Monday 25 February 2013

NOTW: Funky yet delicate stamping

Hello my lovelies :-)

WOW and welcome to all my new followers!!!! I was lucky enough to serendipitously be given not one but TWO shout-outs over FB this past week, meaning that I've gained a whole ton of new readers. Welcome, welcome, welcome :-) :-)

Warning: picture-heavy nail-p*rn post!

Today I'd like to show you a mani I'm really proud of - my second ever successful stamping mani! Yet again, a big shout out to Tracy Ball-Eriksson for sending me a stamper that works :-)

First off, let's see the mani:

In the shade :-)
Squeeeeeeeeeeee awesome stamping

This mani contains all my favourite colours, so I just couldn't stop staring! Turquoise AND purple together?! Heaven!

Here are the polishes I used:
  • Rimmel How Do You Lilac It (base)
  • Maybelline Turquoise Lagoon (gradient)
  • Barry M Gold Foil Effect (stamping)

I love a good sponging(!) and so I just had to show you the half-way point in this mani: my awesome turquoise to lilac gradient! Check it out:

Check out the gradient in the sunlight!
Don't mind the random brown spot - my sponge
had some purple left on it!

Pretty nifty, huh? :-) Finally, I'd like to share a couple swatches of the base colour with you (Lively Lilac):

Artificial light
Natural light (shade)

This is one of those Rimmel polishes that apply like a dream, just like Grey Matter. Having ascertained that my camera is a bit off when it comes to colours, I can tell you that this is a warm-toned pastel lilac creme that leans either purple or pink depending on the light (as I think you can see). This versatility is actually really fun because the tone of the purple changes throughout the day.

Pretty sunshine bonus pic :-D
Here you can really see the stamped image ^^

So what do you think of this, my second ever successful stamping attempt!? I'm really proud of this mani - I couldn't stop staring at my hands when I wore it and I was really sad to remove it :-)

What other funky colour combinations would you like to see combined with stamping? I have an entire set of plates to play with now - and I wanna use them!

'Til next time, curlettes :-)

Keep smiling!

- Skye x

Monday 18 February 2013

NOTW: Stamping success!!!

Hello my lovelies! Welcome one and all :-)

I have something special to show you today. Not special because it's awesome (it's not), but special because it marks a major milestone in my nail art journey... today is the day that I show you that I conquered STAMPING!!! Woohoo!!! As such, this post is dedicated to Tracy Ball-Eriksson for all her encouragement and for sending me her double-ended Konad stamper all out of the kindness of her heart. Thank you so much for making this post possible Tracy :-)

Let's take a look at my efforts:
Sorry it's blurry :/ My camera can't cope with the new glossy TC.
Yaaaay go me! This is GA26 from the GALS Fairy box, which I'm really pleased I bought (genuinely jumped for joy when I saw what the postman brought me!). I've been struggling to stamp for about seven months now and I became very disillusioned... but then it hit me: it must be the plate. Sure enough, I successfully stamped the above image first time :-) Thrilled is the word!

Of course, then I had to go and ruin the mani. The colours I chose weren't a great combo anyway (I thought I was going to play and fail, not play and WIN!), but then I sorta made things worse :P

Don't believe me? I'll show you:


Hmmm O.K., I'll give you that, it doesn't look so bad. Not thaaaaaat awful... but check out what I did next (ohhhhh why, oh why???):

Why, why, why?!
Oh well, at least the stamping looks awesome here!

Yep.... ew :-( I think I'll try to paint over the sparkle top coat later with the purple again lol. Oh well - we live and learn! :P

Edit: I actually ended up removing this later that night. I just couldn't take the ugly!!!

Here are the polishes I used for this (rather experimental) mani:
  • Rimmel Grey Matters (blue-grey base)
  • Catrice Copper Cabana (stamping)
  • Kiko #315 (purple)
  • Collection 2000 Sparkle Top Coat

Finally, as always, I'd like to show you the base colour for this mani:

This is a very versatile blueish grey with two coats of
HK Girl on top - very glossy!
This is Rimmel Grey Matter, a blueish grey with the PERFECT brush; I love applying this one because the brush makes it so easy! The polish is pictured here with two coats of HK Girl, which is very glossy, as you can see :-) What you can't see is the real tone of the grey... I realise it looks a bit green but I swear it is blue-grey! I tried editing the photo but made it worse (even less true to colour), so I decided to give up and show you the original. The problem with this is that my photos are obviously always slightly off-colour - it just shows up more here... I'll be monitoring the situation because it may explain why I always look so deathly pale, too! But back to the nails now :D

Sooooo... GO ME, right?! This mani is pretty fugly, but I learned not to do this colour combo again, and I learned that less is sometimes more ;-) Of course, I also learned that I CAN stamp :D I can't wait to get some more stamping polishes and play with my GALS set :D

What colours would YOU have chosen to go with Copper Cabana? Let me know in the comments!!!

