Friday, 30 November 2012

NOTD : Thistle Gradient

Hey there everyone ! So it's Friday (finally) but no rest for me this weekend as I've still got plenty of work I need to finish up and hand in ! Still, I'll try and do my nails both tomorrow and Sunday, hopefully I'll have time to do them ! Today's nails are just relatively simple, didn't want to do anything too fancy as it was already quite late into the evening when I finished dinner and actually sat down to do my nails !

So as some of you may know (or if you happen to have passed through Google today), it's Saint Andrew's day, the official national day of Scotland ! I was originally going to stick with blue and white nails, after all, they are the traditional colours of Scotland and the Scottish flag, but in the end I ended up looking up photos of thistles, and instead went with a relatively simple thistle-inspired gradient !

For this gradient, the nail varnishes I used were Essie Splash of Grenadine for the purple, and the greeny colour is OPI Mermaid's Tears. For the gradient, I started with a base of the Essie colour, and then I painted on strips of both the colours I wanted in the gradient straight onto a makeup sponge, and just dabbed it over each nail until I got the desired gradient. Simples !

And that's all for today's post everyone ! I hope you like my slightly alternative take on Saint Andrew's day nails ! I really like how the colours work together, and I think the gradient is quite Summer-appropriate, as opposed to what you may expect in almost-December ! OMG Christmas is so soon, I can't wait !

See you tomorrow everyone ! Have a great day !

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

NOTD : Dotty Swirls

Well hello there everybody ! I'm back with a brand new NOTD for you all ! Happy times ! Plus today is an extremely good day as the two presentations I had to do this week are all done with (except now I've got an Italian presentation to do next Tuesday), so now all I've got left are 3 essays ! Yaaaaaay feel the enthusiasm ! Anyway, I figured today was a good day to do my nails, and I'm super happy with how they turned out !

So this design is based on an idea my mum had when giving me inspiration for my nails ! She always has the best ideas ! I decided to go with a black and white design as I haven't done anything that's plain black and white for ages (or not that I can remember in any case) ! I also wanted something quick and simple and black and white is pretty much the easiest colour combination to not have to think about !

The two polishes I used for this design were American Apparel T-Shirt, and American Apparel Hassid. For the actual design, I just used two different ends of a dotting tool, one large and one small and created a swirly pattern ! Easy !

And that's it for today everyone ! I'm really tired now, so I'm going to finish up some reading for one of my essays and then go to bed and maybe watch some TV, only two more weeks of uni and then I'll be off home for Christmas, very excited, not to mention not having to work for a good 3 weeks ! Happy happy happy times !

See you all soon everyone !

Monday, 26 November 2012

NOTD : Chevron Studs

Helloooooo eevrybody ! So I'm back after a hectic weekend of major working, and decided to have a relatively peaceful evening today seeing as I've been working non-stop since Friday night ! I've still got quite a bit to do but nothing that's due for this current week, so I've got a little bit of time to chillax and just watch TV, do my nails and blog !

So  today's design is pretty simple, but I really like it ! I think I'm actually really getting in to the whole stud trend that's going around, I just love the way they look on the nail ! For today's design, I didn't use the glue I normally use to stick the studs down, I just placed them on the relatively tacky base colour and then went over them all with some Seche Vite as I do with every manicure ! Hopefully they'll be far easier to get off than last time, and won't rip off the top layer of my nail !

The one single nail varnish I used in this design is OPI Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine! and I really do love it ! Some of you may recall that I used it in the last design I did with studs, but it seems that it's my go-to colour for these types of manis ! To be honest though, it's a really great colour : deep grey but still leaning towards a very dark green when you see it in certain lights, a great Autumn colour !

And that's all for today everyone ! I hope you all like this simple stud manicure, I'll have to think up some more different ways to wear studs in my designs, they're just such a great addition to any colour if I happen to do a swatch of a plain colour or whatever ! Also, what are your methods for sticking stuff onto your nails like studs, rhinestones, fimo, pearls etc ? Do you prefer to use glue or just top coat ?

I'll see you all again soon guys ! Have a great day tomorrow !

Saturday, 24 November 2012

NOTD : Funky Skittles

Good evening everyone ! So I've got a quick post for you all tonight as I needed a break from working (even though theoretically it's not really that much of a break as I'm still sat staring at my laptop) ! I've been sat here all day and haven't got half as much done as I would have liked to, but isn't that always the way ? I'm planning on getting up early tomorrow so that I can actually get plenty done, there's no way everything's going to be ready on time otherwise !

