Thursday 26 December 2013

NOTD : Deck the Halls

Hello everybody ! Long time no see, but I swear I have a perfectly reasonable explanation for that ! You see, as my work load at uni has gone up so much this year, I'm having to make a few sacrifices as far and nail art and blogging are concerned. I barely have any time to do my nails at all, and even less to blog about them so I'm afraid that blogging here will have to be reserved for the holidays from now on, and maybe the odd couple of times during term time if i find the time for it, I hope that's okay with everyone !

But anyway, it's Christmas and I'm home for the holidays ! That means nail time (albeit limited to the few polishes I was able to bring home with me), and today's design is inspired by one of The Illustrated Nail's Christmas 2013 designs !

So I guess that not doing my nails properly for over a month has taken its toll - these nails took me forever to do (although I was watching TV at the same time I suppose), although these are better than the nails I did a few days ago, a mix of a bad nail art pen and not having practised for a long time made for some very shaky snowflakes !

For this design I started with a base of OPI You're Such a Budapest, then for the holly I used OPI Jade is the New Black, Essie Toggle to the Top, and for the outlines I used American Apparel T-Shirt and a Models Own black nail art pen. I really like the way the white outlines highlight the holly and make it stand out even more from the background. It's a shame I didn't bring any rhinestones with me, otherwise I could have done red rhinestone berries like in the original design.

So that's all from me for today folks ! I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas and have eaten far more than you should ! I know I certainly have ! See you next time !

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Beauty Superstar on Cut Out + Keep : Day 1

Hi everyone ! This is a post to let you all know that I am being featured as a Beauty Superstar on Cut Out + Keep this week ! Each day for a whole week a new tutorial that I've prepared will be posted, so make sure you tune in each day to make sure you don't miss any !

Today is the first day, and the tutorial I've done for you all is my go-to design when I'm lacking inspiration or when I want something quick to do. Yep, you guessed it ! It's leopard print !

To see the full tutorial with extra details, make sure you head on over to my project on the Cut Out + Keep website, where you can even read an interview all about me !

Hope you enjoy the tutorial !

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Another Update !

I was so ready to post my nail design I've got on at the moment and I had my memory card with the photos all ready and everything.. BUT for some reason my laptop has decided it no longer wants to recognise my memory card whatsoever and so I can't access any of my photos from my camera... It makes a noise when I put it in and take it out, but I can't for the life of me work out why I can't find it on my computer ! Has anyone had this problem before ? Any advice ?

In other news, it's reading week ! I've been travelling around the UK visiting family this week but I'm back off to Bath tomorrow ! It's been great to have a bit of chill time (unfortunately none spent doing nails !), especially as I've been feeling seriously overwhelmed with the amount of work I've had to do so far. I'm hoping to be able to go back to a regular post schedule but I really don't know if I will be able to, it all depends on my workload !

So anyway, I'm off to do some more research as to why I can't find my photos, and I will try and get something up soon ! Thank you so much for being so patient though, you're all amazing and the comments I've been getting through are really helping ! I haven't forgotten you, but just bear with me a little longer !

Sarah xx

Sunday 20 October 2013

A Quick Update !

Hey there everyone ! So it's been two weeks since I posted any nails on here, so I thought I'd give you all a quick update and explain why I haven't been blogging ! As you may be aware, I started uni again at the beginning of the month, and the workload this year is proving to be a lot heavier than what I was used to last year ! I've barely found enough time to do my nails, let alone edit photos and write about them ! I hope you can understand my situation, but I will be making a concerted effort from now on to make time for blogging !

I've had the same design on for 10 days now, it's all chipping and wearing away at the tips, but I haven't had time to take it off yet so I'm just having to put up with it ! I have two presentations to do this week (one in Russian, one in European Studies) so I've been working my bum off all weekend trying to get them done and ready for Monday and Wednesday respectively. On Thursday I'm meeting up with my Mum and my sister as on Friday we're going to the Harry Potter Studio in London, which I'm SUPER excited about ! I'll definitely try and do my nails to mark the occasion, and of course, I'll do my best to post them on here !

