Posts Tagged ‘nails’

Velour flocked nails

Monday, November 10th, 2014

ChiChi do some pretty amazing nail art collections, and the latest one to show you is the Velour Flock Manicure set.

There is also a blue/purple set.

There is also a blue/purple set

It was a bit fiddly to apply but definitely worth the effort. The set comes with three nail polishes and three matching velour flocking containers.  The flocking is soft and fuzzy (and very messy!)  I prepped my false nails as usual and got everything ready to start working.

All the things!

All the things!

I decided to go with the purple/pink colour for my nails, but with one red feature nail to break up the colour.  I started out by pouring some of the flocking powder into a small glass. Here you can see a close up of the powder – it is very fine.

Any excess can be put back into the containers.

Any excess can be put back into the containers

What you need to do is paint the nail, and while it is still wet, dip it into the powder and roll it around to make sure it’s well covered.  I blu-tacked the nail to the end of a pencil, painted it, and then covered it in flocking.

Pretty purple/pink colour

Pretty purple/pink colour

Cover it thickly!

Cover it thickly!

Once you take it out of the flocking, it’s on quite thick, so you can use the provided brush to sweep off any excess back into the glass.

Sweep sweep!

Sweep sweep!

Then repeat for each nail until you have a complete set!

Pretty and fuzzy!

Pretty and fuzzy!

In case you were wondering, they lasted quite well through showering and doing the washing up :)

Legend of Zelda nails

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Earlier this year, I went to the Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses concert in Sydney. Given this was both a geeky and fancy affair, I decided I wanted some nails that were appropriate.

I opted for a fairly simple concept – sparkly green, but with a yellow Triforce on each thumb.  The green sparkly polish I used was very thick, and I found it tricky – great for removing, but not so much for dealing with fine detail, as you’ll soon see.

Nevertheless I painted all the nails except the thumbs in sparkly green polish, then applied yellow to the thumbs, and overlaid this with a sparkly yellow.

Just a little bit of sparkle :)

Just a little bit of sparkle :)

All the sparkles!

All the sparkles!

The tricky bit was next. I had decided to mark out the triforce in striping tape, and then fill in the gaps with the sparkly green, leaving the yellow showing from underneath to form the triforce.

All striped up.

All striped up.

Seemed fine in theory, but I didn’t bank on the glugginess of the green, so getting into those small points was tricky and required additional tools besides the nail polish brush.

Did okay though!

Did okay though!

After letting it dry, came the badness.  I peeled off the striping tape, and due to the consistency of the green polish, a lot of it tried to come off too.  So it wasn’t my finest work, but the theory was sound.

Here they are as a set after emergency repairs to the thumbs.  I’m still pretty pleased with how they turned out :)

Zelda nails!

Zelda nails!

Matte and gloss black french manicure nails + caviar

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

It’s back to the nails today, after a few makeup posts.  This set of nails was inspired by a few different nail art looks I’d seen on Pinterest that used matte black nail polish.  So first things first, I needed to buy some, so I headed to my trusty eBay and picked up a $5 polish to try out.

I was also very interested in using the micro steel balls I’d recently bought.  I really wanted to use all black balls, but again, like with my crushed shell wheel, the colours had been mixed up in the post, and it was absolutely impossible to separate them.

So I prepared my nails using my normal method, and painted them all in the matte black.


Nails lined up to dry with black matte polish


Close up to show the flat matte texture – I really like it!


Next, I stuck on some french tip forms and painted the gloss black on the ends.  A tip here is to remove the forms *before* the polish dries.  You may recall, I had lots of problems with my Gaga nails because I didn’t know that little trick.  This time, it worked a treat.


Preparing the nails for the glossy french tips


Close up of completed nail – the difference between the matte and gloss is subtle but effective


After that, I thought I’d tackle the steel balls to make a caviar nail for my thumb.  I covered the nail with clear polish and applied the balls.  This looked great while I was doing it, but soon after I realised I should have used glue to make the balls stick – they steadily came off until I had practically none on in just a few days.  I also made the mistake of coating them in clear gloss afterwards – this took the colour right off them.  So I stopped and ended up with one faded and one still bright.  Another lesson learned!


