Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Lacquer Legion Challenge - Garden

I love these nails! They are so happy and summery.

I used false nails again for this nail art, but my natural nails are almost back to full health after a few weeks of using nothing but cuticle oil and Sally Hansen Maximum Growth on them. I'm not sure it makes them grow any faster, but it does seem to improve the condition and prevent dryness and splitting (my main nail issues).

The prompt for this month's Lacquer Legion Challenge was "Garden". I loved this prompt and had no trouble finding inspiration as my own tiny garden is currently a riot of colourful flowers and interesting creepy crawlies.

I used a few polishes for the bases of the nails. The lime green is Constance Carroll in Neon Green, which is not really a true neon and is often available in discount stores for about 50p a bottle. The froggy green is N.Y.C High Line Green, usually available in 2 for £2.49 deals in Superdrug. Unfortunately it is one of those polishes that goes gloopy and difficult to work with after being open for six months. The blue is Cool Blue from the Maybelline Color Show range (£2.99 but often available in 3 for 2 deals at Boots).

I painted grass on some of the nails using the green polishes and a striping brush, plus Jungle Fever, a forest green from the Rimmel 60 seconds range. The clouds were done using a dotting tool and Sinful Colors Snow Me White. The beetles were done using a large dotting tool and a Miss Sporty Metal Flip polish in shade Fiery Blaze, which is a purple to olivey gold duochrome polish that I love and don't wear often enough (£3 for 2 at Superdrug). I drew the details on the beetles with a fine black waterproof indian ink art pen. I don't recommend this though as it turns out it isn't very top coat proof!

I used some matte caviar beads I bought on ebay a few months ago. This is the first time I've used them and they are great. As they don't have a metallic coating there is no way the colour can fade or bleed with top coat and they remind me of sugar sprinkles on cakes. I used L.A.Colors clear polish (shade name Voltage) and placed the caviar beads using a wooden cocktail stick dipped in a little polish. I added a fimo butterfly from my wheel of fimo butterflies from Poundland. Everything was topped with a thick coat of L.A.Colors Top Coat and left to harden overnight (thank goodness for false nails!).

What do you think? Did you do any garden themed art for the Lacquer Legion Challenge this month?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Glitter! GLITTER! Mwahahahaha!

Sorry I've been terrible at blogging over the last two weeks, I've just been so busy! Today I have some photos of the nails I wore for my in-laws ruby anniversary party last weekend. I think these are my favourite nails so far.

I took inspiration for these nails from these inverse glitter nails by Narmai over at PiggieLuv, and the dress I wore to the party, which was black with blocks of a predominantly blue and red pattern and an asymmetric collar.

I started by painting a coat of L.A.Colors Base Coat onto short square false nails, followed by one coat of N.Y.C. Water Street Blue, one of my favourite blue shades and the only polish I used for these nails that cost more than £1 (it cost £2.49 for 2 bottles at Superdrug). Once that was dry I started with the glitters. First was a coat of Jess Sea Breeze (Poundland exclusive), a mix of small square silver holographic and turquoise glitter with turquoise micro glitter. After that I used a coat of Technic Mermaid (Bodycare or, a mix of medium and small holographic turquoise hex glitter which I adore so much that I've almost used up a whole bottle in six months. I followed with a coat of Pretty Graffiti Effect polish (available in Poundland and Poundworld) in the confusingly named shade 'Blue' which is a mix of medium sized red and turquoise hex glitter and gold and red bar glitter. To finish of the mass of glitter, I used another coat of Technic Mermaid.

Once all the glitter was dry I painted the inverse design using a striping brush and Jess Midnight, my favourite super-opaque budget black polish. I forgot to photograph this polish along with the other bottles. I finished everything with a coat of L.A.Colors Top Coat.

I am loving the L.A.Colors top and base coats at the moment. The base coat really seems to extend wear and the top coat is glossy, chip resistant and applies more smoothly than my usual more expensive top coat. I took the above photo of the nails after they had been worn all night, bashed around a lot (I'm not used to having longer nails!) and then pried off while a little drunk, and the only wear they show is at the base from when I removed them. I hadn't anticipated that the Nailene adhesive nail tabs I used were going to be quite as strong and stubborn as they were! I highly recommend them if you want to wear falsies for a few days but don't want to damage your nails with glue.

