Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Favourites

Hi everyone! This monthly favourites will probably be a quick one as I don't think I've got many favourites to share with you all. So let's jump into it!

My fave designs were my splatter nails, watercolour nails, bright mix 'n match and my blogiversary nails

Another favourite of the month, even though I only did it yesterday was the reorganising of my nail collection! I spent about three hours organising all my polishes and I'm so happy with how they are now because I had wanted to sort through them for a while now because I found myself only using the polishes that were on my shelves and not in my draws. Here's how the three draws ended up:
I currently own 178 polishes (not including base/top coats) and I'm sure soon enough I'll reach the 200 mark! I might have to invest in more storage by then.

Other favourites include (in no particular grouping):

  • Rimmel Natural Bronzer in Sun Bronze - I've recently gotten into trying to contour my face for nights out and I found the bronzers I had in my collection were too shimmery to pass off as natural shading. I think I first saw this bronzer in one of Lauren Curtis' videos and I loved how it looked because of the it's matte finish. I'm not the best at contouring and I only do it very lightly, but I love this bronzer and the way it changes my face shape, even if I'm the only one who really notices it haha.
  • Gone Girl By Gillian Flynn - This book is very different to what I usually read so I was very happy when I ended up loving it. I'm the type of person who enjoys reading the book before I see the movie, not because I think the book is always better but because I like to imagine it all in my mind before having the movie version imprinted into my head every time I read the book after seeing the movie. It was such an amazing book though and I found it very hard to resist reading ahead because there are so many plot twists and turns. 
  • Lush's American Cream Conditioner - I've always wanted to try Lush hair products so I picked up the smallest size of this conditioner when I got a gift voucher for my birthday for Lush. My favourite thing about it is how it leaves your hair smelling; exactly like the way it smells in the bottle. It does a decent job of conditioning as well but I'm savouring the product I have left because it's a bit too expensive to buy all the time.
  • L'Oreal Paris Elvive Smooth-Intense Shampoo and Conditioner - In saying that I love the American Cream conditioner, I have to back track and talk about my all time favourite shampoo and conditioners. The Lush conditioner is good for the days when you want everyone to be able to smell your hair but the Elvive range is excellent for leaving your hair smooth and shiny. I rediscovered my love for it in August and I'm mad that it's taken me so long to go back to it. I barely use any hair treatment after towel drying because it leaves me hair so smooth and easy to brush through without the extra help from treatment.
  • My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking & Going With Your Gut by Hannah Hart - Hannah Hart is one of my favourite YouTubers and so naturally, when she released a book I had to get it. I haven't read through it all, but it's so funny and witty and a really good read so far. And I imagine the rest of the book is the same. I love it; along with advice there are cleverly titled recipes that look a lot of fun to make and eat. I'm very happy she's gotten as far as she has, she deserves all the recognition. 
  • Chi Chi Glamorous Eyeshadow Palette in Nudes - I'm not sure if I've ever had this in a favourites before but I skipped July so I don't think I have. I saw so many Australian beauty bloggers on YouTube and Instagram using these palettes so I bought the Nudes one from Target a few months ago. I got the Nudes because I was just starting out with eyeshadow and didn't feel like I'd be any good with the other palettes. But I love this one, it's simple enough to wear during the day and glamorous enough to wear for a night look. Maybe soon I'll expand my range and buy another version.
  • Maybelline Express Remover - I posted about this the other week in my swatch post but it's definitely a favourite this month. It's so easy to use and does an excellent job of removing polish. It makes doing a few designs in one day much easier!
I had a few more favourites than I thought but I think that's because I hadn't done a favourites post since June. But there you go, a little insight to the things I've been loving this past month.

Thanks for reading!

The 31 Day Nail Art Challenge 2014

Hi everybody! As you can tell from the title, it's that time of the year again; time for the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge. I'm very fond of this challenge because it helped me to expand my nail art ideas last year just when I was just starting my blog, so of course I wanted to do it again. Like always, a lot of girls in the nail art community will be participating too so don't forget to browse the hashtag #31DC2014 on social media to check out what everyone is posting and to get involved!