My micro steel ball wheel – the colour I wanted to use (black) was among the ones that got shaken up


Preparing the caviar thumbnail


One feature nail is never enough, so I selected some square green rhinestones and lined them up.  Again I didn’t use glue and they came off after a week.  Tsk tsk for me being lazy!


Square green rhinestones to accent another nail


Finally the whole set was done, and I was pretty happy with the effect.  Black nail polish really is a great look no matter what you do with it!


The complete set of nails before I glued them on


They looked great on, and I got a ton of compliments.  What do you think of this?


Showing them off – the micro balls did not last very long, sadly


Another angle


Close up of the caviar nail

Pastel shell nails

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Today I wanted to show off another set of nails I made recently.  I bought a wheel of crushed shell decorations from eBay and when they arrived in the post I was annoyed to find all the colours had been mixed up.  I contemplated trying to sort them out, but it was just too impossible.  So what to do?

I decided to use a mixture of colours somehow.  Pondering, I thought that they might look nice with some pastel nail polish, so I tested a few colours.  I couldn’t decide on just one, so I chose three!  I opted for pink, green and blue.

Using my usual techniques to create the false nails, I then painted them – I did the fingers alternating pink and green, and then blue for the thumb.  Next I poured all the crushed shell pieces into a small bowl, and painted a nail with a thick coat of clear polish, starting from the tip down and stopping roughly two thirds down.

Then I sprinkled crushed shell over the nail, repeating several times to fill in the gaps.  I carefully pressed the shell down to secure it to the nail, then painted over it with clear gloss to smooth down some of the sharper shell edges.  I did this with each nail until the final product.

I’m very pleased with how they turned out – what do you think?


I love the alternating colours, and the shell accents. Very different!

Gaga Nails

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Hi everyone – tody I want to show off the set of nails I made for my trip to Melbourne to see Lady Gaga.  My awesome friends and I got amazing front row seats and we had the best time!

So for this nail set, I wanted to go with a messy shaded purple look – sort of like the colour was bleeding down my fingers.  I also wanted to have some really pointy nails for “paws up” Gaga time!  I had bought a set of long stiletto nails from eBay just for the occasion, and I set to work on them first.

Sadly I kind of ruined them as they were way too long for me, so I cut them down but this meant they didn’t fit properly.  I figured that would be okay though and I’d just wear them for that one night, so I could use nail sticker adhesive instead of affixing them with nail glue like normal.  As it turned out, this was not to be!

Anyway, what I did, after my usual cutting and shaping, was to paint each nail with a clear purple gloss.  I gave them several coats to get the right colour.


Ah my beloved stiletto nails – I wish I’d had the chance to wear you…


Next I applied a darker purple and graded it down halfway.  This was looking pretty good, but I decided I wanted more, so I used my french manicure sticker forms to add a black french tip to the nails.  Then I left them to dry.  Overnight.  Which I now know I should never do.  Why?  Because next day I couldn’t get the stickers off :(  I ended up having to scrape them off and then having to paint the nails with the dark purple to cover up the imperfections.  So, pro tip: when you use nail sticker forms to do designs, remove the sticker BEFORE the polish dries.


Here’s the full set completed. I did two stiletto nails for my “paws up” hand.


Nevertheless, they ended up looking pretty awesome and I couldn’t wait to wear them.  As it happened, I ran out of time getting ready (having been to Oz Comic Con all day that day) and just couldn’t get the stiletto nails to stay on.  So I went without.


Paws up, little monsters!


It really was an awesome night (and weekend too) – I love dressing up, and any chance to do so is one I will take.  So for your viewing pleasure, here are some pics of my outfit for Lady Gaga :)  Enjoy!



Getting Crazy – 3D Fruity Nails

Monday, September 10th, 2012

After the success of my first set of fake nails, I thought I’d go a little crazier.  I had been eyeing off some fimo fruit slices for a while, so I bought myself some in preparation.

