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Mardi Gras nails

I bet you wonder why I’m posting some Mardi Gras nails in December! We don’t even celebrate Mardi Gras in the UK. (Well, we have Pancake Day, but that’s about the closest we get).

My son’s school holds a charity fundraising ball every year, and I’m on the committee that helps to organise it. This year, the theme was Mardi Gras.

I had designed some posters and artwork for the event and had created a three-colour harlequin pattern as a border. I didn’t know much about Mardi Gras at first, but after researching things a little, I  found out that the traditional colours for (New Orleans) Mardi Gras are purple, green and gold. So I chose to replicate the coloured harlequin pattern on my nails too.

Mardi Gras nails
Mardi Gras nails

For the colours, I chose: Nella Milano A Royal Affair (purple), George Buttercup Shine (yellow/gold), and Barry M Spring Green (green).

I wasn’t sure of the best way to accomplish the design, especially since my freehand isn’t the greatest. So I settled on making some decals on a silicone mat. I painted some lines of adjoining diamonds in purple and in green using back to back zigzag vinyls placed on the mat. Then I top coated that and allowed it to dry. Then I cut away the top coat from one side of each of the purple and green lines of diamonds. I then slotted them together on the mat so that the green and purple diamonds were touching and added another coat of top coat.

Mardi Gras nails
Mardi Gras nails

Finally, I laid my decals onto a base of the yellow polish. I did do a little bit of freehand work, by painting in the side diamonds in green and purple by hand.

For the glitter polish, I used FUN Lacquer Million Dollar Dream. It is a gold glittery polish with holographic glitters that reflect in green and red. There’s no purple, but the colours are similar to the Mardi Gras colour scheme.

The ball was a great success. However, apart from a few of my committee colleagues, no-one noticed my Mardi Gras nails, unfortunately.

 

For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Harlequin colours: three coats of George Buttercup Shine (base), Nella Milano A Royal Affair, and Barry M Spring Green
  • Glitter: three coats of FUN Lacquer Million Dollar Dream
  • Top coat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri


All manicure images are copyright to Kerruticles unless otherwise mentioned.
Nella Milano A Royal Affair was previously sent to me for review. All views expressed in this post are my own, honest and unbiased opinions.

 

 

 

Multicoloured Floral Nails | Hippie Flower Power Nails | 40 Great Nail Art Ideas

These multicoloured floral nails, reminiscent of “flower power”are for the festivals / hippie travels prompt for the 40 Great Nail Art Ideas group.

I wasn’t sure at first what direction to take with this prompt. Admittedly, I was born in the year the term “hippie” became widespread, the year of the Human Be-In and the Summer of Love, but I’m not a festival-goer, and so have no first-hand experience to draw inspiration from.

Multicoloured floral nails : hippie flower power manicure
Multicoloured floral nails : hippie flower power manicure

I’ve done tie-dye nails before, so didn’t want to go that route. Then I thought about stamping some hippie-type images, but I couldn’t find any in my plate collection. (There’s a brilliant Bundle Monster Festival set – plates BM-S301 to BM-320. It has tons of festival and hippie themed images … but I don’t own it!)

So, ultimately, I chose to represent the idea of “flower power” and did some stamping decals.

I chose the brightest, most outlandish nail polish I think I own for the base. It’s L’Oréal Exotic Canaries. I’ve never used this before, even though I bought it about three years ago, but it would be fantastic for a summer holiday. It’s bright and bold, and quite a warm yellow colour. I had to paint four coats to feel happy enough with the opacity, but anyone with shorter nails wouldn’t have to paint so many. I just don’t like to see the free edge through the polish.

Multicoloured floral nails : hippie flower power manicure
Multicoloured floral nails : hippie flower power manicure

I coloured in the flowers with a number of L’Oréal polishes: Sky Fits Heaven (blue), Innocent Green (teal green), Atomic Purple, Exquisite Scarlet (red), Ingenuous Rose (light pink), Shocking Pink (bright pink), Lush Tangerine (orange) and Flashing Lilac (pinky-magenta).

The finished look really reminds me of a much-loved pinafore I wore in the early 70s. The yellow is spot on, and it was adorned with multi-coloured appliquéd flowers very much like these.

