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Grey gradient nails

I was loving my snowflake nails, but they chipped. Typically I just re-paint the chip and all is good, but because it’s the weekend, and we are stuck in with builders sorting out our hallway floor, I have plenty of time today to do a new manicure.

Sometimes it takes me an age to decide what to do, but today I seemed to know straight away that I wanted to do a gradient. I’ve only done one before, but it was quite successful and much easier to do than I had imagined.

If you don’t know how to do a gradient, then I can highly recommend the Nailasaurus’s tutorial. The only thing I would add is that I use a make-up sponge and wet it before wringing it right out. This stops the polish from sinking into the sponge too much. I also paint stripes of colour straight onto the sponge rather than onto plastic.

Today I chose to go for grey gradient nails. I painted my nails with two coats of Revlon Hazy, which is the lighter of the two greys. I haven’t used this polish before and I have to say I was really impressed. It went on smoothly and dried quickly. It’s part of the Top Speed collection and says on the bottle that it sets in 60 seconds, which for once with a polish is actually true. It also says to apply one coat, but I chose two. I think you could easily get away with doing one thickish coat if you applied it well; I just wanted to ensure I got a great finish.

When it was dry, I sponged the gradient on using more Hazy and Barry M Grey. The Barry M Grey is also another of my untried polishes and I just love the colour. I wil be wearing this one on its own at some point.

Grey gradient
Grey gradient nails using Barry M Grey and Revlon Hazy
For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Base: two coats of Revlon Hazy
  • Gradient polishes: Revlon Hazy and Barry M Grey
  • Top coat: No.7 Stay Perfect

Snowflake nails

My previous manicure has lasted really well, but I was getting a bit bored with it, so decided to jazz it up with some stamping.

On Facebook, I’m a member of the group, Adventures in Stamping. There’s a weekly challenge manicure where everyone has to stamp according to a theme. This week’s theme is “over a blue base”, and while it’s a bit early, I couldn’t resist using my current blue manicure to stamp over for the challenge.

I’ve used Barry M Foil Effects Silver and Bundle Monster plates BM-14 and BM-323. I then dotted on some extra “snow” and added two coats of George Jackpot, which is a very sparse silver glitter.

The glitter coat has taken away the vibrancy of the blue. It’s not so much an electric, cobalt blue now. And it also no longer has its duochrome effect, although bizarrely the purple tinge is now slightly evident in the photos, where it wasn’t yesterday. Strange how a polish can do that. However, it makes it look like I have a completely new blue polish on today!

It’s not really the right day to do this, as it’s a lovely bright autumn day where I am in the UK. So I hope I’ve not jinxed the weather. My son is desperate for some snow, but I’m really not keen.

Snowflake nails stamping
Snowflake nails stamping
For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Base: two coats of China Glaze Tempest
  • Sparkle coat: Nailene Artist FX Sparkle
  • Top coat: Seche Vite
  • Stamping polish: Barry M Foil Effects Silver
  • Stamping plates: Bundle Monster BM-14 and BM323
  • Glitter coat: George Jackpot

China Glaze Tempest (with some added sparkle)

When buying some nail polish recently I was overcharged but didn’t realise until I got home. My husband returned to the shop for me, and instead of a refund, picked me up a new polish – gotta love him! He chose China Glaze Tempest.

This is a shimmer polish with a hint of a duochrome. I’ve seen it described as a purple, but I think it looks more like a blue. Either way, depending on the angle and the light, it shifts from a vibrant cobalt blue to an inky violet.

China Glaze Tempest
China Glaze Tempest with a top coat of Nailene Artist FX Sparkle

It’s very sheer in application. I used two coats but was left with a couple of bare patches on some nails, so those received a third coat.

I added Nailene Artist FX Sparkle Coat. It’s a sparkly top coat that came with a nail art set. In the bottle, this has tiny flecks of sparkle that also switch between purple and blue, so it’s a great match for Tempest.