So that's all I really wanted to tell you, I'll try and get a post up in the next couple of days so make sure you stay tuned for that ! See you all then ! :)

Sarah xx

Sunday 6 October 2013

NOTD : Autumn Stars and Stripes

Hey there everyone ! So I really need to get to bed so that I can read for a bit before I go to bed (yay uni work !), but I think I can just about manage to squeeze in a post for you all before I go ! I've been super productive today : I did 3 loads of washing, cleaned my room, did all my homework for uni for next week and still managed to fit in doing my nails after a whole hour of searching the internet for inspiration ! In the end it was my mum who came up with today's theme of stars and stripes, and I picked the bright-ish yet autumnal looking colour scheme for the nails !

I think these colours really work well together, especially as they're all from the OPI Euro Centrale collection, and despite the fact that these were released as Spring/Summer polishes, some of them still work quite well as Autumn shades ! I love having all mismatching nails but still keeping a theme that brings them all together, I think it makes for a really interesting design !

The three nail varnishes I used for today's design were OPI My Vampire is Buff, OPI Eurso Euro and OPI My Paprika is Hotter Than Yours. The latter polish shows up a lot redder in the photos than it actually is in real life - to me it looks far more orange which really adds to the autumnal look, it's a shame it hasn't shown up that way in the photos but oh well !

So I hope you liked today's design, it's really put me in the mood to do more looks to go with the current season - nothing beats autumn shades... except maybe pastels in Spring, let's just stick with Autumn at the moment though !

I'm off to bed now, see you all again soon ! Night night !

Thursday 3 October 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Month : Moons and Tips

Hey there everybody ! So I apologise for the long gap between writing posts, but I've been busy getting back into the uni routine this week ! I managed to find some time to do my nails but I just completely ran out of time in the evenings ! Luckily I only had one lecture today so I've had plenty of time to do everything I wanted to and now have time to write this post for you !

So as you may already be aware, October is the official Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), a time during which people are encouraged to wear pink to show their support. I'm going to do my best to do as many pink nail art designs this month as possible, so we'll see where that takes us ! In any case I've got my first pink design for you today !

This design is kind of similar to the technique I used for my "R for Rasta" nails I did during the Alphabet Nail Art Challenge, except I've only used two different nail polishes as opposed to three ! Obviously the centre part is much thicker than in the Rasta design which makes the tips smaller, but I really like how it looks !

So these nails were done using two nail varnishes from the OPI Couture de Minnie collection which I received for my birthday : OPI Chic From Ears to Tail and OPI A Definite Moust-Have. I really love pink nail varnishes as it's one of my favourite colours (I have a huge amount of pink shades in my stash), so I'm really pleased to be able to add these to my collection ! What colours do you have most of ?

So that's it for tonight, I need to do some work before I go to bed so I'll have to love you and leave you ! I hope you enjoyed my first design for BCAM, I really loved wearing these nails, although I re-did them this morning with another pink design I'll be showing you soon ! Ta ta for now everyone !

Sunday 29 September 2013

Tutorial : Rose Floral (Alphabet Nail Art Challenge)

Good evening everyone ! I'm back in Bath now and I had totally forgotten that I hadn't actually scheduled a post for today, but luckily I prepared the tutorial image the other day while I was still in Salzburg ! I start back at uni tomorrow so I don't know how often I'll be posting anymore, but I will still do my best to post whenever I can ! Obviously I won't be stopping painting my nails, but work has to come first and so I'll just have to wait and see what I'm able to fit in ! My nails need painting tomorrow in any case because I've been wearing the same design for 10 (!!!!!) days now, and my nails have grown so much it just looks weird with loads of bare nail near the cuticles !

