Spotty Tip Nails

This week I decided to go for a spotty design on my nails as you can see in the pictures below.

The aim was just to have the dots on the tips of the nails which I did using dotting tools.

I also wanted the dots to get smaller as the rows got closer to the cuticle. However I think if I was to do this again I would try to make this part of the look more obvious by having a bigger difference in the dot sizes between rows. I was aiming for a dot gradient type feel if that makes sense.

Overall though I’m happy with how they turned out. The best part of simple designs is that they can be done using any colours and it will still look good.

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Jewellery Making – #3

Here’s another photo heavy post showing off more of my handmade jewellery. The button earrings are my favourite out of the ones shown below. I could spend hours looking at photos in people’s blog posts. Enjoy!

Handmade Soap Experiment

A few weeks ago, I came across some images of handmade soap that looked lovely. It really made me feel like I wanted to try it myself. However after my first lot of online research into the subject it seemed like it would be a long and risky thing which involved the use of lye. Then last week I came across a tutorial describing ‘melt and pour’ soap base. In a way this method seems like a bit of a cheat because you simply melt down the base, add colour and fragrance and leave it for an hour or so to set and your’e done. This means that it is a lot less risky as no lye is involved and you don’t have to leave it for weeks and weeks to cure. I immediately got onto Ebay and purchased the items I required to give this a go. As soon as it arrived a few days later you can see my first attempt in the picture below.

I didn’t have anything to use for a colourant at this stage so this one was left plain. My mom was interested to try this out so we experimented together. We simply put some of the soap base cubes into a microwaveable tub and heated it on high for about 30 seconds. We then gave it a stir and added some fragrance. In this case it was coconut. It was stirred again before being poured into the mould and we then put it in the fridge to set. We felt the fridge might speed up the process. After about an hour we popped it out the mould and it was ready for use.

Since then I have now got some colouring and we have made soaps in other scents and various colours. From left to right in the above picture they are as follows: Orange and Cinnamon, Cherry, Green Apple and Coconut.

The above picture is of the green apple scented soap. The colouring used was green but it didn’t quite keep to the same colour when mixed in. I love how quick and easy it is to make these cute little soaps. It also means you can make any fragrance that would normally be hard to find in a soap at the shops.

The above one is orange and cinnamon scented. This one is my favourite out of all of them. These soaps would make great little gifts/stocking fillers. This orange and cinnamon scented one would be especially good for at Christmas time in my opinion.

This one is cherry scented. Believe it or not I added red colouring, which somehow turned to black when it was added to the soap mixture. After setting it ended up in the above brownish/dark blueish colour depending on how the light goes through it. I think next time I’ll try pink colouring in this one. This one is my second favourite. I feel an activity like this is good for people who are not normally crafty but want something easy to try. Or maybe it would be a good activity to do with kids, especially as this method involves no lye,  which is very corrosive to flesh and such.

This last one is the coconut scent again but with a bit of blue colour added to it as clear was a bit boring for me. This scent is quite a subtle but a nice one, which would be a nice gift for someone who doesn’t like overpowering scents. One thing I also noticed about this soap base, which may just be a property of the particular base I purchased, was that it seemed a lot better quality than the soap my mom buys from the shops. It lathers up really nice and creamy and leaves your skin feeling quite moisturised. This factor coupled with the cute shape and the fact you can have any scent you like equals perfection to someone like me, who has a bit of an addiction for nice fruity smelling shower gels. Now that I have experimented with this a little there are endless shapes, scents and designs that I can try out using some of the handmade soaps I have seen on the internet as my inspiration.

Pastel Flakie Nails

So the first time I tried out my Nubar 2010 flakie polish I applied it over black. With this the result was vibrant orange to green duochrome flakes, with bits of gold here and there. Therefore I decided that this time I wanted to try it over something much lighter than black and that the colours would be orange and green themselves, as I was interested in what the result would be. So that’s exactly what I did and here is the result:

I firstly painted all my nails in 2 coats of Peach Melba by Barry M. I then added the green diagonal bottom halves to the nails using one coat of Mint Green by Barry M. Then I added 2 coats of the Nubar 2010 flakie. Once this was dry I added some dots using the Gold Foil effect, also by Barry M to add a bit more glitz and to hide the line between the peach and mint a bit. This whole design was finished off with a topcoat.

As you can see from the pictures, the orange colour in the flakie polish shows up quite well across the nail. It also seems more matched to the peach melba colour. When I wore it over the black before it was more of an orange colour. However the green side to the duochrome flakes was the colour that showed up the most when over the black. This time around I found it much harder to see the green. In daylight the most I could see was a bit of a goldish colour here and there. It is only by putting them directly under an artificial light source that I can get the green to show through this time around. Again the green is more matched to the mint shade than the bright green that it was over the black.