I grabbed this from Chalkboard Nails' blog and like last year, she's pretty much the reason why everyone does it in September. It's basically like a tradition now. Also note, that day 16 has been changed from Tribal to Geometric to be culturally sensitive and I'm quite pleased with that because I felt a bit uncomfortable last year when it came to that prompt.

So expect a post every day from me for the next 31 days! Hopefully I'm more organised this year than I was last year. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

August BellaBox Review

Hi there lovelies! It's time for my monthly review of bellabox. I was a teeny bit peeved this month because it felt like I got my box after everyone else did, but I was patient enough to not email them until it had been two weeks since they had first start shipping boxes. But I received it before that so there was no need to worry. Patience pays off.

Anyway, this month's box was well worth the wait I think. I really enjoyed it, especially compared to July's box. The theme for August was Sport. Once again, didn't see much relevance between the products and the theme, but props to the bellabox team for having themes and making it relevant to current seasons and trends, etc.

As the bellabox website is going through some changes currently, I'm not able to link the products to their website, so I've found other links for them if you wanted to check them out further.
  1. Eco Tools Detailed Lip Brush (RRP $8.99) - (The website I linked has it for $3.99) The first (and only negative) thing I'll say about this brush is that it feels quite cheap and I definitely wouldn't pay the $8.99 for it. But it is made with cruelty-free and recycled materials which is a plus in my books. It's the perfect size for my lips as well, being somewhere between soft and firm which feels lovely. I've used a lip brush before but it wasn't firm enough to get crisp lines, so I'm very happy that this one is firm enough to use for lining my lips.
  2. Natralus Natrasan Hand Sanitiser Spray Kakadu Plum & Vanilla (RRP $4.49) - I love, love, love this product! It smells amazing, like Lush bath bombs. It promises not to dry your hands out and it doesn't, which I find a lot of other hand sanitisers do and being a nail blogger that's something I really don't want. It's a very lovely product for such a cheap price and I'm sure I'll purchase this when I run out.
  3. Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream (RRP $14.99) - It should be very obvious that I already love this product, I think almost every girl in the nail art community does. I already have one tin in use and another spare, so this is a cute little addition to the cuticle cream collection I already have.
  4. OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo & Conditioner (RRP $17.99) - There wasn't anything special about this shampoo and conditioner, except that the smell of them bought back memories from when I used to use the leave in treatment from this line. They do a great job of leaving my hair smelling nice though and it did leave my hair a bit smoother than other shampoo and conditioners, but I don't think I'd buy this due to the price and the fact that I love what I use in my hair now so I don't feel the need to replace them.
  5. Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer (RRP $5.95) - I got the colour Pedal to the Medal which is a silver polish. I'm not a fan of metallic polishes, I hate how they look on my nails, but it was nice to get another Color Show polish for my collection. Come on, it's a nail polish, how could I not love getting it? Haha.
  6. Palmer's Cocoa Body Butter (RRP $9.99) - Do I even really need to talk about this one? It was the sample size and I'm sure everyone has tried it at least once. I find it a bit too thick personally but I still love it and think it's a great product.
All in all, it was a great box and I really enjoyed. It was definitely worth the wait. My favourite is the hand sanitiser, I've been using it so much since I got it. I'm already looking forward to next months box! There's not a lot else to say about it, plus I've been trying to write this post for days now so I just wanted to get it posted before the end of the month.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 22, 2014

My First Blogiversary!

Hello there lovelies! Today's post is very special; as you can tell from the title it's been one year since my first post on this blog. I wanted to take the time today to post about my nail blogging and personal life experience over the past year (please note that I will be getting quite personal), talk about my future blog plans and just say a big thank you to everyone. And of course, I'm recreating the first mani I ever blogged about.

This past year has been a bit of a whirlwind experience for me both online and in real life. Before I started blogging about it I really loved nail art. Every week I would check out various blogs like ChalkboardNails, MyAwesomeBeauty, ThePolishAholic, and a lot more. Everyone in the nail art community inspired me to want to try to do my own nail art, to recreate theirs and to want to show it off. My friends and family were also an influence as well because I loved having new nail designs to show them whenever I saw them; they were very supportive of me and inspired me to start a blog and study to become a Nail Technician. So I thank them for always supporting me, especially my mum who has to deal with me running up to her whenever she comes home to show her the nail art I've done that day. A big thank you goes to both my mum and my dad as well for putting up with the nail polish and acetone smell over the past year. I know it annoys them even if they don't say it haha.