Anyway, today I've got the final tutorial of this marathon weekend of step-by-step designs for you, and it's another one of the popular designs from the Alphabet Nail Art Challenge,  for which a lot of people asked for a tutorial ! Today's tutorial is for the "F for Floral" design, the one with the roses, it's a very abstract way of painting them, just using quite a lot of different colours to add depth to the flowers, so it's not too difficult at all ! Here's a quick photo reminder of the design :

So here's the tutorial for this design, you can use whatever colour scheme you want of course !

1. Start with your choice of base colour. I used OPI My Vampire is Buff.
2. Use a nail art brush with your darkest coloured nail polish from your colour scheme to paint on some round blobs with some frilly bits around the edges. I used OPI Dim Sum Plum.
3. Using one of the other colours from your choice of nail polishes, add some lines to the frilly blobs with a nail art brush. I used OPI Strawberry Margerita (very subtle).
4. Do the same again with another colour. I used OPI Sparrow Me the Drama.
5. And again with your lightest colour. I used OPI Steady as She Rose.
6. Using your lightest green polish of choice, paint the shape you would like your leaves to be with a nail art brush. I used OPI Don't Talk Bach to Me.
7. Leave some light green around the edges, and fill in the centre of each leaf using a slightly darker green nail polish and a nail art brush. I used OPI Jade is the New Black.
8. Do the same again using your darkest green. I used OPI Live and Let Die.
9. Put some top coat on and you're all done !

I hope that you all like this tutorial, it's pretty much all about the layering to give the depth to the design, so it doesn't really matter what colours you use, just as long as you use plenty of different shades !

Saturday 28 September 2013

Tutorial : Kitties (Alphabet Nail Art Challenge)

Hellooooo everybody ! So I should be back in the UK by now, but as I'm staying with some friends before going back to Bath tomorrow I thought it'd be best for me to schedule a post for today ! I've got another tutorial today for you all, for a design which was really popular during the Alphabet Nail Art Challenge... it's the K for Kitties design !

Here are the steps for creating this design (obviously you can do whatever colour kitty you wish !) :

1. Paint a base colour using a very light or sheer nude nail polish shade. I used two coats of Champneys Nude.
2. Paint the head with the brush from your nail polish : make a rounded motion when painting, the same as you would do near your cuticle. Don't worry if it isn't perfect, you can always do some touch-ups with a nail art brush ! I used American Apparel Hassid.
3.Using a nail art brush, paint some ears for your kitty. I think it looks nice when their ears are quite close to the edge of your nail, so really far away from eachother !
4. Use a medium size dotting tool and some white polish to paint two eyes. Again, I like placing these quite far away from eachother, so I aim to paint them roughly under each ear ! I used American Apparel T-Shirt.
5. Paint on the insides of each ear and the white part of its nose using a nail art brush and some white nail polish.
6. Using a light pink nail polish, paint a tiny nose at the top of the white part and a line coming down from it, then add a smile ! For the nose bit, I paint it in the shape of an upside-down heart ! I used OPI Sparrow Me the Drama.
7. Add a couple of whiskers on each side with some white polish using a fine nail art brush, as well as the centres of each eye using either a nail art brush or a small dotting tool.
8. Finish with some top coat and that's it !

This is a very simple design to replicate, and it's easy to find bits and pieces around the house you can use if you don't have all the tools ! A toothpick works really well for tiny dots and fine lines, bobby pins and the balls at the end of pins you use for sewing also work well for larger dots !

If you don't own any nail tools whatsoever I would truly recommend investing in a set of different sized dotting tools - I didn't have any nail brushes for ages but my dotting tools served me really well, I even used them for painting like I would have used a nail art brush ! They're not expensive but are really worth having around if you're in to painting designs on your nails !

