Sunday, 30 September 2012

Viva Las Vegas!

Today is a second stab at a Vegas design for Chelsea. Trying to capture the glitz and glam of Vegas with some nail art detail. There's three different type of nails which can be worn as is or used on every single nail. I've tred to mix it up a bit as my last attempt was OTT nail art detail. Hope you like it!...

So step by step.. here goes

Start with the base colour on all nails. The glittered nails have a black base, I used Max Factor Nailfinity in Onyx. The cream is No7 Anniversary Colour in 60's Mini Skirt and the index finger has a deep green to match poker table felt.. I used Ruby & Millie Nail Colour in Green 720C .

Step 1
Once dry, add a glitter polish to the black nails. I've chosen one with lots of different colours, Nail Polish by H&M in Confetti, but you could use a single colour... anything glitzy basically!

Step 2

Now to both index fingers, using a white nail art pen, add a semi circular tip guide line.

Step 3
Then fill the circle in with a white polish such as Barry M in Matt White.

Step 4

While that's drying, use the dotter on a black nail art pen to create the dice pattern on the middle fingers. You can pick whichever numbers you'd like but I think 5 and 6 look more obviously like dice.

Step 5

Once the white semi circles have dried you can add the poker chip detail... this is the most difficult part.

Step 6 left
Draw a smaller semi circle using a primary colour, leaving a small white border - it helps to use a nail art pen or small brush for accuracy. Then add detail to the white border creating a broken line of two long dashes and one shorter dash in the middle.

Step 6 right
Then finally add the top have of the chip value numbers. Pick whatever numbers you find easiest to draw.

Step 7
If needs be, add a second coat of glitter to the black nails, then finish off with a a quick dry top coat to all nails. Viva Las Vegas!

Happy painting... the nailist xxx

Friday, 28 September 2012

Eat cake, make money for charity!

Today is Macmillan Cancer Support's 'World's Biggest Coffee Morning'. Donate to a very worthy cause by eating cake... what's not to like?!

That's exactly what I'll be doing while sporting my Macmillan-esque nails!

Base coat: Save the Nail Eau so hydrating
White: Barry M Matt White
Green: W7 Neon Green
Detail: Models Own white & black nail art pens
Top coat: inm Out the Door quick dry

Happy painting (cake eating and coffee drinking!)... the nailist xxx

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Quick, simple, juicy grape coloured autumn design....
The base is two coats of Rimmel 60 seconds in 615 Fast & Fushcia. Once dry, I added a stripe of Bourjois 10 days No Chips shade 23 and then a stripe of purple which is a No7 unnamed shade nail art pen from a Christmas giftset. To get a glossy finish I added a coat of Seche Vite quick dry top coat. 

The trick with a layered design like this is to use dense coloured polishes that can be added over the base colour in just one coat - too many layers and it will take ages to dry and you'll probably end up smudging.

I just love the colours as they're so autumnal and remind me of one of my favourite things... wine!

Happy painting... the nailist xxx

Monday, 24 September 2012

Vegas baby!

A few posts back, Chelsea, one of my lovely followers, requested a Vegas inspired design for her imminent trip to the Sin City. I've been toying with a few ideas (avoiding the obvious playing cards on her request) and I just had to post this practice one as it went a lot better than I thought...

So hopefully you'll have realised the design is based on slot machine icons. The thumbnail says 'Jackpot' and is probably the weakest one but I couldn't find a 5th symbol! This was a practice so the base is all over the place and one the cherries looks a bit odd but I definitely think there's potential! What do you think Chelsea? They're all free hand painted so you need a steady hand.

Only down side is that as I was only practicing and fully intended on removing, I couldn't be bothered to do my right hand... going to look a bit odd for work tomorrow!

The white base is Barry M Matt White, the design is created using various nail art pens mainly Models Own and the gold on the thumb is Nail Polish by H&M Nail in Golden Treasure.

I'll keep on thinking and post something that doesn't require as much precision!