We’re in the home stretch now of this year-long challenge – just a few weeks to go. Oh, and I finally caught up!

 

40 Great Nail Art Ideas 3 #40GNAI

 

For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Base colour: four coats of L’Oréal Exotic Canaries
  • Flower colours: L’Oréal Sky Fits Heaven, L’Oréal Innocent Green, L’Oréal Atomic Purple, L’Oréal Exquisite Scarlet, L’Oréal Ingenuous Rose, L’Oréal Shocking Pink, L’Oréal Lush Tangerine, L’Oréal Exotic Canaries and L’Oréal Flashing Lilac
  • Stamping polish: Essence Stamp Me! Black
  • Stamping plate: ÜberChic Beauty 5-03
  • Top coat: Moyra Stamping Polish Top Coat


All manicure images are copyright to Kerruticles unless otherwise mentioned.

 

 

 

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Patchwork Nails | 40 Great Nail Art Ideas

The 40 Great Nail Art Ideas group theme this time around is “nude and colour”. My personal prompt is patchwork, so it was easy enough for me to do some patchwork nails that incorporated some colours and a nude polish.

I used the patchwork stamp on Bundle Monster plate BM-607 to make some stamping decals. I could probably have painted the patchwork lines in freehand, but I prefer the accuracy (and ease)  of stamping.

Patchwork nails
Patchwork nails

Initially stuck for colour ideas, I finally settled on a palette of Ciaté polishes that I thought would go nicely together. I’ve used: Cookies And Cream (nude), Sugar Plum (pale pinky-lilac), Fade To Greige (dark, dusky purple) and Ahoy Sailor (light turquoise).

I used a nude base to place the decals over, as the nude itself was more sheer than the other colours, so the nude part of the patchwork would have more opacity over a matching coloured base.

Patchwork nails
Patchwork nails

I always paint my decals on a stamper, then use that to place them directly on the nail. Consequently, when the decals are placed, they always look matte, because the (now) upper side has previously been face down against the stamper. I quite liked them matte, so mattified everything to match. The top coat smudged the design a little, but I didn’t realise that until I saw the images enlarged when I edited them to add my watermarks.

I’m still a few weeks behind, but hoping to be all caught up by the end of this week.

 

40 Great Nail Art Ideas 3 #40GNAI

 

For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Colours: Ciaté Cookies And Cream, Ciaté Sugar Plum, Ciaté Fade To Greige and Ciaté Ahoy Sailor
  • Plain nails: three coats of Ciaté Cookies And Cream
  • Stamping polish: Essence Stamp Me! Black
  • Stamping plate: Bundle Monster BM-607
  • Top coat: Barry M Matte Top Coat


All manicure images are copyright to Kerruticles unless otherwise mentioned.

 

 

 

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All That Jazz All Eyes On Me

I have a new-to-me brand on my nails today: this is All That Jazz All Eyes On Me.

All That Jazz is a brand that I have heard of, but didn’t own any before now. I have come across them at several of the Professional Beauty Shows, but just hadn’t tried them. If you’ve been to the shows, then you will have seen their stand with its black and red curtains and nets, I’m sure.

The brand is fronted by Jazz Smedley. She is the daughter of Georgie Smedley, who is part of the successful Nail Harmony UK team that brought Gelish to the UK. All That Jazz features over 100 shades, with four new collections a year. They also sell a range of nail art items, including those “filigree” stickers that you may have seen around (on the nails of Ella Henderson and others).

All That Jazz All Eyes On Me
All That Jazz All Eyes On Me

All Eyes On Me is from the Spotlight Affair collection, which was released for Autumn 2014. This berry purple is a real autumnal winner, but I’d pick it any time of the year to add a bright reddish-purple hint to an outfit.

All That Jazz All Eyes On Me
All That Jazz All Eyes On Me

The bottles hold a generous 15ml. While I appreciate that 15ml is the norm in places like the US, over here in the UK, it’s far more typical to get a 10ML (or sometimes less) bottle of polish.

I like the brush, which is long and straight-cut at the end. The polish has a smooth, runny consistency, which allowed it to flow onto the nail pretty effortlessly and without pooling at the cuticles, and it dried nice and quickly.

