Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Nail art using feathers

I first saw this effect on the Glamour website. I was amazed by this and wanted to try it myself! My mum bought my a masquerade mask from a charity shop for £1. The feathers were perfect for trying out this nail art effect! You can buy feathers from many craft shops, though my one at my town centre didn't!! You can also buy them online. For this you will need feathers, a clear nail varnish and a nail varnish that is the lightest colour on the feathers, nail scissors and a nail file (emery board).

Masquerade mask

I carefully ripped the feathers off the mask and threw away any feathers that weren't good enough to use and the mask. It doesn't matter what the bottom of the feather looks like or what condition it is in, you'll only use the top part.


To prepare the feathers, all you need to do is cut them slightly longer then your nails, it's better to have too much then not enough!

Cutting the feathers.

Once they are cut, pick off any loose parts of the feathers. Also have them spread out so you can easily pick them up.

Some of the feathers I cut up.

For your nails, you need to prepare them as normal and apply a clear coat. Once dried paint your nails with 2 thin coats of nail varnish you want. As my feathers are orange and black, I tried doing this with black nails, it didn't work very well, so I recommend using the lightest colour on the feathers, for me this is orange. I used 2True shade number 27, this can be found in Superdrug.

My base coat - 2True shade 27.

Once your nails have dried, it's time to apply the feathers. Do your nails one at a time, I started at my thumb. Put on a slightly thicker coat of clear nail varnish. Depending how long it takes to dry, leave it a few seconds to become more tacky. This will sound weird but lick your finger and press on to the feather, it will pick it up without messing up the feather! Now place onto the nail, don't worry about the excess or how uneven the edges are, we will sort them out later! Press down on them and leave to dry! Now repeat for the rest of your nails.

Putting on the feathers.

Once they are dry, it's time to cut of the excess! I found the easiest way to do this is to use nail scissors. I found that the top of my nails were sharp so I used a nail file, but do this up and down not left to right or right to left as it can move the feather, even when dry and make it lift up!

Time to cut off the excess!

Once you've cut it and filed it, you should get something similar to the pictures below. I personally didn't do a top layer but went around the edges with my clear nail varnish to make sure it doesn't lift up!

Finished results.
Finished results. 

So what do you think of this nail effect? I'm not sure if it's something I will do often. But I really wanted to try it and I thought it's really creative! Let me know if you like this effect and may try it yourself! It isn't difficult, but it is time consuming!

Monday, 26 August 2013

Nail Varnish/Beauty Haul!

Today I went shopping and bought loads of products, nearly all of them cost £1 and under. This made me so happy as I bought a lot of great quality goods but didn't go over the top with spending. This is the second time I have done a £1 an item nail varnish/beauty haul but I thought I would document this one! 

Today I started off in Claire's accessories. They are having a sale on at the moment and items in the sale are buy one get one free! I bought 6 items that would have cost £6 but cost £3, bargain!! I bought bobby pins as I buy some, I always say I'll keep them on the cardboard, never do and they all go missing! Hopefully I won't lose another 24! The nail varnishes I bought based on their colour, I have used the black nail crackle Claire's accessories do (also in the sale) and it worked great so as a result I got the white one. I'm most looking forward to trying the pink one as it's a matte one and I'd like to compare it to the other pink shades I have.

Items I bought in Claire's accessories.

Next I went to poundland, I bought 4 items. I bought a nail varnish spray, it's designed to speed up the drying time of slow drying nail varnishes. To be honest I have never seen it before and I'm looking forward to seeing if this actually works!! I also bought a toner by Simple. I haven't used their products before but I have heard a lot of good things about them! I have only recently started using a toner (I use a body shop seaweed one) it's too early to see if I notice a difference but it's only fair I give a few products a try! I have already tried the Aussie deep conditioner and it's fantastic! I didn't need to use a lot and it smells so nice, but didn't really smell of mint but that's okay! I bought the Sally Hansen nail varnish as I needed a light grey for some nail art I will be trying out in the future!

Items I bought in poundland.