'Til next time, curlettes ;-)

- Skye x

Monday 11 February 2013

NOTW: Sonnetarium Peppermint Kiss

Hello my lovelies and thank you to my new followers - welcome, welcome, welcome :-)

Today I have another Sonnetarium polish to show you: Peppermint Kiss. First off, let's take a look at the polish:

Shrinkage alert!
Prettiness ^^

This was a surprise mini that I found in my Sonnetarium Snowfall package from Sharla-Elyn, and at first I wasn't sure whether it was my colour or not. Green AND red AND white in a milky pink base? Odd, for sure. However, after I had this on for an hour or two I was loving it! Application is a bit tricky because the base is sort of a crelly, and so it looks streaky at first - but don't panic! It evens out beautifully :-) I wore Peppermint Kiss over a pink creme base coat (swatched below), which makes it look mid-pink, but I think it would look lovely alone and would probably need 3-4 coats to reach its full, milky opacity. I think that the polish will suit me better on its own in the summer when I'm looking a bit toastier :-) This a totally unique polish and I can think of several holidays for which it could be worn, including one that is fast approaching and shall not be named.

One more point worth mentioning: in the pictures above I wore this polish with my new HK Girl topcoat. I'll save the post about that for another day, but I'm not overly enthused about this so-called "wonder-coat". Needless to say, I got MASSIVE shrinkage with this mani within an hour or so of application (and I wrapped my tips with each colour!). Not good. It's a shame because I loved this mani but ended up having to remove it the next morning because the shrinkage was bugging me so much. Urgh.

Finally, here's a swatch of the base colour I chose:

Pardon my cuticles!
As you can probably tell, this is an OLD swatch from the vault that I did several months ago, but never posted. I did try to get a better one this time around, but the pva under the creme looked nasty :P As such, please ignore my odd nail shape, poor picture quality and iffy cuticles. Probably the best bit about this swatch is the cuticle line which looks damn near perfect! Still, at least you can see the colour :-)

Funnily enough, I never have staining problems with this colour on its own, but with the glue basecoat it turned my nails a sort of mango-pink orange. Very odd! It sorta looks like I have oxygen poisoning (nerdy scuba joke), but luckily I'll be covering my talons with polish most of the time so no one will see :P

What do you think of my second Sonnetarium polish? When would you wear it? Let me know in the comments!

'Til next time, curlettes :-D

- Skye x


You can buy Sonnetarium polishes from the (incredibly kind and sweet) Michelle at Sonnetarium are just about to release a new spring collection inspired by fruit yoghurts, some swatches of which you can find on their FB page here :-)


Wednesday 6 February 2013

NOTW: It's OK to be nude at your interview

Hello dears :-)

Today I'd like to do a really brief blog post to show you what I wore to my interview on Monday.

On the recommendation of several people in the PAA FB group, I wore a nude polish because I couldn't bear the thought of naked nails (obsessed much?) and because if a nude/lighter polish chips, it will be less noticeable. I thought this was excellent advice, and it proved to be quite prophetic, as despite wearing my HK Girl topcoat (which made my last mani as hard as nails), I sure enough had a chip by the time I was on the train to London.

Let's take a look:
Sorry that *the* jumper is missing - I couldn't find it when
I took the photo so this is my dressing gown!

This is actually a French manicure polish from a Colour Institute French manicure set I was given several years ago - before I really got into polish in a big way. The polish is called 'French Beige' and it's actually not a bad match for my skin tone in most lights, being just a shade or two darker than my hands - I much prefer it to the many pink-toned French varieties available. This is an especially pretty nude because it has a subtle silvery/beige shimmer running through it, which is nice for if you have to be boring enough to wear just a nude alone for some reason. The only drawback to the polish is the bizarre formula; it applies like a dream and dries quickly, but if you try to tidy up with a cuticle stick it gets stringy, which is why my cuticle line is messier than usual. It also chipped quite easily. Of course, no one noticed this but me, but it still bothered me :-P

Just in case any of you are curious, here's a photo of the manicure set:

The items missing from the shot are French tip stickers (which are in a drawer somewhere) and a nail whitener pencil which I don't like using because my nails just attract dirt like nothing else when I do.