Nailene Artist FX Sparkle
This is the nail art set that contains Nailene Artist FX Sparkle, which is on the left

I couldn’t get my camera to photograph this at all with any purple showing, but you can see it slightly in the bottle shot.

China Glaze Tempest bottle
China Glaze Tempest – you can see the purple at the top of the bottle

The polish on my index finger also shrunk a little. You can see that it’s pulled back from the free edge of the nail. I hadn’t experienced this before, but know it to be an occasional “side-effect” of the Seche Vite top coat that I used for this manicure. I’ve read that it can shrink your polish and that a way around that is to “wrap the tips” ( sweep the free edge of the nail with the top coat too). I obviously didn’t wrap the tip of that nail very well, as all the others seem fine! Anyway, I just filed it down by that offending millimetre and all is well again 🙂

For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Base: two coats of China Glaze Tempest
  • Sparkle coat: Nailene Artist FX Sparkle
  • Top coat: Seche Vite

Stamping with L’Oreal Versailles Gold and Cheeky CH-11

I thought I would freshen up yesterday’s manicure with a bit of stamping.

There are special polishes that work with stamping plates. They’re thicker and more pigmented. But there are plenty of other “regular” polishes that work just fine.

Without knowing if the colour I chose would be one of those or not, I took a bit of a risk and went ahead and started stamping.

I chose L’Oreal Color Riche Versailles Gold. It’s much more of a light copper or a bronze colour than gold I feel, and I thought it would go perfectly over my base of L’Oreal Café St Germain.

Well, I got lucky. Versailles Gold does indeed stamp brilliantly. Certainly using the Cheeky plate I chose, which was CH-11.

Versailles Gold CH-11
L’Oreal Color Riche Café St Germain, stamped with L’Oreal Color Riche Versailles Gold, using Cheeky plate CH-11. Plus one coat of Seche Vite

I didn’t stamp my little finger very well. In fact, none of these nails was brilliantly stamped. I did my right hand after this and did a far better job. I guess it helped to have practised a bit on the left hand. But, I can’t for the life of me manage to photograph my right hand as I’m not left-handed and I can’t hold the camera very still. So you don’t get to see it. Hey ho.

For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Base: two coats of L’Oreal Café St Germain
  • Stamping polish: L’Oreal Color Riche Versailles Gold
  • Stamping plates: Cheeky plate CH-11
  • Top coat: Seche Vite

L’Oreal Cafe St Germain … and a repair to a broken nail

I woke up this morning with wrecked nails.

Yesterday’s manicure had come off (OK, I had picked it off), but worse than that, I had a broken nail. I was having too much of a good time (and too much to drink!) and caught my hand on someone else, breaking off the top of the nail at an angle.

The break was below the finger line, but still above where the nail meets the nail bed. I had two options. I could:

  1. File down the nail, or
  2. See if I could repair it in some way

I didn’t want to lose my lovely long nail so I wanted to see if I could repair it. I’ve done repairs to split nails before (using nail glue and a piece of tea bag) but haven’t ever repaired a nail where most of it has broken off.

After a quick internet search, I found a local nail bar that was open on a Sunday and headed off to see what they could do.

The nail technician advised me to leave it to grow out and said it wouldn’t take that long, but I was a bit panicked at having one stubby nail ruin the look of my nails, so asked if she would repair it, which she very obligingly did.

She added a tip and then covered the nail with acrylic. I had perfect looking nails once again and promptly returned home to polish them!

Which brings me to today’s manicure: L’Oreal Café St Germain. I love this colour and wear it quite a lot. In fact, it’s one of the few polishes I own that I want to buy a back up bottle of, because I would hate to run out of it or for them to discontinue it.

L'Oreal Cafe St Germain
L’Oreal Café St Germain

The broken nail isn’t in the picture; it was my right index finger, but I can gladly say that it looks no different from the index finger on this, my left, hand.

For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Base: two coats of L’Oreal Café St Germain
  • Top coat: No.7 Stay Perfect