Saturday, 25 April 2015

AIPAS Challenge :: Prehistoric :: Fossil Nail Art with Two Birds Lacquer Mother of Pearl

This fortnight's theme for the Australian Indie Polish Appreciation Society is Prehistoric, and as I've always loved fossils since I was a kid, I decided to recreate my favourite ones on my nails.

I used Mother of Pearl from the recent First Anniversary collection from Two Birds Lacquer for my base colour, and mixed in a little bit of Cotton to make a darker grey for my fossil details, being a little bit of fern, and an ammonite.

Mother of Pearl is a cool grey, with a tonne of white and delicate rainbow flakes, with a smattering of tiny mossy green glitters.  It's no wonder I reached for this polish first when deciding what to do for the prehistoric theme.

As I said above, I mixed Mother of Pearl with a touch of Cotton to make a darker grey.  Cotton is a lovely shimmery black charcoal with holographic glitter, and one I'd recommend checking out if you love dark polish colours.

In terms of formula, unfortunately I cannot make comment as I had some evaporation happening in these two bottles and I had to put thinner in them.  I believe it was due to one of my nuggle parents not putting the lid back on properly when I received the parcel, as the other three bottles I received, and an order since, have all been fine.  Lesson learned, if nuggles handle your precious, make sure the lids are on properly!!

Happy Polishing!!
xo Relle

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Born Pretty Store Review - Stamping Plate BP-21 and Geometric Nail Art Mani

I recently reviewed some Born Pretty Store stamping products, and today we are taking a closer look at one of the stamping plates, BP-21.

There are four patterns on the Born Pretty BP-21 plate, a baroque vine type pattern, concentric circles, undulating waves, and geometric lines.  I have stamped them all using black polish onto white card so it is easy to see their patterns.

When you are scraping this plate before picking up the image, you need to have a very light hand.  For the waves and lines, I put barely any pressure on the pattern when I was scraping, as I was having trouble picking up the image.  As soon as I eased up on the pressure while scraping, the stamper picked up the images perfectly, and I was able to stamp both hands in no time. 

I chose the geometric lines for my full mani, using Born Pretty's silver stamping polish (see the link to my review at the bottom of this post) over a coat of Illamasqua's Ouija, which is a lovely shimmery pink.

I received lots of compliments on these nails, and I really loved how the light hit the silver stamping.  I was very happy with how fine the stamping came out on these, and I'm looking forward to buying a few more designs

If you'd like to check out my first post, where I reviewed the stamper and polish as well, click here.

I also have a 10% off code for you all, so feel free to plug in my code LL10K31 at checkout (doesn't apply to already discounted items though!)

Happy Polishing!!
xo Relle

This stamping plate was provided to me for review by Born Pretty Store.
This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Review of Emma by ViVi Nails :: False Nails from Fancy Nails

Thanks to a super busy weekend and work week, this post was a little delayed, but there's no time like the present!  Emma is the third set of nails sent to me for review by Fancy Nails.  

Emma features a pink that rivals the "Strike Me Pink" bicycle I had growing up, teamed with negative space, white polka dots and lace, and cream and gold bow charms.  

There are 20 nails in various sizes to choose from, with different sized polka dots and clear "negative space" areas.  The gold bow charm nails also have gold studs, whereas the big cream bows are the only nails with the negative space in the middle of the nail.  I was able to use different nails on all of my fingers, with the two smallest sized nails having the half moon at the cuticle.  I think these were my favourite out of the pack as I'm not particularly fond of visible nail lines, even if they can barely be seen unless you are looking for them.

I have to say, as packaging goes this was my favourite box out of the three I was given to review.  Of course, with a holographic back-sheet, this set had an unfair advantage, but I also liked the way that each nail had a little nesting spot, which is particularly important when the nails have larger 3d design elements.

Aren't they just so pretty in the box?

On to the nails!!

The Emma nails are listed on Fancy Nails as being medium length, which of course on my tiny little nail beds means they were long!  I did find it a little bit difficult to do some everyday tasks, and type, while wearing these nails, but that is to be expected when your nails grow an extra centimeter in 3 minutes!  This set was also pre-sticky, so no glue or double sided nail tape was needed to apply, just choose the size and press!  A super quick process, especially as the nails are all laid out in their little trays so you can easily grab the matching nail for the other hand.

I did have a tiny little accident when applying the middle nail, as I wasn't paying attention and didn't take care not to press on the 3d bow when I was securing it on my nail.  Like all bow charms, there is only a little bit of surface area where the nail and charm is attached, so putting pressure on this join is not a good idea.  I was left with one perfectly attached nail on one hand, and a bow charm in the other hand!  I popped the bow charm back on using some nail glue, and everything was fine.

