Mani Monday #25

A close friend of mine walked down the aisle last week and tied the knot with her long-term boyfriend. After a week of hunting down the right dress for the occasion, I needed nails to match.

Honestly, finding the right dress is a blog in itself; I didn’t want to wear black or white, but something pretty enough for an evening do, so I went for a yellow dress with a cream pattern and a peter pan collar. Now all I needed was a matching manicure taking full inspiration from my outfit.

The yellow nail paint is quite thin and requires a lot of layers, so the trick is to use a white base coat.10508418_10154317133920545_1500448065_n

I still had to do two layers of the yellow for even coverage, but the white base coat helped show off the colour and lighten it up at the same time.

For my nails to really pop, I used a nail stamp to add a lovely flower design. The design is actually only four flowers so I had to repeat the stamp on each nail about three times. To finish, I used my favourite matt top coat.

I was really please with the way my nails looked.

– love Clare x

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Mani Monday #24

At the beginning of the year there was a big push for textured nail polish – everything from matte nails to sugar coated. Naturally, my interest was piqued but particularly by feather effect polish.

The first feather effect polish I saw was Nails Inc On The Money Feather Effect polish – which made me think of Van Gogh’s Starry Night – what else could make my nails look like that?

Unfortunately, I never did buy it. However, a few weeks ago I walked into my local Boots and came across Sally Hansen’s Fuzzy Coat. I couldn’t leave without it.

What do I think now? I should have brought Nails Inc.

Firstly, it’s like a glitter polish when applying… It takes some time and thinking to have an even distribution.

Secondly, it sort of melts the base coat, which means it takes time to dry. If you smudge it you can’t save it. You can see from the pics why you need to let it dry completely.

In saying all this, I do love the texture and it’s a great style to use either to highlight one nail, or you can do all nails for a bold look (I recommend 2-3 coats).

I don’t see Van Gogh though, and that’s really where my disappointment stems from.

Have you had much luck with this polish, or can you suggest a better one?

– love Clare x

Mani Monday #22

After the release of Maleficient, I couldn’t help but go for a Disney-esque theme.

Like most girls, I love Disney. That and my serious girl-crush on Angelina Jolie (sorry Jen!) meant that when I first heard about Maleficient, the fan girl in me cried with joy.

I should, therefore, have created Aurora and a slanted dripping cake. However, I have been holding on to Models Own Blue Moon nail polish for a chance to paint a mermaid theme, so I went with Ariel instead.

Using a fine paint brush (not actually designed for nails) with a fairly shaky hand, I painted a scale print in a metallic grey on top. To make Ariel pop, I found a jazzy looking red for her hair and a light coral for her skin. A star jewel would be perfect for the starfish she wears in her hair, but I don’t have any.

Finally, If you haven’t already, go see the movie and revel in all the childhood nostalgia!

– love Clare x

*EDITOR’S NOTE: This does not reflect the opinion of the editors, and we are in fact still waiting for Brad to come to his senses.*

Mani Monday #17

After all of the Easter chocolate (which really didn’t last the week), I wanted to do something refreshing with my nails and if you haven’t already noticed… I love blue like Kel loves orange soda!

I’m trying my hardest to mix it up for you guys but I’m afraid this time it’s blue (da ba dee da ba die). Actually two shades of blue and a little white thrown in for good measure.

My go-to tool for this week is the make-up sponge. I love the sponge because of the ombré effect – it’s a great way to create amazing looking nails, especially when you are limited for time. Also it allows so many different colour combinations so you can literally go crazy!

To start, I used a classic white nail colour as my base. Then I painted my chosen colours directly on to the sponge in two stripes side by side. I simply applied the paint by dabbing the sponge on the nail. I tend to do one big dab then build on it. My tip is to keep the polish lids open so you can quickly apply more to the sponge if needed.

Top off with a clear top coat after it has dried, although sometimes I do the top coat earlier as it can help to blend the colours.

Et viola! Quick and effective nail paint that is guaranteed to turn heads in the office – obviously the more contrasting the colours, the more striking the nails will be.