A lot of good and bad things have happened in my personal life this past year and sometimes they've affected my blogging. About two weeks before I started my blog I had spent the night in hospital due to a kidney stone and dehydration. It was the worst I've ever physically felt in my life, I was exhausted and in pain and wasn't allowed to eat or drink in case I needed surgery, but something that stuck with me was two of the nurses commented on my nails and told me how much they loved the colour and that they looked like gel polish. As tired and drained as I was, it made me happy that they liked them. About a week after my stay in hospital that I was also diagnosed with PolyCystic Ovaries Syndrome (PCOS) and that was a real kick to the gut. But eventually I took it in my stride and realised I just needed to deal with it and I should consider myself lucky because I don't have such severe symptoms like other sufferers do. However, it was a lot to take in within such a short amount of time so naturally I did feel quite down about both those illnesses. I was also unemployed for nine months last year which, to put it lightly, really sucked. It was horrible but I made it work and knew something would come along eventually. And it did! I started working in October at a local medical clinic and I couldn't be happier about it. I really lucked out in getting to work in such a great environment for and with such lovely people.

So life started to pick up after I found a great job and was earning my own money. There were a few days and weeks where I would be quite down due to my depression and therefore didn't blog as much as I normally would be, and you all know how much I've apologised for those times. I wanted to do nothing more than blog regularly, but I found it hard when I could barely get myself out of bed for the day. But I soldiered on and hopefully I made up for it okay. The only time I've found myself genuinely not wanting to blog was when my dog passed away. It was such an awful week of trips to the vet, not being able to sleep, trying to give her medication and watching her get slightly better and then much worse. That week made me realise what parents go through when their children are sick. I cried on and off for about nine hours the day we put her down. It was one of the most devastating things I've ever had to go through and honestly, I'm still not over it. But I eventually came back with some of my favourite nails I've ever done. They were simple and lovely and were a little dedication to Maggie.

I know I'm talking a lot about personal stuff, but before I'm a blogger, I'm an actual person with a real life and sometimes it gets in the way of this blog, which I'm sure other bloggers can understand. I'm also not afraid to share some stuff that happens to me, I'd rather be personal than an anonymous unknown person. And just so you know, I'm currently in quite good health and it's improving each week.

Everything in the past year has gotten me to where I am today though and that leads me onto my future plans as a blogger. As you all know, I've started making YouTube tutorials and I'm very happy I made that decision. I love it, despite the technical problems I sometimes have. But it's very rewarding to get positive feedback on them and watch the views of them go up. My aim now is to post at least one video a week, whether that happens straight away or in a few weeks is up to how many ideas I have. So expect a tutorial at least once a week. I also have future plans to post more about beauty. I already do my monthly favourites (I skipped July for those playing at home, sorry about that) which includes things other than nail related products. I would love to get into doing lipstick swatches and reviews but that won't happen until after September when the 31 Day Challenge ends (spoiler alert, I'm doing that challenge again). But I will post about all of that before any of it actually happens.

I decided for this post, that I'd recreate the first mani I ever did for this blog, a splatter and water marble combination. I wasn't happy with it when I posted it, but it's now nice to look back on it and see how much I've improved, especially with water marbling.

I used three of the new Maybellie Color Show polishes I posted about a few days ago, Pink Boom, Babe It's Blue and Cool Touch. I think I've come quite a long way since that first post.

I'm so extremely happy I started this blog, I don't know what I would be doing with my spare time if I hadn't. Who knows where I'd be without this blog and nail art. I love it all, I really do. So thank you to all those who take the time to read my blog posts. Thank you to everyone who follows me here, and on Bloglovin, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. I am forever grateful that people enjoy reading my posts and looking at my nails. I never knew a simple hobby could become something like this, something that gives me a purpose and motivates me to try new things and step out of my creative comfort zone. 