You will need to take a little more care of these nails due to the 3d elements, but other than that, they were quite comfortable, and needed minimal smoothing of the tips.

This set of Emma nails by ViVi is currently available from Fancy Nails for $9.49

Link to product:
Link to store:

Happy polishing!!
xo Relle

This product was provided to me for review by Fancy Nails

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Review of Harajuku Cupid by Yunail :: False Nails from Fancy Nails

Today I'm sharing with you the second set of nails from Fancy Nails.  These nails are by a brand called Yunail, and the design is called Harajuku Cupid.  There are a few different themes of the "Harajuku" style, so there may be a design to suit you no matter your tastes.  There is even a monster themed one!  The Cupid nails are bright, girly, and they're super fast to apply.  Great for the gal who is short of time but still wants to rock some funky nail art.

This set comes in a pack of 24, with a variety of designs including cupid bows, stars, wings, rainbows, unicorns, and graffiti words (which I cannot for the life of me work out), in different colours depending on the size of nail.  When you get up very close, you can see the print is made up of tiny little dots, like a comic book, which I think adds to the charm of these nails.  

I was able to easily match up the nail sizes, and had quite a few designs to choose from.  I decided to go for as many different designs as possible, but I could have easily done an all blue/pink/purple mani too.

 On to the nails!!

Fancy Nails list these as short length nails, however for people like myself who are members of the Itty Bitty Nail Bed Committee (ie. your nail bed rarely goes over 1cm long in any direction), they give you a medium length.  These were the more manageable length for me than the Gift Box nails, with my pinky nail being just a few mere millimeters shorter than the false nail.  

I absolutely adore the patterns on these ones, and how can you go wrong with a neon rainbow unicorn?  You can't.  It's impossible.

I tested this set of nails under a black light and they glow really well.  The glow colours contrast more than in my photo, but you will just need to take my word for it as my standard camera, and my phone camera just couldn't cope with all of the awesome this UV glow contained.

This set of Harajuku Cupid nails by Yunail are currently available from Fancy Nails for $16.99.

Happy Polishing!!

xo Relle

This product was provided to me for review by Fancy Nails.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Review of Gift Box by Liqi :: False Nails from Fancy Nails

I have a fun set of false nails to share with you today, complete with a little bunny mani prop since I'm desperately trying to hold on to the relaxation I experienced over the Easter break.

I have a couple of quick and easy products from Fancy Nails to share with you this week, starting with this super girly set of false nails by Liqi.  The pattern is called Gift Box, and features nail art in pastel blues, pinks, lemons and white with caramel brown polka dots, pearls, gold beads and bows.  

As you can see, the nails are square cut, and do have a bit of length on them.  They are a medium to medium-long length, and there are 24 nails in the pack, so you will have plenty of options when it comes to sizing up your fingers.  While I could type when wearing them, my typing speed did suffer, so probably not a work friendly length for those of us who have to bash away at a keyboard for 8 hours.

I have quite small nail beds, and I was able to find sizes in the pack to suit me, and there were quite a few larger sizes as well so they would suit a variety of adult sized nails.  I was a little sad that the smaller blue nail didn't fit one of my fingers, but the larger one did fit my thumb.  

Below are photos of the contents of the packet.  I have also included a photograph of the instructions on the back for your info.  I used my own supply of press-on false nail tape as I avoid using nail glue where possible, but I did use the glue to affix a bow on one of the other sets, so I can attest to it's quickness in drying.   

On to the nails themselves!  

These were fun nails to wear, and are uber cute.  There is enough variation in the nail art that I was able to use nails with a different pattern/colour combo on each of my fingers.  I found the decorations to be quite secure, and the bows survived getting caught in my hair twice.  If you constantly run your fingers through your hair like I do, you may have some experience with 3D elements and now how easily they can tangle!  

The colours and bows on these nails reminded me of Hello Kitty, so I couldn't leave her out of the photo shoot!  

In summary, if you need a super cute nail look, super fast - these are a great way to go.  I really liked the pastels and pearls together, and the nail art was attached securely, and I think I would get a couple of wears out of this set with careful removal.  

Gift Box by Liqi are currently available from Fancy Nails for $18.49.

Happy Polishing!

xo Relle

This product was provided to me for review by Fancy Nails.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

My First Successful Nail Art Stamping :: Review of Born Pretty Store Stamping Products

When done competently, stamping can give you awesome results - details so fine that even the most practiced nail artist would need to take their time doing, geometric precision, and a huge time saving.  When done badly, you are left with frustration, a destroyed base mani, a whole lot of clean up on your desk from all your failed attempts.