I was really torn because I wasn’t sure which way to decorate this next set of nails.  I’d pinned heaps of cool ones on Pinterest, but in the end I decided to theme each nail by colour.

What I did first was sort out the fruit slices according to colour, then find an appropriate nail colour from my new collection.  Some of the colours looked bright, but actually came out translucent, so I needed to do quite a few coats to get the final result.

Once they were dry, I used nail glue to apply the fruit slices, then coated each nail with a LOT of clear polish to fill in the gaps and make them smooth.

What do you think?


Here they are drying – I used the blu-tack method on pens/pencils this time. Works well, but they don’t balance and you run the risk of the pen rolling and smooshing your hard work.


I really love the yellow thumbnail, but the red one and the orange are awesome too.  Ahhh, I don’t know which is my favourite – what’s yours?


Here they are on my nails – I love them so much! Got plenty of interest from random people at shops and stuff “You should do this for a living” LOL! Not much money in it, but it’s fun :)


So there you have it – very simple to do, and cheap.  The fruit slices set me back $1 including shipping and I have plenty left – I got about 100 pieces.

Next post I’ll show off the awesome purple and black nails I made for my front row tickets to Lady Gaga!  Till then, cheers!


I’m nearly dry, another glass please waiter!

Learning a new skill – purple and silver nails

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

About this time I started buying up big on nail art accessories on eBay.  I think my first purchase was $20 – high finances!  But!  I got a boat-load of stuff for that price, given most things were only $1 with shipping included.

I mentioned in the previous post about striping tape.  This first set of fake nails features silver striping tape, and was inspired by a beautiful set of pale purple and silver nails I found on Pinterest.

First thing I needed to do was work out which nails fit mine, so I spent some time going through the pack I bought (500 false nails, all sorted into sizes – 10 sizes in all).  Eventually I settled on the sizes I needed. I suggest you make note of this somewhere as you will refer to it each time you make a new set – much easier than refitting your nails!

Once I selected the nails, I needed to cut them down a bit, because a) they were far too long for what I’d be comfortable wearing and b) I am not a fan of square nails and prefer a more natural oval shape.  This required some forceful clipping, and slow and labourious filing.


Tools of the trade. Large clippers for the initial cut, then small ones to shape. The full sized nail is shown between them, and my preferred size above.


As you get more experienced, you’ll soon find you get more adept at clipping the nails to the size and shape, and so the filing is really just to smoothe out the edges.  With my first set, I nearly suffocated from the nail powder residue.  I strongly suggest you don’t breathe in while you file.  I’m not sure if the dust is harmful, but it smells a bit unpleasant, and it’s better to be safe than sorry!


I use a fine nail file to smoothe out any rough edges and do a final shape.


Next it’s time to paint!  I had a beautiful light purple polish that was given to me by a friend, and because it’s my favourite colour, I opted to use it for my first set of nails.  I was also graduating from my BA and thought having some nice, fancy nails for the ceremony would be fun!  As it turned out, they showed up nicely in my photos, and the student sitting next to me thought they were fabulous

I originally painted this set by placing each nail on the finger pad on my left hand, while I painted with my right.  This soon proved very annoying, as the nails wouldn’t balance, or I’d accidentally paint them to my finger.  Also, it was a paint to pick them up without smudging.  Since then, however, I have come up with an ingenious (I think) method which also makes the process much quicker.  I take a small ball of blu-tack and stick each nail to it, then stick the blu-tack to the top of a nail polish bottle.  I’ve also used pens and other things that I had laying around, but through trial and error, the polishes work best for me.


Look at those fancy nail polishes! They also double as a stand for my nails while I paint them. Then I can just pop them away while they dry without any mess or fuss!


I did a couple of coats of polish, and then started working out what I wanted each nail to look like.  I did some with glitter, some with striping tape, and one with rhinestones.  At this stage I realised I really needed some fine point tweezers, so they were my next eBay purchase!

Once I had everything the way I liked it, I gave the nails a generous coating of topcoat to seal it all in.  Here’s how they turned out!