Next the 99p shop! I bought 3 OPI nail varnishes, 2 black and one gold shatter effect! These can cost around £10 but recently the price has dropped online. The nail varnishes are very good quality, even the label is, I'm sure they are real. I did notice the barcodes are crossed out, I assume this is because the products won't be on sale any more or the bottles are changing. Either way I'm so happy I got some, I love crackle effect! I also bought myself 2 sanitizers, they came together in a pack for 99p which is good value! I've used the unscented one which smells awful! Today I got the lemon & lime one, it doesn't really smell of citric but takes the edge off the horrible smell that it has! If you want a nice smelling hand sanitizer, try the body shop ones, they are lovely but more expensive. I bought a scented nail varnish as well, mainly to smell it! I will let you know if it's nice or not!

Items I bought in the 99p shop.

Lastly I also went in Superdrug and ASDA. Superdrug sell MUA nail varnishes that I have reviewed before. I am a fan of these, especially at £1! I also needed a brown colour so got this one! I was looking in ASDA at primers, to see what choice they had. Of course I had a look at the nail varnishes and found a denim effect one! This was £3, but I'm so excited to try it, I really hope it doesn't disappoint! 

Items I bought in Superdrug and ASDA
This all cost £15.96 which I think is great! The day out really cheered me up and I have a lot to look forward to trying out! Let me know if you got any bargains, I love a bargain!! 

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Nail art using a make up sponge and a bath lily

Today I will be showing what else you can do with make up sponges apart from rainbow nails! I first saw this in the nail art book I have been reading Nail Art by Helena Biggs. Though the tutorial says to use something else, I thought that using a bath lily would be a cheaper alternative that many people have in their homes.

What I used for this nail art.

For this I used Maybelline clear nail varnish, Nail Inc london Basil Street, Avon nailwear in fuchsia, 1 make up sponge, a bath lily, it is up to you whether you cut a piece off one or unravel it like I have done. I will only be showing 1 nail as you can only see the detail close up. As usual any colours can be used! Experiment with different colours and see what results you get!

Nail Inc Basil street.

Firstly as usual, prepare your nails as normal and paint on a clear coat. Second is to apply 2 thin coats of your background/base colour, leaving time in between to dry, I'm using Nail Inc Basil street. Once dry, the tricky part is next!

Bath lily over the nail and tucked under
the thumb

Painting the make up sponge.

Cut a part of a bath lily big enough to use on all 5 of your nails. Paint some nail varnish onto the make up sponge, don't apply too much as excess nail varnish will go under the lily ans not create a pattern!! I started with my thumb, you want to place the bath lily over the nail with the excess being tucked under the thumb to keep it in place. Now get the make up sponge with nail varnish on it and dab it 2 or 3 times on the nail and remove the bath lily straight away, leaving the nail to dry. Repeat this for the rest of the nails, you can now use your thumb/fingers to help hold the lily into place.

Dabbing the sponge onto the nail

I tried to do a similar effect to the one in the book, making the top left the most colourful going lighter towards the right and bottom of the nail. This is my first try of this and isn't perfect but I think it's a great idea and doesn't take too long to do!

Results, not perfect but will experiment
with different colours!
 I would recommend for people to try this! Let me know if you try it! Also if you want me to try a particular design or use certain colours, let me know!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Pretty by quest - red nail fluff

Being a fan of nail varnish and nail art, I don't want to limit myself to one particular brand. But is it worth trying out a brand from Poundland you've never heard of? I give every brand a chance, whether they cost £1 or £10! I decided to try Pretty by Quest's velvet effect nail varnish. In the packaging includes 1 red nail varnish, red nail fluff and a little brush. I have used nail fluff before, I wrote about MUA's fur-effect nails here and am a huge fan of it. This comes with a nail varnish, fluff and a brush for £1! This is a third of the cost of MUA's nail fluff, so how do they compare?

Packaging of the nail fluff.

Well the obvious fact is the MUA nail fluff does not come with a nail varnish nor a brush. For me this isn't a problem, I have many nail varnishes, the back of the packaging even says it needs nail varnish to use. MUA's nail fluff comes with more nail fluff but for 3 times the price and no nail varnish, you'd expect this. Where Pretty by Quest's (will say PBQ for short now) nail fluff goes downhill compared to MUA's is durability. I have worn the PBQ nail fluff for under 24 hours and my thumb barely has any fluff on it and all show some loss of fluff where as with MUA, I wore it for 4 days with only a tiny amount of fluff lost at the top of the nail. 