Special shout outs go to my mum for letting me ramble about the new polishes I've bought and putting up with my constant talk of nail art, to my sister for messaging me whenever there's a nail polish sale on and for being the first to inspire me to study the course, to my best friend Tay for allowing me to always talk about how my nails match my outfit for the night and for supporting my decision to make tutorials, to my other best friend Tree who puts up with my constant frustrated messages about my nails and letting me ramble about them and to Renee for recognising me by my nails that one night (she knows what I mean).

Thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every person that's ever read my blog. You all mean the world to me and I'm happy to share my nail art with you. I look forward to another good nail art year! Thank you for reading.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Colourful Mix & Match Mani

Good evening lovelies! Another late post from me tonight because I was too excited to wait till the morning to share it these nails! When I sat down to do them after work I had planned for them to be for a special post coming up this Friday but it went in another direction and didn't feel right for what I originally wanted, but I just went with it and I really do enjoy the outcome. They're fun and bright and nice to look at!

Halfway through doing the gradient I realised I should have filmed it, because it turned out awesomely! I was really happy with it, the way the three colours turn into five different colours is really great. Despite how it seems on my ring finger, I really didn't use a purple polish, that's just how good the blue and pink blended together. At first I was a bit annoyed because the purple overtook the pink but looking at the photos, it looks pretty cool so I'm happy with it.

The following colours were used:
White On - Sally Hansen (like always)
Babe It's Blue - Maybelline Color Show
Strawberry Sundae - Ulta3
Fresh Squeezed - Ulta3

That's it for tonight, I hope you enjoyed this random mani! I also hope your week has been good so far!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pastel Watercolour Tutorial

Good evening everybody! I'm posting a bit later than I normally would but any time is a good time to post. Tonight I have a watercolour tutorial. I haven't done any nail art like this for such a long time so I thought it was it about time I did some more. I absolutely love the way this nail art turns out. You can create such amazing designs whether you do the colours in sections like in the video below, or layer the colours on top of each other.

For this tutorial I used three colours:
Babe It's Blue - Maybelline Color Show
Pink Boom - Maybelline Color Show
Palette Play - Ulta3

I also topped it with the Revlon Matte Top Coat because I like the way a matte finish makes it look like real watercolour art.

(Look! This hand position is back) 

Watch the video below to learn how I did this design, and let me know what you think! Thanks for reading and watching!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Maybelline Color Show Nail Polish Swatches

Hello there, today I have some swatches for you! I've never done a post full of swatches before but I got quite a few new Maybelline polishes, so I thought I would share them with you all. I now understand why I've never done a swatch post before, it's hard work! I have so much more appreciation and respect for the girls who constantly do swatches.

The reason I decided to this post is because I also purchased the Maybelline Express Remover, which I'm sure everybody has heard about before. If you haven't, you should go out and buy one immediately. I always get lazy removing polish and a lot of the time I'll leave the house with only one hand painted because usually I only paint one hand when I blog. But the Express Remover is such a quick way to remove polish, you just dip your finger in the container, which has a sponge full of remover in it, and move your finger around for a few seconds and when you remove it, the polish is gone! I wondered what it'd be like with glitter polish and let me tell you, it was quite messy. It definitely removed the polish and majority of the glitter, but it also leaves you with bits of glitter over your fingers which takes a bit more effort to remove. But, despite that, it's still such a good product and I can't believe it took me this long to buy it.

The glitter top coats are all from the Street Artist collection, I think there are five polishes all together, but the Priceline I bought these from only had four and after researching around a bit I only saw four in the Australian range but overseas had five in theirs so I'm unsure if there really is a fifth in the Australian range or if Priceline just had a fifth space for no reason.

I didn't top coat any of these swatches. Also, please excuse the difference in colour of some of the photos, I promise the polishes are all true to colour despite it.

Peach Pie is a very sheer peachy creme polish. In real life it has a very delicate shimmer to it that I couldn't capture on camera. You know how beauty bloggers sometimes refer to a lipstick as My Lips But Better? Well to me, this polish is My Nails But Better. It's a lovely light colour that is very wearable and would be a good base for nail art. This is three coats with no top coat.

