Thursday, 31 October 2013

Halloween Zombie Hands Manicure

As I mentioned yesterday, I decided to stamp over my grungy gradient for a full on Halloween look.  I had to go with something vaguely zombie themed, so I used a Halloween design from the new Bundle Monster Holidays collection and added some grabbing zombie arms over my gradient.

I'm pretty delighted with how they turned out, they're just the right amount of spooky for Halloween.

I was also pretty chuffed because 4 separate people asked me if I'd had them done professionally or if they were stick on nails which I always think is a bit of a compliment when they aren't. :D

What spooky themes have you got planned for the Halloween weekend?

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Grungy Gradient

I decided that for Halloween I wanted to stamp over a gradient, so these next two posts are really two halves of the same manicure.
First up I chose some grungy Halloween-esque colours to stamp with, for some reason I decided to go with green and purple, maybe not the first colours that spring to mind for Halloween but quite successful I think...  They are Kiko 331, 333 and Models Own Grace Green.
I like how they all merged together and the effect that they gave.  I liked it so much that I wore my nails for a day just like this before I stamped over them.

It's definitely made me determined to try out other gradients with more unusual colours as I really liked the way this one turned out.

Check back tomorrow to see how I added an extra Halloween twist on the gradient which made me love it even more...

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Kiko 342

This polish is an odd sort of colour, it's kind of teal and kind of murky turquoise...
 Whatever you call it I love it, it's quite an unusual shade.  These pictures are two coats with topcoat.

Depending on the light it seems to change shade a little and although I originally bought this polish in the summer and thought of it as a summer sort of colour it's actually really nice in autumn too.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Bunting Progress...

My bunting is coming along nicely, so far I have 7 little triangles, a few more and I think I can start to string them together, I'm planning on putting them above my fire so I shouldn't need too many of them to stretch across the hearth.
I'm really enjoying working with the cotton, it's quite a different feel to the acrylic yarn I am used to and I'm definitely tempted to order some other colour and maybe try a blanket with it at some point.

I'm not totally sure just yet how I am going to string the triangles together, I want something fairly simple but sturdy so that they bunting holds it's shape when it's hung up.
I still have a lot of ends to sew in and a few more triangles to make but so far I'm really pleased with hos this little Christmas project is coming along.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Evil Rabbit

After saying the other day how I love adding stickers to a manicure to jazz it up today's efforts prove that some thought is still required.  I decided to add a couple of cute bunny stickers to my polish from yesterday, Barry M Indigo.

Unfortunately I didn't take into account the fact that the dark colour would hide the rabbit's facial features (which were black) and render it a faceless shape.  I tried to solve the issue by dotting on some white polish as eyes but that only served to make the rabbits look sinister...

So it seems that adding stickers isn't always a quick way to jazz up a manicure nicely, unless your idea of jazzing up is a squinty eye scary rabbit!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Barry M - Indigo

I love this colour, it's a deep deep blue purple; these pictures are two coats.
My top coat was misbehaving a bit so it looks slightly bubbly in some of these photos.

Indigo is definitely one of my favourite Barry m shades.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Rainbow Ripple Yarn Haul

Since winter is properly drawing in I thought I should have a nice big blanket project on the go to cosy up under when I'm sitting on the sofa watching TV of an evening.  I really liked the way my small ripple blanket turned out so I decided to use the same pattern and this time go for a slightly larger sized blanket.  I'm aiming for around single bed sized when it's done and this time I wanted to do a proper rainbow sort of colourway.
Time to order some yarn...
I went for more Stylecraft Special DK, 17 colours for the main body of the blanket and two greys which may or may not end up as a border, I'm not totally decided on that yet.
Here are the colour swatches and names to show you exactly what yarn I chose:

I ordered from Wool Warehouse again, I really love this website, they have a great selection of wool and yarn and their prices are very reasonable.  They also have free P&P if you spend over £25 and unlike some free P&P deals it still arrives really fast.  I've never waited more than about 36 hours from ordering to having the yarn in my hands, brilliant service.
I've completed the first few rows so stand by for another post with some pictures of the beginning of my rainbow coming very soon.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Bourjois Holo Glitter