What you need to create
nail fluff nails!

You use the red nail fluff in the same way as any other nail fluff. For this I used the 3 pieces that came in the packet as well as a maybelline clear nail varnish and a piece of paper to collect loose fluff!

To use the nail fluff, prepare your nails as normal, apply a clear coat and leave to dry. Place your paper on the desk (I'd recommend doing this at a table/on a flat surface). Use the red nail varnish provided to paint one nail. While it's still wet, over the paper, pour the nail fluff onto the nail. Press down gently and leave a couple of minutes to dry, when dry, use the brush to clear the excess fluff. Repeat these steps until your nails are finished, there is no need to do a top coat.

This can be messy!
Lots of fluff didn't make it
to my nails!

You'll end up in having lovely fluffy nails but a mess on the paper as seen above right, this can easily be put back into the container to use next time! Pick up the paper at both ends and hold them with one hand, use your other hand to tap the paper to collect it together. pinch the paper in the middle, this will create a spout (if I can call it that?) to make it even easier to pour in. The best way I found to pour it in is to gently tap the bottom of the paper while lining up the spout with the top of the container as seen below.

In conclusion I would happily recommend both brands to my friends, which one would depend on what they want from a nail fluff. If it's only for a night out, the PBQ nail fluff does the job great, even the nail varnish for £1 is great quality and colour. If you want nail fluff that will last a few days and you'd like to use any nail colour with it, I'd recommend MUA's fur effect nails. Below shows the result of using PBQ's nail fluff!

Monday, 19 August 2013

First attempt of tribal nail art

I have been reading a nail art book my mother bought me called Nail Art by Helena Biggs. In this book includes many pictures of different nail art designs from around the world, history of nail art and some great tips! One of the designs shown was tribal nail art. It is very intricate but makes your nails stand out with burts of colours and geometric shapes.  One of the great things about this nail art is that the only rule as such is geometric shapes, lines and spots, colours are completely up to you!

I used, as pictured below, left to right, Barry M grey (293), Barry M yellow (134), Rimmel London salon pro britpop (713), Rio professional nail art pen & brush red, pink tease black nail pen and brush and Rio professional nail art pen & brush in purple and white.

Nail varnishes I used.

To start off, prepare your nails as normal and apply a clear coat to your nails. Secondly apply 2 thin coats of a chosen colour, I used yellow and blue, I did have a photo of this, but the image file corrupted, sorry!
I used my grey to create a V shape on 4 of the nails, on the other nail I painted the left and right of the nail to create a coloured strip in the middle.

Grey V shapes on the nails.

Remember to leave each part to dry, this is why it gets time consuming, you do not want colours to smudge or bleed.  I then used a white nail pen to outline the V. Once dried I used the black nail art pen to draw zigzags in the grey V and draw dots alongside the white outline. I then drew a red outline below the V and drew lines below it until it created a triangle in the middle, this I coloured purple. The feature nail is a lot more simple with 4 dots either side and the zigzag in the middle.

Final result!
Above shows the end result. This did take an hour to do. I would definitely do this again, I really enjoyed trying this out! Have you tried doing tribal nail art? Post a picture/comment below! Would love to see more tribal nail art, it's stunning!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Review - MUA Bright pink (23) nail varnish

I do not own this picture, was taken
from MUA's website!
This is my first review. I have written a post about what I look for in a nail varnish and how I am painting the nails (coats and a top coat) this can be found here.

I have used MUA in the past, I have their fur-effect nails, lipsticks and I use their pressed powder, I have found them very good value for money, so I was expecting the same when buying my first nail varnish of theirs.  Bright pink is a newer colour to the range and as I have researched online, has been very popular!

The first thing you notice before you buy it, it is a smaller bottle, you get 6.2ml of nail varnish, many I personally use are 10-12ml. But as I have so many nail varnishes, I have had the odd one dry up! (I will not name brands) So the fact it was a smaller bottle did not bother me, you can see straight away it's smaller and for £1, you expect something small!

Once I began to try it out, one thing I noticed was the smell, or rather the lack of it. All nail varnishes do have a similar smell, some stronger then others. Those that are cheaper generally smell stronger then more expensive ones, but that isn't always the case and isn't in this case!

