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Pink 3 Colour Gradient with Stamping: January Polish Party

I left it a bit late to run the poll to vote on a theme for this month’s Polish Party, so in the end only a handful of us voted. This resulted in a tie between a 3 colour gradient and stamping. So, for speed and ease, I decided we’d go for a theme of gradient and/or stamping.

I’m not very happy with this manicure at all. Don’t get me wrong, the idea, the colours and the overall look … I’m happy with all that. It’s just that the execution is a bit rubbish.

Pink 3 colour gradient using Barry M Rose Hip and Ballerina and China Glaze Fifth Avenue, stamped with Born Pretty Store BP-19
Pink 3 colour gradient using Barry M Rose Hip and Ballerina and China Glaze Fifth Avenue, stamped with Born Pretty Store BP-19

 

I’ve gone with a 3 colour gradient, and the colours work so well together. I’ve used Barry M Rose Hip, Barry M Ballerina and China Glaze Fifth Avenue to create a dusky pink gradient. I did it in a bit of a rush, so I’ve not been very careful about covering the cuticle end, which is showing some of its underwear, Barry M Ballerina. Had I planned this manicure better, I would have started with a base of my lightest colour. But this wasn’t planned at all; I just decided to use these colours when I was already wearing Ballerina!

Pink 3 colour gradient using Barry M Rose Hip and Ballerina and China Glaze Fifth Avenue, stamped with Born Pretty Store BP-19
Pink 3 colour gradient using Barry M Rose Hip and Ballerina and China Glaze Fifth Avenue, stamped with Born Pretty Store BP-19

 

And then we come to the stamping. The plate is lovely. It’s Born Pretty Store BP-19. And I’ve used Konad White to stamp, which works well. But the stamping is really patchy.

I’ve been trying to get the best from my Creative Shop stamper, but I’m just not feeling it. Everyone is raving about this stamper, but for me it just doesn’t seem to pick up the images well. I’ve done everything that’s been recommended to me. Wash it in washing up liquid, prime it with a magic eraser, scrape lightly, roll over the image, press lightly, insert the head differently so that it’s more rounded. But in truth, I’m just not getting the images to pick up anywhere near as well as my red FUN stamper, or even as well as my Born Pretty Store stamper (review coming up soon) or Konad stamper. I even bought a second one in case there was something wrong with the first one, but it’s no better. The images all have tiny air holes in them when I pick up using the Creative Shop stamper. In its favour, it has a wonderful softness and is far larger than any other stamper I own. But that just doesn’t outweigh the poor performance. So I think it’s consigned to the pile of unused stampers.

 

For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Gradient: Barry M Rose Hip, Barry M Ballerina and China Glaze Fifth Avenue
  • Stamping polish: Konad White
  • Stamping plate: Born Pretty Store BP-19
  • Top coat: Glisten & Glow HK Girl


All manicure images are copyright to Kerruticles unless otherwise mentioned.

 

Here are the other Polish Party manicures for this month:

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Purple and Grey: L is for: Lines

It’s L for lines in this week’s A2Z series challenge. I like lines. In fact I’d go so far as to say I love lines, and stripes in particular. So, this was an easy and enjoyable challenge for me.

I’ve painted some purple and grey stripes over white. Well, off white really; the base is OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, which is a white with a light tinge of grey, so it’s perfect as a base when there are cold colours involved. (Not that purple is cold … but the grey is!)

After the white had dried properly, I added some Nail Vinyls and painted on my grey, which is Barry M Chai, and purple, which is Barry M Bright Purple.

Grey, purple and white lines, using OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Barry M Chai and Barry M Bright Purple
Grey, purple and white lines, using OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Barry M Chai and Barry M Bright Purple

They’re not my cleanest lines ever, but I love the look and this manicure lasted for several days on my nails.

Grey, purple and white lines, using OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Barry M Chai and Barry M Bright Purple
Grey, purple and white lines, using OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Barry M Chai and Barry M Bright Purple

 

For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Base colour: two coats of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls
  • Lines: Barry M Chai and Barry M Bright Purple
  • Top coat: Glisten & Glow HK Girl


All manicure images are copyright to Kerruticles unless otherwise mentioned.

 

Here are the manicures from the other A2Zers:

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Illummi Blue Lagoon: One Step Gel Polish

I’ve been dabbling in gel polishes recently – although nothing has made it to the blog as yet – and I am loving them.  After years of polishing and top coating, then taking care to keep my hands out of trouble so that they dry without any mishaps, I am amazed at how gel is instantly dry and hard. And how durable my nails are with it.  They have never been this long.

But if you’re put off using gel polish because it sounds so complicated with all the stages … base coat, cure, colour, cure, colour, cure, colour, cure, top coat, cure … not to mention all the wiping of the sticky layers – then Illummi one step gel polishes might tempt you. They really do only have one step: colour, that’s all you need.

The one I tried is awesome. Blue Lagoon is a very “me” colour – a bright cyan shade. I love blue and I love bright blues.

I just made sure my nails were clean and free from oil, then painted the first coat, and cured for 2 minutes in my UV lamp. (They cure in 1 minute in a LED lamp). Then I repeated that and I was done.  There’s no base coat or top coat to worry about, and no wiping of tacky layers. After they had cured, I added some cuticle oil and was good to go. My nails were done and perfect in under ten minutes and I was out the door! (And this was at 7.30 in the morning just before the school run). Amazing!

Illummi Blue Lagoon gel polish
Illummi Blue Lagoon gel polish

I’m so impressed and really pleased with Illummi. Being a one step process not only makes gel nails really quick and easy, but also makes them much more affordable. The polish costs £12.99, which is about average price for a gel polish, but where you save is that you don’t need to fork out on special base coats and top coats on top of that. They do sell a non-wipe gloss top coat, which gives extra shine, but it’s not necessary, and I found that the nails are perfectly glossy without it.

