Sultry Tips Nails

For this design I wanted to have the one half of each nail nude and the other half with a stamped design. I went for a deep red shade with gold stamped over the top as I felt these colours would look really good together.

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I started by painting all nails in 2 coats of a very sheer light pink nude shade as a base and just to improve the overall look of the nails.

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I then used normal DIY masking tape once this had dried well to tape off half of each nail. I then used a deep red shade to paint in the tip halves of each nail. I immediately removed the tape, cleaned up any mistakes carefully and let it dry very well.

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I then prepared my stamping tools and used a lace type design on a plate labeled ‘Tian-Xin 19’. I re-taped up half of each nail along the same line as before so that the stamping only lands on the red areas. Working quickly and on one nail at a time I stamped in a gold colour onto each nail and removed the tape.

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I cleaned up any excess around the nails and then used a small dotting tool and the same gold colour to add a line of dots to cover the edge of where the red colour ends. I then finished off the design with a top coat.

Simple Short Nails

So only a few hours into the new year and I managed to break the ring finger nail on my right hand really low down. It was practically just under the line where the nail starts attaching to your finger on the one side. So I figured new year, new nails and cut them all down. I went for a simple design to compliment my nail length.

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I started by painting all nails in one of my favourite shades; ‘Surfboard’ by Barry M from the Coconut Infusions range.

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I can only best describe it as a light lilac shade which is a bit on the pink side, but also feels a bit grey at the same time. I used 2 coats on all fingers except the thumbs on which I used 1 coat.

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On the ring fingers I then applied some black petrol effect rhinestones. I placed a larger one in the top corner, and then used 5 smaller ones in a half circle around it.

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To complete the thumbs, I used 3 coats of a black multi glitter. This one is called ‘Rockstar’ from Barry M’s Glitterati polishes. I chose this shade to compliment the colour of the rhinestones.

Foil Splash Nails

For this design I tried out some nail foil for the first time. I did actually purchase this a while back but always put off trying it out because I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to use. However it was actually pretty easy to do and I wish I had of tried it out sooner.

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I started by painting all my nails in 2 coats of my base colour. I went for a dark blue. Once this was touch dry I used a quick dry top coat over the top.

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Next I selected the foils I wanted to use. I went for a light blue, silver and light pink to go with my base colour. Doing one nail at a time, I took a normal clear polish and removed most of the polish from the brush. Then I randomly dabbed it on parts of the nail. I let this dry for a few seconds and then placed the sheet of foil over the top, pressing it on gently and then removing it. This left random bits of foil in random places on the nail.

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I repeated this on each nail, starting with the blue foil. After I did the same over each nail again but with the silver. After I repeated with the pink foil. Then on some nails, I felt that they needed a little more of the blue in places and so I went back over with the blue as needed.

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Once I was happy with how my design looked, I went over my nails in a dry fast top coat. Unfortunately, this seemed to react a bit with the foils and it flattened out a lot of the ‘depth’ that they gave to the design. Therefore it did actually look a lot better than it does in the pictures. I’ve since looked online and it seems this is a common issue with foils. I think next time I will try a normal top coat first and then try my quick dry top coat over the top to see if it makes any difference.

Dry Marble Xmas Tree Nails

For this year’s Christmas design I decided to go for a simple tree design. The trees themselves were from making a dry/drag marble effect onto a silicone mat and then cutting it into triangles after it had dried.

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So to start I made the drag marble for the trees. I painted a rectangle onto my silicone mat in a light leaf green shade. I then blobbed on drops of different green shades on top of this while it was all still wet. I used a couple of darker shades as well as a pastel green.

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I then used the smallest sized dotting tool I have to swirl around through the blobs of nail polish to make the marbled effect. I think I might have over swirled but I couldn’t help but get a bit carried away with it. I left this to dry for plenty of time due to the layer of polish being quite thick. I repeated this a couple of times onto the mat.

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Meanwhile I prepared my base colour. I simply painted all nails in 2 coats of a nude/light cream shade.