I loved wearing these nails. They are so glittery and full of holographic sparkle, yet they are still quite sophisticated looking and the colours matched my dress so well. What do yo think? Have you tried any inverse nail designs?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Party Nails for a Lovely Lady

On Thursday I painted someone else's nails for the first time. My wonderful in-laws celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on Friday and had party at a local social club. My Mother-In-Law wanted some black and white nails to match her jumpsuit so I turned up at her house armed with a box of nail supplies. I have major envy about her nails. She has the kind of super-strong natural nails that grow really fast and are totally housework proof. Why can't I have nails like that?

I also used this as an opportunity to buy a few new polish bottles. My polish buying ban is still technically in effect, but I didn't have a bright white polish and my top coat was running dry and I couldn't let down my Mother-In-Law... yes I know, these are terrible excuses! I picked up Snow Me White from Sinful Colors in the Boots 3 for 2 sale along with some other makeup and it is brilliant. I've never used a white that is so opaque, just two thin coats and you are done. I also noticed that my local chemist has recently restocked its stand of £1 L.A.Colors polish. I managed to resist the ever-so-tempting new neons and stuck to buying what I needed - a new top coat and base coat.

The base coat seems great, it dries super fast and smooths out nail ridges perfectly. I painted MIL's nails with two coats of Snow Me White, with Jess Midnight (my favourite black polish, Poundland exclusive) on her middle fingers. I topped all the white nails with two thin coats of Technic Black Mirror, a gorgeous glitter containing medium and small matte black hex glitter and lots of tiny holographic transparent glitter. On the middle nail I stamped a white pattern using Konad Special Polish and a Cheeky stamping plate and did a black French tip (which is hard to see against the black table in the photos). Everything got topped with L.A.Colors top coat except the stamped nails which I used Konad Special Top Coat to avoid any smudging.

MIL seemed really happy with these nails and the L.A.Colors top and base coat wear really well without any chipping. Now all my female in-laws want me to do their nails too!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Industrial Revolution

Sorry it's been a week since my last post. I was giving my nails a short break from polish and acetone while I try to sort out my dry nails and cuticles so there wasn't anything to blog about until today. You should be getting quite a few posts from me in the next few days though.

The museum I volunteer at has a huge building full of a variety of historical steam powered machinery and I decided to use this as my inspiration. I stole some watch parts from my husband's model building stash. He has a big tub of tiny gears so I don't think he'll miss them. I used two coats of 17 Fast Finish polish in shade Smokey Marble, which is a dark semi-metallic steel colour that looks exactly like the oily finish on the old steam engines. I picked this polish up for 50p in the January Boots clearance sale as it is one of the old 17 polishes (before they became Seventeen) and to be honest it's a pain to apply. It starts off a nice consistency but it dries much too fast, so before you've finished your first brush stroke it has become a thick, stringy gloop.

I applied the cogs over a coat od Konad Special Top Coat, then used another coat over the top. I'm afraid my trusty bottle of top coat is getting a bit low and it is now thick and bubbly so I think I'll have to invest in a new one.

I rather like these slightly steampunk looking nails. What do you think?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Galaxy Nails

These are the space themed nails I wore for my first shift as a volunteer at the science museum.

My poor nails have had a bad week. I ripped off the entire free edge (and a bit extra, ouch!) of the nail on my ring finger in a handbag rummaging incident and I'm still having problems with my index finger nail splitting along my old scar, so I'm keeping my nails ultra short until the most damaged areas of nail have grown out. In fact I've had to trim my nails even more since these photos were taken, so they really are nubbins now. Because I didn't have much space to work with I thought I'd keep my nail art simple. I've never attempted galaxy nails before, but they are so easy to do and I'm quite pleased with the way they came out although they photographed really badly.

I used one coat of black polish, Jess in shade Midnight, for the base followed by a coat of Jess Flash Harry, which is a holographic silver, red, blue and green glitter topper. Jess polishes are exclusive to Poundland and are currently my favourite budget polish brand.

I dabbed on a variety of other polishes using the corner of a makeup sponge to create a nebula effect. I used some of the polishes that my Mother-In-Law gave me on Monday, including a mystery shimmery red shade, Constance Carroll Waterfall (a pale green frost) and Avon Café Au Lait (a light shimmery bronze). I dabbed on a little more Flash Harry glitter in some areas then used used Maybelline Purple Aluminium, which although it looks blue in the bottle is actually a dark silver-flecked purple polish that I received as a Christmas gift about fifteen years ago and is still going strong, and Koh Phangan by Technic, which is a bright blue crelly, to subdue some of the areas where I had gone overboard with the glitter. I topped everything with a coat of Konad Special Top Coat.