Illummi Blue Lagoon gel polish
Illummi Blue Lagoon gel polish

Removal is simple; you just wrap your nails in acetone-soaked cotton pads and secure with some foil. After ten minutes, you can gently push the gel off with an orange wood stick. I am currently still wearing these, so haven’t removed them yet, but I’ll update the post with how it went at some point in the future.

One thing to note: if you add something like nail art or stamping and then remove it using non-acetone polish remover, the surface of the Illummi polish becomes matte. I found this out because I did indeed stamp over this manicure and then removed it. I was going to add a normal top coat to restore the shine, but before I did that, I had added cuticle oil. It got on my nails, not just the skin, so I rubbed it in and hey presto, the shine to the nail was restored. To check the longevity of this, I washed my hands, and I was pleased to discover that the shine remained.

You can buy Illummi one step gel polish via the Illummi website for £12.99. Shipping is free and there are 19 colours to choose from.

 

For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Colour: two coats of Illummi Blue Lagoon


All manicure images are copyright to Kerruticles unless otherwise mentioned.
Products shown in this post were sent to me for review. All views expressed in this post are my own, honest and unbiased opinions.

 

 

 

Green Gradient with Stamping (52 Week Challenge)

I have had so much trouble with this week’s 52 Week Pick n Mix Challenge. The theme is either fire or 3 greens or yellows.

And the one that made it to posting – this manicure – is attempt number 5.

I started off by doing some green, three colour stamping over a blue. It looked a bit like parrot feathers and I quite liked it, but when I saw the photos I wasn’t happy as it was all a bit messy. So then I went down the fire route. I stamped some red, orange and yellow flames over a white base, but hated it and took it off again. Now, I don’t much like green, but I returned to that and tried some double processed stamping (look it up – it’s a new technique that has all the Facebook groups abuzz!). It worked brilliantly, but the colour scheme just didn’t suit the theme (green hearts anyone??). Next, and very late last night, I tried to do a yellow watermarble. I was tired and the polishes weren’t playing nicely, so that came off too.

Finally, this morning, I decided to do a two colour gradient with some stamping over the top.

Stamped green gradient: OPI Stranger Tides, Barry M Cardamom, Mundo De Uñas High Green, BPS BP-20
Stamped green gradient: OPI Stranger Tides, Barry M Cardamom, Mundo De Uñas High Green, BPS BP-20

At long last, I’d created a manicure I was proud enough of (despite the green) to put on the blog. The gradient is OPI Stranger Tides and Barry M Cardamom. And I stamped using Mundo De Uñas High Green and Born Pretty Store plate BP-20.

Stamped green gradient: OPI Stranger Tides, Barry M Cardamom, Mundo De Uñas High Green, BPS BP-20
Stamped green gradient: OPI Stranger Tides, Barry M Cardamom, Mundo De Uñas High Green, BPS BP-20

 

 

 

52 week challenge

 

For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Colour: gradient of OPI Stranger Tides and Barry M Cardamom
  • Stamping polish: Mundo De Uñas High Green
  • Stamping plate: Born Pretty Store BP-20
  • Top coat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri


All manicure images are copyright to Kerruticles unless otherwise mentioned.

 

 

 

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Orange, Blue and Cream: K is for: Kitchen Sink

This week in the A2Z series challenge it’s K, and that means Kitchen Sink. A kitchen sink manicure is where you use “everything but the kitchen sink”. So it’s a bit like a skittlette, only all the nails are different, and you use a different technique for each one. Usually though, there is some sort of theme and/or the colours are consistent.

I chose cream, orange and blue and have an assortment of things on my nails. I used OPI My Vampire Is Buff, Rimmel Navy Seal and Barry M Mango.

I started with the water marble, in case it didn’t work out well, but I love it. It came out really well and I kind of wish I had it on all my nails. But that would defeat the purpose, eh!

The ring finger nail is a simple cream base with small square studs that I painted in the orange and blue polishes I used.

For the little finger nail, I freehanded the fishtail chevron tips. I was convinced I’d have to re-do it, but the Gods were on my side and it looked OK.

I completed the index finger nail last. I was thinking of stamping blue on cream, or doing a dotticure, but finally I opted to try some water colour bubbles. The effect is great, but I’m not entirely happy with it. I used the polishes watered down with acetone, and for a few of the bubbles I wasn’t quick enough and the acetone ate away the centres. Top coat filled those in nicely, but it isn’t as clean looking as I had pictured. Not bad for a first try though. I think the acrylic paint approach and water might be better for this technique and I might just give that a go soon.

Orange, blue and cream "kitchen sink" manicure, using OPI My Vampire Is Buff, Rimmel Navy Seal and Barry M Mango
Orange, blue and cream “kitchen sink” manicure, using OPI My Vampire Is Buff, Rimmel Navy Seal and Barry M Mango

After I’d finished this, I wish I had done the nails in a different order. I think the bubbles and the water marble are too similar, so should be further apart from each other. Perhaps I should have swapped the bubbles with the chevron tips. Balancing skittlette / kitchen sink manicures is not my forte.

Orange, blue and cream "kitchen sink" manicure, using OPI My Vampire Is Buff, Rimmel Navy Seal and Barry M Mango
Orange, blue and cream “kitchen sink” manicure, using OPI My Vampire Is Buff, Rimmel Navy Seal and Barry M Mango

 

For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Colours: OPI My Vampire Is Buff, Rimmel Navy Seal, Barry M Mango
  • Top coat: Glisten & Glow HK Girl


All manicure images are copyright to Kerruticles unless otherwise mentioned.

 

Here are the manicures from the other A2Zers:

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