1 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Snow Globe

Text 1 Dec

It’s my favourite time of year again! Time for Ciate’s Mini Mani Month – 24 days of beautiful nails, and a whirlwind ride through all the colours of the rainbow!

1 Dec opening

First up is Snow Globe, a pretty top coat that’s full of flecks of iridescent silver foil. I couldn’t decide which colour would look best underneath, so I tried a different colour on every nail!

1 Dec Colours

On left:
Ciate: Mistress
Zoya: Gemma
Ciate: Dangerous Affair
Ciate: Power Dressing
Ciate: Vintage

On right
OPI: Keeping Suzi at Bay
Ciate: Cupcake Queen
Ciate: Cookies and Creme
OPI: French Quarter for your Thoughts
Ciate: Headliner

Which one’s your favourite?! (Many of these are from last year’s calendar – it’s so handy to have all these colours around for times when you want to try a new look or a mani you’ve seen online!)

1 Dec

I’m very pleased to start the month out with a beautiful new Christmassy top coat – I love top coats and I always wish I had more to play with!

Square logo initials

Halloween Snakeskin Nail Art Tutorial

Text640

I’m really getting into the Halloween spirit here, and this is my third and final Halloween nail tutorial. (You can see my post about a pretty starry night tutorial here, and a pumpkin confetti tutorial here.)

As I’m going to be dressing as Medusa this Halloween, I thought a snakeskin mani was the only appropriate choice for nail art! Luckily, it’s pretty easy to replicate this.

Snakeskin Montage 1Indigo Skull Scarf, Alexander McQueen

All you need is are two contrasting colours, some lace, and a makeup sponge. I’ve found that this effect works best if you use a dark colour underneath and a lighter colour on top. My tools are in the top left, and my first attempt is on the top right. Bottom left shows you how to place the lace over your varnished nail: basically, paint your nails as usual with your base and colour, then stretch over the lace and sponge the lighter top coat over the top, very sparingly. You then end up with the effect on the right! I used Ruby & Millie in Green, and topped with Revlon’s Gold Coin. Then, a slick of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, if you’re happy with the look. But me, I’m NEVER happy…

Snakeskin Montage 2Snake Finger Tip Ring, ASOS / Grey Snakeskin Bag, Primark / Snake Bracelet, ASOS / Snake Necklace, eBay / Grey Skull Bracelet, Links of London

The top two images are the plain snakeskin mani, but if your base colour is very opaque, you can paint that over the top again, and get a really subtle snakeskin look, especially if you use a metallic glitter like I did…

But wait! There’s more!

Matte montageEmerald Ring, Primark

If you’re going the whole hog, you may as well add some OPI Matte Top Coat, too! I found it really makes the snakeskin effect pop through the opaque layer…

Matte nails 2

Any plans for fancy nails this Halloween? Is anyone going to try out these tutorials? Let me know below!

Square logo initials

Halloween Confetti: Pumpkin Manicure

Halloween confetti text 1

Another manicure inspired by Pinterest (specifically this one), this is pretty much a copy, except it’s matte. So, in essence, it’s a completely original idea I had all by myself. Hooray!

I’ve been totally obsessed with matte nails for ages, and it’s fascinating what a difference it can make to the overall look just to take off the shine. Somehow it looks more… I’m trying to think of a word other than polished, but I can’t. Holy contradiction, Batman!

Halloween confetti mosiac

At my local Boots, I found a grand total of three different orange polishes and ended up plumping for Maybelline Orange Attack, as it was the most vibrant. I always use Nailtiques Formula 2 Plus on my nails, as they are very weak and need all the help they can get. After that, a couple of coats of Orange Attack, then a couple of L’Oreal Confetti Top Coat, then one of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. Then, the finishing touch – a swipe of OPI’s Matte Top Coat to finish.

Halloween confetti text 2

An easy, effective Halloween manicure that looks much more complex than it actually is. One word of caution – the Confetti Top Coat is incredibly difficult to remove! You have been warned… WHOOOOO! (Insert spooky sound effect.)

