Wednesday, 30 October 2013

33DC2013 Day 17 - artwork featuring your favourite brand

My favourite brand... Catrice. It's also the brand I own the most polishes of (60 or so). Catrice polishes are not expensive (€2,99 here in NL, bit cheaper in Germany), they dry fast and often only need 2 coats. They change their main collection around once in a while and usually have a new Limited Edition out each month (they release more LE's in Germany though *pouts*). They make cremes, shimmers, metallics, the odd duochrome and a few glitter toppers.

From left to right:
  • Catrice - LE Matchpoint C01 Team Lucky Mustards
  • Catrice - 04 Orange-Utan
  • Catrice - 690/19 Fred Said Red
  • Catrice - 17 Caught On The Red Carpet
  • Catrice - 890 How I Matt Your Mother

I did a yellow to red gradient, representing autumn colours. If I'd had any leaf stamping plates I probably would have stamped leaves. But I am still waiting for the MoYou Mother Nature image plates I ordered to arrive (pre-order means a long wait). Therefore I went with something linked with autumn... umbrellas! It does rain here a lot in autumn (and winter, spring and summer, but shhhh). I used plate GA38 from the Gals Fairy set.

I used How I Matt Your Mother (adore the name) to stamp with, it dries matte btw... lovely vampy purple! It's not the easiest polish to stamp with (dries too fast), but I don't own a black Catrice polish (yes, shame on me).

I wish the Fairy set had a single umbrella as well. To get the single umbrellas on my nails I had a cotton bud with nail polish remover at the ready to remove unwanted umbrellas from the stamper.

The last picture shows my right hand, slightly different. I really liked the autumn colours, though I barely have anything in my wardrobe in those colours. I'm still a gradient novice, for some reason I can't get it to look as smooth as others. If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them!

Monday, 28 October 2013

33DC2013 Day 16 - South America

South America... I struggled with this one for a while. The one place I want to visit in South America most is the Galápagos islands. I'd love to see the unique wildlife one day. Some of the most famous animals there are Darwin's finches that became part of Darwin's On The Origin Of Species (by means of natural selection) that he published in 1859. A book that (eventually) changed how most Biologists look at nature. Darwin visited the Galápagos island during the Beagle expedition in 1835 where he collected the finches he found on the different islands.

Darwin's finches, drawn by John Gould

I used this drawing for today's manicure. I started with a base of white nail polish. I had resized the drawing and printed it with my laser printer. I used this video tutorial for the technique.

I had a bowl with vodka (only a little is needed), submerged the cut out print in it and pressed it onto my nails.

I'm not completely happy with the result, but it is a nice first try. Not all images transferred that well. I forgot to change the printer settings to best quality, I think that would have been better. Best printing quality has more ink, and therefore should transfer better. You can also see that the darkest finch heads transferred better.

Also, I should have placed the images the other way, so they don't appear upside down in a normal hand pose. I didn't think that one through *winks*. My right hand is actually better than my left (and I did that one first... figures). So, here's the right hand, I'm especially happy with the thumb, that one is perfect!

I hope you enjoyed this attempt and check out the other ladies below *points to the InLinkz collection*

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Monochrome Halloween

Halloween is not a big holiday over here. We don't have a tradition to go trick or treating, dress up or decorate our homes in style. It's slowly gaining ground though, like anything that's commercialised these days. I've never liked gory stuff, I don't watch horror. I prefer vampires over zombies (but I did enjoy watching Warm Bodies and have not seen the Twilight Saga). I prefer the simple spooky stuff. So my halloween manicure is ordinary spooky. And monochrome like our vision in the dark. The polishes I have used are therefore greys, black and white.

From left to right:
  • Max - DNC 206 Metal
  • NYC - 003 Prey of Grey
  • Catrice - NEONaturals LE C05 Have A Good Day
  • Barry M - Nail Art Pen Black
  • Barry M - Nail Art Pen White

I started with a grey gradient, the darkest day near my cuticles. The Max polish is a super cheap one, smells horribly, but I don't own that many greys (I think just these 3). When the gradient was dry I added top coat before starting on my drawings.

On my thumb I used the darkest grey to create tombstones, just with the bottle brush. When it was dry I wrote RIP with the white Barry M pen. I need more practise writing with these pens, but it looks okay. On my index finger I drew a bat with the black Barry M pen and then with the white pen I dotted the eyes. My middle finger sports a simple ghost, again created with the Barry M pens. I'm already in love with them. So glad I bought these when I was in London.

My ring finger has a black cat showing some fangs. I found the tiny details difficult with the pens, especially with the white, guess the polish flows differently. Finally on my pinky I created a spider. We've got lots of European garden spiders (in dutch we call them "cross-spider") in our garden doing their best to keep the mosquito population down, so I wanted  to honour them on my nail. Personally spiders do not scare me, if I find one in the house I catch it and take it outside. They'd get eaten by the cats otherwise, so I'm doing them a favour.