This is before I trimmed the striping tape. I used a purple sheer gloss polish to darken the chevron nail. I used the same polish and a dark glitter to do the pinkie, whereas for the thumb I used a silver glitter polish.


I am still really proud of them!  The only issue I had was that the striping tape tends to curl up at the edges after a week or so, and then it’s very tempting to pull it, or it gets caught on things.  For the future, I’d suggest a lot more top coat on nails with striping tape.

What do you think?  Not bad, hey!


PS that macaroon was delicious!


Next time I’ll discuss my next project – 3D fruity nails!

The Apprentice

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

In my last post I explained how I came to be addicted to nail art.  Today I’m going to showcase the next stage of the transition into nail art addiction, to nail artist (that may be a bit pretentious, but I went there anyway).

Before I launched into making my first set of fake nails, I rustled up a pack I had lying around and put them on.  They were very sweet looking, but definitely not a good fit.  My nails are quite a bit smaller than the ones provided in the pack, but I made do.


Pale pink with french, with a tiny sparkle line


About this time, I discovered Pinterest, and one of the first pics I pinned was black with multicoloured neon stripes.  I had just bought some striping tape off eBay so I figured I’d give it a go.  I didn’t have the bright neon colours at the time, but I did have some nice pearly colours, so I set about painting my stubby embarrassingly short and bedraggled nails.  The result was subtle but pretty:


Sorry about the crap photo! I used three pale pearlescent colours and painted a thick strip of each


I applied the striping tape in some fancy patterns, then coated over with black.  Once dried, I carefully peeled off the tape, and voila – crappy nails!


Not as good as the picture that inspired it!  But even so, I was pleased with the effect, and I will definitely try this again some time now that I’m better at it!


Next post I’ll show you my first fake nails attempt.  And that’s how it all began!

The start of madness

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Until a year ago, I was like you, yearning for pretty, tidy, strong, unchipped, unchewed, fancy manicured nails.  I knew I should stop picking and chewing my nails, because that’s what people always tell you, right?  But I just couldn’t.  Stress, boredom, complete apathy – all these things contributed to my nails being little more than stubs.

Now I think a fine manicure is a must for any lady (or man, let’s not discriminate) and if you are a bit of a girly girl like myself, then you may find yourself in a quandry.  How to have pretty nails when  you are an extreme biter?

Nearly a year ago to this day, I was in Chicago with my husband, and I had the wonderful opportunity to catch up with my best friend who lives nearby.  Given I live on the other side of the world, we don’t see each other much.  My husband kindly left us to our own devices for a couple of hours to catch up – so we went and found a nail salon.

Never having done anything of the sort before (except for my wedding, but all that consisted of was a bit of nail polish essentially), this was quite exciting.  I got a set of lovely purple acrylics and had my toes painted too.  Then we went up the Sears Tower for old times’ sake.


So pretty and shiny – my hands didn’t know what hit them!


So, this is how it started.  Once I got back home, the nails started to come off and eventually I thought “I should get that done again!”  I went to my local beauty salon and enquired about gels (I wanted to try something different).  The rate seemed reasonable enough, so I booked an appointment, and for the next few months I trotted down to get a new set every few weeks.


First set of gels, asymmetrical doublle french with sparkly purple beneath. I loved how smooth they felt!


Something fancy for Christmas – double french in red and green, with gold sparkles and Christmas stickers on the feature nails


Getting fancy! Black and pink french with kitty feature nails


The madness had begun.  But it was a good kind of madness because it bred ingenuity.  By April this year, I was thinking “Surely I can do this myself for quite a lot cheaper”.  So I went shopping on eBay and loaded up on cheap fake nails, rhinestones, nail polish, brushes, files, stickers, glitter and more.  You can pick up HEAPS of great stuff for very little cash, so if you want to get started in this hobby, begin there.  Type “nail art” into the search, sort by lowest price first, and let your imagination go wild.

The next blog entry will showcase my first nail art attempts (with not great success) and then my first ever fake nail creation – of which I am incredibly proud!