Do you have any ideas or suggestions for nail art for very short nails?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


This is just a quick post featuring the last two polishes I bought before I started operation "No More Polish Until I Give Up Smoking". Poundworld was full of bottles of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in loads of shades this weekend so I picked up Malbec which is a deep plummy purple.

As I've only been interested in nail polish for less than a year, I missed out on a lot of the special effect polish trends of recent years. Instead I get to discover these former trends in pound shops for a fraction of their original price! I picked up a red Sally Hansen Magnetic polish months ago and was fascinated by the effect, so when I saw shade Purple Magnitude in Poundworld I grabbed it.

This polish is a lovely metallic lilac shade even without using the star shaped magnet in the polish cap, and when the magnet is held over wet polish it turns some areas of the polish silver and other areas a deeper purple, giving an optical effect that looks as though it has depth.

I used false nails and three coats of Purple Magnitude, using the magnet on the final layer on the thumb, middle and little finger nails. On the index finger I used two coats of Malbec. On two of the nails I added dots followed by Konad Special Top Coat.

What do you think of magnetic nail polishes?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Surprise Polish!

Today I have a whole load of surprise polish to show you!

Most weekends Mr. Pound Store Manicure visits a local Sunday market with his parents. It's a combination of a flea market and some regular stalls and there are always a few people selling discount cosmetics. Last weekend I sent him off with a two pound coin and instructions to buy a surprise polish or two for me if any caught his eye. I'm not quite sure what I expected, but the results of this experiment were rather hit and miss!

The hit is a rich dark browny-burgundy with a lovely shimmer to it. It is from the Rimmel Underground Play Fast range, which I believe was made for the U.S. market and was never sold in the U.K., and was discontinued about five years ago. The shade is called Rave and I really like it. It applies well, dries fast and is work-appropriate without being boring. It's probably not a polish I would have picked up for myself because it is far too sensible, but I think I will get quite a lot of wear out of it.

I used this polish on some false nails and used a dotting tool with Filthy Gorgeous in shade Breeze, because who wants plain nails?

The other polish he picked up is a truly ghastly miss. Mr Pound Store Manicure is usually very good at knowing my taste so I really don't know what he was thinking with this one! It's a Maybelline Express Finish polish in shade Lemon, which is a pale yellow with a frost finish. I'm not a fan of yellow and I rarely wear it because it does not suit my pale skin at all. I also hate frost finish polishes. Not only is this polish really streaky to apply, but it just will not dry! Maybe it's because it is quite an old polish, but I have another Maybelline Express Finish polish that is about twelve years old and that still dries quickly so I don't know why this shade doesn't. Even if it did dry properly I don't think I would ever wear this polish. Yuck!

Yesterday I received an even bigger nail polish surprise. My wonderful Mother-In-Law decided to donate all her old polish to me as she no longer paints her nails. Once I'd thrown away the few polishes that had dried out I was left with 25 hardly used bottles of polish. Most of them are Avon polishes or small ColourWorks bottles that look like they came as part of gift sets, but there was also a No. 7, a L'Oreal and quite a few mystery polishes without any labels at all. I swatched all of them this afternoon and there are some really nice shades.

The most exciting thing about the selection of polishes is that I don't own anything similar to most of the shades. My Mother-In-Law has always had a more feminine style than me so her polish collection was full of pinks, reds and nudes with shimmer and pearl finishes - much more girly than the shades I buy. My favourites of the lot are a metallic golden-bronze Avon shade, appropriately called Fabulous, that looks really luxe and L'Oreal Ruby Noir, which is a dark shimmery red-purple. I'm sure that many of these polishes will get used whenever I need my nails to look more subdued and grown-up as they are almost all work-appropriate shades.

I am so grateful to my Mother-In-Law for all this polish, particularly as I have just started a temporary self-imposed ban on polish buying. I have just started trying to give up smoking so I am bribing myself with the promise of lots of polish if and when I succeed. I have put together a little goody-box containing five new drool-worthy polishes which Mr. Pound Store Polish has hidden and is only allowed to give back to me once I have been smoke free for two weeks. Once I make it to a month as a non-smoker, I have promised myself that I can use the money that I'll have saved by not buying tobacco to buy all of the Makeup Revolution nail polish collections in one glorious splurge. If the promise of a parcel containing 50 bottles of polish doesn't get me to quit, I don't know what will!

Have you tried any of the Makeup Revolution polishes yet?