I'm very pleased how these turned out, but I have to say my right hand does not look this good. I tried a different bat design and the spider looks more like an ant with extra legs *chuckles*. Perhaps I should have made sketches on paper first, but I used my right hand for practise instead. I entered this design in Miss Lipgloss's Halloween Nail Art competition, not that I'll win, some of the manicures entered are amazing! But better to have tried and failed than not tried at all!

Friday, 25 October 2013

33DC2013 Day 15 - animals

Today's prompt is animals and I knew right away which animals I wanted on my nails: owls! I know I'm not original in this, lots of people have done owl manicures. I have used my phone cover as inspiration however. Because I have used tons of nail polishes, I have moved those pics with lists to the bottom of this post.

The hardest part was choosing which owls I wanted on my nails, there's so many different ones on my phone cover. I went with blue, green and orange owls. I used 3 different shades of each colour for the owls to match the cover properly. I started with a base of Blue.Lita, using french mani tapes to cover the top and apply the base owl colour when Blue.Lita was dry. Letting everything dry took the longest to be honest.

If you look closely you can see my phone cover has dots scattered in the background, hence why I used dots on my index finger and pinky.

The owl eyes were done with dotting tools in different sizes. I freehanded the beak and hearts on their belly with my smallest nail art brush. The hardest bit was the line separating their main colour and belly colour, I'm very pleased I managed to get it looking crisp.

I loved these owls on my nails! Now the huge spam of nail polishes I used. I divided them by finger to make it easier.

Polishes used for my index finger and pinky:
  • NYC - 038 Blue.Lita
  • NYC - 246 Park Ave
  • Rimmel - 711 Rain Rain Go Away
  • Catrice - 865 Yellow Sub-Mandarin

Polishes used for the blue owl:
  • NYC - 038 Blue.Lita
  • NYC - 325 Raindrop
  • NYC - 246 Park Ave
  • Catrice - 400 Blue Cara Ciao
  • Catrice - 350 Hip Queens Wear Blue Jeans!
  • Rimmel - 711 Rain Rain Go Away 
  • Essence - 001 stamp me! white
  • Essence - 002 stamp me! black

Polishes used for the green owl:
  • NYC - 038 Blue.Lita
  • Catrice - 09 Hugo Moss
  • Catrice - 11 Miss Piggy's BF
  • Claire's - 283
  • Essence Tribal Summer LE - 04 TIPI-YA-YEAH
  • Essence - 001 stamp me! white
  • Essence - 002 stamp me! black

Polishes used for the orange owl:
  • NYC - 038 Blue.Lita
  • Catrice - 04 Orange-Utan
  • Catrice - 865 Yellow Sub-Mandarin
  • Catrice - 690/19 Fred Said Red
  • Catrice - 400 Blue Cara Ciao
  • Essence - 001 stamp me! white
  • Essence - 002 stamp me! black

I hoped you like them and I'm very curious what the other ladies have come up with!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

33DC2013 Day 14 - abstract

I struggled a bit with today's prompt, abstract. You can go in so many directions with this. I have wanted to try making stamping decals for a while now. You can find tutorials here, here and here. I decided to pick an abstract stamping design and go from there.

I used a huge amount of polishes, most just for minor details.

From left to right:
  • NYC - 034 Giallo
  • NYC - 023 Belvedere Purple
  • Essence - 002 Stamp me! Black
  • Catrice - 10 I'm Not A Greenager
  • Catrice - 04 Orange-Utan
  • Catrice Glamazona LE - C02 I Got The Flower!
  • Catrice - 400 Blue Cara Ciao
  • Miss Helen - 125

I started with a base of Giallo. Giallo is a pastel yellow with a delicate silver shimmer. I needed 3 coats for full opacity.

I used the following Gals plates (from the Fairy and Princess collections):

I stamped the design with the black stamping polish by Essence and let it dry on the stamper. Then I used a dotting tool to colour the dots with all the other polishes. When it was dry I added a top coat and let that dry as well.

It was easy enough to remove the decal with tweezers. Squeezing the stamper will release the edges making it easier to grab hold of it. It is very delicate and will tear if you're not careful. Before placing I cut it to size, added a top coat and stuck it on. I top coated the result to seal it in.

I took pictures when I did my first nails, totally forgetting to make pictures of the decal making part... so I did that for the "busy" design I added later. On my pinky I did a straight stamp and then dotted the tiny circles.

Decal making is fun, a bit time consuming with all the drying bits, but definitely something I'd like to do again. I hope you liked this and go look for all the other abstract designs down there *points*

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

London shop log

Hello all! I've spent past weekend in London (well, a loooong weekend, I returned yesterday evening). Of course I bought nail polish... my husband thinks too many, but I let him buy Transformers, so we're even. Let's look at my pretties!