Boom Box Black is a neon green and black glitter top coat full of small and medium sized glitters. The below picture shows one coat and I think that's a pretty decent coat. It's packed full of glitters and I had no trouble getting them to spread and cover the nail in only one swipe. That applies to all the glitter top coats actually. I did dip my brush back in the bottle to fill in some spots and I definitely think a second coat would have been even better, but I quite like how effective it was with only one.

Cool Touch is a grey/blue creme that took three coats to be come full opaque. I absolutely love this one, it's gorgeous and I'm a sucker for a good grey polish. It's simple and bright and as they name suggests, very cool toned.

White Splatter is the only glitter in this collection that is different to the others as it has metallic flakes in it that range from blue to green to purple. It has a huge mix of sizes as well, as you can see below there are large, medium, small and even smaller glitters, as well as stripe glitter too. It's very interesting to say the least! This was only one coat.

Pink Boom is a bubblegum pink creme that looks good enough to eat. It's very bright and very candy-like. I'm not a massive fan of pink polish, I think it makes my nails and hands look old in real life, but I love it anyway and I'm sure I'll be using it in future nail art! This is three coats.

Alley Attitude is my favourite glitter of the collection. It's a neon blue and black glitter top coat that stands out so much. Blue is my favourite colour, so I knew I would love this one, but I didn't think I would love it as much as I do. Below is only one coat and just look at it! It's covered the nail very nicely without any patches. And this combo with Pink Boom is amazing. 

Babe It's Blue is the brother to Pink Boom in my opinion. They have the same bright finish and look like they should be the colours of lollies or something sweet. This polish was opqaue in only two coats and I think it's my new favourite blue. Also, how good is the name?! I love it.

Urban Vibe has the same sized glitter flakes as the others in black and orange. Just like with the others, this was only one coat and I think that's pretty good coverage. This isn't my favourite glitter as I don't think I'm a huge fan of the black and orange combination but maybe on a different base it would look better.

Purple Gem is a shimmery purple polish with what I think were tiny, tiny flecks of pink throughout it. It's a very nice colour and only took two coats to become opaque but just like with Pink Boom, I don't think it suits my skin tone and makes my hands look old in real life. I really do like this colour though and I'm going to find a way to wear it without hating how it makes my skin look.

That's all the swatches! It took a good few hours to do it all and my back hurts a bit from hunching over my nails but I'm happy with how they all turned out and I'm glad I've finally done a big swatch post. It's all worth in the end when the post comes together and maybe I'll do some more in the future when I get new polishes, no matter how old or new they might be in the nail world. Let me know if you'd like to see more posts like this!

Have a lovely weekend.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Water Marble Tutorial

Hi everybody! Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but I hope this tutorial makes up for it. When I decided to make tutorials, my best friend requested I do a water marble one and I finally got around to it. It was a lot harder to film than I thought so it's not the best but I'm happy to post it anyway. This post will be very wordy as I'm going to share what I've learnt over the past year when it comes to water marbling.

Unlike a lot of other people, I've never had difficulty with doing water marble designs. The only trouble I face most of the time is finding polishes that spread well together. I've found the best to use are Essie polishes and they must be new polishes as well. Old polishes never spread well so whenever you get some new polishes, try water marbling out and see how it goes! I tend to use polishes from the same brand as well as they're the same formula and sit nicely on top of each other.

Many other people insist on using filtered water, but I never have. I just use water straight from the tap and I'll either let it sit for an hour to become room temperature, or I'll put a dash of warm water in it to make it less cold and so that I can start using it straight away. Room temperature water is important though; the water shouldn't be too cold or too warm. Don't forget to tape around your fingers too, otherwise it's so messy and time consuming to clean up.

I use toothpicks to create the designs, but I know other girls use needles, pins or small dotting tools. Anything with a point is perfect to use as it creates sharp and straight lines. And remember to use only the point of it, don't dip the whole toothpick in. Another good point is after dragging through the polish, dip the toothpick (or whatever tool you use) slightly into the water before pulling it out. This just creates a neat point in the design and doesn't pull the polish up with the toothpick. And between each or every few drags, wipe the toothpick off otherwise the build up of polish ruins the design you're trying to create.

In the video, I created a few designs just to show the different outcomes. My personal favourite is the first design I did, which I learnt how to do thanks to this tutorial by Erinzi. She also has some great tips so check her post out too. 