The whole design results in duochrome flakes which are a bit more subtle than when I wore it over black. This compliments the pastel shades used underneath it quite well. This shows that the colours used underneath the flakes are very dependant upon the effect that the duochrome will give off. Black has shown that you get a bright vibrant effect, and pastel shades have shown a lighter more subtle effect. I have also just noticed that the green has picked more easily in the camera used than from looking at it with the naked eye under natural light.

This shows that this polish is very versatile and gets me thinking about how many different looks and effects you can get from it by using it on top of other kinds of colours. I’m mostly interested in trying it over colours such as purples and blues, both light and dark shades. I would also like to try it over something such as a silver colour as well as this would be the opposite to the goldish tones that come through sometimes in the flakes. If anyone else owns this polish,I would be interested to see the different ways in which you have used it.

Handmade Jewellery – #1

One of my hobbies other than nail painting is to hand make my own  jewellery. It has been ages since I made a lot of jewellery, but have recently got back into the mood of jewellery making. Last Saturday my friend came round and we spent the day making bracelets and earrings. The below pictures are of the things I made that day, and a few are from what I made the day after. Be warned there are a lot of pictures in this post.

I have been jewellery making for around 3 years now and I plan on sharing pictures of everything I have created on my blog.  I will be randomly posting them over time so there will be a mixture of photo quality,  as the oldest ones were when I didn’t have access to a half decent camera. Also as most of what I create is self taught there will be a mixture of jewellery quality,  as the very first things I created were back when I was still experimenting and learning things. Despite this I still want to share all the pictures on my blog and hope you enjoy them.

Pastel Summer Tip Nails

For last weeks nails I wanted to try out the nude shade that I recently bought from Barry M. However this on it’s own would have been too boring for me so I decided to use some of the pastel colours I have on the tips to brighten it up a bit.

The nude shade is very sheer. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it means it is very versatile as to how much colour you want to show. As I had a bit of staining on a couple of nails I went ahead and used four coats to cover the nail well without being able too see much of the nail underneath. I can see this shade being good for French manicures and for people whose natural nails look really good but just want to add a bit more colour to them without it being noticeable much.

Jubilee Nails

So as its the Queen’s Jubilee, my brothers persuaded me to do some Jubilee themed nails after they saw me looking at pictures of similar themed nails online over the weekend. I thought it was going to be quite difficult, but I recently got some nail art brushes off Ebay which made it much easier. I was too lazy to do the flag on all nails so just did that on the ring finger and then random patterns on the other nails.

I also don’t have the royal blue and red colours that I should have used,  so I improvised and used the closest that I had. These were Blueberry Ice Cream and Coral by Barry M. I’m quite pleased with how they came out as I thought they would end up a lot messier looking, especially on my right hand.

Has anyone else done a similar theme on their nails this week? I would be interested to see pictures.

Barry M Denim Nails

One of the other most recent nail paints by Barry M is called Denim. I absolutely love this colour. I think this and the Cappuccino colour are my favourites out of my recent purchases.

The colour is is the dark blue shade you would expect from denim and is full of fine silvery shimmer. This shade also dries matte. The combination of all these factors is what makes it look like denim, and also what makes it look so great on the nail. I really like how it has shimmer in it, yet it is matte at the same time. The silver pattern on the ring finger was added using their silver foil paint and I think it goes quite well with the shimmer in the denim shade.

As it was matte I didn’t apply a topcoat. This meant that the wear wasn’t as good as what I normally get from Barry M, but it was still fairly good. It was only my first finger and thumb that had chipped during the week. I also want to point out how great the coverage was for this shade. Although I did apply two coats in the pictures shown, the coverage was exactly the same as this after just one coat. It also seemed to dry faster than their normal nail paints and I just loved the feel of the matte finish when running my fingertips over my nails.

The next Barry M products that I am interested in are the Chameleon nail paints that they have just announced. These apparently change colour wherever a top coat is applied, so I am quite interested to see how these work. I feel they might make it less messy when doing certain details in nail art,  as clear getting onto your fingers isn’t as noticeable as colour. They also look like they could be  metallic shades, which is something I’ve wanted to get more of recently.

Also as it was recently their company’s 30th birthday I hear that they are doing an offer where you can get nail paints in their original bottles from back in the 80’s when you spend a certain amount of money. There is also a metallic Teal shade that I have seen pictures of on the internet but they do not have it on their website, and I also haven’t seen it in the Boots shop near where I live. It looks gorgeous and am really eager to get my hands on a bottle of it. The colour seemed to come out at the same time as the denim shade.