Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Aboriginal Dotted Nail Art

Hi there!

Today I have some nail art to share with you that I was very excited about (The 'was' because unfortunately they are long gone and I haven't had time to post).

I recently visited the Aboriginal art gallery at Kings Park (website here: http://www.aboriginalgallery.com.au/). As my partner and I wandered around the small gallery I was getting very excited by all the beautiful dotted art, which is the traditional visual art form of the Aborigines from the Western Australian Central Desert. The Aboriginal dotted art generally consists of lots and lots of dots which make up symbols and patterns associated with dreamtime stories. Bright colors are now more common with the use of acrylic paint, but traditional dot painters used natural pigments such as ochre, crashed seeds (ref).

Here's a small diagram with some of the more common symbolism (see above reference). From what I have seen over the years, one of the most common symbols used is the people sitting around a camp (well I guess it's a few symbols together). I thought it would be perfect for me to recreate on my nails!

I decided to go for a bit of a mixture between the traditional colours of oranges and reddish browns and the more modern use of bright colours. I love putting turquoise with earthy colours (or anything really) and I had been dying to use my Picture Polish Sea Jewel again since I did the Fremantle docker nails. 

The polishes were:
Background neutral : Butter London Yummy Mummy
Orange: China Glaze Life Preserver
Brown/red: OPI Skyfall
Gold: Sally Hansen Golden-I
Turquoise glittery suspension: Picture Polish Sea Jewel

I used the smallest dotting tool I could find for the majority of the dots and a small brush to paint the "people sitting" and the smallest dots. 

So what do you think? I absolutely loved these nails and I feel proud to contribute some Indigenous Australian nail art to all of the other tribal nail art inspired from people around the world. 

Thanks very much for stopping by :)

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The promised tutorial: Marbled Gradient :)

This is just a quick post to add a tutorial that I made for a previous manicure I did. I have added it to that post but I realise that people rarely read older posts (I think?).

About a month ago I entered into a nail art competition on Bloom.com called "Peace Love and Nail Art" which had an amazzzing prize- the whole OPI San Fran collection and a pile of stamping plates and nail art supplies from Cheeky.  I thought I had won and was so excited, but later found out that it was only open to US residents (damn fine print). If you are a US resident I recommend keeping an eye out on Bloom for more competitions as they seem to have really good ones regularly. 

Anyway I was a little sad, but my spirits were lifted when they emailed me to offer the 'press' portion of the prize. I decided that I would make a tutorial for their blog :) 
The nail art that had received so many votes in the competition was the red to black gradient I did a few months ago, and also posted in my Halloween nail art ideas post. Here's a pic if you don't remember...

To do this gradient I used a different technique from the regular sponge gradient. I used a sandwich bag to marble :) I got the idea when I did a sandwich bag marble and one of he nails looked a bit like a gradient (an awesome gradient...). Here's that post.

Anyway, so here is the tutorial, Halloween themed to boot.

Thanks for visiting :)


Monday, 21 October 2013

China Porcelain Nails :)

So you may (or may not have) noticed an increase in the number and hopefully quality of my hand painted nail art recently. Lindsay from Wondrously Polished kindly gave me some advice on good brushes to use for nail art. I had previously been using just the cheap brushes available on ebay, which were ok for when your starting out, but aren't quite as fine as you can get. She suggested a brand called La Corneille which make liner brushes in sizes as low as 18/0 and 10/0. I haven't the foggiest what the sizes mean (perhaps it's 1/18th of an inch?... oops that was an oxymoron) but the 18/0 seems to be the smallest brush size I've been able to find anywhere. Anyway I ordered some from an American website (here) as the brand seems to be available only from American websites. The brushes were cheap (About $3-4 USD each) but I got hit bad on the shipping which was $21.00USD.  I have since found other brush brands that make brushes that small, so if I need more I'll get them from Australia for a bit cheaper.

Anyway, I have another hand painted design to share with you that I'm very happy with :)

As usual I had only a vague idea of what I wanted to do- something blue and white like China Porcelain. I contemplaited trying to paint dragons on my nails and gave up on that idea and decided on a floral. I actually used a stamp first (I took some pictures, but they weren't that great so I decided not to post them). I then decided to try recreate some Helen Dardik style flowers, which I guess aren't very Chinese, but they look cute in my opinion. Here is her blog....if you are ever feeling uninspired in the nail art department have a browse ;)

I feel like I should also say I first found Helen Dardik's website and art through a nail art blogger Try My hand who did a bunch of really amazing nail art based on Helen's work.

 The polishes I used were:
OPI Alpine snow (as the feature nail and also a base under the blue)
and Essie Bouncer It's me! for the blue nails and to paint the flowers.

I feel I need to write a small spiel on the Essie polish..

First of all it is the most amazing, vibrant, neon, blue polish I own (and I have quite a few).
However, as I said I had to layer it over the white polish to make it 'pop' and I needed about 4 coats to cover the white. So I did all this and when I woke up in the morning the top layer had shrunk leaving a rim of white around the blue at the edges of my nails..... meaning I had to remove all the white with a brush.....what a headache!   And yet it was worth it. Anyway I guess my point is use it/buy it at your own risk!


Thanks for reading or looking at this post :)

Another Bridal Nail Art idea: Something blue....

This will just be a quick post because I'm not really into these nails, I'm short of time and have a massive back-log of other nail art that I haven't posted (Uh oh!!).