Square logo initials

A starry night manicure for Halloween

I love Halloween, and I usually spend most of October getting ready for it – can you tell? While Halloween itself is but one day a year, you can still let a little magic into your life this month with this pretty matte navy and gold mani, originally inspired by this Pin I found, which sadly leads nowhere now! The thing I like about this look is that it’s smart enough to be worn any time of year, but still has that special spooky something if you want to show some Halloween love without resorting to the obvious green, orange and black.

Halloween manicure OPI

Creating this look couldn’t be easier – you just need a dark blue colour, plus a top coat with gold flecks, and a matte finish. I used OPI’s Keeping Suzi At Bay, The Man With The Golden Gun, and Matte Top Coat.

Halloween manicure OPI

All I did was layer on one coat of Suzi (top), then two of Golden Gun (left), and then one of the Matte (right). I don’t know whether I prefer it glossy or matte, because either way I totally love this look! It took me ages to decide which blue to get, because usually I end up with a dark navy that winds up just looking black on my nails. But this colour is deep and beautiful, with a pretty pigment that’s perfect for autumn and winter!

Halloween manicure OPI

So, whether you’re celebrating Halloween, Bonfire Night, or any other wintery holiday, I think this is a great look that’s  opulent, classic and stylish all at the same time. Though, I still fall in love with pretty much any colour topped with The Man With The Golden Gun, so I may be biased!

Square logo initials

Nailed it! Dotty manicure with Nails Inc Porchester Square and Ciate Minis

When I saw this pin on Pinterest a while ago, I knew I had to make my own version! Creating using dotting tools, this simple manicure doesn’t take too much skill to create, but it certainly makes an impact. So, I ordered some tools from eBay, and got to work…

Untitled

Thanks to Ciate’s Mini Mani Month, I had plenty of colours to choose from, so I decided to layer my Porchester Square mini from Nails Inc (which I got in my first GlossyBox back in November) with dots from Dangerous Affair, Power Dressing and Cookies and Cream.

First of all, I painted my nails with Porchester Square (really good formula, only needed one coat!) and then, when it dried, I dipped the largest dotting tool into my first colour, and just blobbed circles of varnish on the nail. A tip for this is to not use too much, as you end up with a raised bump of paint which takes forever to dry, and looks a bit weird. Dab on one colour, then allow to dry before placing the second – the paints will mix otherwise. And, it looks really cool if you can overlap some too!

Dotty nails

Here’s the finished product! I thought this was fun – and the colours really worked well together too, but of course, you can use any scheme you like for a special event. I’ll definitely be doing this again.

Anyone else tried the dotty manicure?

Glitter and glimmer: Effie Trinket’s reaping nails

I’ve always been a tad lazy when it comes to nail varnish – if you call lazy sticking to plain colours! Nail art and decorations always felt a bit beyond me, but when I saw Effie Trinket’s amazing reaping nails in The Hunger Games, I knew I had to try and replicate it for my Hunger Games party costume! While my finished nails look nothing at all like Ms. Trinket’s, I am actually really pleased with the effect that I came up with – glittery gold over festive fuchsia, just right for the holiday and party season coming up! Glitter and Glimmer nails

To achieve this effect, I layered two coats of Fuchsia Hype nail varnish by Bourjois, and allowed to dry. Then, using a makeup sponge, I patted over bronze Glimmer by Topshop three times – once over the whole nail, second just the top half, and the third time, just the tips – making a graduated effect where the bronze shade was much thicker towards the end of the nail. Then I covered the whole lot with Saffron London’s gold glitter, and finished with a top coat. Honestly, this is probably the most complicated thing I’ve ever done to my nails – but it definitely wasn’t difficult, it just involved a lot of stages and layers. I used to find that my nails took so long to dry if I applied more than one coat, but these days it seems like formulas dry quicker, so it’s not as much of a pain as it used to be…

Anyone else tried to do an Effie on their nails? What did your end results look like? And, if anyone gives this a whirl, let me know!