color on the nail

I wore this one longer than two days. Way longer. I just couldn't get myself to paint my nails again. so instead, I repainted the one nail with the worst damage and kept wearing it for another two days. It was bright, really bright, for some reason. And I got some weird comments. Doesn't matter. I liked those nails.

What do you think? Do you find them weird too? xD

Donnerstag, 27. März 2014

TNCC - Untrieds #1 - Barielle Myrza's Meadows

Hi everyone,

phew... another 6 weeks without a post.... and I'm not even going to try to defend myself. I totally lost my mojo and truthfully, I haven't found it again - yet. I'm polishing my nails, of course, but mostly plain polish. I'm just really too tired. There's too much going on that's stressing me out and I have even lost quite a bit of weight because of that.

Anyway, "Untrieds", TNCC theme for March, is a theme made for me... and I didn't even vote that time. I can easily show four manicures for this one. Every polish I have been wearing since February was an Untried. ^^; One of the bigger projects I have undergone since February was a set of gel extensions I did on myself. That's why my nails are so long in the pictures below. Just for your information, because the third set of nail art will not have those anymore.

So the first nail art I did on these extensions was originally intended for the February theme, but well... it also matches the March theme. I used Barielle Myrza's Meadows as my base, a long time untried. It's a glittery grass green polish, opaque in three coats and surprisingly smooth. I was inspired by one of my favorite summer camisoles, which has little mirror-like things surrounded by colorful thread.

I tried to show the polish as color accurate as possible. Sadly, that meant a very unnatural skin tone.

Don't ask what polishes I used for the dots. I don't remember. I bought those shiny sequins back in Japan, but I'm pretty sure you can find something similar at Born Pretty Store or the like.

I still like this mani. It's kind of fun and bright, just the total opposite of what I feel like these days. ^^;

What do you think? Do you wear greens like these?

Freitag, 7. Februar 2014

Off season: Nightmare Before Christmas inspired nails

Today, I'm throwing in one of those manicures I did for the Halloween theme last fall: a Nightmare Before Halloween inspired one. I'm still not happy with my tutorial manicures and I'm starting to think that I should just redo them...

So, yeah, this is not the season for either Halloween or Christmas, but I have a friend who loves Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas and she can watch it and sing its songs all year long, so I'm just doing the same with this manicure. I wanted to do a Halloween Before Christmas manicure for about 3 years, but only 2013 I got around to do it. And I haven't even shown it to the aforementioned friend...

Aside from this, I'm choosing this manicure because it also fits the tutorial theme. I can't find the tutorial anymore and I can't even seem to remember the name for the technique, but well, it was inspired by a tutorial too. Maybe anyone knows which tutorial I'm talking about?

Nightmare before Christmas inspired Halloween nails

Nightmare before Christmas inspired Halloween nails

Nightmare before Christmas inspired Halloween nails

Nightmare before Christmas inspired Halloween nails

I remember that I was quite frustrated while painting the details on my ring finger. I just couldn't paint them fine enough. In the end, I ordered new brushes. ^^;

After one day of wear, I decided to mattify this manicure...

Nightmare before Christmas inspired Halloween nails

Nightmare before Christmas inspired Halloween nails

It looks more spooky this way, doesn't it?

Materials used:
- p2 eternal
- my go-to Color Club white
- essie matte about you
- white and black acrylic paint
- acetone

Basically, you paint your nails with your base color (black) and let it dry thoroughly. (You might want to apply one coat of topcoat here...) Then you apply random lines of your second color (white) and immediately dilute them with a fine brush dipped in acetone. You best do one nail at a time here. I managed to smudge my base a couple of times. Luckily, it doesn't show in the pictures.

What do you think about this manicure and the technique?

Thank you for reading!

Dienstag, 4. Februar 2014

OPI - Mermaid's Spell with simple nail art

Today, I'm taking a break from catching up with the Nail Challenge Collaborative to show you some simple nail design I did with OPI Mermaid's Spell a little while ago. The truth is... I'm not very happy with my pictures for the third and fourth January designs. I have to work some more on them. That's what you get for slacking...

Oh well. So as I mentioned before, not posting and not doing my nails as often as before didn't stop me from buying more and more nail polish. I frequently check on second-hand sites too and in fall, I managed to get the beautiful Mermaid's Spell for relatively little money.

When I wore it for the first time, I wanted to add some nail art, but keep it very simple. Since I love the combination of teal+pink (and teal+purple), I opted for some pink rhinestones and some nail art stickers. Man, I haven't used these stickers in ages! I picked up those star stickers back in 2007, when I was living in nail art wonderland (Japan). And they're still good!

OPI Mermaid's Spell with simple nail art

OPI Mermaid's Spell with simple nail art

OPI Mermaid's Spell with simple nail art

To sum it up once more... here's the

Materials used:
- OPI Mermaid's Spell
- pink rhinestones
- nail stickers
- essence BTGN Top Sealer

I adore Mermaid's Spell. I can totally understand why so many people love it. And I can't understand why I didn't buy it sooner. It was no lemming of mine at all! I need to wear it again... soon!

Thanks for reading! :)

Montag, 3. Februar 2014

TNCC - Inspired by a Tutorial #2 - Shooting Stars

Good morning ladies,

I'm continuing my 'back-into-blogging'-plan with my second manicure for the January prompt of the Nail Challenge Collaborative: Tutorials. This manicure just happened. It wasn't planned at all, but I liked them.

Originally, I only wanted to wear one of my new polishes, KBShimmer Turbulence, but something was lacking for me when I wore it. In the swatches I had seen, there was this gorgeous blueish and pink shimmer, but even though it's there, it's hiding most of the time. So I wanted to pimp it up a bit for the second day of wear. And that's where the tutorial kicks in.

After googling around a little bit, I settled with this tutorial for shooting stars. I followed these steps, but chose different polishes for each nail. It's still rather subdued, but a lot more fun than the base on it's own. Turbulence is more of an autumn color I think. Stormy november skies or something.

Materials used:
- KBShimmer Turbulence (base)
- Color Club Sparkle and Soar, Metamorphosis, Sky High, Wing Fling (stars)
- star-shaped rhinestones
- striping tape

What do you think?

Ah... I really want to change my layout... I'm starting to seriously hate it...

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