So this design is pretty much an amalgamation of every idea I had for my nails today, and being the procrastinator that I am when it comes to taking a break and then struggling to start working again, I, of course, had to do all of them ! Oh well, I really like them, and then at least that way if I don't have time to do my nails tomorrow at some point then I'll be quite content to keep these on for another day !

The nails varnishes I used for this design were P2 Elegant, OPI Every Month is Oktoberfest, American Apparel T Shirt, OPI Don't Pretzel my Buttons, OPI You Don't Know Jacques, Essie Lapiz of Luxury, Essie Splash of Grenadine, Essence Circus Confetti, as well as my Models Own Wah Nails nail art pens in black and blue. I was originally going to do a paisley nail, but once I'd started drawing it I thought it looked awful so I switched design ! Never mind !

Right now I'm going to have to get back to work ! I've almost finished making the Powerpoint presentation for one of two presentations I'm doing next week, plus I'd better get a start on my Italian coursework.. and let's not even mention the 3 essays I've got to write up before the end of the semester ! Ugh.. so much work !

I'll see you all again soon guys, wish me luck with all this work I've got to finish !

Friday, 23 November 2012

NOTD : Black Doodles

Hey there everyone ! Hope you're all ready for the weekend, and for the readers over in the US I hope you had a great Thanksgiving ! I've only ever had a Thanksgiving meal once with an American friend of mine but that was years and years ago, still, I remember it was pretty yummy ! So much food ! Anyway, when I sat down to do my nails earlier on, I just picked out a couple of bits and just did whatever first came to mind !

So I wasn't feeling very inspired, but I had major tipwear from my last manicure so I really had to change it, and this is what happened ! I was originally going to do a black and white colour scheme, but decided to choose a colour I haven't used in a while instead ! I'm glad I did, because I absolutely love how it turned out !

For this design, the colours I used were OPI Strawberry Margarita, and I just did the doodles on top with my Models Own Wah Nails nail art pen in black ! I'll have to make a purchase of some more nail art pens soon, contemplating getting the silver and gold ones, is there anyone who can recommend them or not ? I don't want to just buy them because they look nice and then end up not using them !

And taht's all for today guys ! I'm off to bed now as I've got lots of work to do over the weekend, so many essays I need to get started on, plus two oral presentations next week.. ugh ! So much work all at once ! I'll probably do my nails again at some point tomorrow because I'll need a break from looking at my laptop screen, but I'm not guaranteeing anything, it's just a maybe !

I'll see you whenever everybody, have a great weekend !

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

NOTD : Silver Chevrons

Hey there everyone ! Quick post again this evening as I've got to get back to work, but I figured I may as well post my quick manicure I did earlier this evening whilst taking a break from staring at my laptop working ! You may have seen the swatch I posted of an Essie polish I bought at the weekend, and instead of doing something brand new on my nails, I just added to what I already had on !

I generally avoid tape manicures seeing as I'm always too impatient for the base colour to dry enough for me to tape on top of it, but seeing as the base had had a whole day to dry I figured it'd be a quick way to spruce up my nails ! I really love the sharp lines that taping gives to the chevrons in this manicure !

So the two polishes I used for this manicure were Essie Lapiz of Luxury seeing as I swatched it yesterday, and then the chevrons were done using Barry M Silver Foil. For the chevrons I used two different pieces of tape and positioned them into the right shaped triangles, I find that cutting a triangle into the tape doesn't work for me at all !

I hope you all like this design ! I think I'm going to start doing tape manicures more often now that I'm getting into swatching more of my nail varnishes ! I really do love how quick it is to do, and it's a great way to counteract tip wear !

See you all soon guys ! Have a great day tomorrow !

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Swatch : Essie - Lapiz of Luxury

Hey there everybody ! So you may have noticed there was no post yesterday, and I have a totally legitimate reason for that, being the first time I've ever missed a day since I first started this blog back in July ! But anyway, as I've mentioned before, I'm in my first year of university and I've just been loaded with a tonne of assignments to do, and sadly I don't have time everyday anymore to do my nails, as my education has to take priority. This doesn't at all mean that I'm going to stop posting and go down to like one post per week, I'll still try to keep it regular but I can't just go out of my way to get something up every day ! I hope you all understand and that you're not too disappointed about it ! I really just need to concentrate on working at the moment and make sure I accomplish everything I came here for !

So this is Essie Lapiz of Luxury, a really pretty blue perwinkle almost polish that's just got a plain creme finish. I bought this the other day at Boots seeing as there was an offer for buy one get one half price, so I figured I'd treat myself to my first two Essie polishes !