Happy painting.. the nailist xxx

This weekend's purchases!

So as predicted I couldn't resist buying some new polishes! Here are the little gems that have found their way into my collection this weekend...

We have (from left to right):-
Makeup Academy in U R FAB from their Love Hearts' Collection
No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Thunderstorm
Bourjois 10 day No Chips shade 23
Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover
Makeup Academy Nail Quake Crackle Glitter in Pink
Saturday Night Out cosmetics Nail Polish shade 38

The only thing I've tried so far is the Bourjois Nail Polish Remover which is AMAZING! Does what it says on the tin (1 second removal per nail without cotton wool) and is a cut above other products like this on the market. Time will tell if it's effectiveness is short lived but for now it seems to be doing the trick and also has a pleasant almond scent and a slightly moisturising effect. The purchase was made even better as Bourjois cosmetics are on Buy get one half price in Boots at the mo and I used my Advantage Card points, so they were free!

the nailist xxx

Sunday, 23 September 2012


As you will see I've given the blog a bit of a facelift today - if you normally view on a mobile take a look on a desktop if you can. Hope you like it!

Now I've been obsessed with nails and nail art for over 20 years but it's only since starting this blog that I've discovered nail stamping. I've always been a free hand nail artist and pride myself on having a pretty steady hand but there's only so much detail you can achieve. So after reading about nail stamping on various other blogs and seeing the amazing designs that can be achieved, I decided to invest in some Konad stamping equipment. I bought a stamper and scraper and the Bundle Monster 25pc plates from Amazon and got started... turns out there's obviously a knack which hopefully comes with practice! My first attempt isn't great and I was in two minds whether to share but thought I might as well so hopefully we'll see some progress in future posts.
I started with two coats of Max Factor Limited Edition Nailfinity in Onyx. Then, taking plate number BM-205, I used No7 Anniversary Colour 50's Bobby Socks to create the butterfly design. You basically paint the colour onto the plate, scrap off the excess, lift the design off the plate with the stamper and then stamp onto your nail in a rolling action. There's loads of tutorials on YouTube. Konad is the main manufacturer and they do have Konad polishes, which they say you should use, but looking at other blogs you can use normal polishes too, although I suspect there's certain ones which work better.

The kit

Watch this space for better attempts!

Happy painting... the nailist xxx

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Spotty tiger

I've had one of those weeks which started kind of OK (Mondays are never great!) and then every day has gradually got more stressy (is that a word?!). This resulted in me not having much time for nail painting but I can't go bare nailed (even the thought makes me cringe) so cobbled a quick design together after the Snow Leopard surviving, unchipped, a good 4 days. I've actually ended up with a design I really like, albeit very simple. 

It took me a while to think of a name as it was more impulsion lead rather than inspired but I've landed on spotty tiger as the striped nails remind me a little of Toni the Tiger! They're gggrrreat!
The base colour is a new purchase - W7 UV Nail Polish in Disco - love the colour but haven't tested out the UV-ness as yet. I then added detail with black and white nail art pens. Trick to get tapered stripes is to draw from outside edge in, pressing firmly to start with and giving lighter pressure as you draw towards the tapered end.

Happy painting... the nailist xxx

Evidence of my obsession

So I've had a few requests for a photo of my newly arranged collection...

We have (spiralling clockwise from top left) Reds/berrys and white/pearlescent stood up, glitters, pinks, blues, purples, nail art pens and special effects such as crackles and magnetics, earthy colours/gold/greys/blacks, Strictly set (I found this after sorting so yet to divide up!), greens/yellows and finally oranges/corals

Excessive much!

New post to follow shortly

the nailist xxx

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Snow leopard

I sorted my nail polish collection out this weekend (I know.. rock n roll lifestyle!) and it's official, I have a serious addiction! I own 366 nail polish, 22 nail art pens and a ridiculous amount of base coats, top coats, nail wraps and nail decorations! No doubt there are more lurking in the recesses of handbags and drawers yet to be counted! I had to relegate 11 to nail polish heaven as they were gloopy beyond repair.