Friday 27 September 2013

Tutorial : Triangles (Alphabet Nail Art Challenge)

Good afternoon everyone ! I'm writing this post early today as I'll have lots of packing to do later, so seeing as we're in the hotel room now (we went into town this morning, have been inside as it's been raining a lot this afternoon) I decided that I'd be better off posting this now ! I've got tutorials for you all the way through until Sunday, so I hope you enjoy them ! The three I'll be posting over the weekend are all for designs from the Alphabet Nail Art Challenge, and today's is from the "T for Triangles" prompt ! Here's a quick reminder of the original design :

You can choose whatever colour combinations you wish, just as long as you have 4 different colours, plus a white nail polish ! So here's what you've got to do to replicate this design :

1. Start by applying your base colour. I choose to use my lightest colour for the base as it makes painting the lines on top easier. I used two coats of OPI Steady as She Rose.
2. Use a nail art brush to paint on a random thick chunky line with your first colour across your nail. It can look however you want it to ! I used OPI Dim Sum Plum.
3. Do the same again with your second colour just over your first line. There's no need to be perfect here, it's fine to change the way your lines look ! I used OPI Can't Find my Czechbook.
4. Now do it again over the second line with your third colour. Leave a gap between your first line and then paint a new line underneath that in your same third colour. I used P2 Who Cares.
5. Carry on with the same sequence of colours until you have filled your nail.
6. Using white nail polish and a nail art brush, paint on the outline of a triangle which will be your chevron. I do this by looking at my nail and just making a little dot as a marker for where I want the point to be ! I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls.
7. Fill it in !
8. Add some top coat, and you're all done !

If you want to do your nails like the accents on my thumb and ring fingers like in the original design, start by painting your white base, then paint on the chevron using what your base colour would have been for the other nails, in my case it was OPI Steady as She Rose. Continue by using your other colours to make your lines inside the chevron with the same sequence of colours as in the normal design. Don't worry if you go over the edges, as you can always go over the sides with your white polish to make it neat again !

So as you can see this isn't really so much a triangles design as it is a stripes and chevron design, but I've named it my "triangles tutorial" as that was what the original title was ! I really hope you've enjoyed this tutorial, and stay tuned for more over the next couple of days !

Thursday 26 September 2013

Helen Dardik Week : Swan Song

Evening all ! The weather has been pretty miserable today here in Salzburg, so we stayed in for a few hours this afternoon, but still went out in to town this morning ! There was an amazing farmers' market we had no idea about, which was selling all sort of amazing food - mainly cheese and meat, but there were loads of vegetable stores and pretty autumnal floral wreaths on stands - it was just so colourful ! We fought the rain for a while and did a bit of shopping in the old town and then we went for a coffee (a hot chocolate in my case !), where my mum had a very nice looking slice of Black Forest gateau !

Today is the last day of my Helen Dardik Week series, and it's going out with a bang ! It seems appropriate that the title of this pattern is "Swan Song", since this is the final design in the series ! This is the design that is on a par in first place with the design I posted yesterday, although my mum has admitted that this is her favourite !

When I chose to replicate this pattern I was originally set on painting the swans, the flowers, however, ended up really catching my eye and, knowing me, I of course went down the floral route ! The two different beige nail polishes I've used for this design aren't as contrasted as they are in the original pattern, but I do like the subtlety of it ! I added the tiny flowers on at the end because I thought the design needed something more than just the big flowers, and I really think the orangey centres bring this design to life !

I started with two coats of OPI My Vampire is Buff for this design and then painted the big black stamens with American Apparel Hassid. The petals were done using OPI Did You 'Ear About Van Gogh, with little accents of American Apparel T-Shirt on the ends and in the black parts. The little flowers were done using American Apparel Hassid and Essie Meet Me at Sunset.

So what do you all think then ? Which design has been your favourite from this week ? I'm glad I was able to wear this design for a couple of days before having to change it, as it was the last design I painted for this series when I was preparing it all back at the beginning/middle of the month ! I'm still torn as to which design is my favourite between this one and yesterday's design !

I need to go and get ready for bed now, but I'll be back again tomorrow, this time with a new tutorial for you all ! See you then !
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