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Once everything was dry I carefully peeled the marble effect from the silicone mat and used scissors to cut out triangle shapes to make the trees. To apply them to the nails, I painted a layer of clear polish to stick them in place. Any large excess overhanging the end of the nail was trimmed down using scissors. I then used a plastic cuticle stick to fold the remaining overhang under the nail.

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To complete the design I attached a single star shaped nail sequin to the tops of the trees using clear polish. I then painted over the top of the entire nail with a clear polish in order to protect the design. I also used clear polish to stick in place any overhang of the green triangle that I had folded under the nail. I repeated this same process for each nail.

Christmas Gingerbread Men Biscuits Recipe

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This is my take on some festive little gingerbread men. I think dressing them in Santa’s boots makes them look so cute. The biscuit isn’t has hard to the bite as traditional gingerbread men are, and the flavour is a little less overpowering. I wanted to make them a bit more like normal biscuits in texture. I did cheat a bit with the decoration though. I purchased ready made writing icing in a tube in the colours I needed, but feel free to make you own icing to pipe onto them.

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Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter allowed to reach room temperature
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger.
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg.
  • 3 tubes of writing/piping icing in red, black and white.

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Method

1. Start by weighing out your sugar and adding it to a bowl.

2. Then weigh out your butter. Cut it into cubes and add to the bowl.

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3. Cream the butter and sugar together fully with a fork so that no lumps of butter remain.

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4. Weigh out the flour and sieve it into the bowl. Add a pinch of salt, the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

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5. Then fold everything together into a dough using your hands. If you find your mixture is too dry, you can add a very small slither or 2 of butter and fold this into the dough.

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6. Put the dough into the fridge to chill for 30 mins.

7. Dust your work surface with flour and remove the dough from the fridge.

8. Start to preheat your oven on gas mark 4 and grease a baking tray with butter.

9. Take a section of the dough and roll it out to just under 1cm thick and use a man shaped cutter to cut out the biscuit shapes.

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10. Remove the excess dough and put it to one side to reuse later.

11. Carefully move the biscuits over to the baking tray, making sure that there is room for any expansion in between.

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12. I placed them in the oven near the higher side of the middle of the oven for 10 mins.

13. After I turned the tray around and left them for a further 5 mins.

14. Once cooked, I removed them from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Once the tray was cool enough to be touched, I carefully removed them from the tray and left them to cool fully. Don’t worry if they seem a bit soft as they will harden as they cool.

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15. Repeat steps 9 – 14 in order to use up the remaining dough.

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16. Afterwards it is time to decorate your gingerbread men. Prepare your black icing with a small round nozzle. Use this in order to pipe 2 eyes and a mouth for the faces on each biscuit.

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17. Next get your red icing ready in the same way. Use this to cover all of the gingerbread men’s feet with red boots.

18. Lastly, do exactly the same with the white icing in order to add the fluffy white trim to the tops of each boot.

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19. Repeat steps 16 – 18 for the remainder of your biscuits. The decorating steps are optional however, or you could use your own ideas for decorating them.

20. Gently move your biscuits into the fridge and leave them until the icing has hardened off before serving.

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Circle Dotticure Nails

I’m really pleased with how this design turned out and the best part is it was quite quick to do. The colours and the shimmer against the dark background works well.

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I started by painting all nails in 2 coats of my background colour. I went for a dark purple.

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Next I took a large dotting tool and a purple metallic shade. I placed one dot per nail where I wanted the centre of my circle to be.

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Then I took a smaller sized dotting tool and blue shimmery metallic shade. I placed a circle of the smaller dots around the larger dot.

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I then repeated this 2 more times with a pink and then a gold metallic shimmery shade, to make a total of 3 rings of dots around the central dot.

Red and Gold Mandala Nails

So for this weeks design, I gave the mandala stamping plate (born pretty plate #bpx15) another go. I had trouble getting this to work with any of my clear stampers, and had to give up on it in the end.

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This time around I used a squishy sticky marshmallow stamper and got much better results. The only problem was, that this meant I couldn’t really see where I was placing the design. Due to this both hands don’t match up as well as I wanted them too.

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I started by painting all nails in 2 coats of a deep raspberry red shade. I let this dry for a bit and then used a dry fast top coat over the top.