All in all, this was a lovely polish to wear on a day I had to be demure, but I missed wearing bright colours/nail art and took it off the next day. I think that the interview went well and surely the confidence born of perfectly polished talons was a contributing factor, so YAY nails!

Thank you once again to everyone for advising me what to do/not do/wear to my interview, with an extra special mention to Anne Catherine Vold-Archer and Mindy Beer, who gave me HUGE amounts of advice that I made sure to put into practice in the interview room :-)

'Til next time, curlettes :-)

- Skye x

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Who me? Versatile blogger award!

Hello there, my lovelies!

Today I bring you a different kind of post. About a week ago, I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Brie at For the Love of Lacquer

This is rather unexpected and I'm quite touched that such a tiny blog like mine can attract anyone's attention enough that they want to nominate me for an award :-)

I've really enjoyed writing my blog so far and I'm so glad I took the plunge when everyone encouraged me to! In particular, I've loved the friends I've made in the polish community and I'm continually surprised at how much more adventurous I have become because I know people will be looking at my nails. Blogging has helped me to take better care of my nails and try techniques I would never have had the guts to try otherwise, so thank you very much to all of you who read my blog, whether you're a hardcore follower (do I have any of those? lol) or a casual reader :-) 

As in all things, there are rules to this blogging award. These are as follows:

1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging
2. Let them know that you have nominated them.
3. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
4. Thank the bloggers who have nominated you. Did this in a comment already, but thank you, once again, Brie :-)
5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post.

Here are my seven random facts:
  1. I am mixed race and have Afro-Caribbean, Spanish and British roots. 
  2. I am adopted.
  3. I used to want to be an astronaut (kinda still want that).
  4. I think Christmas cracker jokes are genuinely hilarious.
  5. My favourite lip balm is Lanolips (it's my holy grail product), which is all-natural, animal-friendly and comes in a variety of different forms, including heavy-duty, lemon oil lip scrub and several tinted shades.
  6. My favourite flowers are germinis/gerberas. 
  7. I have been to to 15 different countries (so far!) not including airport stop-overs.

And here are my nominations, largely based on the number of followers each lady has:
Each of these ladies have been contacted via blog comment.

Finally, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of those people who read my blog and encourage me. Your support can be quite disarming sometimes and I don't think I've ever felt so happy to be part of a community as I am to be a member of the online polishaholics crew :-)

'Til next time, my lovelies.

Keep smiling :-)

- Skye x

Monday 4 February 2013

NOTW: Funky French half moons!

Hello and welcome to my blog ^^ I'd like to thank all of my new followers - it's nice to know people like what I'm doing :-)

Today I would like to show you yet another tape mani - my first ever attempt at a half-moon mani!!!! Here goes:

Hmmm my half moons look straight... but they aren't!

See! Proof they are curved :-)

I'm SO proud of this! I've been jealously eyeing half-moon manis for several months now and they have always intimidated me somehow... but since I'm on a tape-mani roll, I decided to take the plunge this week :-) I think I mostly did a really good job, although I initially tried to tape off my half moons with French tip stickers rather than hole reinforcers, which was a mistake (that's why my pointer looks a bit less awesome than the rest).

I can imagine this same mani in a ton of different colours, so choosing was hard... however, we ended up having lots of snow this week, so I decided to go for colours that would be really warm and bright against the rare Southern white-out :-)

Whilst we're on the subject of colours, I'd just like to draw your attention to the AMAZING shimmer in the purple polish:

Check out that gorgeous rainbow-blue shimmer! *.*

Polishes used:
  • Rimmel #270 Shocker (hot pink half moon)
  • Collection 2000 #6 Purple Rain (purple - complete with a gorgeous multicoloured shimmer)
To round out this post, I'd finally like to show you the base colour for this mani:

Sorry about pic quality: the polish is really glossy :S

This has previously been a surprise fav of mine, but it has now fallen out of favour because the formula on application this time was sucky. I'm beginning to realise this is perhaps a problem with Rimmel - the formula starts out as perfection, but eventually gets gloopier and hard work. My cuticle line is a bit messy because of this. I'm sure I'll be wearing it again, but maybe I'll invest in some thinner first! :-P

What's your favourite colour combo for funky half-moons??? Let me know in the comments!

'Til next time! 

- Skye x