Anyway, I had an idea to do 'something blue' nails as a wedding nail art idea. I am getting married in like.... a year and a half, so naturally I am already trying stuff out. (Here's a link to all my other bridal nail posts.)

I recently purchased 5 new stamping plates from Mo You London and they arrived about a week ago. I will do a review of them soon! Anyway one of them, the Kitty collection 02, has lots of really pretty single flowers, so I decided to use one of them- I think it's a poppy.

I made a blue flower decal with the flower from the stamping plate using this technique  (with China glaze kinetic candy and sally hansen pacific blue). I left the others plain to keep the look simple. The base polish is OPI Barre my soul for which I had to do about 4 coats to cover the green stains that were on my nails from wearing turquoise polish =( 

As I said I'm not a big fan....but I really like how the blue flower turned out. I will have to do it again with a coloured background I think (maybe a pastel purple?)

Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Turquoise and Ocean Coloured Ikat Nail Art

Yay! So today I'm very excited as I have a manicure to share with you that I think is one of the best I've ever done! (Get ready for an excessive amount of images). I'm calling it an Ikat design.... but I'm actually not 100% sure what Ikat means.... I've just seen other similar designs called that.

Oh well....I won't keep ranting on about it..... so here's some pictures =D

But please scroll down for the polishes used and inspiration :)

Ok the polishes
The lovely lovely blue background is China Glaze "For Audrey" (can you guess how much I love it?)

And for the ikat design in my best attempt at lightest to darkest:
1. (Yellow) China glaze "Lemon Fizz"
2.  (Turquoise) OPI "fly"
3. Sally Hansen Xtreme wear "Pacific blue"
4. (Metalic turquoise) Revlon "Ocean Breeze"
5. (Greeny dusky turquoise) China Glaze "exotic encounters"
6. (Royal bright blue) OPI "Eurso Euro"
7. (Darker blue) OPI "Road house blues"

I didn't think up the idea all by myself- I was inspired by this lovely image on Pinterest. Unfortunately I can't find a reference for it, so please let me know if you know who painted it originally.

I used a small Loew-Cornell 6/0 liner brush to paint the design- which was just lots of little dashes in the same direction.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

A Few Halloween Nail Art Ideas for 2013

In nail art world October is an exciting time. Halloween themed nail art! 
Being an Australian, where unfortunately we don't get into the spooky holiday as much as the US, didn't stop me from getting excited and trying out different design ideas over the weekend.

First up I did a pumpkin patch feature nail. I think this is a good one for the lead up to Halloween if you don't want to go overboard with the blood, gore and monsters- save them for the big day!
The orange polish is China Glaze life preserver from the 2011 spring collection. This polish had a beautiful formula- thin but pigmented and smooth.
For the pumpkin patch feature nail I first painted my nail with OPI my vampire is buff. I then used some acrylic paints to paint the pumpkins and leaves/vines. 

This next one was definitely the longest and most work, but I recently got some new thin nail art brushes and wanted to try out some fine designs on my nails. 
Unfortunately I didn't get very good photos of them =( I was trying to get them right way up and my usual hand pose makes everything upside down. 

The background blue-grey-sky on a full moon night colour is Misa- "Office Polishtics". 
I then painted the moons with acrylic paint and then sponged over this lightly with grey, black and white to create what is meant to be spooky clouds. 

 There is a mixture of hand painted and stamping in the black. The trees are hand painted, as is the graveyard. I stamped the bats and wicked witch from a bundle monster 2010 collection plate. 

The next design I have to share is meant to be abstract candy corn. Again something Halloween themed without being overboard. All I did was redo the feature nail from my pumpkin patch mani and add some yellow and white glitter to the other nails. The feature nail was done with the sandwich bag marble technique (TUTORIAL HERE)  using China glaze life preserver (orange), China glaze sunshine pop (bright yellow) and Sally Hansen White on.


This last one is a mani I did a few months back, but I have seen it floating around Pinterest with Halloween captions (and a blurred out watermark - ungh!)

The polishes I used were:
China Glaze: Hey Sailor (bright red)
OPI: Kennebunk Port (Deep red)
Revitanail: Port wine (Metallic deep red)....mmmm Port
and OPI: Lincoln Park After Dark (Dark Purple -pretty much black!)

Once again it was done with the sandwich bag marble technique. (Tutorial here)

What Halloween nails will you be rocking this year? I haven't decided yet!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Nail Polish Bottle Nail Art- Say it 3 times fast!

I hardly ever really have a plan for what I'm going to do with my nails. I kind of just paint them a colour and see what happens..... perhaps I need to do one of those 30 day challenges? I don't really know where to find a good one though so I'd love some suggestions!

This time after painting my nails with a favorite nail art base colour of mine - OPI "My Boyfriend Scales Walls" I didn't need to look any further than my nail polish collection for inspiration.

What do you think?
I hope you can tell they are meant to be nail polish bottles!
 I guess they could also be popsicles... Ok..... now my mouth is watering!!

I really like them, but they are a little bit cutesy for my taste!

The polishes I used were:
Base: OPI My BF scales walls
Pink: A half half mix of OPI- OPI on Collins ave and white polish (Sally hansen Xtreme wear White on)
Green: Misa- Catch a flick
Purple: OPI Do you lilac it?
Grey (is actually a grey blue) : Misa- Office Polish-tics

Thanks very much for visiting!