Monday, 22 July 2013

Manicure Monday: Dandelion Nail Art Tutorial

Dandelion nails were all over Pinterest a while ago, and as ever, I'm a bit late to join the party. I've been meaning to try them out for a while and I thought I'd put a little tutorial together as I went along - see bottom of this post for it.  It wasn't too tricky, it just took a little patience to keep the nail art striper brush steady!

Dandelion nail artDandelion nail art

Dandelion nail art matteDandelion nail art with Essie Avenue Maintain
Mattified with Rimmel Pro Matte Finish               Dandelion nail art with Essie Avenue Maintain

Dandelion nail art with Essie Avenue MaintainDandelion nail art with Models Own Nail Art Pens
Dandelion nail art with Essie Avenue Maintain       Dandelion nail art with Models Own Nail Art Pens 

Dandelion nail art matte

What you will need:
- A base colour (I used Essie Avenue Maintain)
- Black and white polish and a striper brush (I used the striper brush in the Models Own Nail Art Pens)

Dandelion nail art tutorial
1.  Paint your nails with the base colour.  Let them dry.
2.  Using the black striper, paint a tapering line towards the nail tip and do a small blob at the top.
3.  Using the white striper, paint as thin lines as possible out from the centre of the black blob.
4.  Paint fluffy white dots at the end of the white lines.
5.  Using the technique in pictures 6 and 7, paint a little dandelion seed.
6.  On another nail, paint two small white curved lines.
7.  Draw fluffy white lines in a fan shape out of the top of the white lines in 6.
8.  Top coat time! (I went for a matte look in the end).

Let me know if you try out this look - you can tweet me (@fundaflawless) or tag me on Instagram (@fundaflawless) or leave your link in the comments below!


Saturday, 20 July 2013

Sunset Nail Art with Palm Trees and Birds

Just a heads up, this is a photo-heavy post - I found it hard to choose just a few photos!

I was a little disappointed with my gradient mani yesterday (though I have to say I improved it just before I took it off with Barry M Bubblegum confetti polish - might do that again soon!) so I wanted to do another one today to show that I can make them look semi-decent! This sunset and palm trees design isn't original - it's all over the internet, but this version is my take on it.

I started, as I do with every gradient, with a base of Models Own Snow White.  Afterwards I painted onto a make up sponge stripes of Barry M Pomegranate, Essie Fear or Desire and 17 Go Go.  I sponged the colours onto my nails, let them dry and put on a coat of Seche Vite.  I drew all the trees and birds (and the boat - it is a boat!) freehand with the Models Own Black Nail Art Pen.  When that was all dry (and I was desperate not to smudge it so I waited ages), I put on another coat of Seche Vite, which I am learning to love. Maybe.

I can only apologise for my clean up job - I tried my best, but after about half an hour with a paintbrush, I got a bit bored!

Sunset nail art with palm trees, birds and boat

Sunset nail art with palm trees, birds and boat

Sunset nail art with palm trees, birds and boat

Sunset nail art with palm trees, birds and boat

Sunset nail art with palm tree

Sunset nail art with Barry M Pomegranate
Sunset nail art with Barry M Pomegranate

Sunset nail art with Barry M Pomegranate
Sunset nail art with Barry M Pomegranate

Sunset nail art with Essie Fear or Desire
Sunset nail art with Essie Fear or Desire

Sunset nail art with Essie Fear or Desire
Sunset nail art with Essie Fear or Desire

Sunset nail art with Models Own Black Nail Art Pen
Sunset nail art with Models Own Black Nail Art Pen

Sunset nail art with Models Own Black Nail Art Pen
Sunset nail art with Models Own Black Nail Art Pen

Sunset nail art with 17 Go Go
Sunset nail art with 17 Go Go

Have you tried out the sunset design yet?  Pop your links in the comment below!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Essie Week: Gradient Nails with Bikini So Teeny and In the Cab-ana