I was expecting for this to smell very strong, especially as it only cost £1, but it smells similar to those 3 or 4 times the price! I have no complaints about the brush, it's a good size for the bottle it's in. The colour is fantastic, I was worried that putting 2 coats of it may not be enough, it looked quite bright in the bottle but it is as bright after 2 coats, it also went on my nail very well. It didn't take too long to dry either, I have tried nail varnishes that dry quicker and dry slower.
Nail varnish when applied
Nail varnish after 4 days

After 4 days I took a picture of my nails. There is some chipping, the middle 3 nails were worse. In a couple of places it is noticeable from a short distance. But I don't think it's too bad considering it isn't labelled as a long lasting or 10 day chip free nail varnish.

The only problem I had with this nail varnish was with the label on the bottle. Like many beauty products, it has a 2 layered sticker, with a triangle in the corner indicating to peel. I found my label (I don't know if all are like this or if this is a one off) to be very stuck on. It took quite a while to peel and I had to use all my strength to get it to come off!

Overall, I am very impressed with this nail varnish, despite using their products in the past, I wasn't sure what to expect for £1. You do get slightly less and for some reason my label was really glued on! But the colour, coverage, smell, even the chipping is a similar quality to nail varnishes 3 times more! I would personally buy them in the future and may even try out the quake nails or glitter nails. I would rate this an 8/10 which is very high!! Please remember this is my opinion!

Have you tried MUA nail varnish? What is your opinion? I would love to know what you all think!!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Reviews, what am I looking for in a nail varnish?

As a lover of nail varnishes, I have used so many different brands. Each company/brand has several different ranges of nail varnishes. It's difficult to decide on which brand to buy! This doesn't even include smaller companies, individuals or brands you cannot buy in shops! I have decided to start reviewing nail varnishes from all different price ranges. Is it worth it to pay that bit extra for a more well known named nail varnish?

This is the first review of many, I am planning on doing these on a weekly basis but if they prove to be popular, then that may increase! I will still be doing my nail art ideas 1 or 2 times a week depending on how busy I am. These nail varnishes I will be wearing for 4 days and giving each nail varnish 2 thin coats with a top coat, which will always be Maybelline as they were on sale in the 99p shop and I got the last 3! This ensures a fair test of how much, or little, they chip.

Please remember this is all my opinion, but it will be an unbiased opinion. I'm not doing any activities to purposely chip the nails. Also bare in mind the cost of nail varnishes, unless borrowed, are coming straight out of my pocket! But I do tend to buy them on offer.

So what am I looking for in nail varnishes?

Price: How much does it cost, what can I buy for that price, is the product worth the cost?
Chips: After 4 days has the nail varnish chipped, if so how much? Does this correlate with the cost?
Application: How long does it take to dry? Is it an even, smooth colour?
Smell: Is the smell strong or tolerable?

These are the main things I am looking at personally. I may add other information. But these are things I'm looking for as well as the "rules" or how I'm keeping it as fair as possible. I will link this to the start of every review if I remember!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

More 3D nail art with gold studs

I'll be going back to a previous post, which can be found here, showing another design that can be achieved using nail studs.  The ones I use cost £1.50 from eBay and are a gold colour. I am also using the pin that I put in a rubber which I made for this blog. The nail varnishes I am using are Barry M magnetic dark silver 326 and Barry M magnetic burgundy 327 as well as my usual maybelline for my clear coats. The colour/s you use do not have to be magnetic, nor red and black, I just decided to use these colours as I do not use them that often.  I also used a lid to put water in, I find this more convenient, but a glass or cup of water is fine to use.

Items I used for this nail art idea.

Firstly, prepare your nails as usual and paint your nails with a clear coat and leave to dry. Next paint your nails with 2 thin coats of the colour you want to use, leaving time in between to dry.

2 coats of Barry M nail varnish.

The next step is a little tricky. Do this one nail at a time, the more studs you apply, the more time consuming. I paint half the nail with clear nail varnish. While damp/tacky, you want to start applying the studs. Dip your pin into water and then place onto a stud, the water will make the stud "stick" onto the pin, then place the gold stud where you want on the nail. I also find using a pin you can press down on the stud when it's on the nail, to make sure it's set into the nail varnish properly. Keep doing this until you have finished, this will take a long time.