What colours will you be trying? We would love to hear from you!

– love Clare x

Mani Monday #15

After ruining my nails mid-week, I have forced the world to see my bare naked nails due to lack of time – unfortunately I have gained an unhealthy obsession with Video Game High School (VGHS), a Youtube series that needs no more explanation then the title.

So it’s no surprise that I unknowingly took inspiration from the show for this week’s Mani Monday!

I have been dying to get my chevron on for awhile, I even bought a fresh roll of masking tape for the occasion… like three months ago.

Finally I finished season two of VGHS and could put some time into nails. It may have been coincidence that I chose the two colours of VGHS as my nail paint, however, I love blue and I bought the yellow a few weeks back and have been trying to work it into a design since.

If I could I would have painted the chevron on top of the main colour using tape as a guide. Sadly the yellow is a opaque paint and requires numerous layers so if I had done this it would have been green!

I simply cut out the chevrons from the masking tape (pre-nail paint to save from smudges).

After painting on my yellow base coat, I very carefully added the masking tape to each nail and topped with a coat of blue.

When it comes to removing the masking tape the internet usually says to wait until the varnish has dried. Regrettably, in my case the top colour was a thick varnish that would take forever to dry so instead I removed it as soon as I painted to avoid a stringy sticky mess.

I would advise choosing a quick and thin drying varnish to save the pain.

My lines aren’t perfect but I’ll be supporting VGHS all week as I eagerly and not so patiently wait for the third season.

– love Clare x

Mani Monday #13

Welcome to another Mani Monday!

I saw this design on Nailap, a great iPhone app for people to post their nail pictures and get inspired by others. So, yes I may have stolen this design but that’s never stopped us before!

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Today I began with catching up on Hawaii Five-O, a thriller cop drama with the sexy Alex O’Loughlin, so I have entertainment while it’s drying time.

I started with a cream base colour, applying two – three coats to ensure good coverage, which I believe helps when it comes to chipping.

Once the base coat had dried and I’d had my fill of beautiful Hawaiian surfers, I started on the leaves. Now, if you have done ombre nails then you’ll be familiar with using a makeup sponge, if not then go find your supply or head to your local store and get some because they make nail art so much more fun – but more importantly easier!

I dipped back into my nail varnish collection for a coral orange and a red but for a spring/summer look you could always opt for a green. Using the sponge, I dabbed the colour to form a circular shape in the centre of the nail.

All that’s then left to do is the silhouette of the tree trunk/branches. I used a basic black colour and a fine paint brush but if you have a nail art pen in black that would be perfect too!

I started with one line from the tip of the nail and curved it to the centre before adding the branches. Finish off with a top coat once everything is dry as you don’t want it to smudge.

And there you have it, cute and just a little bit different!

– love Clare x

Mani Monday #12

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I’ve noticed recently a lot of people doing stone effect nails and I adore it! The main style and the one I love is the effect that replicates the look of turquoise.

And, even better – it’s actually a really simple effect to create using cling film.

First choose your colours wisely; I’m sticking with a traditional powder blue colour, Chanel Nouvelle Vague and a dark silver, L.A Colours Tropical Storm.

However, you can shake it up if you’re feeling brave and I know gold works really well for a vintage gilded effect.

Paint your nails with your chosen base colour, tidy the edges with a toothpick and leave to dry. As always make sure they are fully dry before the next step – catch up on an episode of Friends or begin the whole process by putting on a film.

Next you want something to use as a paint palette as you will want to drip your second colour on to it for dipping. I personally use the lid off the butter (obviously when you have finished with the tub).

Grab your cling film and scrunch it up, lightly dip it into your varnish and apply to your nails using a dabbing technique – I had to go over mine a few times but the trick is to take your time. Don’t worry about making a mess as you can clean up with a cotton bud and a touch of nail polish remover.

To finish I use a matte top coat (Essie) and Voila! Perfect stone effect nails! Couldn’t be easier (or quicker!).

– love Clare x