So after dealing with my silent shame, I have beautifully arranged them all by colour in a variety of boxes so at least I can start to make use of my whole collection, rather than the same old faithfuls. I would say that I  have enough and won't be buying anymore... but I would be lying!

Apart from my undeniable obsession with nail polish I also love animal print. Be it zebra or leopard I always find myself heading straight for the bold prints when clothes shopping, although I draw the line at zebra print trousers! Lucky for me animal print looks fab on nails too... check out today's design

Here's how..

I used Sally Hansen's Miracle Nail Thickener as a base coat as my nails seem to be splitting a lot recently. Once your base coat is dry, apply a base colour in a light grey or beige, I used Models Own Nail Polish in Concrete Mixer. Then create a gradient by sponging on three layers of a metallic grey or silver such as No7 Stay Perfect Nail Polish in Sunshine, going about half way down each nail.

Step 1 - created a graduated base with a grey/beige and metallic grey/silver
Now for the animal print... using a black nail art pen draw on a leopard pattern. Best way I can describe to do this is by drawing jagged circles, interspersed with a few blobs. So if you don't have a steady hand.. don't worry because shaky is a bonus!

Step 2 - Animal print it up!
Then to accent the print, fill the jagged circles in with a dot of white, again using a nail art pen or thin brush. Let it all dry, clean up the edges and finish with a high shine quick dry top coat.

Happy painting... the nailist xxx

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Let me upgrade you!

Yesterday's mani upgraded! I just added some pink and yellow stripes...

Happy painting... the nailist xxx

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Monochrome fan

I didn't like yesterday's design at all so it had to go! Today's is a lot better.. eye catching, bold and easy to do...
The base colour is one of my favourites... Nail Polish by H&M in Blue My Mind. Two coats of that, followed (once dry) with a deep curved tip of black going to almost halfway down the nail. I used a black polish from an FCUK gift set. To help, you can draw a black curved guide line with a nail art pen before filling in the tips.

Once the tips are fully dry, use a white nail art pen to add 5 white stripes to each tip. Using my trusty Models Own Nail Art Pen I started with the centre stripe to make sure I created an even fan shape. 

To finish off, before adding top coat, I actually went around the bottom of the curve with a black nail art pen just to neaten up the lines but that's not necessary. I'm ridiculously anal when it comes to things like that! Even now, looking at the pic it's annoying me that the outer edge of the curve on my little finger isn't filled in properly... best go off and rectify that!

Happy painting... the nailist xxx

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Wrapping paper

So today's design has ended up looking like wrapping paper... which wasn't what I originally had in mind! It definitely looks better in the flesh as the matt vs glossy effect doesn't come across that well on screen.

I wanted to test run a new polish which is the base colour - W7 Nail Polish in Matt Green. It's got more of a satin finish than completely matt which I really like. After two coats of the green, I added an angled tip to each nail in Bourjois 10 days Nail Enamel shade 15. The polishes in this range are great for applying coloured tips as they have really small brushes with angle end.

Over the top I then added two silver stripes using a No7 nail art pen I have from a limited edition Christmas set. The pen is really good as it gives a dense colour in just one stroke.

I finished off by adding a high shine top coat just over the pink and silver so there's a real contrast between the matt green and the tips. I think it's this, and the colour combo, that makes it look like fancy wrapping paper!

Happy painting... the nailist xxx

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Sunset wonder

One of my favourite things in the world is sunsets... they never since to amaze me. I saw a fantastic sunset sky this weekend while have a boozy picnic in Hyde Park, which has spurred me on to try gradient nails. They're really on trend right now and there's some amazing combos being created in the blogger community. There's two techniques - sponging or merging the colours by sweeping an acetone dipped brush along where your chosen colours join. I decided to try the sponging technique and here's the result...
I'm pretty pleased with the colour combo, given it's my first attempt, but I definitely need to work on the blending and layering!