The photos show two coats and Seche Vite topcoat. The application was very good, I'm overall really happy with my first experiences of Essie ! Happy times !

Okay so I'm sorry for the quick post today, but I'm off to bed as I've been up since 6:30 this morning, had a full day of lectures and really need to go to sleep ! Goodnight everyone !

See you all tomorrow (I should think !), let's just say until next time !

Sunday, 18 November 2012

NOTD : Ode to Essie

Hey there guys ! So I'm afraid today's post isn't going to start off as cheery as they usually do here on Try My Hand, and that's because we are officially in mourning. Mourning ? "Why are we mourning ?" I hear you ask.. Well ! Yesterday I walked into town knowing that I would be heading straight to Boots to purchase my very first Essie polishes, so there I was in front of all the Essies when...

Ok, prepare yourselves, grab the tissues : I picked up a rather nice looking bottle of polish, and suddenly a suicidal bottle popped out from behind and plummeted to its death on the hard linoleum floor. Needless to say, I was left speechless, with polish dripping down my shoes, looking at the glass that had shattered on the floor, these were sad times. A fair amount of acetone and tissue paper was used to clean up this mess, and I felt so bad about it, I just had to buy the bottle I picked up first (plus it's a pretty colour) !

So the polish in question is Essie Splash of Grenadine, which is my base colour in today's manicure ! I also purchased another Essie polish (buy one get one half price !) but I'll keep that one for another day ! On top of the Essie base polish I painted on some flowers in OPI My Very First Knockwurst, and then did a couple more little dots in the Essie colour again. I did all the floral detailing using a small nail art brush, as opposed to my usual technique of using dotting tools !

So that's it for today's post, I hope it didn't upset you too much... it was a pretty horrific sight ! Reminiscent of a scene from Dexter but with nail varnish as opposed to blood ! When you think about it, that was £8 worth of polish that just fell to it's death, a nail varnish hoarder in need could have used it ! Sad times...

I'll see you all again tomorrow (this time not with a depressed polish story) ! Have a great Monday !

Saturday, 17 November 2012

NOTD : Camouflage

Hey there everyone ! So there's no hope in hell of me getting any work done for my actual university degree this evening as a tonne of innebriated students are currently "living it up" in the kitchen of my flat (which I unfortunately have to share with party-lovers seeing as the choice was completely random for my first year in halls). Instead, I'm blogging, which I'd be doing anyway, but I'd hoped that I'd actually have got some work done by now ! Anyway, enough ranting, on to the nails !

So these nails are, as you've probably guessed, camouflage print ! The base is a light khaki colour and there's also some beige I painted on top, but the darker polishes on top have washed away the lighter ones so it makes it hard to differenciate ! Perhaps I should have chosen a darker green base colour so that everything could have shown up... oh well !

For the camouflage design, the colours I used were OPI Stranger Tides for the base, then for the pattern on top I used OPI Did You 'Ear About Van Gogh, OPI You Don't Know Jacques and American Apparel Hassid. I just randomly painted on the strips of colour, no real method to it at all !

Right and that's it for today ! The drunks are still here but nevertheless I'm going to have to work at some point, I'll try my best ! I already know what I'm going to do for tomorrow's nails, so there'll be no need for me to concentrate on that, phew !

Wish me luck everyone ! And have a nice day tomorrow !

Friday, 16 November 2012

Swatch : China Glaze - Fairy Dust

Hi guys ! I've just got a quick post for you all this evening because I've got people over for dinner ! The meal's all over and done with now and I managed to find some time to paint my nails before my friends came over, albeit quick ! I only had time to do a quick swatch for today's nails, but it's still really pretty !

So I bought this polish about a month ago, and I really can't believe I haven't tried it until now ! It completely changes the look of the base colour underneath !

Yeah so like I said this post is going to be really quick ! I'll just give you a quick description seeing as this is a swatch and all ! China Glaze is a glitter top coat, with teeny tiny micro holographic glitters ! So pretty !

Ok I've been writing this post for over an hour now, so I'm going to finish my card game now ! Sorry it's so short, I promise I'll make up for it tommorow with a whole new NOTD ! Base colour is OPI My Very First Knockwurst by the way, forgot to say !

Until then, have a great day !

Thursday, 15 November 2012

NOTD : Brocade Accents

Hellooooooo everyone ! So I'm back with another NOTD for you this evening, as I do every evening (besides swatches), so I hope you enjoy yet another new design from me ! I'm thinking tomorrow I'm going to probably post an old manicure, because I'm not sure if I'll have time to do them tomorrow, but I'll see and I'll try it fit it in around my incredibly busy schedule !