The fifth and final day of Essie Week has arrived - and better late than never right?  It's been a busy day - I had to get this little gradient mani done before my day began so it is not my finest work, I have to say!  [I did go into Lush today to buy myself some Lemony Flutter cuticle butter as I've read about it everywhere and the Lush lady was very complimentary about my nails, which was sweet.  On a side note about the Lemony Flutter, I've only used it once so far but I love it.  It moisturised my cuticles immediately - and they'd taken a fair battering this morning after the post-sponging acetone clean up].  I started with a base of Models Own Snow White (because that's my only white polish), then used a make up sponge to do the gradient with Essie Bikini So Teeny and Essie In the Cab-ana (the latter of which still is probably my favourite polish of the summer).  (You can see my gradient tutorial here).

Gradient nails with Essie Bikini So Teeny
Gradient nails with Essie Bikini So Teeny

Gradient nails with Essie Bikini So Teeny and In the Cab-ana

Gradient nails with Essie In the Cab-ana
Gradient nails with In the Cab-ana

What are your favourite colours to do a gradient with?

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Essie Week: Pastel Stripes Nail Art with Fiji, Mint Candy Apple, Bikini So Teeny and Cascade Cool

It's Essie Week day 4! I've never tried out traditional stripes on my nails with striping tape, but I had a vision of it working nicely with the Essie pastels I have.  For these nails I painted a base of Fiji, a very subtle almost-white baby pink which is perfect for summer, then laid down my striping tape and painted over with Cascade Cool (the dusky pink), Bikini So Teeny (the cornflour-esque blue) and Mint Candy Apple (the light green).  I actually think it would have looked better with a white base as the pink makes the stripes a little grubby!  However, I think it looks pretty and summery and funnily enough, the green one is a perfect match for the dress I'm wearing today.

Essie Pastel Stripes Nail Art

Essie Pastel Stripes Nail Art with Bikini So Teeny
Essie Bikini So Teeny

Essie Pastel Stripes Nail Art with Cascade Cool
Essie Cascade Cool

Essie Pastel Stripes Nail Art with Fiji
Essie Fiji

Essie Pastel Stripes Nail Art with Mint Candy Apple
Essie Mint Candy Apple

Essie Pastel Stripes Nail Art

Nails and my matching dress!

Have you tried stripes yet? What colours did you choose? Which is your favourite shade of Essie?

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Essie Week: Avenue Maintain Swatch

It's day 3 of Essie Week! Just a very simple swatch today of one of my new Essie polishes - Avenue Maintain.  I saw this polish and instantly fell in love with it. What a beautiful blue - and one not similar to any I already own. It's a good creme, with nice coverage in one coat, but as always, I put on two for complete opacity. I've topped it off with Seche Vite.

Essie Avenue Maintain

Essie Avenue Maintain

Essie Avenue Maintain

Essie Avenue Maintain

Are you a fan of this blue? What's your favourite blue polish?

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Essie Week: Green Ombre Stripes Nail Art with Essie Mojito Madness and Mint Candy Apple

Carrying on with Essie Week today... last week I posted a couple of ombre stripes designs - blue and pink and I can't get away from how much I love it so I tried it with some greens. Sadly I don't think it looks as good as the blue or pink versions - I used Nails inc Knightsbridge Green as a base, then Essie Mojito Madness, then Essie Mint Candy Apple and finally Models Own nail art pen in white. I'm not a fan of Nails inc Knightsbridge Green AT ALL. It is the worst staining nail polish I've ever used! And it drags when you put a top coat over it - which is why the white stripe in the middle of these nails looks green and all the other ones look nothing like what they should look like. So this is a bit of a fail in my eyes, but it got a few compliments (perhaps they were being nice...!)