I started with two coats of Marks & Spencer Nail Colour in Soft Orange and once dry I started the sponging process. Just using a cut off section of a regular washing up sponge, I painted on a layer of Stargazer Nail Polish shade 121 directly on to the sponge, which I then dabbed over the top half of each nail. This created a dappled effect. I repeated this, moving the sponge a little further up the nail so a graduation of colour was created. Finally, to give a more dense colour on the tip, I painted directly on to the very top of each nail and then used the sponge to soften any lines. I finished off with a coat of INM Out the Door quick dry top coat.

The kit

Next time I'm going to try three colours and concentrate on blending!

Happy painting... the nailist xxx

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Muted bling!

I love Autumn! My favourite season is finally on the horizon (although the weather seems to think it's summer - finally!) -  I love crisp sunny days and amazing sunsets, layering clothes and scarves and the knowledge that I'll soon be able to put my boots back on, instead of showing willing and wearing sandals but inevitably getting wet feet due to our unpredictable British weather.

One of the main things I look forward to is the autumnal warm muted colour palettes, in both fashion and nail polishes. Some of my favourite polishes are beiges, heathers and smokey grey, however, I do still like a bit of bling. This is what's inspired today's design...
I used two coats of Nails Inc in Caramel as the base colour. Followed by a central stripe of on each nail of Models Own Pro in Swan Lake just using the width of the brush. I had to apply a million coats to get the effect, as this is one of those polishes which looks amazingly dense in the bottle but in fact the glitter covering is frustratingly thin. I should have used a denser glitter (I have enough!) but I really love the tone of this polish - it's basically a champagne/beige glitter rather than gold or silver, so really complements the base colour.

I was going to leave it at that but last minute added definition with a black nail art pen... I fear this was a mistake as the design went from subtly sophisticated to looking a bit clumsy  - note for next time!

Happy painting... the nailist xxx

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Polish Days - Geometry

So although I'm a nail art pro amongst my friends, it has become very apparent that I'm a novice in the blogger community. A whole new world has opened up to me... I had no idea how big the nail blogger community is... and I love it! The challenge is... how to break in to this cyber world of loveliness? Some of these bloggers have been posting for years with professional looking sites and thousands of followers. Some of my personal favourites are The Nailasaurus and Polly Polish and it's Polly who's presenting an opportunity for me to feel part of the vast blogger community.

She's created 'Polish Days', where a theme is set and all subscribed bloggers post a design around that theme all at the same time, with links to all other blogs.

So this is my first stab at the latest 'Polish days' theme - 'Geometry'.

My first thoughts were of the doodles often created in the margins of many a school work book where you end up with lots of little triangles, which inspired the design on the thumb. And things developed from there... basically, it's all about angles with a tribal neon theme to make them pop.

I started with a base of Models Own Pro Limited Edition in French White. Then I created the designs with three Models Own nail art pens in yellow, black and pink (I'm not sponsored by Models Own, honestly!). Then finished off with a layer of Seche Vite top coat. I repeated the designs on my right just mixing up which design was on which finger.

You definitely need a steady hand for this one, so for those of you who want to try something more simple, I've resurfaced a previous 'geometric' design from last month.
You can see the 'how to' here

Check out what the other bloggers have done...

Happy painting... the nailist xxx

Monday, 3 September 2012

Spots and stripes

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I've still been taking photos but due to busy evenings and weekends away I haven't had a chance to post. So plenty of designs to update you on!

This design obviously came to me subliminally, as I was in NYC at the time and inadvertently ended up with a very stars and stripes American flag look. The base is actually orange, rather than red, but there's no getting away from it... I was brainwashed into patriotism!

I used a base of Rimmel 60 Second Nail Polish in 440 Sun Downer followed by a corner sweep of Max Factor Max Effects in Candy Blue. Spots and stripes added with black and white nail art pens.

Happy painting... the nailist xxx