Extreme Shopping

Tomorrow, Hannah and I are going to the Clothes Show. 5 exhibition halls worth of clothes, makeup, catwalks and male models – everything you could wish for in a shopping trip. Also, we now see everything as a blogging opportunity so we’re sure to be taking loads of photos.

It’s getting colder and colder by the day and Christmas spirit hasn’t kicked in enough yet to make you not care about the weather. A Levels are as difficult as ever and mock exams are growing ever closer so I can’t think of anything better than spending a whole day with one of my best friends shopping for clothes in the warm.

Can’t wait!

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Nail Fail

So you get to go home early because a lesson is cancelled. What do you do? Catch up with some homework? Use the extra time to study? Nope, you do your nails. Well I’m not exactly endorsing it but that’s what I did…
I’d seen a nail design on Pinterest where you drop nail varnish into a bowl and then swirl it to make a tie dye effect. Well, let’s say things on Pinterest always look easier than they turn out to be in real life.
1. Okay so first I painted on my white base coat and put sellotape around all of my nails so I didn’t get the nail varnish all over them
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2. I then dropped the nail varnish into a bowl of water (the clingfilm is just so I didn’t stain the bowl). This was my first obstacle: the nail varnish started to either sink to the bottom or just spread out and not mix with the other colours.IMG_1181

3. Even so, I persevered and place my nail on top of the swirly mess I’d created so far.
This was the best nail:

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You can see by middle finger that the rest were not so successful and I took it all off straight away and went for this more simplistic design instead:

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The moral of this story: Don’t underestimate the difficulty of things put on Pintrest. I’ve tested it and failed.

Katie

Newspaper Nails

Another nail tutorial for you. This time its newspaper nails. If you have no idea what I’m on about:

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They are so simple to do, and, unlike many tutorials tell  you to, you don’t have to use alcohol – only water!

Okay first,

What you’ll need:

A nail file, coloured nail varnish for your base coat, a clear top coat, a small bowl of water, newspaper with text.

Newspaper Nails

1. Shape and neaten up nails

Using your nail file, shape your nails so they have no rough edges and are nicely shaped.

2. Paint your base coat. 

Make sure you leave it to dry for a while after you’ve painted it because it’ll smudge easily if you don’t once you put the design on.

3.  Cut up newspaper

Cut the newspaper up into small squares that cover the whole of your nail. Cut them all in one go so you won’t have to do it once you’re half way through doing your nails. I would do about 12 though in case some don’t transfer properly.

4. Dip each piece in water so it’s just damp.

Make sure it doesn’t get too wet because the ink won’t transfer.

5Press the newspaper firmly onto your nail

I do mean firmly too. Roll your nail underneath the newspaper in one go so you don’t get duplicated patterns.

6. Top coat

Finish off your design with a top coat. Again, I would wait a while so you don’t smudge the ink.

So there you go. If you try this yourself be sure to show us, we’d love to see how they turn out!

Katie

Bridge Dot Nails

So currently, I’m swanning off on holiday (if you can count a field in Stafford a holiday) so to save poor Katie having an overload of posts to do here’s one I did earlier á la Blue Peter.

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I’m calling these Bridge Dots because of the angle of the dots (obviously). To me, straight lines on nails look a little weird, because they aren’t straight or flat to begin with. Adding patterns with a curve just seems to add something.

After painting the base, I used the technique Katie taught us a couple of weeks ago, using the rounded end of a hair grip for small even spots. You can read that post here.

What nail techniques have you been trying out lately?

Hannah

DIY Flower Nails

Okay here’s a quick DIY nail tutorial that’s easy to do but looks really nice. Also, these are not my own nails because I had difficulty painting them and taking pictures at the same time.

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1. Firstly, file down and shape your nails.

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2. Paint the base coat in whatever colour you want. I’ve chosen Peppermint by Rimmel London. It’s best to do at least 2 coats to make sure its a solid colour.

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3. Leave to dry for about 5 minutes to make sure the design doesn’t ruin the base colour. (Apologies for the over spill onto the finger by the way)

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4. Using a white nail art pen or white nail varnish on a thin paintbrush, paint a flower shape and create 5 lines – one for each petal – in the middle.

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5. Then blob another colour for the centre of the flower – I’ve chosen pink but any colour that matches and compliments the base coat will look good!

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6. And there we go. It takes very little time but gives you nails that extra little something.