You can buy All That Jazz polishes for £9.98 each – or for only double that, £19.98, for a collection of four. (A couple of the recent collections cost a little more than that).

 

 

For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Colour: two coats of All That Jazz All Eyes On Me
  • Top coat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri


All manicure images are copyright to Kerruticles unless otherwise mentioned.
All That Jazz All Eyes On Me was sent to me for review. All views expressed in this post are my own, honest and unbiased opinions.

 

 

Pink, Purple and Grey Stripes | Diabolical Nail Varnish from Firebox

I have some pink, purple and grey stripes nail art, courtesy of Diabolical Nail Varnish.

Diabolical Nail Varnish has been specially created by Firebox.com. These three polishes come as a set, presented in a pink box, and are inspired by Wes Anderson’s stylised film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

I absolutely adored the film. I hadn’t seen any other Wes Anderson films before, so I didn’t know how distinctive his style was. In the first few minutes of watching it I thought it all rather strange and was going to give up on it, but gradually I realised I was gripped by the story and was loving the quirky and distinctive narrative style.

Pink, purple and grey stripes using Diabolical Nail Varnishes from Firebox.com
Pink, purple and grey stripes using Diabolical Nail Varnishes from Firebox.com

These three polishes have been designed to reflect the colours and grandeur of the mountain hotel, presided over by devoted concierge, Monsieur Gustave H.

Dynamite in the Sack is a dark violet shade. It is a lovely vampy purple that reflects the colour of Zero the lobby boy’s uniform. It has a nice consistency that flows well onto the nail. I really like the brush, which is long and straight with a flattened wand part – like the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri brush, but perhaps half the width and with a straight-cut top. It dried averagely quickly – not too long, but I wouldn’t call it fast drying either. “Dynamite in the sack” is how M. Gustave describes wealthy hotel visitor, 84-year old Mme D!

Diabolical Nail Varnish set from Firebox
Diabolical Nail Varnish set from Firebox

Enchanting Old Ruin – a term used to describe the hotel in the film – is a grey that sometimes leans slightly teal green. This is also a good cream, like the purple. There’s quite a lot of grey in the film that must have inspired this: M. Gustave’s waistcoat, his prison uniform, the uniforms of the soldiers and the colour of the mountain scenery.

Physically Repulsed is a sheer pink. This is the only one of the three that I was slightly disappointed with, from a nail art point of view. To fit with The Grand Budapest Hotel theme, this pale pink colour is perfect. It is the colour of the Mendl’s cake boxes in the film and is the colour of the hotel itself. However, this is a very sheer polish so it doesn’t show up as very pink on the nail. It would be great worn alone or used for a French manicure, but my nails are far too yellowed for me to show it off well. The name of this polish actually has a nail polish reference. In the film, M. Gustave and Mme D have a scene that plays out thus:

M. Gustave: “Oh, dear God, what have you done to your fingernails?”

Mme D: “I beg your pardon?”

M. Gustave: “This diabolical varnish; the colour is completely wrong!”

Mme D: “Oh really? Don’t you like it?”

M. Gustave: “It’s not that I don’t like it; I am physically repulsed.”

Because it is so sheer, I have used it here over a white, which brings it to a more solid colour. I did still need four coats though to make it opaque enough to show up the colour well.

Pink, purple and grey stripes using Diabolical Nail Varnishes from Firebox.com
Pink, purple and grey stripes using Diabolical Nail Varnishes from Firebox.com

You can buy this Diabolical Nail Varnish set from Firebox.com for £12.99. I have a great fondness for Firebox.com. At the time it launched in the late 90s, I was working for an internet consultancy. This was before the internet bubble burst and at the time, it was such a small industry that we seemed to know everyone in it. So, I knew Firebox.com from the off and have admired their approach ever since. If you ever need a quirky or original gift, they are certainly the place to look first.

 

Product information for pink, purple and grey stripes manicure:
  • Purple: two coats of Diabolical Nail Varnish Dynamite In The Sack
  • Pink: four coats of Diabolical Nail Varnish Physically Repulsed over two coats of Nella Milano Chantilly Cream
  • Grey: two coats of Diabolical Nail Varnish Enchanting Old Ruin
  • Top coat: Glisten & Glow HK Girl


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