I generally only ever use two colours when I do water marble designs. That's just my personal preference though, but more colours work as well if they're the right consistency and spread easily enough. It's very important to work fast as well, the process in the video is sped up otherwise it'd go for about 20 minutes, but you should work fast to avoid the polish drying too much (which happens in the first one I do).

After putting your nail on the area you want and into the water, make sure to remove the extra polish because if you don't it will all get dragged up with the finger when you pull it out and ruin the design so don't forget that part!

As you can see, my design smudged a bit. That's because there were bubbles on the nails that were still wet when I applied the top coat. I haven't found a good way to avoid these just yet, except to let them dry properly. My camera battery was dying so I had to do it quickly. Also, when I remove my nail from the water, I shake it off gently and dab my finger on paper the get excess water off. I'll also sometimes blow on my nail to move the water or very, very lightly dab it with a cotton tip so that I don't damage the design.

I think that's pretty much it, I'm sure there are plenty of other tips I'm forgetting but I hope I've covered most of them. It's a time consuming process and takes a few goes to get it right, but if you're using new polishes with the right consistency (not too thick or too thin), room temp water and are working fast you should be able to create some successful water marble designs.

So check out the video below and let me know what you think! And don't be afraid to ask me any questions if you're having trouble, I'll be happy to help because water marbling is such a fun design and I love seeing everyone's posts on it.

Thanks for reading and watching! 

Monday, August 04, 2014

Layered Stripes, Half Moons, and French Tips

Happy Monday morning everyone! Hope you all had a lovely weekend, mine was full of nail art and catching up with True Blood.

Today I have something a little different to show you. I stepped slightly out of my comfort zone with this one as it's not something I've done a lot of before, in this combination anyway, and it doesn't have a white base which is definitely out of my comfort zone. This was one of those designs that got into my head and I had to do it straight away.

You've seen these stripes from me before in this post and this one so they definitely aren't a new thing on this blog, but I love doing them and it was fun to incorporate them into a new mani with some half moons and french tips.

The polishes I used were all by Ulta3.
Base: Earl Grey
Red: Cherrylicious
Purple: Lotsa Fun
Teal: Get Teal
Black: Black Satin

I have mixed feelings about these nails but I think I ultimately like them, they aren't perfect and I free handed the half moon and tips which I've never done before, but they're different so I think that's why I like them.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Neon Splatter Nails + Tutorial

Hellooo! I'm on a roll this week in regards to nail art and it feels really good! I've been blogging for almost a year now and I finally feel like I've gotten the hang of it. There was a point where it felt like more of a chore than a hobby and there have always been a few absent weeks for me like when I lost my dog or had to work a lot more than normal but lately it feels amazing to be doing what I'm doing. And since I started making tutorials two weeks ago I've felt even more passionate about nail art. I also reached 500 followers on Instagram this week so I'm just feeling very appreciative of what the nail art community has done for me and how lovely it feels to be involved within it.

Anyway, onto the post. As you all know by now, I absolutely love splatter nails. I think they'll always be my favourite nail art design. So of course I had to film a tutorial for them. Splatter nails are quite an easy, albeit messy, design to do. All you need basically need is straw and polish. It's also handy to tape around your nails for an easier clean up. I can guarantee it'll be messy and a bit tedious to clean up, but the tape makes it a bit quicker regardless.

Sometimes I find that the polish can sort of plop onto the nail which causes a blob to form, whenever that happens I always gently dab at the area to lightly remove extra polish and make it look neater. I think this occurs because of the extra polish that collects around the outside of the straw, so occasionally I'll wipe the excess polish off on the bottle so it doesn't build up.

It's always very, very important (and probably obvious) that you don't inhale through the straw because you'll breathe in the polish fumes very strongly and that's definitely something you don't want to do!

Polishes used:
Nail Envy - OPI
White On - Sally Hansen
Fruit Tingle - Ulta3
Tahiti - Ulta3
Jelly - Ulta3
Citrus - Ulta3
Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat - Sally Hansen

Thanks for reading/watching!

PS I would absolutely love it if you checked out my best friend's food blog! I thought I would give her a little shout out just in case any of you are interested in some easy recipes for various types of yummy food!