Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Now you see it... now you don't!

I sometimes find it difficult to just do a plain nail colour... I always find myself reaching for my nail art pen or wanting to add a different coloured tip! However, for some occasions, less is always more! So this is a clever trick to add a bit of flair to plain manicure without being all out nail art-tastic!
By using a crackle top coat similar to the base colour the stripe can only be seen in certain lights.

Firstly, I applied two coats of Nail Colour by H&B in Nerd followed by a diagonal thick stripe in Nail Colour by H&M in Check me out.

Step 1 - pale colour and bold stripe
This in itself is a great look which you can further jazz up with a dark crackle top coat over the stripe or add a similar coloured crackle coat to the base colour to create the 'now you see it, now you don't' look. I used 17 Nail Xtras Crackle Top Coat

Step 2 - add crackle coat
Add top coat and enjoy your subtle but on trend nails!

The kit

Happy painting.. the nailist xxx

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Bright angled tips

So unfortunately my Olympic nails were looking a bit dingy so they've gone before The Games have even properly begun!

So I've opted for a quick and simple bright look for the last day of sun this week using a couple of my favourite colours

After base coating (I use a strengthening treatment so I'm keeping up with nail maintenance), apply two coats of a bright colour  - I've used Models Own in Purple Passion.

Step 1  - all over bright colour
Once dry, add angled tips with a contrasting colour. Create an inverted 'V' shape by sweeping diagonally across the outer edge of your nail then repeating the action on the inner side of your nail. I find it easier to go from bottom to top edge/tip. The strokes should cross over at the top.

I opted for a gorgeous bold blue - Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish in Candy Blue.

Step 2 - create inverted V tips
Repeat the process on the other hand and apply a second coat if needed.

There'll be quite a lot of edges to clean up so don't worry. Use an acetone soak cotton bud to do the majority and any small bits will come off easier once it's fully dry and you've washed your hands a few times. Finish off with a quick dry top coat and there you have it.

The kit

Happy painting... the nailist xxx

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Olympic fever

With the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony happening on Friday (finally!), a lot of people have been asking me if I'll be doing some Olympic themed nails. So I couldn't disappoint... my original thoughts were to do flags of each nail but most suggestions have been for the Olympic rings. So, I decided to hold the flags for when the games are in full swing and instead of doing a straightforward ring on each nail I opted for something a little more 'designed'...
Here's how...
Follow the usual mantra... file and base coat! Then cover all nails with two coats of white nail polish, allowing to dry between each coat. I used Models Own Pro Limited Edition in French White.

Step 1 - all over white on both hands
Then using a gold colour, create circular shapes on the edges of each nail... giving each nail a different shape. I used Nail Polish by H&M in Golden Treasure. This is to give each Olympic ring a metallic shadow! If the brush is too thick then use an old make-up brush cutting down the bristles to make a thin brush. 

Step 2 - create gold rings
Repeat the process on the other hand, mixing up the shapes.

Step 3 - create gold rings on the other hand
Once this has dried, layer each ring with one of the colours of the Olympic rings keeping to the order - blue, yellow, black, green and red from left to right. I used Models Own Nail Art Pens for the yellow, blue and black rings. The red is Nails Inc in Milan and for the green I had to do a custom mix, combining Ruby & Millie Nail Colour in Green 720C and Fearne Nail polish in Lime Green.

This is a  a great way of creating a specific colour/shade not in your collection... add a few drops of two colours onto an sheet of plastic and mix to create the desired colour. Just like painting class in primary school!

Step 4 - add colours to the rings
Repeat of the other hand and if necessary go over each line again to make them really pop

Step 5 - repeat on other hand
Add a high shine quick dry top coat, using single strokes to avoid colours bleeding. Clean up the edges with a acetone soaked cotton bud and there you have it! Go Team GB!

The kit

Happy painting... the nailist xxx

Monday, 23 July 2012

Teeny tiny polka dotty

I didn't have much time today but seen as the sun is finally out I opted for a bright pink and pepped it up with some quick polka dots.

No long step by step 'how to' needed for this one... all you do is select a bright colour for all over your nails. Paint two coats and allow to dry. Then using a nail art dotter add some tiny polka dots - keeping the pattern random. You can either do all the same colour dots or alternate colours on every other nail as above. Or if you have a bit more time mix the colours up on each nail so you have a multi-coloured dot effect. Finish off with a high shine top coat.

Here I've used Urban Retreat 'UR hot' for the base hot pink colour and then black and white Models Own nail art pens for the dots.

Happy painting... the nailist xxx

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Spot the orchid

I bought this lovely orchid this week...

I love orchids, mainly because they're the only plant I can seem to keep alive! But also because they're always so interesting to look at.. it inspired me to do this next design. 

It's a tricky one but worth a try...

Filed and base coat, I used one of my favourites... Bourjois's So Perfect! Base Correctice Texture Gel

Apply an earthy pastel colour all over your nails - I used Models Own in Grace Green, but a beige, grey or minky colour would work too.

Step 1 - all over earthy colour

Then, using the brush part of a white nail art pen, draw three petal shapes on the corner of two different fingernails on each hand. I used Models Own Nail Art Pen in White. Your ring finger and index finger work well.

Step 2 - draw petal outline

Then fill the petals in with the white

Step 3 - fill in petals
Now using the dotter part of the white pen decorate the corners of each nail in random dots forming a half moon shape. Decorate a different corner on each nail

Step 4 - decorate with dots
Continue adding dots with a complimentary earthy colour - I used Max Factor Limited Edition Nail Affinity in Boji. Keep the dots random - it doesn't matter if you overlap the white dots

Step 5 - begin layering dots

Then taking a bright fushcia add more dots, keeping to the half moon shape.  If your using a nail polish rather than a nail art dotter just angle the brush so only the corner touches the nail. Here I've used Revlon Scented Nail Enamel in 375 Passion Fruit.