Unfortunately I'm not sure of the name of this polish, I think it must have been discontinued as I can't find it online anywhere.  I know I picked it up for cheap ages ago so it might have been an end of line sale before it was taken off the market.
These pictures are two coats of the Bourjois glitter polish over Barry M Gelly Hi Shine in Dragon Fruit.  As you can see the glitter is in a very sheer base polish so it needs a little colour under it.

It's so hard to take a good photo of, in artificial light the glitter is so holographic and glows and colour shifts beautifully, unfortunately it just doesn't show up in the photographs.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Kiko - Sugar Mat - 641

I decided to try out one of my Kiko Sugar Mat polishes that I bought earlier in the year again, I love how quick these are to apply and the fact they give a different look without any effort.
641 is a pink base with golden shimmer through the sandy textured finish.

These polishes are so easy to apply and dry super fast which makes them a great polish if you don't have too much time to wait around or do nail art but you want something a bit more exciting than a regular cream polish.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

And stickers make 3...

...3 different manicures from one application of polish.  I rarely leave my polish on for more than a day or two but when I do I usually like to make little additions to the plain base colour, like the other day when I added stamping. 
Some days I like the colour or design that I have on my nails so much that I try and think of a way to change it up a bit while still allowing me to keep on the manicure that I like, todays' effort was the application of a few little stickers...
I picked these stickers up in Spain when I was visiting my parents, they were under 1 euro for a whole sheet so they're a pretty cost effective way of jazzing up a manicure for another day.

I think the yellow colour of the little flowers makes the base colour pop more and adds extra interest and depth to the design.

I have a whole host of these little stickers which I really should make more effort to use because every time I do I remember how very little effort can make a big difference to how well decorated my nails look on a daily basis, plus, I shouldn't really buy more until I have depleted the stash a bit. :))

Monday, 21 October 2013

Christmas Crochet - Bunting

My second idea for Christmas, crochet wise, is to try and make some bunting.  Again I think I will probably end up going with Lucy from Attic24's pattern as it seems simple enough and the bunting for Yarndale looked pretty effective.
To keep it looking Christmasssy I decided to use very specific colours, and a new type of yarn...
After having read about Rico creative cotton on various blogs I was really keen to try it out but not quite brave enough, or rich enough, to order enough to make a full blanket without knowing I would love it.  So I thought choosing a selection of festive colours and making some bunting might be a good start amd would give me an idea how it was to work with.

Hopefully the colours alone will make it obviously Christmassy although I can't help thinking ITALY when I look at the pictures. :D  I'll post an update when I've had a go and, hopefully, created a few triangles!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Bundle Monster 419

Another Bundle Monster plate today, this time BM419 from the Create Your Own collection.  I chose the delicate flower pattern from the bottom of the plate to stamp over yesterday's polish.
I used Barry M Gelly Hi Shine polish for the stamping, Watermelon the dark green colour, these are definitely my go to shades when it comes to stamping as they work so well.

I like how this stamping turned out, it's fairly subtle but adds a bit of interest to the plain cream polish and the colours go really well.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Kiko 389

I love this Kiko shade, it reminds me of Tiffany blue, which really I think is more verging on a turquoise but whatever colour it is, it's rather lovely. :D

These pictures are two coats with top coat, taken after a days wear so please excuse the imperfect tips which seem to have picked up a little wear.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Christmas Crochet - Snowflakes

 I'm making an attempt to get ahead with Christmas planning this year and I wanted to try and make some form of decoration for the flat. You may remember that I brought back some thin crochet cotton from Spain with me, this seemed like the ideal way to try it out.   Although I have to admit it was by far the most fiddly crochet I have ever attempted due to the thin cotton and small hook.