So brocade/baroque print has been in fashion for a few months now, perhaps more (I don't always pay attention to what's happening), and I've never really been into it I have to say ! However, when I was thinking up today's design I somehow got stuck on half moons and then started contemplating whether to do a plain tribal design, and whilst looking for inspiration on google images, I came across a brocade print and so I decided to go with that instead !

For this design, although it took quite a long time to complete, only used two different colours : American Apparel Office and American Apparel Hassid, as well as my Models Own Wah Nails nail art pen in black for the actual brocade design. For the half moons I just did the hole-reinforcment method, which worked surprisingly well for me this time, as my half moons generally never turn out the same size and always look bad !

As for the brocade pattern, all that took was a bit of patience and a picture from google images I was looking at for inspiration. I just made it up as I went along, going with the brocade theme and just filling in where it looked appropriate ! All four accent nails I did are all different, as I just did what looked best ! I think I even actually prefer the accent design on my right hand as well ! I'll have to take a photo and show you all tomorrow !

See you then guys ! Enjoy your day !

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

NOTD : Matte Zebra Print

Good evening everybody ! I hope you've all had a lovely Wednesday, mine's been jam-packed with work and nails, I've got so much on my plate at the moment ! Today I have a nice and simple manicure for you all today, something I've never tried before, but I'm really glad I have done now though !

I've seen several different "black on black" nail designs all over the internet, and I'm not quite sure where it actually stems from, perhaps it's just like leopard print or florals or whatever ! I've had this idea in my head for quite a while now, and I don't know why I've only just got round to doing it now ! I did have another design for today's NOTD, but I decided it was too late when I started my manicure session to do anything too intricate !

The only colour I used for this design was OPI Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine!, which I mattified with my P2 Matte Victim topcoat I got in Germany last year. After waiting for that to dry, I stamped on the zebra design on Konad M57 with the OPI colour, it's as simple as that ! I had originally tried stamping using Seche Vite and then another different top coat, but they didn't show up at all, which I was very surprised about !

So that's it for today guys ! What do you all think of this look ? I don't like the fact that I can't put Seche Vite over it otherwise it'll ruin the design, I'll let you all know how it holds up ! I've already managed to dent the nail on my index finger, but that's because I cooked my dinner straight away afterwards ! Still, nothing major so far !

I'll see you all again for another NOTD tomorrow everyone, have a great day !

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Swatch : H&M - No Mambo Jambo

Hi there everyone ! This is just going to be a relatively quick post this evening for a polish I swatched yesterday (knowing that I wouldn't have time to do my nails today), seeing as it's already quite late and I'm reaaaaally super tired today ! Tuesday is my busy day lecture-wise as I go non-stop from 9:00 until 5:00 with just one hour at lunch, so me being tired is completely understandable (justifying my one bad day per week) !

H&M No Mambo Jambo is the first polish I ever owned that was anything other than a creme finish, which makes it pretty special ! The colour is seriously pretty, and the formula and everything was such great quality, considering it's a mainstream brand that isn't necessarily known for it's nail varnish ! Some H&M polishes are better than others, I have 6 different H&M colours altogether and the formula on some of them is really awful, but the good ones are great !

So this polish is a pretty bright turquoise shimmer colour, that glides on easily in just two coats. In these photos I haven't used any topcoat, and you can see that it's really shiny even without it ! The shimmer in this colour shines through as small blue and green particles (you can especially notice the green in the bottle), but also looks quite silvery in certain lights.

All in all I think that No Mambo Jambo is a great Spring/Summer colour, but there's still no excuse not to wear it in winter as well ! I'm totally in love with the colour, and would seriously love to own it in just a plain creme colour.. does anyone have any suggestions as to what polish already exists that would be a great creme alternative ?

So that's all for today everyone, I'll see you all again tomorrow evening ! Have a great day !

Monday, 12 November 2012

NOTD : A Load of Balls

Hey there everyone ! I have a brand new NOTD for you all today, although not featuring the studs that have been in my two previous NOTDs ! They took forever to take off, the glue I stick them down with is seriously heavy-duty for some reason, and I spent a good 15 minutes on those four accent nails trying to remove the studs ! I suppose the time served me well though, seeing as it was whilst I was taking off my previous manicure that I came up today's design !

So, now you may have guessed what I meant by the title of this post : a load of balls ! Not sure where this idea popped up from, perhaps it stemmed from my recent obsession with Draw Something on my iPhone.. seriously, hours of fun ! That's where the baseball idea came from, and then I suppose the rest of them just went with the theme !