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Next, I used liquid latex around my nails to help make clean up easier. I find I have to use it on alternate nails, and then after I am finished with those nails I can go back and do the rest. This is because I always end up touching the fingers together and the latex just sticks to itself and pulls away from my fingers before I even get chance to stamp on them.

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To finish the design, I used a gold nail paint with the mandala designed stamping plate and stamped onto each nail. I tried to use a different part of the design on each nail on one hand and then make the other hand match. I then cleaned up around my nails and finished everything off with a top coat.

Purple Acrylic Paint Marble Nails

For this week’s design, I wanted to try out a design using acrylic paint, so decided on a marble type effect.

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I started by painting all my nails in white to make a base for the design and to help the colours show up.

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Next I painted over the top of the first nail in purple acrylic paint and then blobbed on some splodges of a white acrylic paint. I then used a piece of kitchen foil and gently rocked it over the top of the paint in order to blend it together.

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I then blobbed more blobs of white and purple over the top and used the brush to blend them into the design slightly until I was happy with the distribution of the white and purple areas on the nail. I then repeated this on all nails.

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Afterwards I cleaned up any mess around the nails, and used a clear nail paint to attach a single bright neon orange nail stud to each nail. I then sealed the design together with a top coat. Overall I’m pleased with how it turned out and think the orange studs I used to finish off the design work really well with the purple.

Duochrome Gold Spiral Spots Nails

These nails might look like they were a bit complex to make, but they actually didn’t take me anywhere near as long to do as I expected. I was very pleased with how well they came out. Often I have this great picture in my mind of how an idea will look, and then when I actually come to trying to make the design, it ends up nowhere near as good as I envisioned. However, this was one of those rare cases where the idea came out better than I expected.

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I decided to use a duochrome shade for my base. This one is called ‘Persian’ and is by Barry M. It’s a pretty purple shade that turns to shades of bronze and gold. For the dot details, I used a shimmery gold shade to match with the colours in the duochrome.

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I started by painting all nails in 3 coats of the duochrome base colour. I needed 3 coats to make it opaque enough. In hindsight I should have really used a dark shade underneath.

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Next I took the smallest sized dotting tool that I had and used this to place the shimmery gold dots on all nails. The idea behind the placement was to have them in curved and spiraling line patterns. I wanted each nail on one hand to have a completely different pattern on it, but I wanted the hands themselves to match.

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On the thumbs I went for a spiral of dots coming from the base to the middle of the nail, as well as a curve of lines going along the one side of the nail. The ring finger nail was a bit similar, but the spiral came from the tip of the nail, with lines of dots near the base of the nail. On the index finger, I made a half moon of dots along the one side of the nail. The middle finger was the opposite to this as it had an inverted curve of dots made on the opposite side of the nail. Finally, on the little finger, I placed a half moon of dots at the tip of the nail, with lines of dots going diagonally across the base of the nail.

Autumn Medley Nails

For this week’s design I decided to go with the seasons and do an autumn inspired manicure. I wanted there to be a range of different nails rather than have most of the nails with the same design.

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I started by painting my chosen base colours onto each nail. On the little finger I used 2 coats of a pastel orange shade as this is the most opaque orange I have, and I wanted to stamp with it as well. On the index finger I used 3 coats of a glittery gold shade. On the middle finger I used 2 coats of a light brown shade and on the remaining nails I used 2 coats of a lighter tan shade.

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For the index finger I left it as it was just the plain glittery gold. On the little fingers I made it into a gradient by sponging a red shimmery shade onto the tips up towards the middle of the nail.

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On the middle nail I used the slightly lighter tan shade to stamp 2 leaves onto the nail. I wanted this to look quite subtle as I also placed 3 rhinestones at the base of the nail to add further decoration.

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On the remaining thumb and ring finger nails, I stamped a gradient of leaves using the orange and red shade. However the orange came out too subtle against the tan background. I think I should have used a much lighter shade for the base colour to make it stand out more. A darker orange suitable for stamping would have been better if I had one as well. The plate I used was #19 by Born pretty.