I saw that Lucy from Attic24 had a pattern for snowflakes and since I generally get on alright with her instructions I decided to give it a bash, she uses much thicker yarn though on a bigger hook.  My hook is a 2mm one which is by far the thinnest I have ever crocheted with so far.
Despite that I think my first attempt went quite well...

The only issue is that making it with such thin cotton and a small hook the snowflakes ended up being rather smaller than I had hoped...

I'm going to need A LOT of these to actually create anything worthy of using it to decorate with!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Superdrug Simply Pure Aqua Hydrating Range

Recently I've been feeling like my skin is a bit out of sorts, it seems to be really dry and lacking in moisture so I took to the internet to see what sort of thing I should be picking up in the way of a moisturiser to try and sort it out.  One of my friends pointed me in the direction of a Sali Hughes article about dehydrated skin and to my surprise it described my current issues pretty much  exactly!
"Dehydrated skin can be tight, flaky and sore; it isn't lacking in oil, though, as dry skin is, but in water... If you have lots of very fine, almost crepey lines (as opposed to deep wrinkles), and you're prone to a dull complexion that's temporarily plumped, pink and healthy-looking when you emerge from the shower, and you break out when you treat your skin with rich, dry-skin moisturiser, then you probably have dehydrated skin."
So I decided to have a hunt for something specifically for dehydrated skin rather than a product which might be too oily and heavy for my skin.  The same friend suggested I try out a new range from Superdrug which is specially for dehydrated skin.

Lucky for me it was on a 'better than half price' offer so I managed to pick up the whole range; day cream, night cream, serum and eye gel, for under  £10 (£9.12 to be exact) which I think is a pretty good price for trying out a whole range of products.
So far I have only been using them for a few days but I can see a difference already.  I'm applying the serum and day cream in the morning and then mixing the night cream with some Trilogy Rosehip oil at night for a more intense moisturise and it seems to be paying off.
My skin is far from perfect but it definitely feels plumper and less sore after just a few days of use so I have fairly high hopes for my budget solution.  The creams are both lovely to apply and sink in quickly, neither them nor the serum feel greasy or too heavy and they all leave my skin feeling moistusised and much less stretched and sore.
My one negative is that the range is unscented, which I hate in a face product, I like to smell herbs and botanicals and suchlike as I apply my face products and I do miss that with this range but if it's working then it's a small price to pay!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Bundle Monster BM-402

I decided to use another plate from Bundle Monsters Create Your Own collection today, this time I chose the design on the left of plate BM-402.
I stamped over Barry M Lychee with a Bourjois black, it's not the best black stamping polish as it does come out rather washed out but it works well enough, I think.

These were sort of meant to have an Indian or Henna type feel to them but I'm not sure I quite achieved that. :)  I always struggle to get these sort of designs lined up evenly so they are not as neat as I'd like them to be but I think they still look alright.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Barry M - Gelly Hi Shine - Lychee

A nice neutral nude today, Barry M's Lychee from the Gelly Hi Shine range.

These pictures are all two coats with top coat.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Kiko - Sparkle Touch - 237

I decided to add a little sparkle to yesterday's manicure by applying two coats of Kiko Sparkle Touch 237 over the top of the 238 I was already wearing.  Sparkle Touch are a range of shimmery, glittery topper polishes by Kiko.
237 is packed full of golden pink mini flakies which give your nails a lovely shimmer but not much of a colour change, they do however reflect lots of different shimmering flakie shades.

I'm not sure if the Sparkle Touch range is still available from Kiko but if you do see them they are very pretty and worth picking up, particularly if you like a polish which adds a little bit of shimmer without being too over the top.


Sunday, 13 October 2013

Kiko 238

I saw a girl on the train yesterday with lovely red nails which put me in the mood, hers were a darker shade with a bit of shimmer but I decided to go for the bright cherry red of Kiko 238.
These pictures are 2 coats with top coat.

238 is a great, bright red, I think it'll be getting quite a bit of use in December. ;)