This is everything! I've got more pictures for it all, except for the Models Own Neon Lip & Face Paint in Neon Pink I got as a freebie with my purchase and some L.A. Color Nail Polish Remover pads lemon scented. I had wanted to get some Sinful Colors... and according to the Boots website they should have sold them at the Boots on Oxford Street, but they didn't *looks sad*. I only now discovered I could have ordered them through the Boots website and have them delivered to a store (they only ship within UK and Ireland). I will definitely go that route next time I go to London!

Let's go to the Models Own polishes first. I got 4 shredded flakies (I actually only owned 1 flakie before I got these) and one from their Velvet Goth collection. They're all sealed in plastic still, but the Velvet Goth has a fuzzy cap, it dries matte.

From left to right:
  • Models Own - NP164 Mermaid Tears (Splash collection)
  • Models Own - NP161 Aqua Splash (Splash collection)
  • Models Own - NP145 Snowflakes (Wonderland collection)
  • Models Own - NP162 Golden Shore (Splash collection)
  • Models Own - NP178 Valerian (Velvet Goth collection)

I got these from the Models Own booth at Westfield Shopping Centre. This is a huge shopping centre, and I mean huge. Definitely worth a visit if you're in London. The Models Own booth was not that big, shaped like a polish bottle on it's side, spilling polish. Cute! You can see pictures here. There were so many pretties, but seeing as my wallet did not allow me to buy them all, I managed to get these 5. The polishes were £5 each, 6 for £20. I did buy 6 polishes, you only see 5 because I bought two bottles of Mermaid Tears, one for my best friend.

Next are my Barry M's:
  • Barry M - NP273 Raspberry
  • Barry M - MNP3 Caramel
  • Barry M - GNP10 Lychee

I could have bought the entire Gelly collection, I love those colours, but with £3,99 for the Gelly and Matte collection, £2,99 for the normal Nail Paints, I just can't afford to get them all. I also got 3 Barry M Nail Art Pens in white, black and silver, they were £4,99 each.

This pretty up there is Seventeen's Cameo Crush. I had seen swatches of this textured polish and it was on my wish list the moment I saw it. Had to hop into several Boots stores until I finally found it! This was £3,99.

From left to right we have:
  • MUA - Mayfair
  • MUA - Leicester Square
  • MUA - Regent Street

I bought these MUA Magnetic polishes at Superdrug. They were in a display with ordinary MUA polishes that are £1 each. I asked a nice lady that worked at Superdrug if these Magnetic polishes were also £1 seeing they were obviously placed in the wrong display. She said they were. At check-out they were in fact £3,50 each. Quite a difference! But because the nice lady had told me they were £1 and the store put them in the wrong display they actually let me buy them for £1 each! Yay!

The next polishes were all bought at Beauty Base in Whiteleys Shopping Centre near Bayswater station, they sell mostly perfumes and some make-up as well. They had these L.A. Colors polishes on sale for £0,99 each (they had newer collections for £1,99). I had not expected to stumble upon this brand, but I could not let them sit there for that price! Choosing was very hard though.

From left to right:
  • L.A. Colors - NP136 Black Velvet
  • L.A. Colors - CNP402 Energy Source
  • L.A. Colors - NP356 French Nails Crème
  • L.A. Colors - NP106 Red Carnation

From left to right:
  • L.A. Colors - NP472 Black Pearl
  • L.A. Colors - NP466 Voodoo
  • L.A. Colors - NP416 Radiation
  • L.A. Colors - NP444 Treasure Island

From left to right:
  • L.A. Colors - NP447 Jewel Tone
  • L.A. Colors - NP285 Metallic Pink
  • L.A. Colors - CNP512 Edgy
  • L.A. Colors - NP407 Power Outage

And as a bonus, I got my first OPI polishes today. Not officially part of the London shop log, since I got them here in NL, but wanted to show you them anyway. Plus if any other Dutch readers want them, hurry! OPI polishes retail here for €13-14 normally, way out of my budget. Big Bazar however currently has a couple of OPI Shatters for €1,99 each. Big Bazar buys old collections of different make-up brands and sells them cheaply. The colours they have are not always to my liking though. A few weeks ago they had Sally Hansens polishes, but none of the colours took my fancy. The OPI Shatters were also available in Gold Shatter and Red Shatter, but I did not get those two. I know crackle top coats are yesterday's news in nail blogger world, but it can be nice in a skittle mani nonetheless.

From left to right:
  • OPI - Black Shatter
  • OPI - Silver Shatter
  • OPI - Shatter The Scales
  • OPI - Super Bass Shatter
That's it for today! Tomorrow is 33DC day again, so I'll have some nail art for you!