Katie

 

DIY Spotty Nails

If like me you like to experiment with different nails designs, you’ve most likely attempted to do spotty nails before. Maybe if you’ve had the same amount of luck as me you’ll have turned out with randomly positioned blobs that have run or spread into each other that you just want to take off straight away because they look a total mess. Am I right?

Well, recently I found a very simple but amazingly effective solution to your nail varnish blobbing issues…

HAIR GRIPS (or bobby pins if you’re all American and that). 

I’m obviously not the first person to have realised this, and you may be reading thinking how stupid I am for just discovering it, but they work so well. Even though I’ve got nail art pens, which honestly I am so addicted to, hair grips are such a better way for getting accurate and precise circles on nail designs.

All you need to do is to dab a small amount of your chosen nail varnish, after applying your base colour, onto a tile or piece of plastic such as a lid (preferably not to any items currently in your fridge, I don’t want to get told off by any angry parents) and dip either the smaller or large circular end into it and apply immediately to your nail. I say immediately because otherwise it will dry and smudge across your nail, obviously not speaking from experience there… Then once they have thoroughly dried, apply a top coat to even out any imperfections and help the design to stay on longer.

You can then put loads of different colours on from your nail varnishes and not have to worry about buying new pens in that colour! Such a revelation I know.

I will have to make this short and sweet (mainly because I have no pictures of the nails I did using the hair grips) but I will be sure to post some more beauty pearls of wisdom for you…

Katie

DIY Chevron Nails

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Now if you excuse the over-the-lines painting shown here, I think these worked pretty well.

If, like me, you don’t want to go out and buy specialised strips, sellotape works just as well … if you’re not trying to do it ten minutes before you go out. I just used the same technique as I did in this little nail experiment.

Thoughts?

Hannah***

Ombre Nails

Someone once told me that ombre nails are easy.

They lied.

Fortunately for them, I can’t remember who it was, but either way they couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s the shoddy mess I came up with, and the various methods I attempted:

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The Wet Sponge Method

The first method I tried was applying varnish onto a damp sponge and then dabbing it onto the nail. This left a tiny little hint of colour on my nail and a massive varnish stain on the sponge. So that one’s a no.

The Smudge Method

Method #2 was to paint the two colours, let them dry a little, then smudge the middle together with the edge of a paper towel … which just wipes is straight back off. No.

The Smudge Method #2

#3 was to attempt Smudge Method #1 with the better smudging agent of a cocktail stick. Same conclusion. Anyone noticing a pattern here?

The asdfghjkl;’ Method

This one is when you get really angry that you can’t do it and attempt to do it with your finger. Then shout to the empty room at the person who told you this would be easy and the annoying pictures on Pinterest where everything is perfect, followed by storming off for an hour to cool down …

The Topcoat Method

This is the only one that kind of, sort of works. I say that because by this stage I would have passed a massive black spot on my nail as ombre. Like the Smudge Method, you apply the two colours, let them almost dry, but then apply a topcoat to smooth them together. I found I had to do a lot of blending of the two colours, and it still has a lot of flaws – i.e. you can only really do one coat, so the colours aren’t very strong and chipped pretty easily – but to be honest, I really can’t be bothered to think of anymore techniques. Sorry!

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Does you have any better methods? Have you ever accomplished the ombre nail?

Hannah***

Split Colour Tutorial

DSCN1841First things first, these colours match my eyes. Thought you’d like to know.

This is a pretty simple tutorial but after trying out my new grey varnish, I thought it needed a bit of brightening up.

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1) Paint your undercoat colour and make sure it dries COMPLETELY, before doing step 2

2) Use sellotape that’s lost it’s sticky a bit. You can do this by sticking it to your tights or chair a few times. Press it onto the tip of the nail at an angle

3) Paint the uncovered area and leave it to dry for at least two minutes

4) Peel the sellotape off and paint a top coat of clear varnish. This will soften the edges of the lines

Hannah

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Concrete Colours

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This is the third colour nail varnish I bought when I disgusted myself by shopping in Claire’s. I’m sorry. I’m also sorry about the shoddy brush-work displayed here. As I said in my review of the other two colours I bought, the brush is not the greatest, but I admit it was a rather rushed job.

I’m not really sure if I like the colour. I don’t particularly like dark nails and this colour reminds me of concrete when it’s still wet? Definetely not a colour for spring, but it could look nice used for a design on top of a lighter colour.

You can read my review of the other two colours I bought here.

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Hannah

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