Saturday, October 29, 2011

Colour Change Daisy Fest

My love for glittery nail polishes boarders on unreasonable. If it glitters and I have cash it's going to end up coming home with me. If you throw temperature colour change into the mix there will be squeeing and it will definitely be coming home with me. I get hours of amusement out of colour changers. I love watching the colour change through the day. You never know whether it will be the warm temperature or cool colour or even better a gradient like in the picture on the lower left. This mani features BYS Moods in Blue. I don't know if I'm more in love with the sky blue cool temperature colour (pictured over there on the left) or the palest ice it becomes when it's warm (pictured below right).
There was something about this blue that just said DAISIES. These decals have been languishing in my nail stamping plates box for a couple of years now. They came in a Hello Kitty show bag. I've never been a fan of decals because they often peel off so I prefer to paint or stamp images onto my nails. This time I put the decal onto not quite dry top coat, let it dry then put another coat on top. They stayed on for about four days. The polish needed daily topping off where it wore around the edges of my nails despite them being wrapped. BYS has great staying power on the nail bed but the edges usually need a lot of maintainance.
<- Gradient effect

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Multi Coloured Dotty Mani (with a How To)

I had to nubbinise my nails yet again last week. They were splitting because I wasn't giving them time off at all and the base coat I was using was not so great. I've switched to BYS's base coat which is fantastic and surprisingly cheap at $5. BYS's polishes are generally great value. You can get all sorts of special effects like crackle, scented, colour change, holo glitters, neons, UV glows and jellies all for $5 each and their range of plain colours makes me vibrate with glee.
It's hard to do a mani that makes nubbins look good so I went with one of my favourite looks, POLKA DOTS. I have a serious affection for the spots. I prefer to make them myself rather than stamp because I just can't find a good white for stamping. I think I'm going to have to cave in and pay a small fortune for a genuine Konad stamping polishes in white, black, gold and silver.
A mani that takes this amount of time requires sound prep for longevity. There's nothing more annoying than taking an hour to pretty up your nails only to wake up the next day to chips or having it look a mess because of sloppy edges. Good prep really only takes a couple of minutes plus drying time.
Nail Prep 101 (The less mess method)
  1. Rub all around your nails with cuticle oil or petroleum jelly. This step makes polish overspill really easy to clean off.
  2. Swab each nail with nail polish remover. I prefer acetone free for this step. Do not use one that claims to add oils or vitamins or any other extra fruit salad. The point of this step is to remove any surface oils and overspill from the goop you just wiped around your nails. Wait a couple of minutes after this step to make sure all of the remover has dried off your nails.
  3. Apply Base coat and let it dry thoroughly. Properly dry base coat makes the coloured polish adhere to your nails a little better.

Dotty Mani Step by Step

  1. Gather your tools. Bundle Monster Plate #14, assorted nail polishes in colours you adore, a dotting tool, your stamping tools, top coat, base coat and white stamping polish for the dots.
  2. Paint each nail a different colour. Two coats as needed, letting it dry completely between coats.
  3. Put a generous drop of white stamping polish on the corner of your stamping plate holder. Dip the dotting tool into the polish and put three dots at the base of the nail replenishing the paint between dots. Offset the second row between the first and the third row between the second. Let the dots dry before doing the dots on the other hand. I always do my dominant hand first. I smudge less nails that way.
  4. Rose print nail- follow your normal stamping procedure using the rose stamp. Stamp in random places all over your chosen rose nail. Let dry then do the other hand.
  5. Rose with leaves- Thumb. Still using the rose stamp place a rose a little off centre on your thumb nail. Put a dollop of green polish on your plate holder dip the dotting tool in, dot your nail then drag slightly to create a leaf shape. Place the leaves around the rose. Let dry before doing the other hand.
  6. Two colour cup cake. Using the cup cake stamp on BM#14 plate put a small dollop of brownish polish on the bottom of the cup cake and a dollop of your chosen frosting colour on the top. When dragging the scraper across the design be very careful to go horizontally across the cup cake so as not to mix the colours. Stamp in the usual way.
  7. When everything is dry apply top coat, clean up your edges by wiping off the petroleum jelly and admire your handiwork.

To keep the mani looking fresh apply a thin layer of top coat once a day. This should get you almost a week out of your MANI. Don't forget to wrap the nail each time. Wrapping is when you drag the brush across the top of the nail while trying not to paint the top of your finger. It's the key to stopping chipping.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm Puffed!

I'm completely addicted to knitting these things.
They're called Hexipuffs, they're made of sock yarn scraps and they tie together to make a Bee Keeper's Quilt (it's a Tiny Owl Knits design). Sorry about the lousy webcan shot. I'm not in the mood to battle with the camera right now. It's been giving me a hard time.
Anyway my SSK (slip, slip, knit) edge is going kind of wavy. I wonder what I'm doing wrong. I'll have to take it to the forums on Ravelry to see if an expert can help me.
If you want to find out more about The Bee Keepers Quilt hop on over to Tiny Owl Knits and watch the video, buy the pattern, become addicted. This thing has become huge. There are multiple threads on multiple boards on Rav dedicated to Puffing.
Puffing helped me get my knitting mojo back. I stopped knitting for a bit which is serious for me because I'm one of those whacky knitters who knit everywhere and always have a project in my handbag. Usually if I stop knitting it's because I'm sick or there's something big happening. This time it was a prolonged respiratory illness. Knitting is a big part of my life. The whole reason I got into nails was because I liked looking at pretty nails while I knit. I'm aiming for a puff a day while working on other projects. I'm bound and determined to get my capelet finished before the end of Summer and there are a few Hermione beanies that need finishing before Giftmas.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Crackle is not all it's cracked up to be

I'm in love with the look of crackle polishes but they just never work for me. Admittedly I've only tried the one type- BYS Cracked. I'd like to get my hands on other brands but haven't found it handily stocked in a nearby shop yet and can't buy online right now because my credit card was compromised and I'm waiting for a new one.
This mani has a no name brand goldish yellowish base with BYS Cracked Style Purple on top. I finished and had it well and truely dry before bed. <--This what I woke up to find. Big chunks of crackle flaked off despite coating each nail three times and wrapping with BYS top coat from my Cracked kit.
I attempted a repair which left me with patchy but acceptable results.
Less than an hour after the repair job which included running over every nail again (just in case) the big chunks flaked off again. So I scrapped the mani and started with a whole new theme.
Here's what it should have looked like. ---->

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Nail stamps are the new crack (for me).

This is the ubiquitous 'Wow this is my first post' post. It's also my first 'Hey look at my nails post'. This mani was my first nail stamp mani done in April this year. I used Konad knock offs because Konad stuff is ridiculously exy. Yes their stamps work better and you never have to use the business end of a compass to scratch the details in more deeply like you need to with some of the less well etched plates in the cheaper brands. But hey, you get what you pay for.

This mani has an ancient (as in about eight years old) Avon holo glitter for the base. They didn't call it holo back then- it was Rainbow Colour. The stamp is Bundle Monster plate 16. The stamping polish is plain old ordinary polish from a 'junk shop'.