Step 6 - continue layering dots

Finish with a last layer of bright yellow dots. I used the dotter on a Models Own Nail Art Pen in Yellow.

Step 7 - finish with a layer of yellow dots

The result should be a confetti like curved design.

Now using the same fushcia colour used earlier, add the middle of the flower to the very corner tip of the nail in a similar shape to the petals.

Step 8 - add the fushcia flower centre
Then on top of thi,s using the brush of the yellow nail art pen, add a dot for the middle of the flower and two diagonal lines to define

Step 9 - add the yellow centre
Repeat this process on the other hand

Step 10 - repeat on the other hand

Clean up the edges of the nails and finish with a quick dry top coat. I used one of my favourites - Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. And Ta dah... pretty summer nails.

The kit

Happy painting...the nailist xxx

Saturday, 14 July 2012


I bought a new nail colour this week which is a lovely bold purpley blue from Rimmel, so wanted to do an equally bold design to match. I came up with this fun geometric pattern... you need a steady hand but it's definitely worth it...
Here's how..

File and base coat and then paint your whole nail with a light colour - I used a lovely dusky pink - Nail Polish by H&M 'Get a Rose 4 Me'

Step 1 - apply pink all over

Next take a darker colour - in this case my new purpley blue..Rimmel 60 seconds '810 Blue my mind' - and start to create different diagonal and triangular shapes. Use the thin side of the brush rather than the flat to help control edges of shapes.

Step 2 - create free hand triangular/diagonal shapes

Repeat the process on your other hand, creating a variety of shapes. Allow to dry and then carefully go over the darker colour with a second coat.

Step 2 - repeat on other hand (sorry about the slightly out of focus image!)

Once this has dried, defined the edges of the shapes with a nail art pen. I used Model Owns Nail Art Pen in White. Use swift sweeping motions rather than trying to go slowly to achieve a more even finish.

Step 3 - define edges

Once the design is dry apply a shiny top coat to really make the design pop. Top tip is to do your top coat in two strokes without going over the same stroke twice - this ensures the colours don't bleed.

Ta dah - right hand has different shapes to the left (shown above)

Clean up the edges with a nail polish remover soaked cotton bud.

The kit

Happy painting...the nailist xxx

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Cream topped orange

So the inevitable has happened and I bought some new shoes!!..
New shoes!
Unfortunately as they are suede and peeped toe I've been unable to experience that heady new shoes debut due to the biblical-like weather we're experiencing. So I'm channeling my new shoes via my nails.

This is a quick 3 step 'how to' to a fabulous sophisticated summer look

Start as always with a file and base coat - I like to use a strengthening base coat to help combat the effects of constant nail polish remover.

Apply two layers of an orange or coral colour - I used Max Factors 'Diva Coral'. Add two coats if necessary and allow to dry

Step 1 - Apply orange all over nails

Using a dense cream nail polish make a sweeping half moon shaped around the outer edge of each nail starting almost from the base of the nail. Don't worry if you go over the edges - you can clean up later. It helps to use the thin edge of the brush rather than the usual flat side. I used No7 Anniversary Nail Colour in '60s Mini skirt'

Step 2 - add cream curved diagonal tips
Repeat the process on your right hand. This hand can be a bit tricky if you don't have a steady hand. Top tip is to do the tip in one sweeping quick motion rather than trying to do it slowly.

Repeat on the right hand

If you can still see the orange for through the cream then apply a second coat. Allow to dry and add a quick dry top coat for an extra glossy finish.

Step 3 - Add a glossy top coat

And there you have it  - a simple yet effective sophisticated look.

Happy painting...the nailist xx

Monday, 9 July 2012


Taking inspiration from all the neon tribal prints in the shops at the moment I thought I'd give tribal a go. It's a good one for if your hand isn't too steady as perfect lines aren't a must. You can also stop halfway and still have an effective look.

Here's the finished product...read on for a step by step guide

Start by filing your nails into an even shape - this design works with both square and round tips. And prep nails with a good base coat and allow to dry before starting. I used Bourjois So Perfect! Base Corretice Texture Gel.

Step 1 - Apply a turquoise colour all
over your nails. I used Fearne colour Mint Green.

If the colour is thin then apply two coats allowing to dry in between and after
Step 2 - Create the two tone effect

Apply a hot pink colour over the turquoise on one side. Try to use a fairly dense coloured polish with a slim brush. I used  Nail Polish by H&M  'Check me out'. Switch the side of the two tone on the other hand - so in this case I painted the pink on the left hand side of my right nails.

Step 3 - Define with a black line

A nail art pen is a must
To get such a thin line you either need to customise a normal small paintbrush by trimming down the bristles or use a nail art pen. I used Models Own Nail Art Pen in Black.

If you're unsure if you can keep a steady hand for much more you can stop here and you still have a great look - just finish off with a clear top coat. To get the full tribal look, read on...

Step 4 - Horizontal dashes

Add four dashes along each vertical. Don't worry about being too exact but try and leave a large enough space between each for a dot.

The great thing with certain nail art pens, like these Models Own ones I've used, is that they have two different applicator tips - a brush and a dotter. 

Step 5 - add white dots

Using the dotter on a white pen, add 5 very small dots of white on each nail in between alternate gaps in the horizontal lines. Changing sides on each nail to add extra interest