My name is Relle, and I am a stamping numpty.

I have tried stamping on and off for the past two years, and have had mild success with individual images, but the ability to apply whole nail patterns continued to escape me. It wasn't until I followed the awesome stamping series by Tara of Loki's Lacquer last month that I realised that I had to break up with my stamper.  It was a case of "it's not me, it's you", with the curve of my nails not liking the rigidity of the normal Konad stamper.  It was great for the small images, but whole nail designs never transferred properly and was difficult to line up properly.  I needed some squish.  That was why when Born Pretty Store offered to send me some more products for review, I selected some new stamping related items.

Born Pretty Store Stamping Products

Today I am sharing with you four Born Pretty Store products, being a squishy stamper and scraper set, a silver stamping polish, and two stamping plates with "whole nail" patterns.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Dotty Easter Eggs :: Chi Chi Cosmetics Rubber Nails Nail Art

I knew I wouldn't get many "Easter" nail art looks done this year, as I've been under the weather, but in the brief period between "getting better from the head cold" and "total incapacitation due to tonsillitis" I managed to do an easy neon dotticure of "lumpy dotty Easter eggs".  

I picked up this set of Chi Chi Rubber Nails on sale from Target around the beginning of this year, but I hadn't used it until now.  I was curious about the "rubber" finish, but what drew me in was the neon colours.  I had not long gotten rid of a very cheap set of neons so I had a definite hole in my collection which these polishes plugged nicely.

The polishes dry a satiny rubber-ish matte, and apart from the yellow, were fairly opaque in two coats.  Make sure you leave a little time between coats to let it dry - even though it goes the matte/rubber finish fairly quickly, the polish isn't all the way dry, and if you try to put on another coat before it's dry it does drag a little bit. 

Of course, I knew there was a chance that some of the neon polishes would glow under black light, and on testing I was happily surprised with all polishes but the green glowing.  The purple was not as bright as the pink in terms of glow, and they were very similar glowy colours.  The neon yellow was amazingly bright, and reminded me of a fresh glow stick and was a definite stand-out favourite.

I decided to do my dotty easter eggs using the yellow, blue, orange and pink as I was aiming for the most contrast both in natural light and black light.  I put down three coats of the yellow and the visible nail line was mostly covered, although I was a bit slap-happy when doing the first and second coats so it was slightly uneven.  If you're not planning on covering up most of the nail with some kind of nail art, I'd recommend using a white base coat for the yellow, as it will give you a better glow, and you won't need to do so many coats.

From there, I randomly placed the large pink dots, then the blue, then orange.  I went back through and put some smaller dots in to fill in the gaps and give it a more random look.  I did not topcoat the nails as I wanted a slightly bumpy dotty finish, and I didn't want to lose the matte/rubber finish.  I've had this mani on for about five days now, and there are no flakes, chips or tip wearing, so I am rather impressed with the longevity of this polish, particularly because there is no topcoat.

It's black light time!!!!

It's worth following Chi Chi on Instagram or Facebook, as you can find out when Target, Priceline or Myer are having sales on their products (or there are store exclusives).  From memory I picked up this set at 40% off, so you can definitely save some money if you are a savvy shopper.

Happy Polishing!!

xo Relle

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Nude Jelly Sandwich :: Shades of Phoenix and Nicole by OPI

My poor little blog has been a bit neglected lately, due to a rather stubborn flare-up of a skin condition.  Thankfully my hands have recovered (most of the way) and I'm able to paint them again!

At the very start of the attack, I broke my middle finger nail off (why do you always leave me, Middle Missy!!!!) but I wasn't going to let that stop me trying out two new polishes.  It did make for some interesting hand contortions while I was putting Missy in the naughty corner.  

For this look, I layered Nicole by OPI's Sheer Fun with Shades of Phoenix Forever & A Day. Sheer Fun is, well, sheer, but it has a delightful pink shimmer through it.  Forever & A Day was part of the Valentine's Duo from Shades of Phoenix, and has black, hot pink and rose pink holographic glitters, with a touch of iridescent glitter.

I did one coat of Sheer Fun, two normal (not dabbed) coats of Forever & A Day, then topped with Sheer Fun and a matte top coat.  

I really liked the combination of black glitters with the pink in Forever & A Day, giving it a more sophisticated, peppered rose feel.  The Valentine's Duo is still available from Shades of Phoenix, however it has been discontinued, so if you want to get your hands on it, don't wait too long.  

Happy Polishing!
xo Relle