The pin in a rubber, great tool for nail

The end result may be similar to the results I got below, I used 2 different colours and on my middle finger nail, I did a different pattern. I will be using gold studs in a future post to show what else you can do with them! They are well worth the £1.50 I paid and the time I put in to do these nails. If you use any studs or want to show me nail art you have done, feel free to write a comment below!

The final result!
This picture shows 2 different nail varnish
colours as well as 2 different patterns of studs.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Rainbow Nail Art using make up sponges

This is another edition to several I am doing of nail art without using nail art pens, and pieces from around the house. For this I used 5 colours, these do not have to be colours of the rainbow, nor do you need 5 colours. I would recommend using at least 3 different colours. I also used some vaseline and a make up sponge (I bought a bag of them from the 99p shop). The colours I used here are Barry M cobalt blue 291, Barry M yellow 134, Rimmel rapid ruby 484, Miss sporty (no name given) orange 32 and Barry M spring green 290, for my clear coat I use maybelline.

Colours I used with vaseline and a make up sponge.

Firstly I started off by preparing my nails as normal then using a clear coat of nail varnish. Once dry unscrew all of the nail varnishes you are using, this makes it easier. Depending on the size of the make up sponge you use, you can cut it down, I cut mine in half as seen below. At this point I put vaseline around the nail to help taking off the excess paint later on, you do not need vaseline for the nail art to work, but I personally find it a little easier.

Make up sponge with nail varnish on it.

The next step is to paint the nail varnish directly to the sponge, be generous with it as some will be absorbed by the sponge, it should look similar to above. Try do paint the sponge fairly quick, especially using more colours, the first colour starts to dry a bit making it more pale on the nail when applied.

After applying the sponge, messy nails! Don't worry
this is normal!

Now it's time for the fun, but messy, part!! You need to put the sponge on the nail, paint side down and press it on your nail, making sure it covers the whole nail, press down for a few seconds then peel away. I normally use the paint 2 or 3 times before re applying the paint onto the same bit of sponge. Some of the nails will be pale in places, leave the first coat to fully dry then re apply another coat on to the nail using the sponge, normally 2 coats is fine, if you're still unhappy do this a third time but I wouldn't recommend doing this more than 3 times. Once you're happy with the colour, remove the excess, I used a couple of cotton buds with nail varnish remover.

Rainbow nails!!
 Finally, once dried, cover with a top coat! The picture above shows my end result. The picture below was done in exactly the same way but with blue and green nail varnishes. This nail art is time consuming but it's easy to do. There will be more of these nail art ideas without nail pens/rhinestones coming out in the future, so keep an eye out! Just want to show with a little creativity, nail art can be cheap and fun! Thank you for reading if you have any questions, requests or your own blog you want me to have a look at, let me know!

Blue/green nails!!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Spot nail art without nail pens!

Having a few friends who love nail varnish, but do not own nail art pens, rhinestones, transfers etc, I thought I'd do a few nail art blog posts (this being the first of a few) that is based around using the standard nail varnish brush you get with nail varnishes plus things I find around my home, that some people may have.

A dressmaker's pin in a rubber.
You will need for this 3 colours. For this I used Barry M Grey 293, Barry M Matt White 66 and collection 2000 ebony 87. I also looked in my mother's needlework box and found some dressmaker's pins. I put the sharp end into an old England rubber, as seen above, I found so I do not stab myself accidentally with it. This will be used to create dots.

Applying nail varnish to the pin

I would advise practising using the pin first. Apply any colour you want, then press down onto a piece of paper or a nail. Pressing the pin down hard will create a larger dot where as barely pressing down will create smaller dots. Below shows the different sized dots I created using the above pin.

Different sized dots created by the pin above

To create a similar design to the one below, first you need to prepare your nails as normal and paint a clear coat. Secondly You'll need to paint your nails in either the lightest or darkest colour you are using, use 2 light coats to get a good coverage. You could paint all your nails apart from the ring finger's nail the same colour and paint that one another colour like I have. Once dried, it's time to paint the dots! It is completely up to you how many dots on each nail and whereabouts on the nail they are, but make sure you use both the other colours and try to vary the dot size. As an extra you can try and paint dots on the dots like I have with some of them below, just make sure the first dot is dry. Once it's all dried paint a top coat. 

The finished result!