Green ombre stripes nail art with Essie Mint Candy Apple

Green ombre stripes nail art with Essie Mojito Madness

Green ombre stripes nail art with Essie Mojito Madness and Mint Candy Apple

Green ombre stripes nail art with Essie Mojito Madness and Mint Candy Apple

What do you think of this design? Have you tried it yet? I've got a tutorial here if you'd like to see how it's done.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Essie Week: Mint Candy Apple and Fiji Half Moon Manicure

I've decided this week will be Essie week! I bought a few new Essie polishes last week so I'll be swatching them, but I've also got a bit of nail art planned with my Essie polishes too.

I was going to start off with swatching Fiji, a beautiful almost-white baby pink creme, but the light wasn't good enough when I got around to photographing it and then I got some tip wear. So rather than starting again, I thought I'd begin the week with my first half moon mani - by using ring reinforcers to block off the half moon at the base of the nail.  It's a great way to make a mani last longer by covering up any tip wear you might have - it's also really easy! The half moon is Essie Fiji and the rest of the nail is Essie Mint Candy Apple, a very summery light appley (no surprise there!) green creme.  I'll say more about the individual colours when I swatch them in posts to come.

(Apologies for the quality of the photos - I'm trialling different locations in my new flat to get the best light - I took these outside on my roof terrace in the morning sunshine today).

Essie Mint Candy Apple Half Moon Mani

Essie Fiji and Mint Candy Apple Half Moon Mani

Essie Fiji and Mint Candy Apple Half Moon Mani

Essie Fiji Half Moon Mani

Have you ever done a half moon mani? What colours would you choose?

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Pink Ombre Stripes Nail Art

Yesterday you may have seen my blue ombre stripes nail art and tutorial, well I love the design so much that I recreated it again but with pinks this time.  I used a base of Barry M Pomegranate gelly (which is such a pretty deep bluey-pink), then Nails inc Grosvenor Street, then Models Own Strawberry Tart and Models Own white nail art striper.

Pink ombre stripes nail art with Barry M Pomegranate

Pink ombre stripes nail art

Pink ombre stripes nail art

What do you think of these colours? What other colours do you think it would look good with?

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Blue Ombre Stripes Nail Art Tutorial

I'm back! Well, I hope so - I'm planning to get back into the habit of posting my manis now that it's the summer holiday and I have 8 weeks stretching ahead of me. My first nail art offering is a simple one, I've seen it around the place a bit - first on Pinterest I think, but I can't find the picture now (so let me know if it was yours!) - literally so easy to do (funnily enough, I did it a few days ago and then this morning saw that Miss Jen Fabulous has also done the exact same design and has a tutorial on it on her YouTube channel). Anyway, I've done a very basic tutorial for it too, so scroll down to the bottom of the post to find that.

Enough wittering, here are the photos - I used a base of Nails inc Southwark, a beautiful royal blue colour, which actually dries to a slightly matte finish; the next stripe was Essie In the Cab-ana, which was on my list of polishes to buy for ages until recently (I'll do some swatches of it when I'm wearing it next); then Models Own Apple Pie from the Fruit Pastels collection - which smells gorgeously of apples; then the white stripe was done with Models Own Nail Art striper in white.


Blue ombre stripes nail artBlue ombre stripes nail art

Blue ombre stripes nail art with Essie In the Cab-anaBlue ombre stripes nail art with Nails inc Southwark

Blue ombre stripes nail art with Models Own Apple PieBlue ombre stripes nail art with Models Own White Nail Art Striper

So for the tutorial:

You will need:
Three different shades of the same (or at least similar) colour
A white polish with striper brush

Scroll down for the instructions...

Blue Ombre Stripes Nail Art Tutorial
1.  Paint the dark base all over your nail and let it dry.
2.  Using the brush in the next lightest shade polish, paint one stripe down the centre of the nail, then add to either side of it so that only a little bit of the base coat still shows. Let it dry.
3.  Using the brush and the lightest polish, paint just one stripe over the top of the previous stripe. Let it dry!
4.  Using the striper brush and white polish, paint a single thin line down the centre.  Put a top coat over the whole nail (I used Butter London PD Quick).

Are you going to try out this design? What colours will you choose? Look out for my post tomorrow - I've tried the same design with different colours!