For this design the polishes I used were OPI Unfor-greta-bly Blue, American Apparel Hassid, American Apparel T-Shirt, OPI Big Apple Red, OPI My Back Pocket, OPI Schnapps Out of It! and OPI Don't Talk Bach to Me. In case any of you were wondering and couldn't work out what each nail represents, from left to right they're a bowling ball, a baseball, a basketball, a football and a tennis ball.

I really like this design, and my favourite nail is probably the basketball one ! I wish football patterns were easier to draw, as the pattern never seems to work out for me when I draw/paint it ! What's your favourite nail on this design, or sport for that matter (I hate sport so there's no point me telling you mine, although it'd probably be skiing !)?

Have a great day tomorrow everyone, see you all then !

Sunday, 11 November 2012

NOTD : Gradient Studs

Hello there again everyone ! So I'm back from my weekend away, and I have part of a recycled mani to show you all for today's NOTD ! I don't really wear gradient manicures a lot, so when I got this design stuck in my head it was kind of surprising considering I hardly ever do gradient nails, however I decided to go with the flow and I really like how this design has turned out !

So I decided to recycle the studs I used in my last NOTD from Thursday, first of all because I really really really like them, but also because the nail glue I used on them is so industrial it'll take forever to take them off, so I thought I'd make their usage worthwhile !

For this design (please excuse that highly over-exposed photo, it's too late for me to go and find another one now), the polishes I used were OPI Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine! and then Barry M Gold Foil for the gradient, and the two accent stud nails are the same as the other day, just the OPI base colour with square studs stuck on top. For the gradient I just painted the two colours onto a makeup sponge and then dabbed it on each nail, super simple !

And that's it for today ! I'm off to go and finish some Russian work for tomorrow, I have to say it's been great having some time off from the intensive studying that's required for my course ! Now there's only a few weeks left before Christmas, time really is flying !

See you all tomorrow guys, maybe even with the same studs, who knows ! Have a great day !

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Swatch : OPI - Suzi & the 7 Düsseldorfs

Helloooooo everybody ! So another day, another swatch until I'm ready with another NOTD for you tomorrow evening (got lots of work to do, as well as nails of course) ! So this is another polish from the OPI Germany collection (as mentioned yesterday), all of which are absolutely beautiful, but I'll be saving the rest for another occasion !

OPI Suzi & the 7 Düsseldorfs is a gorgeous purple shimmer polish, kinda red-toned polish. It's exactly the colour I need in my collection in a creme version, but alas, I'll have to cope with the shimmer (not that I'm complaining, it's such an amazing colour) !

I never thought I would love the Germany collection quite as much as I actually do, and I never really picked up shimmer polishes and thought of nail art, but this release has proven my prejudices about these types of polish to be completely wrong (as you may have seen from the amount I've been using them all in my manicures over the past 6 weeks or so !

And that's going to be it for tonight guys ! Be sure to see me back here at the usual time tomorrow with some great nails (I hope, if I'm feeling inspired), and I hope you've all liked the swatches over the last couple of days !

Have a great day everyone !

Friday, 9 November 2012

Swatch : OPI - Deutsch You Want Me Baby ?

Hey there everybody ! So like I mentioned yesterday, I've got a couple of swatches for you all today and tomorrow, seeing as I'm away and won't be able to do my nails again until Sunday ! Both of the swatches were done yesterday before I'd cut my nails down, so there's still plenty of canvas in the photos for these amazing colours I'm going to be showing you !

Today's polish is part of the OPI Fall/Winter Germany collection, and as I've already mentioned tonnes of times before, this collection is seriously amazing in my books ! All the colours go so well together, and you mzy have noticed, I've been able to do quite a lot of nail art with just the polishes from the collection, it's just so versatile (and the colours are perfect for the season, obviously) !

OPI Deutsch You Want Me Baby is the perfect Autumn shade : a burned-rusty orange colour with a gorgeous shimmer and slightly red-leaning in certain lights. It can become quite yellow in bright lights, but I couldn't capture that shade in a decent photo to show you !

Now if I'm perfectly honest with you, I usually hate orange colours on my nails, but I was so surprised by this colour, and how it actually suits me ! Total amazement ! Oh, and I almost forgot to say, this swatch is two coats without any top coat (but believe me when I say that top coat enhances the already superb shimmer).

And that's it for today, tune in tomorrow for another gorgeous polish from the Germany collection !
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